New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 34 Dec. 26 
Elihu Criticizes the Friends
Moreover Elihu answered, 2Hear my words, you wise men. Give ear to me, you who have knowledge. 3For the ear tries words, as the palate tastes food. 4Let us choose for us that which is right. Let us know among ourselves what is good. 5For Job has said, ‘I am righteous, God has taken away my right: 6notwithstanding my right I am considered a liar. My wound is incurable, though I am without disobedience’. 7What man is like Job, who drinks scorn like water, 8who goes in company with the workers of iniquity, and walks with wicked men? 9For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing that he should delight himself with God’. 10Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: far be it from God, that He should do wickedness, from the Almighty, that He should commit iniquity. 11For the work of a man He will render to him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. 12Yes surely, God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert justice. 13Who put Him in charge of the earth? Or who has appointed Him over the whole world? 14If He set His heart on Himself, if He gathered to Himself His spirit and His breath, 15all flesh would perish together, and man would turn again to dust. 16If now you have understanding, hear this. Listen to the voice of my words. 17Shall even one who hates justice govern? Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty? 18Who says to a king, ‘Vile!’ or to nobles, ‘Wicked!’? 19Who doesn’t respect the persons of princes, nor respects the rich more than the poor; for they all are the work of His hands. 20In a moment they die, even at midnight. The people are shaken and pass away. The mighty are taken away without a hand. 21For His eyes are on the ways of a man. He sees all his goings. 22There is no darkness, nor thick gloom, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. 23For He doesn’t need to consider a man further, that he should go before God in judgment. 24He breaks in pieces mighty men in ways past finding out, and sets others in their place. 25Therefore He takes knowledge of their works. He overturns them in the night, so that they are destroyed. 26He strikes them as wicked men in the open sight of others; 27because they turned aside from following Him, and wouldn’t pay attention to any of His ways, 28so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him. He heard the cry of the afflicted. 29When He gives quietness, who then can condemn? When He hides His face, who then can see Him? Alike whether to a nation, or to a man, 30that the Godless man may not reign, that there be no one to ensnare the people. 31For has any said to God, ‘I am guilty, but I will not offend any more. 32Teach me that which I don’t see. If I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’? 33Shall His recompense be as you desire, that you refuse it? For you must choose, and not I. Therefore speak what you know. 34Men of understanding will tell me, yes, every wise man who hears me: 35‘Job speaks without knowledge. His words are without wisdom’. 36I wish that Job were tried to the end, because of his answering like wicked men. 37For he adds rebellion to his sin. He claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God. 


34:8 Goes in company with the workers of iniquity, and walks with wicked men- This wasn’t true of Job. Elihu may however be sarcastically referring to the three friends of Job as “wicked men”.  
34:9 See on 21:7.
34:14 If He set His heart on Himself- If God were selfish, He wouldn’t have created nor maintain the world. We therefore see God’s unselfishness and outgiving grace every microsecond of our existence.  
If He gathered to Himself His spirit and His breath- The Spirit of God is His breath, His power by which He sustains all creation. It isn’t a person, as the false doctrine of the Trinity supposes; although at times His Spirit, His power, can be personified as many abstract things are.
34:23 The day of judgment is therefore not in order for God to acquire knowledge or facts about us; He knows that already. The process of judgment day will be for our benefit. For if Christ came and we immediately entered the Kingdom without that necessary process, we would have so little appreciation of His grace nor of each other nor of ourselves. The purpose of judgment, even when it is received in part in this life as in Job’s case, is to teach us, rather than provide God with information.