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Job 32-37. Speech of Elihu.— Reasons have already been given in the Introduction for regarding this as a later addition to the poem. The point of view of Elihu is very much that of Eliphaz, viz. that suffering is disciplinary. If it is rightly accepted, and its lesson learned, God will graciously restore the sufferer. An interesting point in the theology of Elihu is the idea of the intercession of angels ( Job 33:23 ff.).
Job 33:1-7 . Elihu turns to Job and bids him answer him, if he can. He will not terrify him into silence, as Job said God would ( Job 9:34, Job 13:21).
Job 33:4 should follow Job 33:6 and thus Job 33:5 follow immediately on Job 33:3. This gives a much better connexion. In Job 33:7 for “ my pressure” read, with LXX, “ my hand.”
Job 33:8-13 . Job has declared that he is innocent, and that God is his enemy. He is unjust in doing so. God is great. Observe that Job 33:10 b quotes Job 13:24, Job 33:11 quotes Job 13:27. In Job 33:13 read, “ Why dost thou strive against Him, for that He does not answer any of thy words?”
Job 33:14-18 . God answers man in two ways. One is by visions of the night, to withhold him from destruction.
In Job 33:14 read “ God speaketh in one way, yea in two if man regardeth it not.” With the vision of the night, cf. Job 4:12 f. “ Sealeth their instruction” ( Job 33:16) means that God, after opening the ear, closes it and seals the instruction communicated, or else that God impresses the instruction on the hearer as a seal is stamped upon wax. In Job 33:18 read as in mg. “ That he may keep back.”
Job 33:19-30 . There is a second way, when a man is brought near to death, and the destroying angels wait to take his life. Then an angel of mercy instructs man in the meaning of his suffering, intercedes for him, and provides a ransom from the destroyer, so that he is restored to health, and avows before men his own sin and God’ s mercy. In these and other ways God savingly deals with men.
In Job 33:21 read “ his flesh is consumed by wasting” (Duhm), instead of “ consumed that it cannot be seen.” The developed angelology of the above passage is very notable. Duhm says that it makes it probable that the Elihu speeches are very late. “ The idea of spirits hostile to or protective of the soul can hardly have originated without foreign influence, though we can hardly determine whether we have before us Persian or Egyptian or other ideas.” Compare the angels in Daniel and Tobit. What the ransom mentioned in Job 33:24 is, we are not told; it is supposed to be the sufferer’ s affliction ( Job 36:18).
Job 33:31-33 . Let Job listen in silence to Elihu, who, however, will gladly hear if Job has any reply.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 33". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27