Job 33:21
His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
33:19-28 Job complained of his diseases, and judged by them that God was angry with him; his friends did so too: but Elihu shows that God often afflicts the body for good to the soul. This thought will be of great use for our getting good from sickness, in and by which God speaks to men. Pain is the fruit of sin; yet, by the grace of God, the pain of the body is often made a means of good to the soul. When afflictions have done their work, they shall be removed. A ransom or propitiation is found. Jesus Christ is the Messenger and the Ransom, so Elihu calls him, as Job had called him his Redeemer, for he is both the Purchaser and the Price, the Priest and the sacrifice. So high was the value of souls, that nothing less would redeem them; and so great the hurt done by sin, that nothing less would atone for it, than the blood of the Son of God, who gave his life a ransom for many. A blessed change follows. Recovery from sickness is a mercy indeed, when it proceeds from the remission of sin. All that truly repent of their sins, shall find mercy with God. The works of darkness are unfruitful works; all the gains of sin will come far short of the damage. We must, with a broken and contrite heart, confess our sins to God, 1Jo 1:9. We must confess the fact of sin; and not try to justify or excuse ourselves. We must confess the fault of sin; I have perverted that which was right. We must confess the folly of sin; So foolish have I been and ignorant. Is there not good reason why we should make such a confession?His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen - He wastes away. His flesh, once vigorous, beautiful, and fair, now disappears. This is not a mere description of the nature of his sickness, but it is a description of the disciplinary arrangements of God. It is an important part of his affliction, as a part of the discipline, that his flesh vanishes, and that his appearance is so changed that he becomes repulsive to the view.

And his bones that were not seen, stick out - His bones were before invisible. They were carefully concealed by the rounded muscle, and by the fat which filled up the interstices, so that they were not offensive to the view. But now the protuberances of his bones can be seen, for God has reduced him to the condition of a skeleton. This is one of the common effects of disease, and this shows the strength of the discipline which God contemplates. The parts of the human frame which in health are carefully hid from the view, as being unsightly, become now prominent, and can be hidden no longer. One design is to humble us; to take away the pride which delighted in the round and polished limb, the rose on the cheek, the ruby lip, and the smooth forehead; and to show us what we shall soon be in the grave.

21. His flesh once prominent "can no more be seen." His bones once not seen now appear prominent.

stick out—literally, "are bare." The Margin, Hebrew (Keri) reading. The text (Chetib) reads it a noun "(are become) bareness." The Keri was no doubt an explanatory reading of transcribers.

His flesh is consumed away, through pain and pining sickness.

That it cannot be seen; because there is none left to be seen; but he who before was fat and flourishing, is now become a mere skeleton.

That were not seen, formerly, because they were covered with flesh and fat. But this clause, is and may be rendered thus, and his bones are broken, and are not seen; which is to be metaphorically understood. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen,.... All being gone, none left to be seen, nothing but skin and bones; and this partly through the vehemence of strong pain, and partly through the nausea of food; not being able to take anything for nourishment and the support of the fluids, and so quite emaciated:

and his bones that were not seen stick out: which before were covered with flesh and fat, so that they could not be seen; but now the flesh and fat being wasted, they seem as if they rose up in an eminence, and stood out to be beheld; this was also Job's case, being reduced to a mere skeleton, Job 19:20. Elihu, in this description of an afflicted man, seems to have Job chiefly in view, and by this would intimate to him that God had been, and was speaking to him by those afflictions, which he would do well to advert unto.

His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 21. - His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; literally, from the sight; but the Authorized Version gives probably the correct meaning. And his bones that were not seen stick out. These are general features of a wasting illness (comp. Psalm 22:17, "I may tell all my bones"). Such illness gives the sufferer time to review thoroughly his life and cow duct, and see to it "if there be any way of wickedness in him," or any particular form of sin to which he is tempted. Elihu now describes the first mode in which God speaks to man: He Himself comes forward as a witness in man's sleep, He makes use of dreams or dream-like visions, which come upon one suddenly within the realm of nocturnal thought (vid., Psychol. S. 282f.), as a medium of revelation - a usual form of divine revelation, especially in the heathen world, to which positive revelation is wanting. The reading בּחזיון (Codd., lxx, Syr., Symm., Jer.), as also the accentuation of the בחלום with Mehupach Legarme, proceeds from the correct assumption, that vision of the night and dream are not coincident notions; moreover, the detailing Job 33:15, is formed according to Job 4:13. In this condition of deep or half sleep, revelat aurem hominum, a phrase used of the preparation of the ear for the purpose of hearing by the removal of hindrances, and, in general, of confidential communication, therefore: He opens the ear of men, and seals their admonition, i.e., the admonition that is wholesome and necessary for them. Elihu uses חתם בּ here and Job 37:7 as חתם בּעד is used in Job 9:7 : to seal anything (to seal up), comp. Arab. ḥı̂m, σφραγίζειν, in the sense of infallible attestation and confirmation (John 6:27), especially (with Arab. b) of divine revelation or inspiration, distinct in meaning from Arab. chtm, σφραγίζειν, in the proper sense. Elihu means that by such dreams and visions, as rare overpowering facts not to be forgotten, God puts the seal upon the warning directed to them which, sent forth in any other way, would make no such impression. Most ancient versions (also Luther) translate as though it were יחתּם (lxx ἐξεφόβησεν αὐτούς). מסר is a secondary form to מוּסר, Job 36:10, which occurs only here. Next comes the fuller statement of the object of the admonition or warning delivered in such an impressive manner. According to the text before us, it is to be explained: in order that man may remove (put from himself) mischief from himself (Ges. 133, 3); but this inconvenient change of subject is avoided, if we supply a מ to the second, and read אדם ממעשׂה, as lxx ἀποστρέψαι ἄνθρωπον ἀπὸ ἀδικίας αὐτοῦ (which does not necessarily presuppose the reading ממעשׂהו), Targ. ab opere malo; Jer. not so good; ab his quae fecit. מעשׂה signifies facinus, an evil deed, as 1 Samuel 20:19, and פּעל, Job 36:9, evil-doing. The infin. constr. now passes into the v. fin., which would be very liable to misconstruction with different subjects: and in order that He (God) may conceal arrogance from man, i.e., altogether remove from him, unaccustom him to, render him weary of. the sin of pride (גּוה from גּוה equals גּאה, as Job 22:29, according to Ges., Ew., Olsh., for גּאוה equals גּאוה). Here everything in thought and expression is peculiar. Also חיּה, Job 33:18 (as Job 33:22, Job 33:28), for חיּים rof ,) (Job 33:30) does not occur elsewhere in the book of Job, and the phrase עבר בּשּׁלח here and Job 36:12 (comp. עבר בּשּׁחת, Job 33:28) nowhere else in the Old Testament. שׁלח (Arab. silâh, a weapon of offence, opp. metâ‛, a weapon of defence) is the engine for shooting, from שׁלח, emmittere, to shoot; and עבר בשׁלח is equivalent to נפל בעד השׁלח ot tnelaviuqe s, Joel 2:8, to pass away by (precipitate one's self into) the weapon for shooting. To deliver man from sin, viz., sins of carnal security and imaginary self-importance, and at the same time from an early death, whether natural or violent, this is the disciplinary design which God has in view in connection with this first mode of speaking to him; but there is also a second mode.
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