Job 34:1
Furthermore Elihu answered and said,
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(1) Furthermore Elihu.—Elihu here hardly makes good the profession with which he starts, for he begins immediately to accuse Job in no measured language. Elihu makes, indeed, a great profession of wisdom, and expressly addresses himself to the wise (Job 34:2), and insists upon the necessity of discrimination (Job 34:3-4). It is to be observed that Job himself had given utterance to much the same sentiment in Job 12:11.

Job 34:1. Furthermore Elihu answered and said — Job making no reply to what Elihu had said, probably because he saw that he had touched the particular point in which he was especially defective, Elihu carries the charge a little higher, and tells him, with more sharpness than before, that there were some words in his discourse which sounded in his ears as if he accused God’s justice and goodness: for what else did he mean when he complained that God did not do him right, and that he destroyed alike both good and bad? Which rash assertions Elihu overthrows from the consideration of the sovereign dominion, power, righteousness, and wisdom of God. That it was impossible God could act unjustly: for were he so disposed, what could hinder him from annihilating the whole human race at once? He needed only withdraw his preserving power, and they would instantly fall into dust. Since, then, he did not act in this manner, but his ways were perfectly agreeable to righteousness, he was not to be addressed in so rude a manner as Job had made use of. Reverence and respect were due to earthly princes; how much more to Him in whose sight the prince and beggar were the same! for he was the Maker of them all. That though God would look with a merciful eye on the infirmities of human nature, when accompanied with humility, yet the arrogant were sure to find no favour at his hands; he would not fail to execute his vengeance on them, that they might be an example to others. That submission and resignation were the behaviour fit for man in the presence of God; and therefore, toward the conclusion of the chapter, he represents to Job what behaviour and discourse would have better become him than that which he had used.

34:1-9 Elihu calls upon those present to decide with him upon Job's words. The plainest Christian, whose mind is enlightened, whose heart is sanctified by the Spirit of God, and who is versed in the Scriptures, can say how far matters, words, or actions, agree with true religion, better than any that lean to their own understandings. Job had spoken as if he meant wholly to justify himself. He that say, I have cleansed my hands in vain, does not only offend against God's children, Ps 73:13-15, but gratifies his enemies, and says as they say.Furthermore, Elihu answered and said - That is, evidently, after a pause to see if Job had anything to reply. The word answered in the Scriptures often means "to begin a discourse," though nothing had been said by others; see Job 3:2; Isaiah 14:10; Zechariah 1:10; Zechariah 3:4; Zechariah 4:11-12. Sometimes it is used with reference to a subject, meaning that one replied to what could be suggested on the opposite side. Here it maybe understood either in the general sense of beginning a discourse, or more probably as replying to the sentiments which Job had advanced in the debate with his friends. CHAPTER 34

Job 34:1-37.

1. answered—proceeded.He accuseth Job for charging God with injustice, Job 34:1-9. God, the almighty Disposer, Governor, and Judge of the world, cannot be unjust, Job 34:10-17. It is not fit to say of kings and princes they are unjust, much less of God: his power over and observance of man, who cannot hide from God, Job 34:18-22. He exerciseth his power and justice over them, Job 34:23-30. Man’s duty under God’s afflictions, Job 34:31,32. He reproveth Job’s words against God, Job 34:33-37.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Furthermore Elihu answered and said. It is reasonable to suppose that Elihu made a considerable pause, to see whether Job would make any reply to what he had delivered, or object to what he had said; which he gave him free liberty to do, if he had anything upon his mind: but perceiving he was not inclined to return any answer to him, he went on with his discourse; and which is called a further answer to him: for though Joh had made no reply to which this could be called an answer, yet as there were several things remaining for Elihu to answer to, and which he proposed to answer and did, it may with great propriety here be said that he answered him. Furthermore Elihu answered and said,
Verses 1-37. - In this chapter Elihu turns from Job to those whom he addresses as "wise men" (ver. 2), or "men of understanding" (ver. 10). Whether these are Job's three special friends, or others among the company which had perhaps gathered to hear the debate, is uncertain. He makes the subject of his address to them Job's conduct - scarcely a polite thing to do in Job's presence. Job, he says, has scorned God and charged him with injustice (vers. 5-9). He will vindicate him. This he proceeds to do in vers. 10-30. He then points out what Job's course ought to be (vers. 31-33), and winds up by an appeal to the "men of understanding" to endorse his condemnation of Job as a sinner and a rebel (vers. 34-37). Verses 1, 2. - Furthermore Elihu answered and said, Hear my words, O ye wise men. Having, as he may have thought, reduced Job to silence by the fame of his reasonings, Elihu, wishing to carry with him the general consent of his audience, makes an appeal to them, or, at any rate, to the wise among them, to judge Job's conduct and pronounce upon it. It is probable, as Schultens remarks, that a considerable number of influential persons had by this time collected together to hear the discussion which was going on. To these Elihu specially addresses himself: Give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge. Job 34:1 1 Then began Elihu and said:

2 Hear, ye wise men, my words,

And ye experienced ones, give ear to me!

3 For the ear trieth words,

As the palate tasteth by eating.

4 Let us find out what is right,

Let us explore among ourselves what is good.

After his first speech Elihu has made a brief pause; now since Job is silent, he begins anew. ויען ויאמר, lxx correctly, here as in all other instances where the phrase occurs: ὑπολαβὼν λέγει, taking up the word he said. The wise and the knowing (Arab. ‛ulamâ), whose attention he bespeaks, are not Job and the three (Umbr., Hahn), who are indeed a party, and as such a subject for the arbitrative appearance of Elihu; also not every one capable of forming a judgment (Hirz.); but those in the circle of spectators and listeners which, as is assumed, has assembled round the disputants (Schlottm.). In Job 33:4 Elihu does not expressly mean his own ear, but that of the persons addressed: he establishes his summons to prove what he says by the general thought brought over from Job 12:11, and as there (comp. Job 5:7; Job 11:12), clothed in the form of the emblematic proverb, - that as there is a bodily, so there is also a mental organ of sense which tries its perceptions. לאכל is not intended as expressing a purpose (ad vescendum), but as a gerundive (vescendo). The phrase בּחר משׁפּט, occurring only here, signifies neither to institute a search for the purpose of decision (Schult. and others), since בחר does not signify to decide upon anything, nor to investigate a cause (Hahn), which would be נבחנה, but to test and choose what is right, δοκιμάζειν καὶ τὸ καλὸν κατέχειν, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, after which the parallel runs: cognoscamus inter nos (i.e., in common) quid bonum.

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