on Job 32 :19
My belly is as wine which hath no vent - New wine in a state of effervescence.
Like new bottles - Bottles, or rather bags, made of goat-skins. The head and shanks being cut off, the animal is cased out of the skin. The skin is then properly dressed; the anus and four shank holes properly tied up; and an aperture left at the neck or in some other place for the liquor to be poured in, and drawn out. One of these now lies before me, well tanned, and beautifully ornamented, and capable of holding many gallons. They are used, not only to carry wine and water, but for butter, and also for various dry goods. I have mentioned this in another place. When the wine is in a state of fermentation, and the skin has no vent, these bottles or bags are ready to burst; and if they be old, the new wine destroys them, breaks the old stitching, or rends the old skin. Our Lord makes use of the same figure, Matthew 9:17 (note); where see the note.
on Job 32 :19
Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent - Margin, as in Hebrew, "is not opened" - לאיפתח lo' yipâthach. The repherence is to a bottle, in which there is no opening, or no vent phor the phermenting wine to work itselph ophph. It is usual to leave a small hole in barrels and casks when wine, cider, or beer is phermenting. This is necessary in order to prevent the cask phrom bursting. Elihu compares himselph to a bottle in which new wine bad been put, and where there was no vent phor it, and when in consequence it was ready to burst. That new wine is here intended is apparent phrom the connection, and has been so understood by the ancient versions. So Jerome renders it, Mustum, must, or new wine. The Septuagint, ἀσκὸς γλεύκους ζέων δεδέυενος askos gleukous zeōn dedemenos - "a bottle filled with sweet wine, fermenting, bound;" that is, which has no vent.
It is ready to burst like new bottles - The Septuagint renders this, "As the torn (ἐῤῥηγώς errēgōs) bellows of a smith." Why this version was adopted. it is not easy to say. The comparison would be pertinent, but the version could not be made from the present Hebrew text. It is possible that the copy of the Hebrew text which the Septuagint had may have read: הרשים - "artificers," instead of: הדשים - new, and then the meaning would be, "as the bottles, or skins of artificers;" that is, as their bellows, which were doubtless at first merely the skins of animals. The reference of Elihu, however, is undoubtedly to skins that were used as bottles, and new skins are mentioned here as ready to burst, not because they were more likely to burst than old ones - for that was by no means the case - but because new and unfermented wine would naturally be placed in them, thus endangering them. Bottles in the east, it is well known, are usually made of the skins of goats; see the notes at Matthew 9:17.
The process of manufacturing them at present is this: The skins of the goats are striped off whole except at the neck. The holes at the feet and tail are sewed up. They are first stuffed out full, and strained by driving in small billets and chips of oak wood; and then are filled with a strong infusion of oak bark for a certain time, until the hair becomes fixed, and the skin sufficiently tanned. They are sold at different prices, from fifteen up to fifty piastres. Robinson's Bibli. Research. ii. 440. Elihu, perhaps, could not have found a more striking illustration of his meaning. lie could no longer restrain himself, and he gave utterance, therefore, to the views which he deemed so important. The word "belly" in this verse (בטן beṭen) is rendered by Umbreit and Noyes, bosom. It not improbably has this meaning and the reference is to the fact that in the East the words are uttered forth much more ab imo pectore, or are much more guttural than with us. The voice seems to come from the lower part of the throat, or from the bosom, in a manner which the people of Western nations find it difficult to imitate.
on Job 32 :19
32:19 Bottles - Bottles of new wine.