on Job 33 :7
My terror shall not make thee afraid - This is an allusion to what Job had said, Job 9:34 : "Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me." Being thy equal, no fear can impose upon thee so far as to overawe thee; so that thou shouldst not be able to conduct thy own defense. We are on equal terms; now prepare to defend thyself.
on Job 33 :7
Behold my terror shall not make thee afraid - Job had earnestly desired to carry his cause directly before God, but he had expressed the apprehension that he would overawe him by his majesty, so that he would not be able to manage his plea with the calmness and self-possession which were desirable. He had, therefore, expressed it as his earnest wish, that if he were so permitted, God would not take advantage of his majesty and power to confound him; see the notes at Job 13:21. Elihu now says, that the wish of Job in this could be amply gratified. Though he spake in the name of God, and it might be considered that the case was fairly carried before him, yet he was also a man. He was the fellow, the equal with Job. He was made of the same clay, and he could not overawe him as the Almighty himself might do. There would be, therefore, in his case all the advantage of carrying the cause directly up to God, and yet none of the disadvantage which Job apprehended, and which must ensue when a mere man undertook to manage his own cause with the Almighty.
Neither shall my hand be heavy upon, thee - Alluding, evidently, to what Job had said, Job 13:21, that the hand of God was heavy upon him, so that he could not conduct his cause in such a manner as to do justice to himself. He had asked, therefore (see the notes at that place), as a special favor, if he was permitted to carry his cause before God, that his hand would be so far lightened that he could be able to state his arguments with the force which they required. Elihu says now that that wish could be gratified. Though he was in the place of God, yet he was a man, and his hand would not be upon him to crush him down so that he could not do justice to himself. The noun rendered "hand" (אכף 'ekeph) does not elsewhere occur. The verb אכף 'âkaph occurs once in Proverbs 16:26, where it is rendered "craveth" - "He that laboreth, laboreth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him" - where the margin is boweth unto.
The word in Arabic means to lead a beast of burden; to bend, to make to bow under a lead; and then to impel, to urge on; and hence, it means, "his mouth, that is, hunger, impels, or urges him on to labor." In like manner the meaning of the word here (אכף 'ekeph) may be a lead or burden, meaning "my lead, i. e., my weight, dignity, authority, shall not be burdensome or oppressive to you." But the parallel place in Job 13:21, is "hand," and that meaning seems to be required here. Kimchi supposes it is the same as כף kaph - hand, and the Septuagint has so rendered it, ἡ χείρ μου hē cheir mou. In the view of the speech of Elihu thus far, we cannot but remark that there is much that is unique, and especially that he lays decided claim to inspiration. Though speaking for God, yet he was in human nature, and Job might speak to him as a friend, unawed and unterrifled by any dread of overwhelming majesty and power.
On what grounds Elihu based these high pretensions does not appear, and his claim to them is the more remarkable from his youth. It does not require the aid of a very lively imagination to fancy a resemblance between him and the Lord Jesus - the great mediator between God and man - and were that mode of interpretation which delights to find types and figures every where a mode that could be vindicated, there is no character in the Old Testament that would more obviously suggest that of the Redeemer than the character of Elihu. His comparative youth, his modesty, his humility, would suggest it. The fact that he comes in to utter his sentiments where age and wisdom had failed to suggest the truth, and when pretending sages were confounded and silenced, would suggest it. The fact that he claims to be in the place of God, and that a cause might be managed before him as if it were before God and yet that he was a man like others, and that no advantage would be taken to overawe by mere majesty and power, are all circumstances that would constitute a strong and vivid resemblance. But I see no evidence that this was the design of the introduction of the character of Elihu, and interesting as the comparison might be, and desirable as it may seem that the book of Job should be found to contain some reference to the great work of mediation, yet the just and stern laws of interpretation exclude such a reference in the absence of proof, and do not allow us to luxuriate in the conceptions of fancy, however pious the reflections might be, or to search for typical characters where the Spirit of inspiration has not revealed them as such, however interesting or edifying might be the contemplation.
on Job 33 :7