Job 35:9
By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.
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(9) By reason of the multitude of oppressions.—The argument seems to be that among men there may be oppression, but not with an almighty and just Judge. The right course, therefore, is to wait. “Men may, indeed, complain because of the oppression of an earthly tyrant; but how canst thou say thou beholdest Him not?” (See Job 9:9.)

Job 35:9-10. By reason of the multitude of oppressions — This verse has been supposed by many to contain an argument to prove what he had said Job 35:8, that the wickedness of one man may hurt another: but Elihu rather seems to be here beginning a new subject, and, having answered one of Job’s objections, to proceed to another. Job had often complained that he cried to God, and God did not hear his cry. This Elihu may here be considered as answering by a parallel case of men crying out for oppression; whom yet God did not immediately relieve, for just reasons, which he leaves Job to apply to himself. Or he refers to what Job had alleged, (Job 24:12,) respecting men’s groaning out of the city, &c., which might seem to reflect on God’s providence. This Elihu repeats in this verse, and answers in those following. But none saith — Few or none of the great numbers of oppressed persons, seriously or sincerely inquire, Where is God? — They cry out of men, and to men, but they seek not after God, and therefore if God do not hear their cries, he is neither unjust nor unkind; my Maker — Who alone made me, and who only can deliver me. Who, when our condition is ever so dark and sad, can turn our darkness into light, can quickly put a new song into our mouth, a thanksgiving unto our God.35:9-13 Job complained that God did not regard the cries of the oppressed against their oppressors. This he knew not how to reconcile the justice of God and his government. Elihu solves the difficulty. Men do not notice the mercies they enjoy in and under their afflictions, nor are thankful for them, therefore they cannot expect that God should deliver them out of affliction. He gives songs in the night; when our condition is dark and melancholy, there is that in God's providence and promise, which is sufficient to support us, and to enable us even to rejoice in tribulation. When we only pore upon our afflictions, and neglect the consolations of God which are treasured up for us, it is just in God to reject our prayers. Even the things that will kill the body, cannot hurt the soul. If we cry to God for the removal of an affliction, and it is not removed, the reason is, not because the Lord's hand is shortened, or his ear heavy; but because we are not sufficiently humbled.By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry - It is not quite easy to see the connection which this verse has with what goes before, or its bearing on the argument of Elihu. It seems however, to refer to the "oppressed in general," and to the fact, to which Job had himself adverted Job 24:12, that people are borne down by oppression and that God does not interpose to save them. They are suffered to remain in that state of oppression - trodden down by people, crushed by the armor of a despot, and overwhelmed with poverty, sorrow, and want, and God does not interpose to rescue them. He looks on and sees all this evil, and does not come forth to deliver those who thus suffer. This is a common case, according to the view of Job; this was his own case, and he could not explain it, and in view of it he had indulged in language which Elihu regarded as a severe reflection on the government of the Almighty. He undertakes, therefore, to "explain the reason" why people are permitted thus to suffer, and why they are not relieved.

In the verse before us, he states "the fact," that multitudes "do" thus suffer under the arm of oppression - for that fact could not be denied; in the following verses, he states "the reason" why it is so, and that reason is, that they do not apply in any proper manner to God, who could "give songs in the night," or joy in the midst of calamities, and who could make them acquainted with the nature of his government as intelligent beings, so that they would be able to understand it and acquiesce in it. The phrase "the multitude of oppressions" refers to the numerous and repeated calamities which tyrants bring upon the poor, the down-trodden, and the slave. The phrases "to cry" and "they cry out," refer to the lamentations and sighs of those under the arm of the oppressor. Elihu did not dispute the truth of "the fact" as it was alleged by Job. That fact could not then be doubted any more than it can now, that there were many who were bowed down under burdens imposed by hard-hearted masters, and groaning under the government of tyrants, and that all this was seen and permitted by a holy God. This fact troubled Job - for he was one of this general class of sufferers; and this fact Elihu proposes to account for. Whether his solution is satisfactory, however, may still admit of a doubt.

9. (Ec 4:1.) Elihu states in Job's words (Job 24. 12; 30. 20) the difficulty; the "cries" of "the oppressed" not being heard might lead man to think that wrongs are not punished by Him. The multitude, or greatness. This verse is supposed to contain an argument to prove what he said Job 35:8, that one man’s wickedness may hurt another. But he rather seems to begin a new matter, and having answered one of Job’s objections, to proceed to another, which may be either,

1. That which Job had oft complained of, that he cried to God, and God did not hear his cry; which Elihu answers by a parallel case of men crying out for oppression; whom yet God doth not hear nor help, and that for just reasons, which he leaves to Job to apply to himself. Or,

2. That which Job had alleged, Job 24:12, and which might seem to reflect upon God’s providence. This therefore Elihu repeats in this verse, and answereth in the following.

To cry; not only to murmur and complain, but to cry out by reason of sore oppression, and to cry to the oppressors or others for pity and help. By reason of the arm of the mighty; because their oppressors are too strong for them. By reason of the multitude of oppressions, they make the oppressed to cry,.... Which is either an illustration by an instance of what is before said, that wickedness hurts men, as particularly oppression does, which makes then cry; or this refers to something new, to another complaint of Job, or an undue expression of his. Elihu undertakes to answer; that men cry unto God, as he himself had, but are not heard and answered; the place or places referred to may be Job 24:12. To which Elihu replies, by granting that men oppressed cry because of their oppression, and are not heard; for which reasons may be given, as in the following verses. The poor are often oppressed by the rich, whose wealth gives them power, and that they abuse; and the weak and feeble by the mighty; and their oppressions are many, there is a multitude of them: men in power and authority have various ways of oppressing others, who like the Israelites cry by reason of them, and are made to cry by their oppressors;

they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty; which falls with weight, and lies heavy upon them, and crushes them; meaning the power they have, and which they abuse to the injury of them; nor are they able to help themselves or deliver themselves out of their hands, they being mighty, if not in body, yet through wealth; and by means of that authority over them which gives it them: now on account of the pressure upon them, they cry, not to God, but to men: and if they cry to God, it is in a murmuring and complaining way, through impatience under their burden, through envy at the riches and power of others, in a passionate manner, in a revengeful spirit, calling and seeking for vengeance on their oppressors; not in an humble penitent manner, acknowledging their sins, and owning their unworthiness to be heard and regarded, and submitting all to the will of God: for which reasons they are not heard, their cries and, prayers being reckoned no other than howlings, Hosea 7:14.

By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed {e} to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.

(e) The wicked may hurt man and cause him to cry, who if he sought God who lends comfort would be delivered.

9. they make the Oppressed to cry] Rather, men cry out because of the multitude of oppressions—which powerful and cruel men lay upon them (Job 35:12). This is the anomaly.

9–15. Having laid down his principle Elihu now proceeds to clear away some anomalies which seem to support Job’s contention. There are instances where godliness does not seem to advantage men, where oppressed innocence cries in vain for redress. The reason is that the cry is merely the natural voice of suffering; it is no true devout appeal to heaven—none saith, Where is God my maker?Verses 9-14. - Job had made it a frequent subject of complaint that God did not hear, or at any rate did not answer, his prayers and cries for relief. Elihu answers that Job's case is not exceptional. Those who cry out against oppression and suffering frequently receive no answer, but it is because they "ask amiss." Job should have patience and trust. Verse 9. - By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry; rather, by reason of the multitude of oppressions, men cry out. It is not Job only who cries to God. Oppressors are numerous; the oppressed are numerous; everywhere there are complaints and outcries. They cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty. The oppressors are, for the most part, the mighty of the earth - kings, princes, nobles (see Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 3:14, 15; Hosea 5:10; Amos 4:1, etc.). 1 Then began Elihu, and said:

2 Dost thou consider this to be right,

Sayest thou: my righteousness exceedeth God's,

3 That thou sayest, what advantage is it to thee,

What doth it profit me more than my sin?

4 I will answer thee words,

And thy companions with thee.

The neutral זאת, Job 35:2, refers prospectively to כּי־תאמר, Job 35:3: this that thou sayest. חשׁב with acc. of the obj. and ל of the predicate, as Job 33:10, comp. Job 13:24, and freq. The second interrogative clause, Job 35:2, is co-ordinate with the first, and the collective thought of this ponderous construction, Job 35:2, Job 35:3, is this: Considerest thou this to be right, and thinkest thou on this account to be able to put thy righteousness above the divine, that, as thou maintainest, no righteousness on the side of God corresponds to this thy righteousness, because God makes no distinction between righteousness and the sin of man, and allows the former to go unrewarded? צדקי (for which Olsh. wishes to read צדקתּי, as Job 9:27 אמרתי for אמרי) forms with מאל a substantival clause: justitia mea est prae Deo (prae divina); מן comparative as Job 32:2, comp. on the matter Job 34:5, not equivalent to ἀπό as Job 4:17. כי־תאמר is first followed by the oratio obliqua: what it (viz., צדקך) advantageth thee, then by the or. directa (on this change vid., Ew. 338, a): what profit have I((viz., בצדקי), prae peccato meo; this מן is also comparative; the constantly ambiguous combination would be allowable from the fact that, according to the usage of the language, "to obtain profit from anything" is expressed by הועיל בּ, not by הועיל מן. Moreover, prae peccato meo is equivalent to plus quam inde quod pecco, comp. Psalm 18:24, מעוני, Hosea 4:8 אל־עונם. We have already on Job 34:9 observed that Job has not directly said (he cites it, Job 21:15, as the saying of the ungodly) what Elihu in Job 35:3 puts into his mouth, but as an inference it certainly is implied in such utterances as Job 9:22. Elihu's polemic against Job and his companions (רעיך are not the three, as lxx and Jer. translate, but the אנשׁי און, to whom Job is likened by such words as Job 34:8, Job 34:36) is therefore not unauthorized; especially since he assails the conclusion together with its premises. In the second strophe the vindication of the conclusion is now refuted.

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