Job 35:16
Therefore does Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplies words without knowledge.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
35:14-26 As in prosperity we are ready to think our mountain will never be brought low; so when in adversity, we are ready to think our valley will never be filled up. But to conclude that to-morrow must be as this day, is as absurd as to think that the weather, when either fair or foul, will be always so. When Job looked up to God, he had no reason to speak despairingly. There is a day of judgment, when all that seems amiss will be found to be right, and all that seems dark and difficult will be cleared up and set straight. And if there is Divine wrath in our troubles, it is because we quarrel with God, are fretful, and distrust Divine Providence. This was Job's case. Elihu was directed by God to humble Job, for as to some things he had both opened his mouth in vain, and had multiplied words without knowledge. Let us be admonished, in our afflictions, not so much to set forth the greatness of our suffering, as the greatness of the mercy of God.Therefore - In view of all that Elihu had now said, be came to the conclusion that the views of Job were erroneous, and that he had no just cause of complaint. He had suffered no more than he had deserved; he might have obtained a release or mitigation if he had applied to God; and the government of God was just, and was every way worthy of confidence. The remarks of Job, therefore, complaining of the severity of his sufferings and of the government of God, were not based on knowledge, and had in fact no solid foundation. 16. Apodosis to Job 35:15.

in vain—rashly.

Therefore; hence it is manifest.

Open his mouth in vain, i.e. pour forth his complaints without any success, and gets no ease by them.

He multiplieth words without knowledge, thereby discovering his ignorance of God and of himself. Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain,.... In uttering such unbecoming expressions, observed, and refuted, in his loud complaints of God, and of his dealings with him, and in defence of himself;

he multiplieth words without knowledge; both against God and in answer to others; being in a great measure ignorant of the nature and number of his sins, and of his afflictions; and of the end of God in them, and of the right he had to lay them upon him; us well as of his duty patiently to bear them, and trust in God, and wait his own time for deliverance out of them; and or the truth of this he was afterwards convinced, and acknowledged it, Job 42:3.

Therefore doth Job {h} open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.

(h) For if he punished you as you deserved, you would not be able to open your mouth.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 16. - Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; or, in vanity (comp. ver. 13). He multiplieth words without knowledge; i.e. he is bold to speak words that are vain and insensate, because God has not, as he might have done, punished him for his previous utterances.



9 By reason of the multitude of oppressions they raise a cry,

They call for help by reason of the arm of the great,

10 But none saith: Where is Eloah my Creator,

Who giveth songs of praise in the night,

11 Who teacheth us by the beasts of the earth,

And maketh us wise by the fowls of heaven?

12 Then they cry, yet He answereth not,

Because of the pride of evil men.

13 Vanity alone God heareth not,

And the Almighty observeth it not.

In Job 35:9 the accentuation of מרוב with Dech, according to which Dachselt interprets: prae multitudine (oppressionum) oppressi clamabunt, is erroneous; it is to be written מרב, as everywhere else, and this (according to Codd. and the editions of Jablonski, Majus, Michaelis, and others) is to be accented with Munach, which is followed by עשׁוּקים with a vicarious Munach: prae multitudine oppressionum (עשׁוקים like Ecclesiastes 4:1, and probably also Amos 3:9) edunt clamorem (Hiph. in the intensive Kal signification, as e.g., הזנה, to commit fornication, Hosea 4:10). On זרוע, Job 35:9; רבּים are the great or lords (Arab. arbâb). The plur. with a general subj. is followed by the sing. in Job 35:10: and no one says (exactly as in האמר, Job 34:31). Elihu weakens the doubt expressed by Job in Job 24:12, that God allows injustice to prevail, and oppressed innocence remains without vindication. The failure of the latter arises from the fact of the sufferers complaining, but not seeking earnestly the only true helper, God their maker (עשׂים, intensive plur., as Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 54:5; Psalm 149:2), who gives (to which may be compared a passage of the Edda: "Wuodan gives songs to the Scalds") songs (זמרות, from the onomatopoetic זמר) in the night, i.e., who in the night of sorrow puts songs of praise concerning the dawning light of help into the mouth of the sufferers. The singing of the glory of the nightly heavens (Stick., Hahn) is to be as little thought of as the music of the spheres; the night is, as Job 34:20, Job 34:25, the time of unexpectedly sudden change.

In Job 35:11 most expositors (last of all Schlottm.) take the two מן as comparative. Elihu would then, since he feels the absence of the asking after this God on the part of the sufferers, mean the conscious relation in which He has placed us to Himself, and in accordance with which the sufferer should not merely instinctively complain, but humbly bow himself and earnestly offer up prayer. But according to Job 12:7 (comp. Proverbs 6:6, וחכם), it is to be translated: who teaches (מלּפנוּ equals מאלּפנוּ, comp. 2 Samuel 22:40, Psalter i. 160) us from the beasts of the earth (so that from them as a means of instruction teaching comes to us), and makes us wise from the birds of heaven. The fut. interchanging with the part. better accords with this translation, according to which Job 35:11 is a continuation of the assertion of a divine instruction, by means of the animal creation; the thought also suits the connection better, for of the many things that may be learned from the animal creation, prayer here comes under consideration, - the lions roar, Psalm 104:21; the thirsty cattle cry to God, Joel 1:20; the ravens call upon God, Psalm 147:9. It we now determine the collective thought of Job 35:10, that affliction does not drive most men to God the almighty Helper, who will be humbly entreated for help: it is more natural to take שׁם (vid., on Job 23:7) in the sense of then (τότε), than, with reference to the scene of oppression, in the sense of there (lxx, Jer.: ibi). The division of the verse is correct, and H. B. Starcke has correctly interpreted: Tunc clamabunt (sed non respondebit) propter superbiam (insolentiam) malorum. מפּני is not to be connected with יענה in the sense of non exaudiet et servabit, by which constr. praegnans one would expect מן, Psalm 22:22, instead of מפני, nor in the sense of non exaudiet propter (Hirz., Schlottm.), for the arrogant רעים are not those who complain unheard: but, as the connection shows, those from whom the occasion of complaint proceeds. Therefore: not allowing themselves to be driven to God by oppression, they cry then, without, however, being heard of God, by reason of the arrogance of evil men which they have to endure. Job 35:13 gives the reason of their obtaining no answer: Only emptiness (i.e., mere motion of the lips without the true spirit of prayer) God heareth not, and the Almighty observeth it not. Hahn wrongly denies אך the significations certo and verumtamen; but we prefer the restrictive signification (sheer emptiness or hollowness) which proceeds from the affirmative primary signification

(Note: Vid., Hupfeld in the Zeitschr. fr Kunde des Morgenl. ii.441f.)

continued...

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