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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 36:1-4 . Elihu has yet words to utter for God. By a wide survey he will establish the righteousness of his Maker. All that Elihu says is true and his knowledge perfect.
Job 36:5-12 . God is mighty, yet despises none. He destroys the wicked, but watches over the righteous, exalting them to honour. If He afflicts them it is to bring home to them their sin. Thus God instructs them and teaches them repentance. If they repent they prosper, but, if not, destruction is their portion.
In Job 36:5 b read “ He is mighty in strength and understanding” (Ley). In Job 36:7 read “ his sight” with LXX instead of “ his eyes.”
Job 36:13-21 . The godless cherish angry thoughts about God’ s discipline— they refuse to cry for God’ s help ( Job 36:13). They die young, perishing like the sodomites (those religiously consecrated to unnatural vice; see Deuteronomy 23:17). God saves the afflicted by his affliction, and opens their ear by adversity (following in Job 36:15 b mg. instead of text). So God would have dealt with Job ( Job 36:16). As it is, Job is visited by the Divine judgment ( Job 36:17). Let not Job be led astray by his sufferings ( Job 36:18). Nothing but suffering can avail to save him ( Job 36:19). Let him not desire the calamity that overwhelms nations ( Job 36:20), or choose iniquity rather than affliction.
Job 36:16-20 is a very obscure and corrupt passage. The general sense may be as above given; but almost every line is matter of dispute. In Job 36:18 read “ Because there is wrath ( i.e. with God), beware lest thou be led away into mockery” (Peake). The ransom alluded to in Job 36:18 b is the suffering which is the only way of deliverance and escape for Job. In Job 36:19 a we should perhaps translate “ will thy riches suffice, without distress.” This is the rendering above implied but is by no means certain.
Job 36:20 is a crux interpretum— why should Job desire the night when peoples are cut off ( cf. however, Job 18:4)? In any case, what is the connexion with the context?
Job 36:22-26 . God is great— who can teach like Him? Can man command or criticise Him? Man’ s part is to magnify his work in psalms, though only beholding it from afar, and unable to comprehend it.
Job 36:27-33 . God draws up the water-drops and lets them fall in rain. Who can understand the distribution of the clouds, the thunders which fill the cloud where He dwells? ( cf. Psalms 18:11). He is surrounded with light ( Job 36:30). By the thunderstorm He judges the peoples and supplies humanity with food (by the fertilising rain). He fills His hands with the lightning and sends it home to its mark.
Job 36:30 b is unintelligible. Budde reads, “ and the roots of the sea He lays bare.” Duhm corrects the whole verse, “ Behold He spreadeth His cloud about him, and He covereth the tops of the mountains.” In Job 36:33 read “ His war-cry announceth Him, kindling His wrath against iniquity” (Duhm).
Job 36:33 b, as it stands, is quite unintelligible.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 36". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter