Job 33:23

23 Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright,

Job 33:23 in Other Translations

23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
23 If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him,
23 “But if an angel from heaven appears— a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright—
23 "But even then an angel could come, a champion - there are thousands of them! - to take up your cause,
23 If there is an angel on his side, one mediator out of a thousand, to tell a person what is right for him

Job 33:23 Meaning and Commentary

Job 33:23

If there be a messenger with him
Or angel, either with God, as some think; or rather with the sick man; by which messenger is meant not an angel by nature, a created angel, though sometimes such are God's messengers, sent by him on errands to men, are interpreters of things to them, as Gabriel was to Daniel; of whom there are thousands, and who may be of service to sick men for their comfort and instruction, since it is certain they attend saints in their dying moments; yet this proves not that they are to be invoked as mediators between God and men: but rather a minister of the word is designed, who is by office an angel, a "messenger" of Christ, and of the churches; an "interpreter" of the Scriptures, and of the mind of God in them; and a spiritual, evangelical, faithful minister, is scarce and rare, one among a thousand; and his business is to visit sick persons, and to observe the "uprightness" and faithfulness of God in afflicting them, that they may quietly submit to and patiently bear the affliction; and to direct them for their peace and comfort to the uprightness or righteousness of Christ, for their justification before God; and to show them what is right for them to do in their present circumstances; whether the sick man be stupid and insensible of his case, and his need of righteousness, or whether he be a truly gracious man, yet labouring under doubts and fears about the truth of grace in him, the uprightness of his heart, and his interest in the righteousness of Christ: but it seems best to understand this of Christ himself, the angel of God's presence, the messenger of the covenant, who is with the sick man, and favours him with his spiritual presence; or is "for him" F17 as it may be rendered, is on his side, an advocate and intercessor for him with God;

an interpreter
of his Father's mind, and with which he is long acquainted, he lying in his bosom; and of the sacred Scriptures, as he was to his disciples concerning himself; or an "orator" F18, an eloquent one, never man spake like him, having the tongue of the learned given him as man; and who as a divine Person is the eternal and essential Word of God; who spake for his people in the council of peace and covenant of grace; and also as Mediator is the antitypical Aaron, can speak well for them on all occasions:

one among a thousand:
the chiefest among ten thousand, angels or men; see ( Song of Solomon 5:10 ) ( Ecclesiastes 7:28 ) ;

to show unto man his uprightness;
which to do is his office as Mediator, and especially as a prophet, even to show the uprightness of God, the rectitude of his nature, the righteousness required in his holy law; and this Christ has shown forth and declared in his being the propitiation for the sins of his people, ( Romans 3:25 Romans 3:26 ) ; by his Spirit he shows to man, and so to a sick man, his want of uprightness in himself, his need of righteousness from another; and brings it near him, and shows it to be perfect, complete, and suitable; as well as teaches to live soberly, righteously, and godly.


F17 (wyle) "pro eo", V. L. Pagninus, Mercerus.
F18 (Uylm) "eloquens", Pagninus, Montanus; "orator", Tigurine version, Bolducius.

Job 33:23 In-Context

21 Their flesh wastes away to nothing, and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.
22 They draw near to the pit, and their life to the messengers of death.
23 Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright,
24 and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them—
25 let their flesh be renewed like a child’s; let them be restored as in the days of their youth’—

Cross References 2

  • 1. Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15
  • 2. Job 36:9-10; Micah 6:8
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