Job 35

Job 35

Elihu Condemns Job

35 And Elihu answered and said:

  “Do you think this to be just?
    Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’
  that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
  I will answer you
    and your friends with you.
  Look at the heavens, and see;
    and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
  If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
  If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
    Or what does he receive from your hand?
  Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
    and your righteousness a son of man.
  “Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
  But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
  who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
  There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evil men.
  Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty regard it.
  How much less when you say that you do not see him,
    that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
  And now, because his anger does not punish,
    and he does not take much note of transgression,
  Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”


Job 35 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

This is arguably Elihu’s harshest language against Job. It is a message of condemnation with truth mixed in. I am somewhat puzzled by commentaries who defend Job in being completely righteous and not deserving of any judgement. It is true that Job was righteous from worldly sense, but as we know (from Romans, Psalms, etc.), no man is righteous before God. If we are going to be consistent with Scripture, then we know that even Job’s suffering is God’s grace because outside of our faith in Christ we all deserve death and separation from God.

Nevertheless, Elihu approaches this topic pretty boldly and directly. He reminds me of Job’s friends with slightly more truth. His main complaint against Job in this chapter is the lack of reverence when calling out to God. Job approaches God as if He has forgotten about him. He calls out to God and demands an answer. With grace, we can understand why Job is behaving this way, but Elihu properly points out that God has not forgotten to punish or save. Everything occurs on His timing – which we can all agree is hard to accept sometimes.

In humility, we can all take Elihu’s final words of the chapter to heart.

Job opens his mouth in vain and multiplies words without knowledge.

Job 35:16 HCSB

The same can be said of Job’s friends, Elihu, you, and I. We all are guilty. We complain to God instead of thanking Him and come with selfish motives instead of seeking His will. Whatever reason God has for allowing what He does, we are not entitled to it. That’s a tough message to accept in our independent, rights-based society.

It’s difficult sometimes, but there is so much to be thankful for. Let’s try and focus on thanking God for today and moving forward no matter what our circumstances may be. We can trust that He has everything under control.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments