Job 34

1 And so Elihu pronounced, and spake also these things, (and said,)
2 Wise men, hear ye my words, and learned men, harken ye (to) me;
3 for the ear proveth words, and the throat deemeth meat by taste (and the tongue judgeth food by taste).
4 Choose we doom to us (Let us use judgement); and see we among us, what is the better.
5 For Job said, I am just, and God hath turned my justness upside-down. (For Job said, I am innocent, but God hath turned my justice, or my sentence, upside-down.)
6 For why leasing is in deeming me, and mine arrow is violent without any sin. (For lies be used in judging me, and my wound is fatal, yet I am without any sin.)
7 Who is a man, as Job is, that drinketh scorning as water? (Who is such a man like Job, who drinketh scorning like water?)
8 that goeth with men working wickedness, and goeth with unfaithful men? (who goeth with those working wickedness, and with the unfaithful?)
9 For he said, A man shall not please God, yea, though he run with God. (For he said, Yea, though one may run with God, he still shall not please God.)
10 Therefore ye wise men, that is, (ye with) understanding, hear ye me; unpiety, either cruelty, be far from God (is far from God), and wickedness from Almighty God.
11 For he shall yield (after) the work of (a) man to him (For he shall yield to someone after their work, or their deeds); and by the ways of each man he shall restore to him.
12 For verily God shall not condemn without cause; neither Almighty God shall destroy doom. (For truly God shall not condemn without a reason; nor shall Almighty God destroy, or pervert, justice.)
13 What other man hath he ordained upon earth? either whom hath he set upon the world, that he hath made? (But hath someone else ordained God upon the earth? or hath someone set him upon the world which he himself hath made? Nay!)
14 If God (ad)dresseth his heart to him, he shall draw to himself his spirit and blast. (If God directed his heart towards people, and he drew back his spirit and his breath unto himself;)
15 Each flesh shall fail together in dying; and a man shall turn again into ashes. (then all flesh would fail together, that is, they would all die, and everyone would return to the dust.)
16 Therefore if thou hast understanding, hear thou that that is said, and harken (to) the voice of my speech.
17 Whether he that loveth not doom may be made whole? and how then condemnest thou so much him, that is just? (Can he who loveth not justice be made whole? so how then condemnest thou him, who is so just, or so fair?)
18 He it is that saith to a king, Thou art apostate, either (a) breaker of religion, when he keepeth not rightfulness and the common good; which calleth the dukes unpious, either unfaithful. (It is he who saith to a king, Thou art an apostate, that is, a breaker of religion, when he keepeth not righteousness and the common good; he who calleth the leaders unpious, or unfaithful.)
19 He accepteth not the persons of princes (He favoureth not princes, or rulers), neither he knoweth a tyrant to spare him, when he striveth against a poor man; for all men be the work of his hands.
20 They shall die suddenly, and at midnight peoples shall be troubled; and shall pass, and shall take away a violent man without hand. (And then suddenly they shall die, yea, at midnight these people shall be troubled, and shall pass away; he shall take away a mighty man, without even raising a hand.)
21 For the eyes of God be on the ways of men, and he beholdeth all the goings of them.
22 No darknesses be, neither no shadow of death is, that they, that work wickedness, be hid there; (There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where they, who work wickedness, can be hid;)
23 for it is no more in the power of man, that he come to God into doom. (for it is not in the power of man, to set the time, when he come before God for judgement.)
24 God shall all-break many men and unnumberable (God shall all-break innumerable powerful men); and shall make other men to stand for them.
25 For he knoweth the works of them; [and] therefore he shall bring in (the) night upon them, and they shall be all-broken.
26 He smote them, as unpious men, in the place of seeing men. (He striketh them, like unpious men, where all can see.)
27 Which went away from him by casting afore/by forecasting (For they went away from him by intention, that is, willfully), and would not understand all his ways.
28 That they should make the cry of a needy man to come to him, and that he should hear the voice of poor men. (Yea, they who maketh the cry of the needy to come to him, so that he heareth the voice of the poor.)
29 For when he granteth peace, who is it that condemneth him? And since he hideth his cheer, who is (it) that seeth him? And on folks, and on all men, he hath power to do such things. (And if he granteth peace, who is it that condemneth him? But when he hideth his face, then who can find him? And he hath power to do such things over the nations, yea, over all people.)
30 Which maketh a man, hypocrite, to reign, for the sins of the people. (And he maketh a man, who is a hypocrite, to reign, for the sins of the people.)
31 Therefore for I have spoken to God, I shall not forbid thee to speak. (And so now I have spoken for God, and remember, I did not forbid thee to speak for him.)
32 If I have erred, teach thou me; if I have spoken wickedness, I shall no more add to (it).
33 Whether God asketh that wickedness of thee, for it displeased thee? For thou hast begun to speak, and not I; (so) that if thou knowest anything better, speak thou that.
34 Men (of) understanding, speak to me; and a wise man, hear me.
35 Forsooth Job hath spoken follily, and his words sound not (like) teaching. (For Job hath spoken foolishly, and his words be not sound teaching.)
36 My father (God), be Job proved unto the end; cease thou not from the man of wickedness, (My father God, let Job be proved evil unto the end; cease thou not from this wicked man,)
37 that addeth blasphemy over his sins. Be he constrained among us in the meantime; and then by his words stir he God to the doom. (who addeth blasphemy on top of his sins. Let him be constrained among us in the meantime; and then, with his words, stir he God to judgement.)

Job 34 Commentary

Chapter 34

Elihu accuses Job of charging God with injustice. (1-9) God cannot be unjust. (10-15) God's power and providence. (16-30) Elihu reproves Job. (31-37)

Verses 1-9 Elihu calls upon those present to decide with him upon Job's words. The plainest Christian, whose mind is enlightened, whose heart is sanctified by the Spirit of God, and who is versed in the Scriptures, can say how far matters, words, or actions, agree with true religion, better than any that lean to their own understandings. Job had spoken as if he meant wholly to justify himself. He that say, I have cleansed my hands in vain, does not only offend against God's children, Ps. 73:13-15 , but gratifies his enemies, and says as they say.

Verses 10-15 Elihu had showed Job, that God meant him no hurt by afflicting him, but intended his spiritual benefit. Here he shows, that God did him no wrong by afflicting him. If the former did not satisfy him, this ought to silence him. God cannot do wickedness, nor the Almighty commit wrong. If services now go unrewarded, and sins now go unpunished, yet there is a day coming, when God will fully render to every man according to his works. Further, though the believer's final condemnation is done away through the Saviour's ransom, yet he has merited worse than any outward afflictions; so that no wrong is done to him, however he may be tried.

Verses 16-30 Elihu appeals directly to Job himself. Could he suppose that God was like those earthly princes, who hate right, who are unfit to rule, and prove the scourges of mankind? It is daring presumption to condemn God's proceedings, as Job had done by his discontents. Elihu suggests divers considerations to Job, to produce in him high thoughts of God, and so to persuade him to submit. Job had often wished to plead his cause before God. Elihu asks, To what purpose? All is well that God does, and will be found so. What can make those uneasy, whose souls dwell at ease in God? The smiles of all the world cannot quiet those on whom God frowns.

Verses 31-37 When we reprove for what is amiss, we must direct to what is good. Job's friends would have had him own himself a wicked man. Let will only oblige him to own that he spoke unadvisedly with his lips. Let us, in giving reproof, not make a matter worse than it is. Elihu directs Job to humble himself before God for his sins, and to accept the punishment. Also to pray to God to discover his sins to him. A good man is willing to know the worst of himself; particularly, under affliction, he desires to be told wherefore God contends with him. It is not enough to be sorry for our sins, but we must go and sin no more. And if we are affectionate children, we shall love to speak with our Father, and to tell him all our mind. Elihu reasons with Job concerning his discontent under affliction. We are ready to think every thing that concerns us should be just as we would have it; but it is not reasonable to expect this. Elihu asks whether there was not sin and folly in what Job said. God is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works, Ps. 145:17 . The believer saith, Let my Saviour, my wise and loving Lord, choose every thing for me. I am sure that will be wisest, and the best for his glory and my good.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Elihu reassumes his discourse, and proceeds in his answer to Job, in which are first a preface exciting attention, Job 34:1-4; then a charge is brought against Job, expressed in or extracted from some words that dropped from his lips, not so well guarded, Job 34:5-9; a refutation of these expressions of his in a variety of arguments, Job 34:10-30; and the chapter is closed with some good advice to Job, Job 34:31-33; and with an earnest request of Elihu to men of understanding, to join with him in trying him to the uttermost, Job 34:34-37.

Job 34 Commentaries

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