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As we read from Job 36:15-16, It is clear that he delivers those being afflicted, and speaks to them during oppression. Furthermore, he draws you out of distress, and puts them in a safe place with a freedom within Jesus Christ, and gives them abundance ( i.e., your table was full of fatness ). However, Job 36:17-19 is difficult to understand.

Job 36:15-19 (NASB) 15 “He delivers the afflicted in [d]their affliction, And opens their ear [e]in time of oppression. 16 “Then indeed, He enticed you from the mouth of distress, Instead of it, a broad place with no constraint; And that which was set on your table was full of [f]fatness. 17 “But you were full of judgment on the wicked; Judgment and justice take hold of you. 18 “Beware that wrath does not entice you to scoffing; And do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside. 19 “Will your [g]riches keep you from distress, Or all the forces of your strength?

Job 36:15-19 (ESV) 15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity. 16 He also allured you out of distress into a broad place where there was no cramping, and what was set on your table was full of fatness. 17 “But you are full of the judgment on the wicked; judgment and justice seize you. 18 Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing, and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside. 19 Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress, or all the force of your strength?

Job 36:15-19 New King James Version (NKJV) 15 He delivers the poor in their affliction, And opens their ears in oppression. 16 “Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress, Into a broad place where there is no restraint; And what is set on your table would be full of richness. 17 But you are filled with the judgment due the wicked; Judgment and justice take hold of you. 18 Because there is wrath, beware lest He take you away with one blow; For a large ransom would not help you avoid it. 19 Will your riches, Or all the mighty forces, Keep you from distress?

Job 36:15-19 King James Version (KJV) 15 He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression. 16 Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness. 17 But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee. 18 Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. 19 Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.

Job 36:15-19 New International Version (NIV) 15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. 16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. 17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you. 18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside. 19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?

However, Job 36:17-19 is difficult to understand. Is it saying that Job is being punished just like the wicked are being punished? Why would wrath entice anyone to scoffing? What does do Not let the greatness of ransom turn you aside?

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Remember that what we are reading is an english interpretation and it is beneficial to have several english translations in-front of the student so that simple translations eg. NIV can prepare the way for stronger or language heavy text eg. KJV.

There are two things to remember when reading Job. Who is talking? And who ever is talking-- their answer is not always what God thinks on the subject. And even if the friend of Job speaks truth, God is clear that the fullness of truth is not in their scope of being able to understand.

Notice some of the things God says later on.

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?....Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

Notice what the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

So although the friends are speaking, their words are not 100% the mind of God. Don't make doctrine on the thoughts of Job's friends, especially when they get rebuked for what they said.

Elihu in this text Job 36:3 says he is going to "fetch my knowledge from afar". And that is what we see in 15-19; a regurgitation of that knowledge.

Being later in years- I can say on several occasions that I have watched people scoffing at others getting punished. While scoffing they do not see the wrath for their own issues is just around the corner. Ahh but that is just the response to Elihu regurgitation. The text is mostly Elihu regurgitating knowledge from afar and trying to be wise in his own eyes.

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