Job 36:21

21 Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.

Job 36:21 in Other Translations

21 Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.
21 Take care; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil, for God sent this suffering to keep you from a life of evil.
21 Above all, don't make things worse with more evil - that's what's behind your suffering as it is!
21 Be careful that you do not turn to iniquity, for that is why you have been tested by affliction.

Job 36:21 Meaning and Commentary

Job 36:21

Take heed, regard not iniquity
Not any iniquity, as to show any approbation of it, love for it, and desire after it. All appearance of sin, of every sin, is to be abstained from; but particularly by the iniquity here meant may be the sin of impatience under his affliction; murmuring at the dealings of God with him; arraigning his justice, and saying very indecent things of him, as in ( Job 34:5 ) ( 35:2 ) . Or it may mean the evil he had been guilty of in so earnestly desiring the night of death:

for this thou hast chosen rather than affliction;
chose rather to die than to be afflicted as he was; or chose rather to complain of God, as if he dealt hardly with him, and did not do justly by him, than to submit patiently to the will of God, as he, ought to have done: or this he chose "through affliction" F4; through the force of it, because of it, and by means thereof; and so is a sort of excuse that Elihu makes for him; though at the same time he would have him by no means to regard such iniquity, and indulge to it.


F4 (ynem) "prae afflictione", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "prae miseria ex adflictione", Michaelis.

Job 36:21 In-Context

19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20 Do not long for the night, to drag people away from their homes.
21 Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.
22 “God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Job 34:33; Psalms 66:18
  • 2. S ver 8; Hebrews 11:25
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