Job 34: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen
18:25). In short, God is not incomprehensible, but man in uncomprehending.
"As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the
Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul" (Job 27:2). Cp also Job
9:15; 10:15; 23:6.
Vv 6-9: "It was natural that, with all his reverence for Job,
Elihu should be offended by the heat and passion of his words, by the absence of
moderation and self-restraint, and tell him that 'this strained passion did him
wrong.' No doubt it is easier for a friend on the bank to maintain his
composure, than it is for the man who has been swept away by the stream of
calamity, and is doing instant battle with its fierce currents and driving
waves. Job is not to be overmuch blamed if, under the stress of calamity, and
stung by the baseless calumnies of the friends, he now and then lost composure,
and grew immoderate both in his resentments and his retorts. Remembering the
keen agony he had to endure, we may well pardon an offence for which it is so
easy to account; we may cheerfully admit, as Jehovah Himself admitted, that in
the main he spoke of God aright; we may even admire the constancy and patience
with which, on the whole, he met the provocations and insults of the friends;
and yet we cannot but feel that he often pushed his inferences against the
Divine justice and providence much too far: as, indeed, he himself confessed
that he had, when at last he saw Jehovah face to face, and carried his just
resentment against the friends to excess. There are points in the progress of
the story where he seems to revel in his sense of wrong, and to lash out wildly
against both God and man. With fine moral tact, Elihu had detected this fault in
his tone and bearing, and had discovered whither it was leading him" (Samuel
Cp Job 9:17-21; 6:4-10.
In his implication of v 9, Job was advocating the same
position as wicked men.
A fair summary of Job's words in Job 9:22,23: "It is all the
same; that is why I say, 'He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.' When a
scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent." And Job
9:29: "Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in
The point of this rhetorical question is driven home by God in
Job 38:4, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if
you have understanding."
Man is merely natural matter, whose life is sustained by God's
spirit: Gen 2:7; 8:19; Psa 104:29,30.
Vv 34-37: Job's ill-considered words condemned.
Satan wanted to try Job because he considered Job's faith
shallow, but Elihu because Job failed to uphold the righteousness of God. Elihu
desires Job be tested until his character is fully refined, as it is after Job
endures the ordeal of meeting the Almighty. Job's trial (Job 23:10) would prove
wrong the answers of the three. Job -- like Christ -- is tried for the benefit
of all wicked men. His end, an example for us.
Cp Job 23:2: "Even today my complaint is rebellion; His hand
is heavy despite my groaning." And Job 40:1,2: Then the LORD said to Job, "Will
the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it."
And Job 42:5-6: "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye
sees Thee; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes."
Later, and perhaps as the final part of his test, Job acts as
intercessor for his companions (as Moses and Abraham also had occasion to do)
and God restores him.