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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Job 34

 

 

Verses 1-37


The Speeches of Elihu (continued)

1-9. Elihu appeals to his hearers to judge the matter. He protests against the complaints of Job that he was treated unjustly by God, and that it was no profit to be righteous.

3. Cp. Job 12:11.

4. Judgment] RV 'that which is right.'

5. My judgment] i.e. my right.

6. RV 'Notwithstanding my right I am accounted a liar: My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.' Right = innocence.

7, 8. Elihu implies that, in indulging in such reckless remarks, Job was linking himself with sinners. 7b. Cp. Job 15:16.

9. Cp. e.g. Job 9, 21.

10-37. Elihu meets Job's doubts. The omnipotent God cannot commit injustice: the idea is inconsistent with the conception of One who creates and sustains and governs all mankind. Instances are given of His judgments.

13. God has not been entrusted with His rule by a higher Power.

14a. RM 'If he cause his heart to return to himself,' i.e. if God ceased to concern Himself with the affairs of man, and only selfishly regarded Himself. If He acted thus He might withdraw from man the breath of life He had given him (14b), and then he would perish (15).

17. Render, 'Doth one hating right rule?' The thought is the same as Abraham's, 'Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?' (Genesis 18:25): cp. also Romans 3:5. Of course this begs the very question in dispute.

19. Accepteth not] RV 'respecteth not,' shows no undue partiality to.

20. The impartiality of God's judgments. Without hand] i.e. without human agency.

23. RV 'For he needeth not further to consider a man, that he should go before God in judgment.' God at the same time sees and judges every act: there is no need to set apart a special time for trying man.

24. Without number] RM 'without inquisition.'

25. He knoweth] RV 'he taketh knowledge of.'

28. Oppression causes God's intervention.

29. Make trouble] RV 'condemn.'

30. RV 'That the godless man reign not, that there be none to ensnare the people.'

31. Render, 'For hath any said unto God, I have borne chastisement though I offend not?'

32. 'Show me my sin, and I will give it up.' In Job 34:31-33 Job is rebuked for presumption in criticising God's treatment of him.

33. RV 'Shall his recompence be as thou wilt, that thou refusest it? For thou must choose and not I: Therefore speak what thou knowest.' Elihu asks Job ironically if he is to lay down the law to God.

34. RV 'Men of understanding will say unto me, yea, every wise man that heareth me.'

36. Answers for] RV 'answering like.'

Elihu does not really advance on the position of the friends. Omnipotence cannot go wrong, the supreme tribunal cannot be unjust. This is just the point to be proved, and the proof derived from the fact that God gives and sustains man's life, while sound as far as it goes, does not go far enough. God may have His own ends to serve in this, rather than be prompted by benevolence, and the hard facts of human misery are left to suggest the darker interpretations of God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 34:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/job-34.html. 1909.

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