Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 36:3

"I will fetch my knowledge from afar, And I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Torrey's Topical Textbook - Righteousness of God, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Righteousness;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Fetch;   Job, Book of;   Make;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I will fetch my knowledge from afar - למרחוק lemerachok, "from the distant place," meaning probably both remote antiquity and heaven; see below. I will show thee that all antiquity and experience are on my side. I can bring proofs from the remotest ages and from the most distant countries to demonstrate that God is infinitely Wise, and can do nothing foolish or erroneous; that he is infinitely Powerful, and can bring all the purposes of his wisdom to effect; that he is infinitely Good, and can will nothing, and can do nothing that is not good in itself, and well calculated to do good to his creatures. And I shall show that his operations in the heavens and on the earth prove and demonstrate the whole.

And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker - By proving the above points, the righteous conduct of God, and his gracious government of the world, will be fully established. That Elihu brings his knowledge from afar - from every part of the creation, as well as from the Divine nature - is evident from the end of the chapter.

  1. The omnipotence of God; - God is great.
  • The eternity of God - We know him not, the number of his years cannot be found out, Job 36:26.
  • From the economy of God in the atmosphere, in dews, rain, vapor, and the irrigation of the earth; - He maketh small the drops, etc., Job 36:27, Job 36:28.
  • 4. In the thunder and lightning, by which he performs such wonders in the atmosphere, and executes such judgments in the world; - Also who can understand the noise of his tabernacle? He spreadeth his light upon it. He judgeth the people, etc., Job 36:29-33.

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    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-36.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    I will fetch my knowledge from afar - What I say shall not be mere commonplace. It shall be the result of reflection on subjects that lie out of the ordinary range of thought. The idea is, that he did not mean to go over the ground that had been already trodden, or to suggest such reflections as would occur to anyone, but that he meant to bring his illustrations from abstruser matters, and from things that had escaped their attention. He in fact appeals to the various operations of nature - the rain, the dew, the light, the instincts of the animal creation, the vicissitudes of the seasons, the laws of heat and cold, and shows that all these prove that God is inscrutably wise and gloriously great.

    And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker - That is, I will show that these things to which I now appeal, “prove” that he is righteous, and is worthy of universal confidence. Perhaps, also, he means to contrast the result of his reflections with those of Job. He regarded him as having charged his Maker with injustice and wrong. Elihu says that it was a fixed principle with him to ascribe righteousness to God, and that he believed it could be fully sustained by an appeal to his works. Man should “presume” that his Maker is good, and wise, and just; he should be “willing” to find that he is so; he should “expect” that the result of the profoundest investigation of his ways and works will prove that he is so - and in such an investigation he will never be disappointed. A man is in no good frame of mind, and is not likely to be led to any good result in his investigations, when he “begins” his inquiries by believing that his Maker is unjust, and who “prosecutes” them with the hope and expectation that he will find him to be so. Yet do people never do this?

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-36.html. 1870.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    I will fetch my knowledge from afar,.... Not from himself; for it is but a small share of knowledge that a man gets of himself, or attains to by the light of nature, and especially concerning God and divine things; but from others, either from persons that lived in former ages, and in foreign countries; it being usual for men desirous of acquiring knowledge to travel into distant parts for it; and such were generally much esteemed of, and the knowledge they professed to have got and published; as the queen of Sheba came from the further parts of the earth to hear and learn the wisdom of Solomon, 1 Kings 10:1, or rather the sense is, he would fetch the knowledge he should now communicate concerning God from God himself, from the nature and perfections of God, who, and his knowledge, are high as heaven; and from the works of God, which are far above men; or should treat of things deep and sublime, and not common; though perhaps it is best of all to read the words, "I will bring forth knowledge concerning", or "with respect to him that is afar off"F9למרחוק "ei, vel de eo qui est longinquus"; so Aben Ezra, Bar Tzemach. ; that is, God, who is in the highest heavens, and inhabits the high and holy place; a God both at hand and afar off; with which agrees what follows; though some interpret it of lifting it up, and causing it to be heard afar off so some, as Aben Ezra;

    and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker: God is the Maker of all men; Elihu considered him as his Maker with gratitude, while many have no regard of him, Job 35:10; and therefore thought himself obliged to speak for him, and on his behalf; and particularly in vindication of his righteousness; assert this to be an essential attribute and perfection of his nature; own, acknowledge, publish, and declare it; give him the glory of it, and demonstrate that he is righteous in all his ways and works; and clear him from all imputation of unrighteousness.

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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.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-36.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    I will fetch a my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

    (a) He shows that when we speak of God, we must lift our spirits higher than our natural sense is able to reach.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-36.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    from afar — not trite commonplaces, but drawn from God‘s mighty works.

    ascribe righteousness — whereas Job ascribed unrighteousness (Job 34:10, Job 34:12). A man, in inquiring into God‘s ways, should at the outset presume they are all just, be willing to find them so, and expect that the result of investigation will prove them to be so; such a one will never be disappointed [Barnes].

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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.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-36.html. 1871-8.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

    Afar — From remote times, and places, and things. I will not confine my discourse to thy particular case, but wilt justify God by declaring his great and glorious works of creation and providence both in the heaven and in the earth, and the manner of his dealing with men in other parts and ages of the world.

    Ascribe — I will clear and maintain this truth, that God is righteous in all his ways.

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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.
    Bibliographical Information
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-36.html. 1765.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    Job 36:3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

    Ver. 3. I will fetch my knowledge from afar] Even from heaven, as one taught of God; I will discourse of ancient things (for τα καινα κενα), and fetch my reasons from the wonderful and sublime works of God, De arduis atque admirandis Dei operibus, those real demonstrations of his Deity. Est autem plane hic Elihu mirus et egregius, saith Mercer. And he is not a little wronged by that French Paraphrast, who saith of him, That he knew well how to begin a discourse, but knew not how to end it; and that seeing well that his tediousness might make him troublesome, he awakened his languishing auditors by this artificial preface.

    And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker] This is both the main proposition of the ensuing oration and the main end of man’s creation, viz. to glorify his Maker, Romans 11:36, Revelation 4:11.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 36:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-36.html. 1865-1868.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    From afar, i.e. from remote times, and places, and things. I will not confine my discourse to thy particular case, but will justify God by declaring his great and glorious works of creation and providence, both in the heaven and earth, and the manner of his dealing with men in other parts and ages of the world; for these are the chief heads of the following discourse, and therefore the best comment upon this general expression.

    I will acknowledge that which is true, that God is righteous. He adds the words,

    my Maker, either,

    1. As an argument or evidence of God’s righteousness; partly, because it is not likely that God should be unjust to his own creatures, since even men are not only just, but kind, to their own works and relations; and partly, because the work of creation gave unto God an absolute right and power to dispose of Job as he saw fit, as the potter hath power over the clay, Romans 9:21, and therefore there was no foundation for unrighteousness, nor any temptation upon God to do it; and partly, because man’s Maker must needs be a being of all possible perfection, and therefore one of perfect righteousness. Or,

    2. As a motive or obligation upon him to plead God’s cause. I do not engage myself in this controversy out of a pragmatical or contentious humour, nor out of any prejudice or ill-will to thee, but merely from the sense of my duty to my blessed Creator. Withal he reflects upon Job as guilty of great folly and ingratitude in contending with him, in or by whom he lived, and moved, and had his being.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 36:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-36.html. 1685.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    First Division — THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD IN THE MORAL WORLD, CHIEFLY AS MADE KNOWN THROUGH THE ECONOMY OF SUFFERING, Job 36:2-21.

    Introduction — Elihu has yet much more to say in vindication of the ways of God, Job 36:2-4.

    The three preceding speeches were introduced by , “and he answered,” the present speech, with , “and he added,” showing that Elihu intends it as a resumption and continuation of the main argument of his other speeches.

    3.From afar — From out the wide domain of the divine workings, both in providence and in nature. Elihu will take a far-reaching view.

     

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-36.html. 1874-1909.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    Beginning. Hebrew, "afar" from that God, who is ancient, and not of human invention; (Jeremias xxiii. 23.) or from the consideration of the heavens. Nothing could be more magnificent than the descriptions which conclude this fourth part of the discourse. (Calmet)

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-36.html. 1859.

    Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

    "I will fetch my knowledge from afar": He would display the full range of his knowledge because he had a wide range of insight. His first concern, as before, was to ascribe "righteousness to his Maker", that is, to show that God is righteous, even righteous in allowing Job to suffer.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-36.html. 1999-2014.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

    From afar - not trite commonplaces, but drawn from God's mighty works.

    Ascribe righteousness - whereas Job had ascribed unrighteousness (Job 34:10-12). A man. in inquiring into God's ways, should at the outset presume they are all just, be willing to find them so, and expect that the result of investigation will prove them to be so; such a one will never be disappointed (Barnes).

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-36.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (3) I will fetch my knowledge from afar.—But is not this what Bildad had said before him? (Job 8:8, &c.); and yet the teaching of Job 36:6 is not very different from his.

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-36.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
    fetch
    28:12,13,20-24; 32:8; Proverbs 2:4,5; Matthew 2:1,2; 12:42; Acts 8:27-40; Romans 10:6-8; James 1:5,17; 3:17
    ascribe
    32:2; 34:5,10-12; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 11:7; 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1; Daniel 9:7,14; Romans 3:25,26; 9:14; Revelation 15:3
    Reciprocal: Job 33:3 - my lips;  Job 33:23 - to;  Job 35:10 - my;  Romans 3:4 - That thou;  Revelation 4:11 - to receive

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    Bibliographical Information
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 36:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-36.html.