My desire [is that] Job may be tried unto the end
This is my opinion, or what "I bring in" F15 adduce, and lay before you, men of understanding and wisdom, and leave it with you to consider of. Some render it, "O my Father, let Job be tried" as if it was an apostrophe to God, and a request to him; so Mr. Broughton, who adds,
``which art in heaven,''and the same is added by some Jewish interpreters F16, as there are others F17 of them which go this way, and also several Christian commentators F18; and of late F19 it has been urged, from this and other passages, that Elihu was Christ, who here addresses God as his father: but this is his New Testament title; and though God is the father of all men by creation, and of saints by adoption, yet this relation and title are not so frequently claimed under the former dispensation, or however not so early as the times of Job, but are more peculiar to the Gospel dispensation, under which saints receive "not the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, whereby they cry, Abba, Father", ( Romans 8:15 ) ; wherefore admitting this version, rather some grave venerable person, as Eliphaz F20, senior to Elihu, who was a young man, is addressed under this title; or the whole circle of Job's friends now about him, all elder than Elihu, may be intended; "father" for "fathers", the singular for the plural, see ( Acts 7:2 ) ; and what he proposes is, that they should make it their joint request at the throne of grace, that Job's afflictions be still continued; that he might be thoroughly tried by them, and be purged from all his dross, he not appearing yet to be thoroughly sensible of his sinful speeches, and humbled for them; and therefore it was proper he should be still corrected and chastened to the end, or unto victory, as Mr. Broughton, or until victory was obtained, and he was obliged to yield, and cry "peccavi": but since afflictions are things not joyous but grievous, and it does not seem so agreeable to a good man, kind and humane, to desire the continuance of the afflictions of another, though palliated with a plausible for his good; it seems better to understand this as a motion made to the understanding part of the company by Elihu, that the words of Job, which he had spoken without knowledge and wisdom, might be taken under strict examination by them, and thoroughly scanned, that it might be better known what was proper to be said more to him for his conviction;
because of [his] answers for wicked men;
or concerning or relative to such answers which he had made, which were like to those which wicked men make; who charge the ways of God with inequality and want of equity, ask where is the God of judgment? or which serve the cause of the wicked, and which furnish them with arguments, prepare them for them, and put them into their mouths, to argue against God and his providential dealings with men, and against all religion. See ( Job 34:8 ) .
F15 (yba) "pro" (ayba) "adducam", so some in Codurcus: "haec autem in medio affero", Tigurine version; "adduco", Schultens.
F16 P. Abraham Peritsol, Simeon Bar Tzemach, Sephorno.
F17 Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Ben Gersom.
F18 Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vatablus, Drusius, Cocceius; so V. L.
F19 Hodge's Elihu.
F20 So Hieron. Trad. Heb. fol. 75. I.