Job 33:1
Why, Job, I pray you, hear my speeches, and listen to all my words.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXXIII.

(1) Wherefore, Job, I pray thee.—He begins by professing his sincerity and integrity; and with reference to Job’s expressed desire to find an umpire (Job 9:33), and one who would maintain his right with God (Job 16:21), he declares that he is ready to do so, and that he is, like Job, made out of the clay, and consequently disposed to deal favourably with him.

Job 33:1. Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches — Here Elihu addresses his speech to Job alone, (for he considered what the three friends had advanced as having been sufficiently confuted by Job in his discourse with them,) and tells him that, as he had oft desired to have a man to plead with him in God’s behalf, he would now do it, and was every way according to Job’s wish, being of the same nature with himself, and neither manifesting any dreadful majesty to affright him, nor assuming any power over him. He then begins to reprehend those passages which he thought blameable in Job’s speeches; particularly his insisting so much on his integrity, which, however evident, should not have been mentioned without due acknowledgment, that the Sovereign of the world had done him no wrong in thus afflicting him; urging that it was not proper for him to call in question the wisdom and justice of God’s providence, because he did not understand it, Job 33:1-13. That God had, by revelation, declared the way of behaviour which was acceptable to him; which was, for men to put away the evil of their doings, and cast off all pride, Job 33:14-19. That if he would conform himself to this rule, he might expect, though he was even at death’s door, that God would restore him to his health and vigour; more especially if he had a prophet near him, who would show him God’s righteousness, in order to his humiliation before God, and the bringing of him to a proper confession of his faults, an acknowledgment of God’s justice in his chastisements, and a sincere purpose of amendment, Job 33:20-28. If he had any objection to make to this, he desires him to make it; if not, to have patience with him, while he showed him the course which, be was persuaded, it was his wisest method to pursue, Job 33:29 to the end. See Peters and Heath. 33:1-7 Job had desired a judge to decide his appeal. Elihu was one according to his wish, a man like himself. If we would rightly convince men, it must be by reason, not by terror; by fair argument, not by a heavy hand.Wherefore, Job, I pray thee - In the next chapter he addresses the three friends of Job. This is addressed particularly to him.

My speeches - Hebrew, "my words" - מלה millâh. This is the usual word in the Aramaen languages to express a saying or discourse, though in Hebrew it is only a poetic form. The meaning is, not that he would address separate speeches, or distinct discourses, to Job, but that he called on him to attend to what he had to say.

CHAPTER 33

Job 33:1-33. Address to Job, as (Job 32:1-22) TO THE Friends.He offereth himself in God’s stead to reason with Job, Job 33:1-7, who had too hard thoughts of God, who by his greatness giveth no account of his ways, Job 33:8-13. God instructeth man by visions, Job 33:14-18; by afflictions, Job 33:19-22; by his ministry, Job 33:23-25. When man prayeth and confesseth, God will be gracious, Job 33:26-28. These are God’s methods of instructing men, Job 33:29,30.

Perceiving the error Job’s friends, and that by their violent and opprobrious speeches they has exasperated Job’s mind, and thereby hindered the success of their discourses, he applies himself to him in milder ways, and treats him kindly, thereby to gain his attention and affection, that his words might have more acceptance with him.

Hearken to all my words; not only to what may please thee, but also to what may convince and reprove thee.

Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches,.... In the preceding chapter, Elihu directed his discourse to the three friends of Job chiefly, here to Job himself, and that by name; which none of his friends in all their discourses ever used; and in an humble suppliant manner entreats his attention to what he was about to deliver, and that for reasons which his address to his friends could furnish him with; and hence begins his speech with "wherefore", seeing he took not the part of his three friends, but blamed them; and because he had the Spirit of God in him, and was full of matter, and uneasy until he had vented it; and which he proposed to deliver in a plain and faithful manner, with sincerity and without flattery; on all which accounts be beseeches him to give him a diligent and attentive hearing:

and hearken to all my words; not to some of them only, but to all; he bespeaks his candid and constant attention, that he would hear him out, all that he had to say, with patience, and without interruption; and then judge of the truth, force, and pertinency of them; which he would not so well be able to do, unless he heard them all; for sometimes the proof, the evidence, and demonstration of a thing depends not on a single argument, but upon many put together; each of them alone being insufficient, at least may appear so, when all considered together give full satisfaction.

Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. Elihu, unlike the other speakers, addresses Job by name.

1–7. Introductory appeal to Job to listen to Elihu, who will speak in all honesty, and who being a man like Job himself may be argued with.Verses 1-33. - In this chapter Elihu, turning away from the "comforters," proceeds to address Job himself, offering to reason out the matter in dispute with him, in God's stead. After a brief exordium (vers. 1-7), he takes exception

(1) to Job's self-assertion (vers. 8, 9); and

(2) to his charges against God (vers. 10-13),

which (he says) are unjust. He next brings forward his theory of God-inflicted sufferings being, in the main, chastisements proceeding from a loving purpose, intended to purify, to strengthen, to purge out faults, to "save from the pit," to improve, and to enlighten (vers. 14-24). He points out in what spirit chastisement should be received (vers. 25-30); and concludes with a recommendation to Job to remain silent, and hear him out, while at the same time he expresses a willingness to listen to what Job has to say, if he has objections to offer (vers. 31-33). Verse 1. - Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches; rather, howbeit, Job, I pray thee, hear my speech (see the Revised Version); i.e. "However you regard me personally, hear what I have to say." And hearken to all my words. Give me your full attention; do not suffer aught that I say to escape you. Elihu has a deep conviction of the importance of what he is about to utter (comp. Job 32:8, 10, 17). 15 They are amazed, they answer no more,

Words have fled from them.

16 And I waited, for they spake not,

For they stand still, they answer no more.

17 Therefore I also will answer for my part,

I will declare my knowledge, even I.

In order to give a more rapid movement and an emotional force to the speech, the figure asyndeton is introduced in Job 32:15, as perhaps in Jeremiah 15:7, Ew. 349, a. Most expositors render העתּיקוּ passively, according to the sense: they have removed from them, i.e., are removed from them; but why may העתיק not signify, like Genesis 12:8; Genesis 26:22, to move away, viz., the tent equals to wander on (Schlottm.)? The figure: words are moved away (as it were according to an encampment broken up) from them, i.e., as we say: they have left them, is quite in accordance with the figurative style of this section. It is unnecessary to take והוחלתּי, Job 32:16, with Ew. (342, c) 2 and Hirz. as perf. consec. and interrogative: and should I wait, because they speak no more? Certainly the interrog. part. sometimes disappears after the Waw of consequence, e.g., Ezekiel 18:13, Ezekiel 18:24 (and will he live?); but by what would והוחלתי be distinguished as perf. consec. here? Hahn's interpretation: I have waited, until they do not speak, for they stand ... , also does not commend itself; the poet would have expressed this by עד לא ידברו, while the two כי, especially with the poet's predilection for repetition, appear to be co-ordinate. Elihu means to say that he has waited a long time, surprised that the three did not speak further, and that they stand still without speaking again. Therefore he thinks the time is come for him also to answer Job. אענה cannot be fut. Kal, since where the 1 fut. Kal and Hiph. cannot be distinguished by the vowel within the word (as in the Ayin Awa and double Ayin verbs), the former has an inalienable Segol; it is therefore 1 fut. Hiph., but not as in Ecclesiastes 5:19 in the signification to employ labour upon anything (lxx περισπᾶν), but in an intensive Kal signification (as הזעיק for זעק, Job 35:9, comp. on Job 31:18): to answer, to give any one an answer when called upon. Ewald's supposedly proverbial: I also plough my field! (192, c, Anm. 2) does unnecessary violence to the usage of the language, which is unacquainted with this הענה, to plough. It is perfectly consistent with Elihu's diction, that חלקי beside אני as permutative signifies, "I, my part," although it might also be an acc. of closer definition (as pro parte mea, for my part), or even - which is, however, less probable - acc. of the obj. (my part). Elihu speaks more in the scholastic tone of controversy than the three.

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