Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Job 36:16 – Strait into a Broad Place….

Job 36:16  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.

Read Gill’s commentary below.. This place is not to be confused with the broad way that Jesus discusses.

Mat 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Job 36:16 Gill

Even so,…. Here Elihu accommodates what he had said to the case of Job; that had he hearkened and been obedient to the voice of God in his rod, and had submitted to his chastening hand, and patiently bore his afflictions;

he, God,

would have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness: that is, out of the strait circumstances in which he was, into liberty; would have brought him into a large place, where he might walk at liberty, as David experienced, Psa 4:1; and may be understood both in a temporal and spiritual sense. In a temporal sense; he was now in great straits, in poverty and affliction; these pressed him hard on every side, so that his way, as he says, was “fenced up, that he could not pass”, Job 19:8. Now had he been rightly humbled under his affliction, God would have taken him out of the straits of adversity, and set his feet in a large room of prosperity; see Psa 31:7. In a spiritual sense; persons are as in a strait place and pent up, when they cannot come forth in the free exercise of grace and duty; their souls are as it were in prison, they are shut up, and have not freedom with God nor man; their faith is ready to fail, their hope is sunk very low, they are straitened in their own bowels or affections, in their love to God and his people: and then they are removed into a large place, when it is the reverse with them; when they are favoured with the free spirit of the Lord, for where he is there is liberty; and when their hearts are enlarged with the love of God, and in the exercise of grace; and then they can run cheerfully the ways of his commandments;

and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness; which in a temporal sense denotes, that he should have had a plentiful table, spread with the best of provisions, the richest dainties, the finest of the wheat, and the fattest of the creatures; and these should rest and remain upon his table, or be constantly renewed there: and in a spiritual sense, that his soul should have been satisfied with the love of God, shed abroad in his heart; with the blessings of the everlasting covenant of grace applied unto him; and with the goodness of the house of God, his word and ordinances, as with marrow and fatness; see Psa 63:5.

Matthew 7:13 Gill

Enter ye in at the strait gate,…. By the “strait gate” is meant Christ himself; who elsewhere calls himself “the door”, Joh 10:7 as he is into the church below, and into all the ordinances and privileges of it; as also to the Father, by whom we have access unto him, and are let into communion with him, and a participation of all the blessings of grace; yea, he is the gate of heaven, through which we have boldness to enter into the holiest of all by faith and hope now; as there will be hereafter an abundant entrance into the kingdom and glory of God, through his blood and righteousness. This is called “strait”; because faith in Christ, a profession of it, and a life and conversation agreeable to it, are attended with many afflictions, temptations, reproaches, and persecutions. “Entering” in at it is by faith, and making a profession of it: hence it follows, that faith is not the gate itself, but the grace, by which men enter in at the right door, and walk on in Christ, as they begin with him.

For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction; so that the one may be easily known from the other. There is no difficulty in finding out, or entering in at, or walking in the way of sin, which leads to eternal ruin. The gate of carnal lusts, and worldly pleasures, stands wide open,

and many there be which go in thereat; even all men in a state of nature; the way of the ungodly is “broad”, smooth, easy, and every way agreeable to the flesh; it takes in a large compass of vices, and has in it abundance of company; but its end is destruction. Our Lord seems to allude to the private and public roads, whose measures are fixed by the Jewish canons; which say (p), that

“a private way was four cubits broad, a way from city to city eight cubits, a public way sixteen cubits, and the way to the cities of refuge thirty two cubits.”

(p) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 100. 1, 2. Vid. Maimon. & R. Sampson in Misn. Peah, c. 2. sect. 1. & Maimon in Sabbat. c. 1. sect. 1.

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