Job 33 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Job 33)

Verse 3

[3] My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.

My words — I will not speak passionately or partially, but from a sincere desire to do thee good.

Clearly — What I speak will be plain, not hard to be understood.

Verse 4

[4] The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

Life — I am thy fellow creature, and am ready to discourse with thee upon even terms, according to thy desire.

Verse 6

[6] Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

Behold — I will plead with thee in God's name and stead, which thou hast often wished, and I am God's creature like thyself.

Verse 9

[9] I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.

Clean — Not absolutely, for he often confesses himself to be a sinner, but no such transgression, as might give God just occasion to punish him so severely, as is implied, where he blames God for finding occasions against him, implying that he had given him none by his sins. And thus far Elihu's charge was just, and herein it differs from the charge of Job's three friends, who often accuse him, for asserting his own innocency; although they did it, because they thought him an hypocrite, whereas Elihu does it upon other grounds, even because Job's justification of himself was accompanied with reflections upon God.

Verse 11

[11] He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths.

Marketh — He narrowly prys into all my actions, that he may find matter against me.

Verse 12

[12] Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.

Not just — Thou art in the wrong.

Greater — Not only in power and majesty, but also in justice, and wisdom, and goodness, and therefore thou dost foolishly, in censuring his judgments, thou castest off that awe and reverence which thou shouldest constantly maintain towards thy sovereign Lord.

Verse 13

[13] Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

He — Useth not to give an account to his creatures of the grounds and reasons of his judgments or dispensations as being the supreme governor of all persons and things, in whose will it becometh all men to acquiesce.

Verse 14

[14] For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.

Yet — Although he doth not give men an account of his matters, yet he doth that which is sufficient for them.

Twice — When once speaking doth not awaken men, God is graciously pleased to give them another admonition: though he will not gratify men's curiosity in enquiring into his hidden judgments, yet he will acquaint them with their duty. God speaks to us by conscience, by providence, and by ministers, of all which Elihu here treats at large, to shew Job, that God was now telling him his mind, and endeavouring to do him good. He shews first, how God admonishes men by their own consciences.

Verse 16

[16] Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,

Sealeth — He imprints those instructions upon their minds.

Verse 17

[17] That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.

Pride — And God by this means is said to hide pride from man, because by these glorious representations of his Divine majesty to man, he takes him off from the admiration of his own excellency, and brings him to a sight of his own weakness, and to an humble and ready submission to his will.

Verse 18

[18] He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.

Keepeth — By his gracious admonitions whereby he leads him to repentance.

Verse 19

[19] He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:

Pain — The second way whereby God instructs men and excites them to repentance.

Verse 22

[22] Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.

The destroyers — The pangs of death, here called the destroyers, are just ready to seize him.

Verse 23

[23] If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:

A messenger — A prophet or teacher. To expound the providence, and point out the design of God therein.

One, … — A person rightly qualified for this great and hard work, such as there are but very few.

To shew — To direct him to the right way how he may please God, and procure that mercy which he thirsts after; which is not by quarrelling with God, but by an humble confession. and supplication for mercy through Christ the redeemer.

Verse 24

[24] Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

He — God.

A ransom — Although I might justly destroy him, yet I will spare him, for I have found out a way of ransoming sinners from death, which is the death of my son, the redeemer of the world, and with respect to which I will pardon them that repent and sue for mercy. Observe how God glories in the invention! I have found, I have found a ransom; a ransom for poor, undone sinners! I, even I am he that hath done it.

Verse 26

[26] He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.

Render — He will deal with him as with one reconciled to him through the mediator, and turning from sin to righteousness.

Verse 28

[28] He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

Life — His life which was endangered, shall be restored and continued. Yea, farther, God shall Deliver his soul from going into the pit of hell: and his life shall see the light, all good, in the vision and fruition of God.

Verse 29

[29] Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,

Lo — All these ways God uses to convince, and save sinners.

Verse 30

[30] To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

To bring — That he may save men from being forever miserable, and make them forever happy. "Lord, what is man, that thou shouldest thus visit him? This should engage us, to comply with God's designs, to work with him for our own good, and not to counter-work him. And this will render those that perish inexcusable, that, so much was done to save them, and they would not he healed." So Mr. Henry. Excellent words! But how much did God do to save them? Did he ever do any thing to save them? Did he ever design to save them? If not, how does that which was never done, no nor designed, "render them inexcusable?"

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