Far be it from God - Rather, Wickedness, far be that from God; and from iniquity, the Almighty. The sense is sufficiently evident without the paraphrase in our version.
Therefore hearken unto me - Elihu proceeds now to reply to what he regarded as the erroneous sentiments of Job, and to show the impropriety of language which reflected so much on God and his government. Instead, however, of meeting the facts in the case, and showing how the actual course of events could be reconciled with justice, he resolves it all into a matter of sovereignty, and maintains that it is wrong to doubt the rectitude of the dealings of one so mighty as God. In this he pursues the same course substantially which the friends of Job had done, and does little more to solve the real difficulties in the case than they had. The facts to which Job had referred are scarcely adverted to; the perplexing questions are still unsolved, and the amount of all that Elihu says is, that God is a sovereign, and that there must be an improper spirit when people presume to pronounce on his dealings.
Ye men of understanding - Margin, as in Hebrew men of “heart.” The word heart is used here as it was uniformly among the Hebrews; the Jewish view of physiology being that the heart was the seat of all the mental operations. They never speak of the head as the seat of the intellect, as we do. The meaning here is, that Elihu regarded them as sages, qualified to comprehend and appreciate the truth on the subject under discussion.
Far be it from God - Hebrew חלילה châlı̂ylâh - “profane, unholy.” It is an expression of abhorrence, as if the thing proposed were profane or unholy: 1 Samuel 20:2; Genesis 18:25; Joshua 24:16. The meaning here is, that the very idea that God would do wrong, or could patronize iniquity, was a profane conception, and was not to be tolerated for a moment. This is true enough, and in this general sentiment, no doubt, Job would himself have concurred.