Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 33:32

"Then if you have anything to say, answer me; Speak, for I desire to justify you.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
The Topic Concordance - Desire;   Grace;   Justification;  
Dictionaries:
Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Pit;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

If thou hast any thing to say - If thou hast any objection to make against what I have already stated, now answer, now speak freely; for it is my desire that thou shouldst stand clear of all charges.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-33.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

If thou hast anything to say, answer me - In the previous verse, Elihu had asked that Job would hear all that he had to say. Yet here, in view of what he had said, he asks of him that if there were any thing from which he dissented, he would now express his dissent. We may suppose that he paused at this part of his speech, and as what he had said related particularly to Job, he felt that it was proper that he should have an opportunity to reply.

For I desire to justify thee - I would do you justice. I would not pervert what you have said, or attribute to you any wrong opinions or any improper motives Perhaps there may be included also a wish to vindicate him, if he possibly could. He did not desire to dispute for the sake of disputing, or to blame him if he could avoid it, but his aim was the truth; and if he could, he wished to vindicate the character of Job from the aspersions which had been cast upon it.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-33.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

If thou hast anything to say, answer me,.... Any thing to object to what he had delivered, or any answer to return to what he had charged him with:

speak, for I desire to justify thee. Elihu was a fair antagonist, and gave free liberty, time and space, to make whatsoever reply he thought fit, and which he should patiently and attentively hear: his view was not victory, but that truth might come out, and take place and prevail, having nothing more at heart than Job's good; and could wish it would appear that he was in all respects a just man, and even in that in which he thought he was not just; but could he fairly acquit himself it would be a pleasure to him.

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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 33:32". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-33.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

If thou hast any y thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to z justify thee.

(y) If you doubt anything, or see opportunity to speak against it.

(z) That is, to show you, in which mans justification consists.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-33.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

justify — to do thee justice; and, if I can, consistently with it, to declare thee innocent. At Job 33:33 Elihu pauses for a reply; then proceeds in Job 34:1.

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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 33:32". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-33.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 33:32 If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.

Ver. 32. If thou hast anything to say, answer me] Heb. If thou hast words, yet not empty words, but such as may bear weight, and make for thy defence. Some men’s discourses are nothing else but words. Hermodorus of old was said to sell words for want of better commodities. Dογους εμπορευεται Eσυοδωπος. Erasmus was noted for a very wordy man, Verba habet sine rebus Erasmus. Turrian for a great trifler, Cornicutas citius in Africa, quam res rationesque solidas in eius scriptis reperias, saith one. Elihu would have no such words, nor any wise man else; for they are very irksome, yea, vexatious.

Speak, for I desire to justify thee] Not to condemn thee, as these three have done; but to hear thee and clear thee as much as may be. This was fair dealing. Some are so eristical and testy, that they will not hear the adverse party, or bear with any that dissent; as the Jesuits, many fierce Lutherans, yea, Luther himself, as appeareth by his bitter invectives against Carolostadius, Zuinglius, all the Helvetian Churches, that would not receive the doctrine of consubstantiation. Tantaene animis coelestibus irae? He would not once hear the contrary party, nor read their books, but called them arch devils, and all that ever was naught, as he doth in his Epistle to the Senate of Frankfort.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 33:32". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-33.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

If thou hast any thing to say for thy own justification, or in answer to the charge that I have already brought against thee.

I desire to justify thee, to wit, as far as may consist with truth and justice. I do not speak with evil design, or a bitter mind, or as one resolved to condemn thee whatsoever thou sayest, and I shall be glad to hear any thing from thee which may make for thy just vindication.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 33:32". 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

32.If not, hearken unto me — Job maintains silence, and thus tacitly admits his own dereliction and the reasonableness of Elihu’s views. The kind appeals of Elihu are sunlight to the heart, and melt while they enlighten. Here we may fix the beginning of Job’s repentance.

EXCURSUS No. VII.

THE ANGEL MEDIATOR.

Some of the profoundest Biblical scholars, among whom may be mentioned Michaelis and Velthusen, look upon this, together with other passages in the book of Job, as relics of a primeval revelation, primitive oracles which have perished, except the few excerpta or fragments which still remain imbedded in this book and in Genesis. The pre-eminently great commentator upon this book, Schultens, gives it as his judgment that the Angel of the Covenant, the Messiah, is the person here described; and he alleges, (as summed up by J. Pye Smith, Scrip. Test., 1:497,) (1) the correspondence of the titles; (2) the suitableness of the descriptions; (3) the affinity with Job 19:25; (4) the scope and argument of the passage as determining reasons for his opinion. (Com. in Jobum. 2:918.) Had the word (malak) been rendered angel, as in the old versions instead of messenger, the sense would have been more clear. To this angel is assigned an office that plainly distinguishes him from other angels. It is that of interpreter, , melits, (see note on Job 16:20; Job 17:3,) which, according to Gesenius, Furst, etc., might have been translated also Intercessor or Mediator — for all these interpretations are justified by the root louts. Jewish prayers show that this Interpreter was always identified in their minds with the expected Redeemer of Israel, as in the following prayer: “Raise up for us the righteous interpreter — say I have found a ransom.” The whole passage in Job is quoted (says Canon Cook, in loc., who cites Wunsche) at the sacrifice offered still in many countries of Europe on the eve of the great day of atonement. The master of each house, as he recites these words, strikes his head three times with a cock he has meanwhile been holding in his hands, saying at each stroke, “Let this cock be a commutation for me: let him be substituted in my place: let him be an atonement for me: let this cock be put to death: but let a fortunate life be vouchsafed to me and all Israel.” For further particulars see “Allen’s Modern Judaism,” p. 393. Jewish faith has ever held most tenaciously to the conviction that the Angel Interpreter and the Messiah are one. His pre-eminence is strikingly set forth by the expression, “one out of a thousand,” (Song of Solomon 5:10; Psalms 45:2,) by which Elihu means to convey, not oneness of nature with the angels, but superiority of being. Had Elihu been a Jew, we would naturally suppose he meant the ANGEL OF JEHOVAH, of whose appearances on earth, even in patriarchal times, abundant traces remain, attesting a depth of affection for man that led him often to self-disclosure, thus anticipating his advent as “God manifest in the flesh.” “The angel of Jehovah of primeval history,” says Delitzsch, “is the oldest prefigurement in the history of redemption of the future incarnation, without which the Old Testament history would be a confused quod libet of premises and radii, without a conclusion and a centre; and the angelic form is accordingly the oldest form which the hope of a deliverer assumes, and to which it recurs, in conformity to the law of the circular connexion between the beginning and the end in Malachi 3:1.” (See M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyc., 4:534.)

The probable descent of Elihu from a collateral branch of the family of Abraham renders it not improbable that he possessed the patriarchal knowledge of this strange superhuman being who called himself God, and who was worshipped as God. The extreme exposure — that of death and the pit — (of which the context speaks,) a juncture where human and angelic help are useless, demands divine interposition. The office of this Angel Mediator is not alone to make known the will of a superior — his conditions of deliverance — but to be an agent or mediator of that deliverance. With great assurance Zockler (in Lange, p. 564) assumes it to be “certain that the mediatorial angel of salvation is put essentially on an equality with the angel of disease and death mentioned just before, [but] not exalted above him,” and compares Job 33:22 b, with Matthew 8:9, and parallel passages. Zockler seems to overlook the striking resemblance between the relation this Angel Intercessor bears to “the destroyers,” and that borne by the “Captain of our salvation “to him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. Hebrews 2:14. With Elihu the province of this mighty Angel is twofold — to rescue dying man from fearful superhuman beings — “the slayers” — and to save him from the more darkly adumbrated doom of going down into the pit. With the apostle the mission of the great Mediator is substantially the same, but more fully disclosed. The oneness of the mission — though there be the interval of many centuries — points to oneness of being, In both cases it means deliverance — deliverance in a field and from dangers in the presence of which human prowess and power can accomplish nothing.

Elihu claims to have spoken by special inspiration. Although, as an Aramean, he might be outside of Israel, he was signally honoured (as is plain throughout the whole address) as an organ for the communication of divine truth. On the other hand, overlooking the fact that Job and his book are altogether extra Israel, some rationalizing commentators are disposed, because of its Aramaic origin, to count this wonderful revelation through Elihu with the many sage vaticinia of the heathen world; one of which, from Sophocles, (OEdipus Coloneus,) Zockler cites: One soul, in my opinion, for ten thousand, will suffice to make atonement, if with kindly feelings it draws nigh.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-33.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Just, and to be so indeed. (Menochius) --- How much would his vanity be mortified, when Job answered him only with silence! (Haydock) though he urged him to reply so often. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-33.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.

Justify - to do thee justice; and, if I can, consistently with it, to declare thee innocent. At Job 33:33 Elihu pauses for a reply; then proceeds, Job 34:1-37.

Remarks:

(1) Calm and candid reasoning in a kindly spirit is more likely to win men to a right state of mind than dealing with a "heavy hand" (Job 33:3; Job 33:7). The minister, while addressing sinners authoritatively, as "in God's stead" (Job 33:6), and "in Christ's stead" (2 Corinthians 5:20), should speak with a fellow-feeling, as Elihu, "I also am formed out of the clay:" or as Peter to Cornelius, "I myself also am a man." 'Terror' only hardens it: it is love alone that melts it (Job 33:7).

(2) At the same time, the sinner is to be dealt faithfully with; and when anything has been said to the dishonour of God, we ought to bear our testimony against it, in vindication of His goodness and His justice (Job 33:8-12). Job had been betrayed, by a mind soured by misfortune, into unwarranted reflections against God, as though God treated him in the spirit of an "enemy;" and this, notwithstanding that he was "clean, without transgression, and innocent." The one simple consideration, that "God is greater than man," is a complete answer to such wrong-minded imputations against Yahweh. When God afflicts man, it cannot be from fear or jealousy of him as an equal. It must be for some other reason. It is worse than vain to "strive against Him" (Job 33:13) because we cannot always discover what is the reason of some of His dealings with us: for "He giveth not account of any of His matters." We may in faith take it assuredly for granted that He acts in perfect wisdom, justice, and goodness, though we cannot perceive it.

(3) When God designs our good, He speaks to us by various agencies: if we give no heed to one voice from Him, He speaks to us in another (Job 33:14-19). When His word of grace and His loving dealings in providence fail to attract us to Him, He next sends affliction. His gracious purpose is to open men's hearts, as well as their ears, to saving instruction (Job 33:16), as He opened the heart of Lydia (Acts 16:14). Man if left to himself, would go on in his own "work" of self-seeking "pride," which goeth before destruction (Job 33:17; Proverbs 16:18). But God mercifully "keepeth back his soul from the pit," by sending severe but wholesome disciplinary chastisement (Job 33:19-22). Though pain, which is the fruit of sin, is not for the time "joyous, but grievous, yet afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11).

(4) Gods most effectual way of drawing man to Himself is by the Divine "Messenger" between God and man, the Mediator, "the chiefest among ten thousand," the Intercessor with God for us, and the "Interpreter" to vindicate God's righteousness to us (Job 33:23-24; Job 33:26). Christ Jesus is at once the Redeemer and the Ransom found by the love of the triune God: He is alone the Priest and the Sacrifice. In order to have a saving part in this great redemption, we must be born again of the Spirit, and become little children (Job 33:25). The first token of regeneration is hearty repentance and confession of sin-of the fact of sin, without palliating it - "I have sinned;" of the perversity of our sin - "I have perverted that which was right;" of, the profitless folly of it - "It profited me not." Then shall we "be enlightened with the light of the living" (Job 33:30), and "shall see God's face with joy," as a reconciled Father (Job 33:26).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "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

(32) I desire to justify thee.—He wishes to justify Job before his friends, that is, to maintain that his afflictions are not on account of past sin, but as a preservative against possible future defection. This being so, he considers that Job’s case may justly be defended, and Job himself vindicated against his friends.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-33.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.
15:4,5; 21:27; 22:5-9; 27:5
Reciprocal: Job 13:19 - that will plead;  Job 33:5 - If;  Job 34:33 - what

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 33:32". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-33.html.