Job 34:18

18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’ and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’

Job 34:18 in Other Translations

18 Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?
18 who says to a king, 'Worthless one,' and to nobles, 'Wicked man,'
18 For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’ and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’
18 Doesn't God always tell it like it is, exposing corrupt rulers as scoundrels and criminals?
18 who says to a king, "Worthless man!" and to nobles, "Wicked men!"?

Job 34:18 Meaning and Commentary

Job 34:18

[Is it fit] to say to a king, [thou art] wicked?
&c.] Not even to a bad king; for though he may be reproved for his sins, yet not by any or everyone, but by a fit and proper person: and generally speaking, if not always, the Scriptural instances of reproving such kings are of men that were prophets, and sent in the name of the Lord to do it; and when done by them, was done with decency: and much less should this be said to a good king; as to say to him, Belial, the word here used; or thou art Belial; or a son of Belial, as Shimei said to David, ( 2 Samuel 16:7 ) ; a name given to the worst of men, and is the devil himself; and signifies either one without a yoke, or lawless, which a king is not; or unprofitable, whereas a king is a minister of God for good; is for the punishment of evildoers, and for a praise to them that do well;

[and] to princes, [ye are] ungodly?
Who have their name from being generous, munificent, and liberal, and therefore should not be treated in such a manner; who are the sons of kings, or subordinate magistrates to them, and execute their will and pleasure, laws and precepts. And if now such language is not to be used to earthly kings and princes, then surely not to the King of kings and Lord of lords; so Jarchi interprets it of God the King of the world; and some Christian interpreters, as Schmidt, understand by "princes" the three Persons in the Godhead; which can hardly be made to bear: though, could the whole be understood of God in the three Persons of the Deity, the connection with ( Job 34:19 ) would run more smoothly without the supplement that is made; so Broughton,

``to the King, the King of nobles, that accepteth not,'' &c.

Job 34:18 In-Context

16 “If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say.
17 Can someone who hates justice govern? Will you condemn the just and mighty One?
18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’ and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?
20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Job 12:18
  • 2. Exodus 22:28; Isaiah 40:24
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.