Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Job
Book: Job
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)

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.

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

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!

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
contrite Heart, confess our sins to God, 1Jo 1:9. We must
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?

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 Pit, we shall Bless the Lord for them
at last, and should Bless him for them now, though they be painful
and distressing. Those that perish for ever are without excuse,
for they would not be healed.