Job 33

Job 33:1-33 . ADDRESS TO JOB, AS ( Job 32:1-22 ) TO THE FRIENDS.

17. purpose--Margin, "work." So Job 36:9 . So "business" in a bad sense ( 1 Samuel 20:19 ). Elihu alludes to Job's words ( Job 17:11 ). "Pride," an open "pit" ( Job 33:18 ) which God hides or covers up, lest man should fall into it. Even the godly need to learn the lesson which trials teach, to "humble themselves under the mighty hand of God."

18. his soul--his life.
the pit--the grave; a symbol of hell.
perishing by the sword--that is, a violent death; in the Old Testament a symbol of the future punishment of the ungodly.

19. When man does not heed warnings of the night, he is chastened, &c. The new thought suggested by Elihu is that affliction is disciplinary ( Job 36:10 ); for the good of the godly.
multitude--so the Margin, Hebrew (Keri). Better with the text (Chetib), "And with the perpetual (strong) contest of his bones"; the never-resting fever in his bones ( Psalms 38:3 ) [UMBREIT].

20. life--that is, the appetite, which ordinarily sustains "life" ( Job 38:39 , Psalms 107:18 , Ecclesiastes 12:5 ). The taking away of desire for food by sickness symbolizes the removal by affliction of lust, for things which foster the spiritual fever of pride.

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.

22. destroyers--angels of death commissioned by God to end man's life ( 2 Samuel 24:16 , Psalms 78:49 ). The death pains personified may, however, be meant; so "gnawers"

23. Elihu refers to himself as the divinely-sent ( Job 32:8 , 33:6 ) "messenger," the "interpreter" to explain to Job and vindicate God's righteousness; such a one Eliphaz had denied that Job could look for ( Job 5:1 ), and Job ( Job 9:33 ) had wished for such a "daysman" or umpire between him and God. The "messenger" of good is antithetical to the "destroyers" ( Job 33:23 ).
with him--if there be vouchsafed to the sufferer. The office of the interpreter is stated "to show unto man God's uprightness" in His dealings; or, as UMBREIT, "man's upright course towards God" ( Proverbs 14:2 ). The former is better; Job maintained his own "uprightness" ( Job 16:17 , Job 27:5 Job 27:6 ); Elihu on the contrary maintains God's, and that man's true uprightness lies in submission to God. "One among a thousand" is a man rarely to be found. So Jesus Christ ( Solomon 5:10 ). Elihu, the God-sent mediator of a temporal deliverance, is a type of the God-man Jesus Christ the Mediator of eternal deliverance: "the messenger of the covenant" ( Malachi 3:1 ). This is the wonderful work of the Holy Ghost, that persons and events move in their own sphere in such a way as unconsciously to shadow forth Him, whose "testimony is the Spirit of prophecy"; as the same point may be center of a small and of a vastly larger concentric circle.

24. Apodosis to Job 33:23 .
Deliver--literally, "redeem"; in it and "ransom" there is reference to the consideration, on account of which God pardons and relieves the sufferers; here it is primarily the intercession of Elihu. But the language is too strong for its full meaning to be exhausted by this. The Holy Ghost has suggested language which receives its full realization only in the "eternal redemption found" by God in the price paid by Jesus Christ for it; that is, His blood and meritorious intercession ( Hebrews 9:12 ). "Obtained," literally, "found"; implying the earnest zeal, wisdom, and faithfulness of the finder, and the newness and joyousness of the finding. Jesus Christ could not but have found it, but still His seeking it was needed [BENGEL], ( Luke 15:8 ). God the Father, is the Finder ( Psalms 89:19 ). Jesus Christ the Redeemer, to whom He saith, Redeem (so Hebrew) him from going, &c. ( 2 Corinthians 5:19 ).
ransom--used in a general sense by Elihu, but meant by the Holy Ghost in its strict sense as applied to Jesus Christ, of a price paid for deliverance ( Exodus 21:30 ), an atonement (that is, means of selling at once, that is, reconciling "two" who are estranged), a covering, as of the ark with pitch, typical of what covers us sinners from wrath ( Genesis 6:14 , Psalms 32:1 ). The pit is primarily here the grave ( Isaiah 38:17 ), but the spiritual pit is mainly shadowed forth ( Zechariah 9:11 ).

25-28. Effects of restoration to God's favor; literally, to Job a temporal revival; spiritually, an eternal regeneration. The striking words cannot be restricted to their temporal meaning, as used by Elihu ( 1 Peter 1:11 1 Peter 1:12 ).
his flesh shall be fresher than a child's--so Naaman, 2 Kings 5:14 , spiritually, John 3:3-7 .

26. Job shall no longer pray to God, as he complains, in vain ( Job 23:3 Job 23:8 Job 23:9 ). True especially to the redeemed in Jesus Christ ( John 16:23-27 ).
shall see his face--or, God shall make Job to see His face [MAURER]. God shall no longer "hide His face" ( Job 13:24 ). True to the believer now ( John 14:21 John 14:22 ); eternally ( Psalms 17:15 , John 17:24 ).
righteousness--God will again make the restored Job no longer ("I perverted . . . fight," Job 33:27 ) doubt God's justice, but to justify Him in His dealings. The penitent justifies God ( Psalms 51:4 ). So the believer is made to see God's righteousness in Jesus Christ ( Isaiah 45:24 , 46:13 ).

27. he looketh--God. Rather, with UMBREIT, "Now he (the restored penitent) singeth joyfully (answering to "joy," Job 33:26 , Psalms 51:12 ) before men, and saith," &c. ( Proverbs 25:20 , Psalms 66:16 , 116:14 ).
perverted--made the straight crooked: as Job had misrepresented God's character.
profited--literally, "was made even" to me; rather, "My punishment was not commensurate with my sin" (so Zophar, Job 11:6 ); the reverse of what Job heretofore said ( Job 16:17 , Psalms 103:10 , Ezra 9:13 ).

29. Margin, "twice and thrice," alluding to Job 33:14 ; once, by visions, Job 33:15-17 ; secondly, by afflictions, Job 33:19-22 ; now, by the "messenger," thirdly, Job 33:23 .

30. Referring to Job 33:28 ( Psalms 50:13 ).

32. justify--to do thee justice; and, if I can, consistently with it, to declare thee innocent. At Job 33:33 Elihu pauses for a reply; then proceeds in Job 34:1 .

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