Job 33:

23 אִם־יֵשׁ עָלָיו׀ מַלְאָךְ מֵלִיץ אֶחָד מִנִּי־אָלֶף לְהַגִּיד לְאָדָם יָשְׁרֹו׃

NET 23 If there is an angel beside him, one mediator out of a thousand, to tell a person what constitutes his uprightness;

23 ἐὰν ὦσιν χίλιοι ἄγγελοι θανατηφόροι εἷς αὐτῶν οὐ μὴ τρώσῃ αὐτόν ἐὰν νοήσῃ τῇ καρδίᾳ ἐπιστραφῆναι ἐπὶ κύριον ἀναγγείλῃ δὲ ἀνθρώπῳ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ μέμψιν τὴν δὲ ἄνοιαν αὐτοῦ δείξῃ

Is this a forensic "constitution of uprightness" or orthopraxis?

Does the Hebrew or Greek distinguish the two senses?

Does the fact that the angel becomes an exceptional mediator suggest that this is a reference to a covenant?

  • I think you might want to bring in psalm 82 and I’ll quote just one verse “They (humans) have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness (Isaiah 60:2,3); all the foundations of the earth are shaken.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭82:5‬ ‭and then consider that the nations were given heavenly hosts to rule over them Deu 32:8 DDS, LXX and ESV. Also you would have to place Job whether before or after the flood. – Nihil Sine Deo Dec 4 '19 at 14:38
  • Thanks. What is "DDS"? – Ruminator Dec 4 '19 at 15:01
  • Sorry DSS I don’t know if it’s me or autocorrect. I am usually careful to double check that but I miss it sometimes. – Nihil Sine Deo Dec 4 '19 at 15:03
  • Ah, okay, thanks @NihilSineDeo – Ruminator Dec 4 '19 at 17:25
  • 1
    "What constitutes" is not in the Hebrew. It must be an interpretation of the translator. – Colin Fine Dec 5 '19 at 0:12

The Hebrew is quite simple. A conservative translation would be:

אם יש עליו מלאך מליץ אחד מני אלף להגיד לאדם ישרו

But if an angel shall stand beside him to intercede, one among thousands to declare a man's innocence,

Here the use of the word yashru clearly means "his innocence" in context, since "declare" here means "bear witness to the uprightness [where it might be questioned or taken into consideration]." (If we wanted to be even more conservative, we could translate it, "his right standing," but that's mere quibbling.)

The meaning appears to be, in context, that God is not to blame for Job's 'persecution,' but that God will listen to both sides of the case against any given man, though the side for Job be one angel among thousands.

  • So the messenger from heaven is "an advocate" ala 1 John?: [1Jo 2:1-2 NLT] (1) My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. (2) He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins--and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. – Ruminator Dec 5 '19 at 11:34
  • Clearly, not every advocate mentioned in Scripture is intended to be conflated with ever other (i.e. whether it be Moses, an angel, Jesus Christ qua the offerer of the sacrifice effective for that soul, the Holy Spirit as sanctifier, etc.). – Sola Gratia Dec 5 '19 at 13:03

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