Job 35

Listen to Job 35

Elihu Condemns Job

1 And Elihu answered and said:
2 "Do you think this to be just? Do you say, 1'It is my right before God,'
3 that you ask, 2'What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?'
4 I will answer you and 3your friends with you.
5 4Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
6 If you have sinned, 5what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
7 6If you are righteous, what do you give to him? Or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself, and your righteousness 7a son of man.
9 "Because of the multitude of 8oppressions people 9cry out; they call for help because of the arm of 10the mighty.[a]
10 But none says, 'Where is God my 11Maker, who gives 12songs in the night,
11 who teaches us 13more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?'
12 There they 14cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it.
14 How much less when you say that you 15do not see him, that the case is before him, and you are 16waiting for him!
15 And now, because 17his anger does not punish, and he does not take much note of transgression,[b]
16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk; he 18multiplies words 19without knowledge."

Job 35 Commentary

Chapter 35

Elihu speaks of man's conduct. (1-8) Why those who cry out under afflictions are not regarded. (9-13) Elihu reproves Job's impatience. (14-26)

Verses 1-8 Elihu reproves Job for justifying himself more than God, and called his attention to the heavens. They are far above us, and God is far above them; how much then is he out of the reach, either of our sins or of our services! We have no reason to complain if we have not what we expect, but should be thankful that we have better than we deserve.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Cross References 19

  • 1. See Job 32:2
  • 2. See Job 34:9
  • 3. Job 34:8, 36
  • 4. [Job 22:12]
  • 5. Proverbs 8:36; Jeremiah 7:19
  • 6. Job 22:2, 3; Proverbs 9:12; Luke 17:10; [Job 41:11; Romans 11:35]
  • 7. Job 25:6
  • 8. Amos 3:9
  • 9. Exodus 2:23; [Job 34:28]
  • 10. [Job 22:8]
  • 11. Job 4:17; Deuteronomy 32:6
  • 12. Psalms 42:8; Psalms 77:6; Psalms 149:5; [Acts 16:25]
  • 13. Job 36:22; Psalms 94:12; Isaiah 28:26
  • 14. See Job 27:9
  • 15. Job 9:11; Job 23:8, 9
  • 16. [Job 13:15]
  • 17. Numbers 16:29; Psalms 89:32
  • 18. Job 34:37
  • 19. Job 34:35; Job 36:12; Job 38:2; Job 42:3

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or the many
  • [b]. Theodotion, Symmachus (compare Vulgate); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

Chapter Summary


Is this chapter Elihu goes on to charge Job with other unbecoming speeches, which he undertakes to refute; as that he had represented his cause more just than God's, and religion and righteousness as things unprofitable to men, only to God; to which Elihu takes upon him to make answer, Job 35:1-8; and that the cries of the oppressed were not heard by the Lord, so as to give occasion to songs of praise and thankfulness, to which he replies, Job 35:9-13; and that Job had expressed diffidence and despair of ever seeing and enjoying the favour of God, which he endeavours to remove, Job 35:14-16.

Job 35 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.