Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 33:16

Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Agency;   Conviction;   God;   God Continued...;   Philosophy;   Prophets;   Wicked (People);   Wisdom;   The Topic Concordance - Hearing;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ear, the;  
Dictionaries:
Fausset Bible Dictionary - Prophet;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Pit;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Dreams;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Job, Book of;   Open;   Seal;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

III. By secret Inspirations

Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth, etc. - A dream or a vision simply considered is likely to do no good; it is the opening of the understanding, and the pouring in of the light, that make men wise to salvation. Serious alarms, holy purposes, penitential pangs for past sins, apprehension of death and judgment, discoveries of God's justice, of Christ's love, of the world's vanity, of heaven's excellence, etc., etc., etc., are often used by the Divine Spirit to withdraw men from their evil purpose, and to hide pride from man, Job 33:17; and of all these openings of the ear of the heart, and sealing instructions upon the conscience, we have numerous examples in the history of the Church, in the experience of good men, and even in the civil and providential history of all nations.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-33.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Then he openeth the ears of men - Margin, as in Hebrew “revealeth,” or “uncovereth.” The idea is, that he then reveals to the ear of man important admonitions or counsels. He communicates valuable truth. We are not to understand this as saying that the sleeper actually hears God speak, but as the ear is the organ of hearing, it is employed here to denote that God then communicates His will to human beinigs. In what way he had access to the souls of people by dreams, it is impossible to explain.

And sealeth their instruction - literally, “In their admonition he seals;” or he affixes a seal. The idea is, that he makes the admonition or instruction as secure as if a seal were affixed to it. A seal ratified or confirmed a contract, a will, or a deed, and the sense here is, that the communications of God to the soul were as firm as if they had been ratified in like manner. Or possibly it may mean, that the warnings of God were communicated to the soul like a sealed letter or message unknown to any other; that is, were made privately to the individual himself in the slumbers of the night. Others have understood the word rendered instruction, as denoting castigation, or punishment, and according to that explanation the meaning would be, that he announces to them certain punishment if they continued in sin; he made it as certain to them as if it were ratified by a seal. So Rosenmuller and Mercer. Schultens supposes it to be equivalent to inspires them, or communicates instruction by inspiration as if it were confirmed and ratified by a seal. He observes that the Arabic word hhatham is often used in the Koran, meaning to inspire. The Septuagint renders it, ἀυτοὺς ἐξεφόβησεν autous exephobēsen - “he terrifies them” - where they evidently read יחתם yechathēm instead of יחתם yachthom The sense is, that God communicates warnings to people on their beds, in a manner as solemn and impressive as if it were ratified with a seal, and made as secure as possible.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-33.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then he openeth the ears of men,.... Not the ears of his body, which remaining shut while things are presented to his mind in a dream or vision, but his internal ears; it is the same with opening the heart or understanding to attend to and receive the things delivered in this visionary way:

and sealeth their instruction; sends home the instruction given in this manner, and imprints it upon the mind, so that it is well remembered when awake, not only the dreams themselves, but the lessons taught and learnt there, as may be observed in the cases of Abimelech and Laban, Genesis 20:3; the word signifies "chastisement"F12במסרם "disciplinam eorum", Tigurine version; "castigationem eorum", Beza, Vatablus, Drusius, Mercerus, Piscator, Michaelis, Schultens. as well as instruction, that being one way in which God teaches and instructs men, Psalm 94:12; and so the sense may be, that God in a dream or vision makes it known to men, that if they regard not what he says to them, and repent not of their evils, and turn from them, he will correct and chastise them, and this he assures them of; and they may look for the certain performance of it, that he will visit their transgressions with a rod, and their iniquities with stripes; things that are sealed being sure and firm. Mr. Broughton renders the words, "and imprints why they are chastised."

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-33.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then he openeth the ears of men, and h sealeth their instruction,

(h) That is, determined to send on them.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-33.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Literally, “sealeth (their ears) to Himself by warnings,” that is, with the sureness and secrecy of a seal He reveals His warnings [Umbreit]. To seal up securely (Job 37:7).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-33.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,

Sealeth — He imprints those instructions upon their minds.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-33.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 33:16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,

Ver. 16. Then he openeth the ears of men] He maketh the bore bigger, as it were, that good counsel may enter; he calleth up the ears of the soul to the ears of the body, that one sound may pierce both; he saith, as to him in the Gospel Ephphatha; and together with his word there goeth forth a power, as Luke 4:32. See Job 36:10; Job 36:15.

And sealeth their instruction] Or, their correction, for they go together, Psalms 94:12, Proverbs 3:12-13; Proverbs 6:14, and God sealeth, or setteth on, the one by the other; as when a schoolmaster would have a lesson learned indeed, he set it on with a whipping. Luther saith, that many of St Paul’s Epistles could not be understood but by the cross, Vexatio dat intellectum. Another grave divine giveth this good advice to find out the sin that God afflicteth for, consider what truths have been pressed upon your hearts before the affliction; for afflictions used to come as seals to instruction; before they did not come with power to your hearts, now God seals them: thus he. Bernard saith concerning his brother, when he gave him many good instructions, and he, being a soldier, minded them not; he put his finger to his sides, and said, One day a spear shall make way to this heart of thine for instructions and admonitions to enter. The Tigurine translation is full and elegant, Tunc aurem hominibus vellit, et disciplinam eorum velut impresso sigillo consignat: Then he pulleth men by the ear, and consigneth their instruction, as with a seal set unto it.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 33:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-33.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. He revealeth his will to the ears and hearts of men, as this phrase is used, Job 36:10 Psalms 40:6 Isaiah 1:4; and he imprinteth those instructions which he hath revealed to their ears upon their minds, that after they have heard and received them they do not let them slip, as men commonly do most things which they hear, whether from God or men, but do retain and hold them fast, and are fully satisfied and assured of the truth and importance of them. Or, he sealeth their chastening, or correction, for so this word signifies as well as instruction, i.e. he gives them assurance of his purpose of correcting them for their sins, if they do not prevent it by a speedy repentance. Or, he sealeth it (i.e. his word conveyed to their ears and minds) with chastening them, i.e. he gives them assurance of the truth and reality of his revelation by striking them with a sacred dread and horror, as was usual in such dreams or night visions, as we see Job 4:13,15; which he did that they might remember it the better, and distinguish this from such vain dreams as are only the productions of man’s fancy.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 33:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-33.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.Sealeth their instruction — “Seals it (the ear) with warning for them.” — Hitzig. God opens the ear that man may comprehend the instruction (chastisement) which he seals upon the soul represented by the ear. Every human being thus assumes new interest if, with Elihu, we look upon him as the end of divine thoughts, purposes, and discipline; God stamping his seal on the soul even, that the impressions may be deepened and perpetuated. Matters of moment are sealed against loss or harm. See note Job 14:17; Deuteronomy 32:34; Isaiah 8:16.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-33.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Instructeth. Hebrew, "sealing," that they may not mistake such a favour for a common dream. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-33.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Such communications are designed to keep a person on the right track, and to keep man from becoming arrogant and falling into destruction. 33:16 "Seals their instruction": "He communicates warnings to men on their beds, in a manner as solemn and impressive as if it were ratified with a seal, and made as secure as possible. Being frightened by nightmares (7:14), Job missed the purpose of God"s dream-warnings, namely, to preserve man from sin and death" (Zuck p. 146).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-33.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,

Literally, sealeth (their ears) to himself by warnings - i:e., with the sureness and secrecy of a seal He reveals His warnings (Umbreit). To seal up securely (Job 37:7) to one's self. On the "openeth," see Job 36:10.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-33.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) Then he openeth the ears of men and sealeth.—Comp. Job 14:17 : “My transgression is sealed in a bag.” “He openeth their ear,” that is, He showeth them that He will decree, confirm, and seal up their chastisement, the sentence that is to be executed upon them, if they will not repent. If taken in the sense of instruction, it must mean that He will complete and confirm it.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-33.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
openeth
Heb. revealeth. or, uncovereth.
36:10,15; 2 Samuel 7:27; Psalms 40:6; Isaiah 6:10; 48:8; 50:5; Luke 24:45; Acts 16:14
sealeth
Nehemiah 9:38; Romans 15:28
Reciprocal: Genesis 28:12 - he dreamed;  Genesis 40:8 - Do not;  Genesis 41:1 - that Pharaoh;  Judges 7:9 - the same;  1 Samuel 9:15 - told Samuel in his ear;  1 Samuel 22:8 - showeth me;  2 Chronicles 33:13 - he was entreated;  Job 32:8 - the inspiration;  Job 42:5 - heard;  Psalm 94:12 - teachest;  Psalm 118:18 - chastened;  Isaiah 35:5 - the ears;  Daniel 2:19 - in

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 33:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-33.html.