New Defender's Study Bible Notes
33:6 in God’s stead. Job had longed for a “daysman” to mediate between himself and God. Now Elihu presumptuously claims to be such a mediator.
33:6 formed. Elihu condescendingly admits that he, like Adam, had been formed from the ground, even though his words (as he claimed) were constrained by “the spirit within me” (Job 32:18). He also compared his origin to that of Adam by noting that “the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).
33:23 messenger. The Hebrew for “messenger” is the usual word for “angel.” Some have interpreted this as a Messianic prophecy, with the “angel” and the “one among a thousand” being prophetic of the coming Messiah, who would provide the needed “ransom.” In context, however, it seems clear that the arrogant young Elihu is making these claims for himself.
33:23 interpreter. This is not the usual word for an interpreter of the meanings of dreams or other revelations. It is more commonly translated as “mocker”—a type of interpretation perhaps appropriate for Elihu, but hardly for the Messiah.
33:24 ransom. This is the word for “atonement” or “covering.” Elihu is promising Job forgiveness and restoration if he will only confess his sins. However, he says nothing at all about the real ransom, or atonement—namely, the shed blood of an innocent substitute. He was presenting himself as the inspired messenger, but hardly as the substitutionary sacrifice!
33:33 teach thee wisdom. The prideful arrogance of Elihu is almost incredible. Pride is the devil’s sin (I Timothy 3:6; Isaiah 14:13-14), so Elihu’s attitude betrays the origin of his counsel.