The Berean Expositor
Volume 42 - Page 190 of 259
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Neither Paul nor his fellow ministers were `substitutes', they spoke `on the behalf of'
(huper) Christ. As a Mediator Christ is `on behalf' both of God and man, not a substitute
for God and man, although He is a substitute for sinful man as the sacrifice for sin "He
was made sin for us Who knew no sin".
"I also am formed out of the clay." Here the frailty of human nature is intended.
Eliphaz contrasts `angels' with them that dwell `in house of clay, whose foundation is in
the dust, which are crushed before the moth' (Job 4: 19).
Job also refers to the frailty of this mortal body saying:
"Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about . . . . . Thou hast
made me of clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?" (Job 9: 8, 9).
In all there are seven occurrences of the word chomer in the book of Job translated
either `clay' or `mire', four of which refer to the lowly origin of man.
Elihu in the type of the mediator assured job of his essential manhood, even as Paul at
a later date, and with fuller light, spoke of "The One Mediator . . . the Man, Christ Jesus".
Elihu places his natural human frailty over against the `terror' induced by the Presence of
God apart from mediation. In the passage where Job complained that there was no
`daysman' or `mediator' he added:
"Let Him take His rod away from me, and let not His fear terrify me: then would I
speak, and not fear Him; but it is not so with me" (Job 9: 33-35).
Here the word that is translated `terror' in Job 33: 7 is rendered `fear'. In
Job 13: 21 it is translated `dread' and in a similar context:
"Who is he that will plead with me? . . . . . Withdraw Thine hand far from me; and let
not Thy dread make me afraid; then call Thou, and I will answer; or let me speak, and
answer Thou me" (Job 13: 19-22).
The R.V. reads "Neither shall my pressure be heavy upon thee" instead of `my hand'
as in the A.V.
Ekeph is `a burden', `to put a load on a beast (of burden), so to bend, to make a bow
down' and has an Arabic equivalent that means to tie, to bind on a pack saddle. It is
allied with the Hebrew kaph which means `the palm of the hand', rarely the whole hand,
hence the idea again of pressure. It is this word that is found in Job 13: 21.
Elihu says much to illuminate the necessary qualifications of a Mediator between God
and men, but only fulfilled these qualifications in the measure of a type or shadow. None
but Emmanuel "God with us" could lay His hands upon `both', nevertheless as surely as
Job knew that His Kinsman-Redeemer lived, so surely does Elihu exemplify in His
ministry and teach in his doctrine the need that all men have of Christ in His central
capacity as "The One Mediator".