Eliphaz' Conclusion from the Vision.
1. if there be any, &c.—Rather,
"will He (God) reply to thee?" Job, after the revelation just given,
cannot be so presumptuous as to think God or any of the holy ones
4:17, "angels") round His
throne, will vouchsafe a reply (a judicial expression) to his
2. wrath … envy—fretful and
passionate complaints, such as Eliphaz charged Job with (Job 4:5; so Pr 14:30). Not, the wrath of God killeth
the foolish, and His envy, &c.
3. the foolish—the wicked. I have seen
the sinner spread his "root" wide in prosperity, yet circumstances
"suddenly" occurred which gave occasion for his once prosperous
dwelling being "cursed" as desolate (Ps 37:35, 36; Jer 17:8).
4. His children … crushed in the
gate—A judicial formula. The gate was the place of judgment
and of other public proceedings (Ps 127:5; Pr
22:22; Ge 23:10; De 21:19).
Such propylæa have been found in the Assyrian remains. Eliphaz
obliquely alludes to the calamity which cut off Job's children.
5. even out of the thorns—Even when part
of the grain remains hanging on the thorn bushes (or, "is growing among
13:7), the hungry gleaner
does not grudge the trouble of even taking it away, so clean swept away
is the harvest of the wicked.
the robber—as the Sabeans, who robbed
Job. Rather, translate "the thirsty," as the antithesis in the
parallelism, "the hungry," proves.
6. Although—rather, "for truly" [Umbreit].
affliction cometh not forth of the
dust—like a weed, of its own accord. Eliphaz hints that the
cause of it lay with Job himself.
7. Yet—rather, "Truly," or, But
affliction does not come from chance, but is the appointment of God for
sin; that is, the original birth-sin of man. Eliphaz passes from the
particular sin and consequent suffering of Job to the universal sin and
suffering of mankind. Troubles spring from man's common sin by as
necessary a law of natural consequences as sparks (Hebrew, "sons
of coal") fly upward. Troubles are many and fiery, as sparks (1Pe
4:12; Isa 43:2). Umbreit for "sparks" has "birds of prey;" literally,
"sons of lightning," not so well.
8. Therefore (as affliction is ordered by God,
on account of sin), "I would" have you to "seek unto God" (Isa
8:19; Am 5:8; Jer 5:24).
11. Connected with Job 5:9. His "unsearchable" dealings are with a
view to raise the humble and abase the proud (Lu 1:52). Therefore Job ought to turn humbly to
12. enterprise—literally, "realization."
The Hebrew combines in the one word the two ideas, wisdom and
happiness, "enduring existence" being the etymological and
philosophical root of the combined notion [Umbreit].
13. Paul (1Co 3:19) quoted this clause with the formula
establishing its inspiration, "it is written." He cites the exact
Hebrew words, not as he usually does the Septuagint,
Greek version (Ps 9:15).
Haman was hanged on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai (Es 5:14; 7:10).
the wise—that is, "the cunning."
is carried headlong—Their scheme is
precipitated before it is ripe.
14. Judicial blindness often is sent upon keen
men of the world (De 28:29; Isa 59:10; Joh 9:39).
15. "From the sword" which proceedeth "from
their mouth" (Ps 59:7; 57:4).
16. the poor hath hope—of the
interposition of God.
iniquity stoppeth her mouth—(Ps 107:42; Mic 7:9, 10; Isa 52:15). Especially at the last day, through
shame (Jude 15; Mt 22:12). The "mouth" was the offender (Job 5:15), and the mouth shall then be
stopped (Isa 25:8) at
17. happy—not that the actual suffering
is joyous; but the consideration of the righteousness of Him who
sends it, and the end for which it is sent, make it a cause for
thankfulness, not for complaints, such as Job had uttered (Heb 12:11). Eliphaz implies that the end in this
case is to call back Job from the particular sin of which he takes for
granted that Job is guilty. Paul seems to allude to this passage in
12:5; so Jas 1:12; Pr
3:12. Eliphaz does not give
due prominence to this truth, but rather to Job's sin. It is
Elihu alone (Job 32:1-37:24) who fully dwells upon the truth, that
affliction is mercy and justice in disguise, for the good of the
18. he maketh sore, and bindeth
up—(De 32:39; Ho 6:1; 1Sa 2:6). An image from binding up a wound. The
healing art consisted much at that time in external applications.
19. in six … yea, in seven—(Pr 6:16; Am
1:3). The Hebrew idiom
fixes on a certain number (here "six"), in order to call attention as
to a thing of importance; then increases the force by adding, with a
"yea, nay seven," the next higher number; here "seven," the sacred and
perfect number. In all possible troubles; not merely in the
precise number "seven."
20. power—(Jer 5:12). Hebrew, "hands."
of the sword—(Eze 35:5, Margin). Hands are given to the
sword personified as a living agent.
21. (Ps 31:20; Jer 18:18). Smite (Psalm 73. 9).
22. famine thou shalt laugh—Not, in
spite of destruction and famine, which is true (Hab 3:17, 18), though not the truth
meant by Eliphaz, but because those calamities shall not come upon
thee. A different Hebrew word from that in Job 5:20; there, famine in general; here,
the languid state of those wanting proper nutriment [Barnes].
23. in league with the stones of the
field—They shall not hurt the fertility of thy soil; nor the
wild beasts thy fruits; spoken in Arabia-Deserta, where stones
abounded. Arabia, derived from Arabah—a desert
plain. The first clause of this verse answers to the first clause of
5:22; and the last of this
verse to the last of that verse. The full realization of this is yet
future (Isa 65:23, 25; Ho 2:18).
24. know—"Thou shalt rest in the
assurance, that thine habitation is the abode of peace; and (if) thou
numberest thine herd, thine expectations prove not fallacious" [Umbreit]. "Sin" does not agree with the
context. The Hebrew word—"to miss" a mark, said of archers
20:16). The Hebrew for
"habitation" primarily means "the fold for cattle"; and for "visit,"
often to "take an account of, to number." "Peace" is the common Eastern
salutation; including inward and outward prosperity.
25. as the grass—(Ps 72:16). Properly, "herb-bearing seed" (Ge 1:11,
26. in a full age—So "full of days"
(Job 42:17; Ge 35:29). Not mere length of years, but ripeness
for death, one's inward and outward full development not being
prematurely cut short, is denoted (Isa 65:22).
Thou shalt come—not literally, but
expressing willingness to die. Eliphaz speaks from the Old Testament
point of view, which made full years a reward of the righteous (Ps
91:16; Ex 20:12), and
premature death the lot of the wicked (Ps 55:23). The righteous are immortal till their
work is done. To keep them longer would be to render them less fit to
die. God takes them at their best (Isa 57:1). The good are compared to wheat (Mt 13:30).
cometh in—literally, "ascends." The
corn is lifted up off the earth and carried home; so the good man "is
raised into the heap of sheaves" [Umbreit].
27. searched it … for thy
good—literally, "for thyself" (Ps 111:2; Pr 2:4; 9:12).