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Bible Commentaries
Job 33

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-33



Verses 1-33:

Verses 1, 2 begin Elihu’s direct address to Job, as ch. 32 relates his direct address to Job’s three friends from afar. He appeals to Job to hear or give respectful attention to his "speeches," and all his words; that is he asked Job to hear him out, indicating what he had to say would be a bit lengthy. He states that having opened his mouth or palate, the discerner of taste, he has now begun a discerning address, one with discriminating content, Job 6:30; Job 12:11.

Verse 3 recounts Elihu’s resolve that in this discriminating address his words would come from honest sincerity of his heart, toward convictions, and words his lips spoke could be clearly understood; not distorting the truth, through passion and prejudice, as Job’s friends had done, Job 13:4-5.

Verse 4 attributes the life and soul of Elihu to the creation and sustaining power and goodness of Almighty God, Genesis 2:7; Acts 17:28; Psalms 33:6; 1 Corinthians 15:45.

Verse 5, 6 add that if Job can answer him, to stand up before him, as in a court of justice, Job 30:20. He declares that he is a man of the clay, a mortal man, Psalms 51:11-12; Genesis 2:7. He is what Job had wished for, Job 9:32; Job 13:3; Job 20:22.

Verse 7 asks Job not to let Elihu’s terror or fear make him afraid, for him to be at ease, not upset by what he had to say to him. Elihu promised to refrain from laying his hand of condemnation heavily on Job, alluding to Job’s words, Job 13:21; Psalms 88:16.

Verse 8 declares that Elihu had listened understandingly to Job’s laments and complaints. He too had heard Job repeatedly deny that sin existed in his life, that is any particular or wicked sin, Job 9:17; Job 10:7; Job 11:4; Job 16:1; Job 23:10-11; Job 27:5; Job 29:14; Job 31:1.

Verses 9-11 recount Job’s claim of innocence of any sin; Yet, he charged that the Lord God found occasion to count him as an enemy, had put his feet in stocks, and continually marked his paths, or watched him as cited in references on verse 8 above. He had complained that the Lord had found "occasion" against him, Job 13:24; and held his feet in stocks, so that he could not walk, Job 13:2; Job 14:16; Job 31:4.

Verse 12 asserts that in this, Elihu declares Job is not just in such charges before or against God, Ecclesiastes 7:20. For he declared "God is greater than man." He concludes therefore that every man must have sin, even if not an hypocrite for which, tho he is a righteous man, God may justly afflict him, Hebrews 12:5-6; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Verse 13 Inquires just why Job strove against God, for He was responsible to no one for his actions, nor did he have to give account to anyone for anything that he chose to do, Isaiah 45:9; Romans 11:33. See also Isaiah 29:16; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 9:20.

Verse 14 declares that God will speak a word of warning once, or even twice before sending some judgment or calamity, yet men would often not perceive it, as he inferred Job had failed to do, John 15:12; Psalms 62:11; Isaiah 28:10; Isaiah 28:13. Ellhu’s Inference is that in and with all his prosperity Job had failed to get some message from God, which in his calamity he might eventually grasp.

Verses 15,18 add that in slumbering or light sleep, as opposed to deep sleep, in a night vision, God often opened the ears of men, got their attention, opening their ears and seals to them a message of warning, a warning of some judgment that is certain to come, Job 37:7; Job 36:10. Even as He warned Belshazzar with the hand or finger­writing upon the wall, in the midst of an inebriated feast, Daniel 5:5-30.

Verse 17 asserts that such sealing of instructions in calamity is for the Divine purpose of removing man from a life of personal pride or self-righteousness. He was to rescue himself, Elihu felt, from a, possible pit of pride, by humbling himself without complaint under his afflictions, in order to be delivered from them, 1 Samuel 20:19; Job 17:11; Luke 18:14.

Verses 18, 19 affirm that the one who accepts chastening from the Lord by means of pain that go to the bone, upon his bed, as Job was, holds back his soul or life from perishing or death. Thus he argued that Job’s suffering would work good to him if he were a righteous man, Job 36:10; Deuteronomy 8:5; Revelation 3:9. David confessed that there was "no rest in his bones" because of his sins, Psalms 38:3. Yet, not all suffering is the result of great sins, John 9:2-3; John 11:4; 1 Peter 4:12-16.

Verses 20, 21 state that one sealed for chastening or judgment for attitude or deeds of sin in his life often abhors, or is sickened by, bread and even dainty meats or the finest of foods, as described Psalms 107:18. Such sometimes continues until his flesh is dried up, emaciated, or eaten away until the bones come through the skin, Elihu declared; Thus they came near the gates of death, Ecclesiastes 12:5; Psalms 102:5.

Verse 22 explains that such a person’s soul draws near to the grave, and his life’s end draws near the destroyers, the angels of death, commissioned by the Lord to take care of the soul of each, 2 Samuel 24:16; Psalms 78:49; Job 30:17; Psalms 34:7.

Verses 23, 24 add that if there be a messenger angel with him that approacheth death, an interpreter, one among a thousand to show to man his uprightness; Elihu claimed to be such a messenger from God, Job 32:8; Job 33:6; He was there to defend God’s righteousness in sending affliction on Job. Job was to accept it, he contended. Jesus is that true "one In a thousand," friend in such an hour, Song of Solomon 5:10. Jesus Christ "the messenger of the covenant" is that messenger of the redeemed, Malachi 3:1. This true messenger is gracious to him, even delivering him through his afflictions, Romans 3:21; Matthew 20:28; 2 Corinthians 5:19. He will ransom or deliver man from the grave-pit, to a glorified body, if he has been redeemed, Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 John 3:1-2; John 5:28-29; Exodus 21:30.

Verse 25 prophesies that when one, either Job or another, has been restored to God’s favor, through whatever testing he has undergone he will find temporal revival, as well as assurance of eternal regeneration. Tho Elihu spoke more directly of the temporal relief he would receive, 1 Peter 1:10-12. The phrase of prophecy "his flesh shall be fresher than a child’s" alludes to a similar one used of Naaman when healed of his leprosy, 2Kg 5:14.

Verse 26 adds that the dying, putrefying carcass of man, as described v. 19-22, such as Job, should entreat God in prayer, earnestly, and He would be gracious to him. He would no longer pray to Him in vain as he had, Job 23:3; Job 23:8-9; Job 2 Kg 20:2-5; Acts 9:11. This is especially true of the redeemed in Jesus Christ, as certified John 16:23-27. He shall, in such earnest prayer, then see the face of the Lord turned favorably upon his needs, with delight or joy, John 16:21-22. He too shall see Him eternally, Psalms 17:15; John 17:24; God’s righteousness is magnified in the penitent believer’s salvation, and the humble believer’s prayers of repentance and obedience to the Master, Psalms 51:4; Isaiah 45:24; Isaiah 46:13.

Verses 27, 28 explain that God looks continuously upon man, and that if any (a single one) says, "I have sinned, perverted that which was right, and it profiteth me nothing," God will deliver his soul (whole life) from going to the grave-pit, for such sins, and his life shall "see the light," Psalms 51:12; Psalms 66:16; Proverbs 25:20. Job had "perverted" the character of God, in public lamentation that He was afflicting him unjustly. For this he needed to pray and find deliverance from his afflictions and approaching death and walk again in the "light of the living," as witnessed Ecclesiastes 11:7.

Verses 29, 30 recount Elihu’s declaration that all these things, afflictions, God continually or repeatedly works with or sends upon men to bring his soul (whole life’s usefulness) back from the pit. By visions, by afflictions, and by the messenger, Elihu had certified God sought to ransom him from the grave-pit for further joy and usefulness in life, as alluded to 1) v. 14; 2) v.15-17; 3) v.19-23 above. See also Psalms 106:13; Psalms 118:17-18.

Verses 31-33 further recount Elihu’s direct word to Job, by name, to "mark well, hold his peace, and heed" what he was about to declare to and concerning him and his welfare. Then, before he proceeded to speak further, he stated to Job that if he had anything to say, just interrupt him, and say it; For he assured Job that he wanted to do him justice, not take advantage of him, a thing he evidently felt Job’s three former feigned friends had done. He wanted to declare Job to be innocent, if he could consistently do so, he declared. Then, verse 33, he assured Job, that if he had no defensive reply to anything he had already said, he desired him to hold his peace, keep quiet, hear him out in another speech, and he would "teach him wisdom," a thing he could not do. For wisdom comes as a gift from God. One may teach about wisdom, but not teach one wisdom per se, or absolutely, for "The Lord giveth wisdom," Proverbs 2:6; and "if any lack" or have a famine of wisdom, he may have by "asking" of God, who doles it out liberally, without scolding or chiding His children, as certified, James 1:5.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 33". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-33.html. 1985.
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