People today are just like Job’s friends, they assume they understand You and nobody can tell them anything different.
I’ve noticed that Job is the only one that actually addressed You directly. I wonder why Job’s friends, and most people today don’t ask You anything? Don’t they now that You’ll 1 answer their questions?
Elihu Declares His Opinion
Part 4 of 5
The second of Elihu’s four speeches, divided into three sections:
(1) addressed to a group of wise men (vv 2-15), doubtless including the three friends;
(2) addressed to Job (vv 16-33); and
(3) addressed to himself (vv 34-37).
“Furthermore Elihu answered and said,
Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.
For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.
For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.
Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.
What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?
Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.
For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God” (Job 34:1-9).
Job hath said…For he hath said – Elihu again quotes Job and then goes on to defend God’s justice against what he considers to be Job’s false theology.
The substance of the quotation in v. 5 is accurate, and much of v 6 represents Job fairly – though Job had never claimed to be completely guiltless. Verse 9 is not a direct quotation form Job, who had only imagined the wicked saying something similar.
But perhaps Elihu derives it from Job’s repeated statement that God treats the righteous and the wicked in the same way, leading to the conclusion that it doesn’t pay to please God. [Of course, that is incorrect, but it 2 does matter how you please God].
“Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity” (Job 34:10).
Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness – See Gen 18:25 [this part of one of the conversations God has with Moses]. Elihu’s concern that Job was making God the author of evil is commendable. Job, in his frustration, has come perilously close to charging God with wrongdoing.
He has suggested that this is the only conclusion he can reach on the basis of his knowledge and experience.
“For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.
Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.
Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?
If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;
All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:11-15).
Elihu is zealous for God’s glory as the sovereign Sustainer who demonstrates His grace every moment by granting life and breath of man.
“If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.
Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?
Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?
How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.
In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.
He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.
Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.
He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;
Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:
So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted” (Job 34:16-28).
God’s omniscience guarantees that He will not make any mistakes when He punishes evildoers. It is not necessary for Him to set times to examine people for Judgment (see v 23).
When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:
That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.
Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:
That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.
Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest” (Job 34:29-33).
First indirectly (vv 31-32) and then more directly (v 33) Elihu condemns Job and calls for his repentance.
“Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.
Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.
My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.
For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God” (Job 34:34-37).
Elihu’s third speech is addressed to Job.
“Elihu spake moreover, and said,
Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s?” (Job 35:1-2)
My righteousness – Elihu thinks that it’s unjust and inconsistent for Job to expect vindication from God and at the same time imply that God doesn’t care whether we are righteous. But allowance must be made for a person to express his feelings. [3 Elihu is not completely wrong, but he certainly isn’t correct because God has always wanted us to be righteous.]
“For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?
I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.
Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.
If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?
If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?
Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.
By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.
But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;
Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?
There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men” (Job 35:3-12).
God doesn’t listen to arrogant men (see v 13). Job himself might not be wicked, but he shares the arrogance of most men. He too receives no answer, because he doesn’t ask rightly (see v 14).
“Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.
Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.
“But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:
Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge” (Job 35:13-16).
The reference here to Job in the third person doesn’t necessarily mean that someone other than Job is being addressed.
Elihu’s fourth and final speech is mostly addressed to Job.
“Elihu also proceeded, and said,
Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.
I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with the” (Job 36:1-4).
perfect in knowledge – Here Elihu applies the phrase to himself, while in 37:16 he applies it to God – thus appearing to make himself equal to God [which is what Satan had done – Is 14:13]. But the Hebrew for knowledge is not quite the same here as in 37:16. Elihu is probably referring to his ability as a communicator, i.e., he claims perfection in the knowledge of speech.
“Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.
He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor” (Job 36:5-6).
preserveth not the life of the wicked – A classic statement of God’s justice in rewarding the righteous and punishing sinners (in contrast to what Job has been claiming). In v 7 Elihu perhaps has in mind Job’s complaint that God will not leave him alone (see 7:17-19), and in v 9 he may be thinking of Job’s charge that God will not present His indictment against him (see 31:35-36).
“He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.
And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;
Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.
If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.
But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.
They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.
He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression” (Job 36:7-15).
Elihu understands that the basic spiritual need of man stems from his harness of heart – his refusal to yield to God, to cry out to God in his distress (see Ps 107), or to hear the voice of God in suffering.
“Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.
But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.
Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.
Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.
Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction” (Job 36:16-21).
Elihu warns Job to respond to God’s discipline by turning away from evil (see v 21). Verse 16 shows that the still views Job as a man of whom there is hope.
“Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him? Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity? Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.
Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off” (Job 36:22-25).
God’s power and glory as reflected in creation are evident to all people (cf Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-32).
“Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out” (Job 36:26).
we know him not – See 37:5. That 4 God’s ways and thoughts are infinitely higher than ours is an important theme in chs 38-41.
1 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jas 1:5).
2 The only way to please God is to have faith in Jesus, and if you do He does bless you:
“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swear unto their fathers to give them.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest“(Josh 1:5-9)
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the Judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Ps 1:1-6).
3 “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will Judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Act 17:28-31).
4 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall nor return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the things whereto I sent it” (Is 55:8-11).
Josiah, Zechariah and Neco II
When Josiah, king of Judah (640-609 B.C.),made arrangements for celebrating the Passover, he and his administrators donated vast numbers of animals to be sacrificed (2 Chr 35:7-9).
One of the administrators was Zechariah, a temple official (v. 8). An ostracon (broken piece of pottery with writing on it), purchased on the antiquities market and now in a private collection, includes the names of both Josiah and Zechariah.
Apparently an order for a royal temple offering, it reads, “As Ashyahu the king has commanded you to give in the hand of Zakaryahu silver of Tarshish for the House of Yahweh: three shekels.”
The name Josiah is the English equivalent of Ashyahu in the inscription, and Zechariah is the equivalent of Zakaryahu.
In 609 B.C., when Josiah was in his 31st year of rule and still a young man of 39 (2 Kgs 22:1), the Egyptian army under Pharaoh Neco II (610-595 B.C.) marched north to aid the Assyrians in their attempt to stave off the Babylonians.
Neco II, known from both Egyptian and Babylonian records, was among the stronger of ancient Egypt’s later rulers. The Assyrians were holding out at Carchemish, a prominent city on the Euphrates River (2 Chr 35:20).
Josiah, in an effort to undermine this force, which were dominant in the region, tried to head off Neco at Megiddo. Tragically, the Judahite army was defeated and Josiah lost his life (vv.21-24).
Judah then became subject to Neco until 605 B.C., when the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish (Jer 46:2). Following Josiah’s demise, his son Jehoahaz was made king.
After three months Neco removed Jehoahaz and imposed a hefty tribute on Judah (2 Chr 36:1-3). The Egyptian king placed Josiah’s eldest son, Jehoiakim, on the throne and banished Jehoahaz to Egypt, where he lived out the rest of his days (36:4).