Job 33

1 Therefore, Job, hear thou my speeches, and harken (to) all my words.
2 Lo! I have opened my mouth, (and) my tongue shall speak in my cheeks.
3 Of simple heart be my words, and my lips shall speak clean sentence. (My words be from a sincere heart, and my lips shall speak clear sentences.)
4 The spirit of God made me, and the breathing of Almighty God quickened me.
5 If thou mayest, answer thou to me, and stand thou against my face.
6 Lo! God made me as and thee; and also I am formed of the same clay. (Lo! God hath made me like he did thee; and I am also formed out of the same clay.)
7 Nevertheless my miracle, that is, (the) knowing given of God, either by (a) miracle, to me, make thee not afeared, and mine eloquence be not grievous to thee. (But let not my miracle, that is, the knowledge given to me by God, by a miracle, make thee afraid, and let not my eloquence be grievous, or heavy, to thee.)
8 Thou saidest in mine hearing, and I heard the voice of thy words, (saying,)
9 I am clean, and without guilt, and unwemmed (and without blemish, or without fault), and wickedness is not in me.
10 For God found quarrels in me, therefore he deemed me (an) enemy to himself. (But for God found quarrels with me, and so he judged me as an enemy to himself.)
11 He hath set my feet in a stock (He hath put my feet in the stocks); he kept (watch over) all my paths.
12 Therefore this thing it is, in which thou art not made just (And so it is this in which thou art wrong); I shall answer to thee, that God is more than man.
13 Thou, Job, strivest against God, that not at all thy words [he] answered to thee. (Thou, Job, complainest against God, for he answered not any of thy words to thee.)
14 God speaketh once, and the second time he rehearseth not the same thing. (For God speaketh once, and he repeateth not the same thing a second time.)
15 God speaketh by a dream in the vision of (the) night, when sleep falleth on men, and when they sleep in their bed. (God speaketh in a dream in the vision of the night, when sleep falleth on men, and they sleep in their beds.)
16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and he teacheth them, and teacheth prudence, or discipline;
17 (so) that he turn away a man from these things which he made, and deliver him from pride;
18 and that he deliver his soul from corruption, and his life, that it go not into sword. (and so that he deliver his soul from corruption, and that he die not by the sword.)
19 Also God blameth a man by sorrow in his bed, and he maketh all the bones of him for to wax rotten. (And God correcteth a person by sending sickness to him in his bed, and he maketh all his bones to grow rotten.)
20 Bread is made abominable to him in his life, and the meat, that before was to him desirable, loathed to his soul after. (And so for him, bread is made abominable, and the food, which he desired before, is now loathed by his soul.)
21 His flesh shall fail for rot, and his bones, that were covered, shall be made naked.
22 His soul shall nigh to corruption, and his life to things bringing death.
23 If an angel, one of a thousand, is speaking for him, that he show the equity of man, (Now if an angel, one of thousands, speaketh for man, to declare what he hath done right,)
24 (then) God shall have mercy on him, and shall say, Deliver thou him, that he go not down into corruption; I have found in what thing I shall do mercy to him.
25 His flesh is wasted with torments; turn he again to the days of his young waxing age. (His flesh hath been wasted by torments; return he now to the days of his youth.)
26 He shall beseech God, and he shall be quemeful to him; and he shall see his face in perfect joy, and he shall yield to man his rightfulness. (He shall beseech God, and he shall be merciful to him; and he shall see his face with perfect joy, and God shall make all things right for him.)
27 He shall behold (other) men, and he shall say, I have sinned, and verily I have trespassed; and I have not received, as I was worthy. (If he shall look at other men, and he shall say, I have sinned, and truly I have trespassed; and I have not received, what I was worthy to receive;)
28 Forsooth he hath delivered his soul, that it should not go into perishing, but that he living should see light. (then he hath saved his soul, so that he shall not perish, but that in living he shall see the light.)
29 Lo! God worketh all these things in three times by all men; (Lo! God worketh all these things many times for all people;)
30 that he again-call their souls from corruption, and enlighten them in the light of living men. (so that he call back their souls from corruption, and enlighten them with the light of the living.)
31 Job, take heed, and hear thou me, and be thou still, while I speak (and listen to me, while I speak).
32 But if thou hast ready what thou shalt speak, answer thou to me, speak; for I will, that thou appear just (for I desire, that thou be justified, or proven right).
33 That if thou hast not, hear thou me (But if thou hast not, listen thou to me); be thou still, and I shall teach thee wisdom.

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Job 33 Commentary

Chapter 33

Elihu offers to reason with Job. (1-7) Elihu blames Job for reflecting upon God. (8-13) God calls men to repentance. (14-18) God sends afflictions for good. (19-28) Elihu entreats Job's attention. (29-33)

Verses 1-7 Job had desired a judge to decide his appeal. Elihu was one according to his wish, a man like himself. If we would rightly convince men, it must be by reason, not by terror; by fair argument, not by a heavy hand.

Verses 8-13 Elihu charges Job with reflecting upon the justice and goodness of God. When we hear any thing said to God's dishonour, we ought to bear our testimony against it. Job had represented God as severe in marking what he did amiss. Elihu urges that he had spoken wrong, and that he ought to humble himself before God, and by repentance to unsay it. God is not accountable to us. It is unreasonable for weak, sinful creatures, to strive with a God of infinite wisdom, power, and goodness. He acts with perfect justice, wisdom, and goodness, where we cannot perceive it.

Verses 14-18 God speaks to us by conscience, by providences, and by ministers; of all these Elihu discourses. There was not then, that we know of, any Divine revelation in writing, though now it is our principal guide. When God designs men's good, by the convictions and dictates of their own consciences, he opens the heart, as Lydia's, and opens the ears, so that conviction finds or forces its way in. The end and design of these admonitions are to keep men from sin, particularly the sin of pride. While sinners are pursuing evil purposes, and indulging their pride, their souls are hastening to destruction. That which turns men from sin, saves them from hell. What a mercy it is to be under the restraints of an awakened conscience!

Verses 19-28 Job complained of his diseases, and judged by them that God was angry with him; his friends did so too: but Elihu shows that God often afflicts the body for good to the soul. This thought will be of great use for our getting good from sickness, in and by which God speaks to men. Pain is the fruit of sin; yet, by the grace of God, the pain of the body is often made a means of good to the soul. When afflictions have done their work, they shall be removed. A ransom or propitiation is found. Jesus Christ is the Messenger and the Ransom, so Elihu calls him, as Job had called him his Redeemer, for he is both the Purchaser and the Price, the Priest and the sacrifice. So high was the value of souls, that nothing less would redeem them; and so great the hurt done by sin, that nothing less would atone for it, than the blood of the Son of God, who gave his life a ransom for many. A blessed change follows. Recovery from sickness is a mercy indeed, when it proceeds from the remission of sin. All that truly repent of their sins, shall find mercy with God. The works of darkness are unfruitful works; all the gains of sin will come far short of the damage. We must, with a broken and ( 1 John. 1:9 ) confess the fact of sin; and not try to justify or excuse ourselves. We must confess the fault of sin; I have perverted that which was right. We must confess the folly of sin; So foolish have I been and ignorant. Is there not good reason why we should make such a confession?

Verses 29-33 Elihu shows that God's great and gracious design toward the children of men, is, to save them from being for ever miserable, and to bring them to be for ever happy. By whatever means we are kept back from the we shall bless the Lord for them at least, and should bless him for them though they be painful and distressing. Those that perish for ever are without excuse, for they would not be healed.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Elihu addresses Job himself, and entreats his attention to what he had to say to him, and offers several things to induce him to it; and recommends himself as one that was according to his wish, in the stead of God, a man like himself, and of whom he had no reason to be afraid, Job 33:1-7; and then he brings a charge against him of things which he himself had heard, of words that had dropped from him in the course of his controversy with his friends; in which he too much and too strongly insisted on his own innocence and purity, and let fill very undue and unbecoming reflections on the dealings of God with him, Job 33:8-11; to which he gives an answer by observing the superior greatness of God to man, and his sovereignty over him, not being accountable to him for anything done by him; and therefore man should be silent and submissive to him, Job 33:12,13; and yet, though he is so great and so absolute, and uncontrollable, and is not obliged to give an account of his affairs to man, and the reasons of them; yet he condescends by various ways and means to instruct him in his mind and will, and even by these very things complained of; and therefore should not be treated as if unkind and unfriendly to men; sometimes he does it by dreams and visions, when he opens the ears of men, and seals instruction to them, and with this view, to restrain them from their evil purposes and doings, and to weaken their pride and humble them, and preserve them from ruin, Job 33:14-18; and sometimes by chastening and afflictive providences, which are described, Job 33:19-22; and which become teaching ones; through the interposition of a divine messenger, and upon the afflicted man's prayer to God, and humiliation before him, God is gracious and favourable to him, and delivers him; which is frequently the design and the use that he makes of chastening dispensations, Job 33:23-30; and the chapter is concluded with beseeching Job to mark and consider well what had been said unto him, and to answer it if he could or thought fit; if not, silently to attend to what he had further to say to him for his instruction, Job 33:31-33.

Job 33 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.