Job 33: God is neither arbitrarily hostile, nor
JUST LIKE YOU BEFORE GOD (IN GOD'S STEAD): Elihu takes
the place of God -- he is now the inspired bearer of His words (Job 32:8). He is
the "daysman" (AV) or "someone to arbitrate", whom Job had sought (Job 9:33).
I TOO HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM CLAY: This refers back to
Job 10:9; 13:12, suggesting that Elihu has been a mute observer of the
proceedings all along. Here he states his position from the outset as being
different from the proud judgmental approach that the older men have
Elihu and Zophar (Job 11:4) are both paraphrasing words of
Job, such as Job 9:20, "Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me; though
I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty." Cp also Job 10:7; 13:18,19;
HE CONSIDERS ME HIS ENEMY: Cp Job 13:24; 27:1-6; 6:2-4;
Cp Job 13:27; 12:18.
Vv 14-28: Elihu's inspired words re God's righteousness and
man's salvation (see esp vv 23-28).
TO TURN MAN FROM WRONGDOING AND KEEP HIM FROM PRIDE:
Unlike the friends who see suffering as punishment, Elihu sees it as
PRESERVE HIS SOUL FROM THE PIT: This could be "from the
grave" (Sheol), or "from the sword" (salah), or "from the river" (Akkadian salhu
= a water channel) (see NIV mg). The last of these is used in Mesopotamian
mythology with ref to the "river of death" (NETn). Used in Job 33:18;
Important principle: God also "speaks" to man through pain and
Vv 23-28: Elihu understands the role of a mediator, and he
uses words which are highly suggestive of Christ. The intervention of a divine
interpreter (Elihu... or Christ) -- or messenger (Mal 3:1) to explain to the
sufferer what his duty was, how God might pardon him. Cp with Romans ("For all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...": Rom 3:23-26.): Ruin, Ransom,
Regeneration, Resurrection, Reconciliation, Rest, Righteousness.
ONE OUT OF A THOUSAND: Heb 2:14; Rom 8:3; 2Co
I SINNED: Man must confess past sins and acknowledge
salvation only by the mercy of God.
Vv 29-33: The object of God's dealings with man.
Elihu has Job's interest at heart. He wants to guide Job to
wisdom and salvation. And God does accept Job at the end (the word in Job 42:9
is often translated "forgive") after his confession of unworthiness and
repentance. Elihu invites Job to refute his words, if he can. But, no response.
(Note: Job has systematically answered all arguments of his 3