Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 33

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-33

Job 33:4 . The Spirit of God hath made me. See on Genesis 2:7, and Psalms 33:6. The creation of man was known to all the descendants of Noah, much the same as to Moses. Sanchoniatho the Phœnician historian, the Brahmins of India, the Sibyls of the Greek temples, and the Voluspa of the north, all speak nearly the same things, on the main points of ancient history.

Job 33:14 . God speaketh once, yea twice. This text is cited by David, in Psalms 62:11. God has spoken at sundry times, as well as inwardly by his Spirit to man.

Job 33:15 . In a dream, in a vision of the night. See the note on Genesis 40:8.

Job 33:23 . If there be a messenger. This term often refers to angels; and Christ, the uncreated Angel, is called the Angel of the Lord, Zechariah 3:1; the Angel of the covenant, Malachi 3:1; the Angel wonderful in counsel, Isaiah 9:6; the Angel of JEHOVAH’S presence, Isaiah 63:9. Exodus 23:20. He only is righteous before God; he only has found a ransom; he only can deliver the soul from going down to the pit. Yet in a subordinate sense, ministers are called the messengers or angels of the churches. These messengers, one of a thousand, must be enlightened interpreters of their master’s word; and learned in the study of providential visitations. The reference to the sick man wasting away, is to Job; and God, the Angel, says to him when contrite, “Deliver him from going down to the pit.” St. James, on advising christians to call for the elders of the church, speaks to the same effect, that the sick man shall be healed, and his iniquities forgiven.


Elihu solicits the ear of Job, because he spake by the Spirit of God. Yet he reproaches him for saying I am innocent, as indicative of divine injustice in the dealings of providence towards him. Thus for a time the best of men may be misguided in judgment; but we are not to arraign the Almighty. The general reasons of his conduct are evident, and it becomes us to acquiesce; to be still, and know that he is God. We are here taught that the great end and design of divine admonition and instruction is, to divert men from their evil purposes, subdue their pride, and teach them not to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think. This is a lesson all need to learn, which ordinances and providences are adapted to teach, and it is our duty to pray that we may learn it more perfectly, that God would seal this important instruction on our souls.

Sickness and pain are very salutary and beneficial. It is grievous indeed to have all the bones full of pain, and to lose our appetite; but still it is good to be afflicted, desirable to have the help of good books, tender friends, faithful ministers, to be interpreters of providence. It is proper to consider wherein we have done iniquity, and perverted that which is right, that we may have the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

Recovery from sickness ought thankfully to be acknowledged and faithfully improved; and it should engage us to continue in prayer, to make restitution, to warn others by what we have felt and experienced of the vanity of the world, of the advantages of affliction, the supports of religion, and the hopes of immortality. Thus shall we be improving ourselves, while we are comforting others with those consolations with which we have been comforted of God.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 33". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/job-33.html. 1835.
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