Sunday, May 13, 2007

Matthew Henry on "He justified himself more than God"

Matthew Henry has a wonderful explanation of Job 32:2 where young Elihu is described as burning with anger against Job since "he justified himself more than God."

...that is, [he] took more care and pains to clear himself from the imputation of unrighteousness in being thus afflicted than to clear God from the imputation of unrighteousness in afflicting him, as if he were more concerned for his own honour than for God's; whereas he should, in the first place, have justified God and cleared his glory, and then he might well enough have left his own reputation to shift for itself. Note, A gracious heart is jealous for the honour of God, and cannot but be angry when that is neglected or postponed, or when any injury is done it. Nor is it any breach of the law of meekness to be angry at our friends when they are offensive to God.


  1. Great timing on this quote - I'm going to be writing a paper in the next few days on Elihu (Job 32-37). My goal is to evaluate and determine as best as exegetically possible whether Elihu ended up being any more help than the other three friends.

  2. Hey Jason!
    Always great to hear from you!!

    My own view is that Elihu is the KEY to the book... he sets up the entrance of God.

    Having just preached on it today, I believe more strongly than ever. Like Elihu, I feel like a new wineskin ready to pop! Seems to me he had that wisdom to agree that Job was indeed righteous, yet at the same time in need of rebuke for indwelling sin. Especially the sin of pride. That is why some of what he says sounds a little like the 3 miserable comforters (i.e. in the realm of God punishing the wicked), yet entirely new and more nuanced than their bare "karma theology" (i.e. 36:8-10, 15 [wow] and 21).

    Send me your paper when you are done - I would love to read it (even if you don't agree with me!!)