Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 36:1

Then Elihu continued and said,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Dictionaries:
Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Elihu also proceeded - Mr. Heath gives a good summary of this chapter. Elihu goes on to lay before Job the impropriety of his behavior towards God, and desires him to consider how vain it will prove. That God Almighty will never yield the point; that he will administer impartial justice to all men, Job 36:2-6. That the general course of his providence is to favor the righteous: and that though he may sometimes correct them in love, yet if they submit patiently to his fatherly corrections, they shall enjoy all manner of prosperity; but if they be stubborn, and will not submit, they will only draw down greater proofs of his displeasure, Job 36:7-16. He tells him that, had he followed the former course, he had probably, before now, been restored to his former condition; whereas, by persisting in the latter course, he was in a fair way of becoming a signal example of Divine justice, Job 36:17, Job 36:18. He therefore warns him to use the present opportunity, lest God should cut him off while he was in a state of rebellion against him; for with God neither wealth, power, nor any other argument that he could use, would be of any avail, Job 36:18-26. That God was infinitely powerful; there was no resisting him: and infinitely wise, as sufficiently appeared by his works; there was, therefore, no escaping out of his hands. That his purity was so great that the sun, in his presence, was more dim than the smallest ray of light when compared to that grand luminary; that his holiness was manifest by his aversion to iniquity; and his goodness, in supplying the wants of his creatures.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 36:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-36.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Elihu also proceeded - Hebrew added - ויסף vayâsaph Vulgate “addens;” Septuagint, Ηροσθεὶς Eerostheis - “adding, or proceeding.” The Hebrew commentators remark that this word is used because this speech is “added” to the number which it might be supposed he would make. There had been “three” series of speeches, by Job and his friends, and in each one of them Job had spoken three times. Each one of the three friends had also spoken thrice, except Zophar, who failed to reply when it came to his turn. Elihu had also now made three speeches, and here he would naturally have closed, but it is remarked that he “added” this to the usual number.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 36:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-36.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

JOB 36

ELIHU'S FOURTH AND FINAL SPEECH (JOB 36-37):

NOT WHAT ELIHU SAID; BUT THE PURPOSE OF HIS WORDS IS DETERMINATIVE

We cannot agree with many scholars who find commendable sayings in the words of Elihu. Of course, out of context, there are commendable sayings; but the invariable purpose of everything he said was that of bringing about Job's renunciation of his integrity, the same being the primary purpose of Satan himself. This is much like the speeches of certain rights activists who preached non-violence in such a manner as to provoke the most violent and bloody riots and demonstrations.

No speech with an evil purpose is a good speech, regardless of the content of it.

Barnes mistook the purpose of Elihu's speech, supposing it to be that of, "Vindicating the justice of God."[1]

The divisions of this chapter, according to Barnes are: (1) "The introduction (Job 36:1-4); God's purpose in sufferings is that of discipline and improvement (Job 36:5-14); if Job had manifested the right spirit, God would have been merciful to him also (Job 36:15-17); Job is threatened with ruin and destruction (Job 36:18-21); Job lectured on the wisdom of God (Job 36:22-25); Elihu here begins a lecture on the wonders of God in the natural world, a theme that is carried into the next chapter, where it is completed."[2]

Job 36:1-4

ELIHU'S CLAIM TO HAVE PERFECT KNOWLEDGE

"Elihu also proceeded, and said,

Suffer me a little, and I will show thee;

For I have yet somewhat to say on God's behalf.

I will fetch my knowledge from afar,

And ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

For truly my words are not false:

One that is perfect in knowledge is with thee."

No one should miss the unqualified arrogance and egotism of such a declaration as this. He pretended to be speaking on God's behalf; but his speech was totally dedicated to the destruction of Job's confidence in his integrity, that being, of course, not God's purpose at all, but Satan's.

"I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker" (Job 36:2). This sounds innocent enough, but what he was saying here is that, "There has been no miscarriage of justice in Job's case."[3] He is getting just what he deserves.

"I will fetch my knowledge from afar" (Job 36:3). This was a claim of far-reaching wisdom on Elihu's part.

"One that is perfect in knowledge is with thee" (Job 36:4). We love the way James Moffatt's Translation of the Bible (1929) rendered this: "Here stands a man whose insight is unerring"! What could he have meant by that? Kelly thought, "It was a reference to God,"[4] and Meredith Kline also agreed with this.[5] Thus we have another hint that Elihu pretended to be inspired. One of Satan's devices in all ages has been the enlistment of false prophets and teachers. The meaning of the passage is that, "The truth he is about to reveal comes from a distance, even `from' God Himself."[6]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 36:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/job-36.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Elihu also proceeded, and said. Or "added"F6ויסף "et addidit", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Mercerus, Michaelis. what follows to his former discourses; pausing a while to see whether Job would make any reply to what he had already said; but perceiving he had no inclination to do it, and having more upon his mind to deliver, went on with his discourse.

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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 36:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-36.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 36:1 Elihu also proceeded, and said,

Ver. 1. Elihu also proceeded and said] Heb. And Elihu added, viz. this his fourth oration, not unlike the former, made in behalf and for defence of God’s justice, which he here further asserteth against Job (who had seemed to cast some slur upon it) by arguments drawn from his wondrous works, the meteors especially; and all to prevail with Job to submit to God’s justice and to implore his mercy, Ex abundanti quae sequuntur adiecit.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 36:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-36.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

CHAP. XXXVI.

Elihu sets forth the justice of God in all his ways, and extols the greatness of his power and providence.

Before Christ 1645.

Job 36:1. Elihu also proceeded Elihu goes on to lay before Job the impropriety of his behaviour towards God, and desires him to consider how vain it will prove; that God is Almighty, and will never yield the point, that he will administer impartial justice to all men: Job 36:2-6.; that the general course of his providence is, to favour the righteous; and that, though he may sometimes correct them in love, yet, if they submit patiently to his fatherly correction, and amend their ways, they shall enjoy all manner of prosperity. But if they are stubborn, and will not submit, they only draw down greater degrees of his vengeance on themselves; Job 36:7-16. He tells him, that had he followed the former course, he had probably before now been restored to his former condition; whereas, by persisting in the latter, he was in a fair way of becoming a signal example of the divine vengeance: Job 36:17-18. He warns him, therefore, to make use of the present opportunity, lest God should cut him off while in a state of rebellion: for that, with God, neither wealth, power, nor any other argument that he could use, would be of any avail: Job 36:18-26. God was infinitely powerful; there was, therefore, no resisting him; and infinitely wise, as sufficiently appeared by his works; there was, therefore, no escaping out of his hands. His purity was so great, that the sun in his presence was more dim than the smallest ray when compared with that bright luminary; his holiness was manifest, from his aversion to iniquity; and his goodness, in supplying the wants of his creatures: Job 36:26 to chap. Job 36:23. Man was utterly unable to account for the least of his works; how then dared he to attempt to penetrate the secrets of his providence, and to call him to an account for his dealings with men? This could proceed only from an unjustifiable self-conceit: Job 36:24 a crime which the Almighty would not fail severely to punish. Heath.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 36:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-36.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

Elihu still prosecuteth his discourse. He gives a better and a more proper reason than Job's friends did, concerning the cause of affliction, and shows, that it is by such providences that the Lord exerciseth his people.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 36:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/job-36.html. 1828.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

ELIHU’S FOURTH AND LAST DISCOURSE, chapters 36, 37.

1.Elihu also proceeded — Elihu has thus far made the same number of addresses as each of the three friends, with the exception of Zophar. Jewish commentators have remarked that he might properly have stopped here, but the penitent silence of Job encourages him to proceed. Thus far his object has been to correct several errors and misapprehensions into which Job had fallen; he now proposes to take a more specific view of the object of divine chastisement. God’s infinite nature, his almightiness, he says, manifests itself in caring more particularly for the righteous. Because of their like moral nature, he subjects all human beings to discipline, that the precious may be separated from the vile. Suffering develops character: the good it makes better, the bad, worse: until, at last, the latter die prematurely the death of the most abandoned. Thus it appears that the general course of God’s providence declares for righteousness. Therefore, if Job heed not the divine visitation, he has reason to deprecate the divine wrath, whose angry mutterings he may already hear in the distant cloud, (Job 36:18.) This leads Elihu to speak of the power of God in nature, whose beneficence, no less displayed than his justice, declares him not only a righteous, but a gracious governor of the world. A peculiarity of this and of the other speeches of Elihu, Delitzsch notices, namely, that “they demand of Job penitential submission, not by accusing him of coarse, common sins, as the three have done, but because even the best of men suffer for hidden moral defects, which must be perceived by them, lest they perish on their account. Elihu here does for Job just what, in Bunyan, the man in the interpreter’s house does when he sweeps the room, so that Christian had been almost choked with the dust that flew about.”

THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD IS INDEED INCOMPREHENSIBLE, EVEN AS JOB HAD URGED; BUT ITS GENERAL TENDENCIES ARE UNMISTAKABLY DISCLOSED IN THE PRESENT, THOUGH PARTIAL, MUNDANE SCHEME, 36, 37.

“There is a point within man on which suffering rests its base, sin; there is a point within God, indicated by all his works, from which it comes as source, goodness; the two together sufficiently explain it [suffering] and general Providence for man’s life here below.” — A.B. Davidson.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 36:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-36.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 36:1. Elihu also proceeded — Having reprehended some of the unwarrantable expressions in Job’s discourses, Elihu comes closer to the business, and speaks to the very cause itself, showing, from the nature of God, and the methods of his providence, that he will administer impartial justice to all men. That the general course of his providence is to favour the righteous; that though he may sometimes correct them in love, yet, if they submit patiently to his fatherly correction, and amend their ways, they shall enjoy all manner of prosperity; but, if they are stubborn, and will not submit, they only draw down greater degrees of his vengeance on themselves. That, if Job had, instead of disputing, submitted himself humbly to God’s corrections, he would have delivered him, (it being as easy for him to lift up as to cast down.) And that his not discerning the reason of his corrections (which Job had made a great cause of his grief, Job 19:7) ought not to have hindered his humble submission; because we are not able to comprehend any of the works of God, which we see every day, and acknowledge to be most excellently contrived. He therefore warns him to make use of the present opportunity, lest God should cut him off while in a state of rebellion. That God was infinitely powerful; that there was therefore no resisting him; infinitely wise, as sufficiently appeared by his works; there was therefore no escaping out of his hand; that his purity was so great, that the sun in his presence was more dim than the smallest ray when compared to that bright luminary; that his holiness was manifest from his aversion to iniquity, and his goodness in supplying the wants of his creatures. That man was utterly incapable of accounting for the least of his works; how then dared he to attempt to penetrate the secrets of his providence, and to call him to an account for his dealings with men? This could proceed only from an unjustifiable self-conceit; a crime which the Almighty would not fail severely to punish. Upon the whole, the difference between the argument of Elihu and that of the three friends seems to be this; they suppose Job to be guilty of great crimes, which had drawn down the divine vengeance on him, and infer his guilt merely from his sufferings; on the contrary, Elihu takes it for granted his plea of innocence was true, nevertheless, thinks him exceedingly blameworthy for his behaviour under his afflictions: that he did not sufficiently consider the infinite distance between a weak, frail, sinful creature, and an all-powerful, wise, just, and good Creator; that, instead of submitting himself, as was his duty, and owning the justice of God’s providence toward him, he acted the part of the hardened sinner, and flew in the face of the Almighty; accusing him of injustice and severe treatment; rudely challenging him to answer for his conduct, and pretending to erect himself into a judge of his actions. He tells him, as long as he continued in those dispositions, there was no hope of an abatement of the correction he was under; but he might rather expect an increase of affliction, if not an utter destruction. Job himself is so sensible of the truth of what Elihu had said, that he doth not so much as attempt to answer; and, though he doth not absolutely give up the point — for it was God must convince him, and not man — yet it undoubtedly laid the foundation of that disposition, which ended in an entire submission to God’s will, and a thorough conviction of his own vileness.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 36:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-36.html. 1857.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Wait for me a little": Again he pleads for continued patience with his words. "He was so full of ideas to share (32:18-20) that he asked Job not to become impatient with. He still had more to say in defense of God" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 762).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 36:1". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-36.html. 1999-2014.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XXXVI.

(1) Elihu also proceeded.—It is not easy to acquit Elihu of some of the “arrogance” he was so ready to ascribe to Job. He professes very great zeal for God, but it is hard to see that some of his great professions are warranted. For instance, he says—

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 36:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-36.html. 1905.