Job 15:1-35. Second Speech
2. a wise man—which Job claims to
vain knowledge—Hebrew, "windy
knowledge"; literally, "of wind" (Job 8:2). In Ec 1:14, Hebrew, "to catch wind,"
expresses to strive for what is vain.
east wind—stronger than the previous
"wind," for in that region the east wind is the most destructive of
27:8). Thus here,—empty
belly—the inward parts, the breast
4. fear—reverence for God (Job 4:6; Ps
prayer—meditation, in Ps 104:34; so devotion. If thy views were
right, reasons Eliphaz, that God disregards the afflictions of the
righteous and makes the wicked to prosper, all devotion would be at an
5. The sophistry of thine own speeches proves
6. No pious man would utter such
7. That is, Art thou wisdom personified?
Wisdom existed before the hills; that is, the eternal Son of God (Pr 8:25;
Ps 90:2). Wast thou in
existence before Adam? The farther back one existed, the nearer he was
to the Eternal Wisdom.
8. secret—rather, "Wast thou a listener
in the secret council of God?" The Hebrew means properly
the cushions of a divan on which counsellors in the East usually
sit. God's servants are admitted to God's secrets (Ps
25:14; Ge 18:17; Joh 15:15).
restrain—Rather, didst thou take away,
or borrow, thence (namely, from the divine secret council) thy
wisdom? Eliphaz in this (Job 15:8, 9) retorts Job's words upon himself (Job 12:2,
9. in us—or, "with us," Hebraism for "we
are aware of."
10. On our side, thinking with us are the
aged. Job had admitted that wisdom is with them (Job 12:12). Eliphaz seems to have been himself
older than Job; perhaps the other two were also (Job 32:6). Job, in Job 30:1, does not refer to his three friends; it
therefore forms no objection. The Arabs are proud of fulness of
11. consolations—namely, the revelation
which Eliphaz had stated as a consolatory reproof to Job, and which he
repeats in Job 15:14.
secret—Hast thou some secret
wisdom and source of consolation, which makes thee disregard those
suggested by me? (Job 15:8).
Rather, from a different Hebrew root, Is the word of
kindness or gentleness addressed by me treated by thee as
12. wink—that is, why do thy eyes
evince pride? (Pr 6:13; Ps 35:19).
13. That is, frettest against God and lettest
fall rash words.
14. Eliphaz repeats the revelation (Job 4:17) in substance, but using Job's own
words (see on Job 14:1, on "born of a woman") to
strike him with his own weapons.
15. Repeated from Job 4:18; "servants" there are "saints" here;
namely, holy angels.
heavens—literally, or else answering
to "angels" (see on Job 4:18, and Job 25:5).
16. filthy—in Arabic "sour"
14:3; 53:3), corrupted from
his original purity.
17. In direct contradiction of Job's position
12:6, &c.), that the lot
of the wicked was the most prosperous here, Eliphaz appeals (1) to his
own experience, (2) to the wisdom of the ancients.
18. Rather, "and which as handed down from
their fathers, they have not concealed."
19. Eliphaz speaks like a genuine Arab when he
boasts that his ancestors had ever possessed the land unmixed with
foreigners [Umbreit]. His words are
intended to oppose Job's (Job 9:24);
"the earth" in their case was not "given into the hand of the
wicked." He refers to the division of the earth by divine appointment
10:5; 25:32). Also he may
insinuate that Job's sentiments had been corrupted from original purity
by his vicinity to the Sabeans and Chaldeans [Rosenmuller].
20. travaileth—rather, "trembleth of
himself," though there is no real danger [Umbreit].
and the number of his years,
&c.—This gives the reason why the wicked man trembles
continually; namely, because he knows not the moment when his life must
21. An evil conscience conceives alarm at
every sudden sound, though it be in a time of peace ("prosperity"),
when there is no real danger (Le 26:36; Pr 28:1; 2Ki
22. darkness—namely, danger or calamity.
Glancing at Job, who despaired of restoration: in contrast to good men
when in darkness (Mic 7:8, 9).
waited for of—that is, He is destined
for the sword [Gesenius]. Rather (in the
night of danger), "he looks anxiously towards the sword," as if
every sword was drawn against him [Umbreit].
23. Wandereth in anxious search for
bread. Famine in Old Testament depicts sore need (Isa 5:13). Contrast the pious man's lot (Job
knoweth—has the firm conviction.
Contrast the same word applied to the pious (Job 5:24, 25).
ready at his hand—an Arabic
phrase to denote a thing's complete readiness and full presence,
as if in the hand.
24. prevail—break upon him suddenly and
terribly, as a king, &c. (Pr 6:11).
25. stretcheth … hand—wielding the
spear, as a bold rebel against God (Job 9:4; Isa 27:4).
26. on his neck—rather, "with
outstretched neck," namely, that of the rebel [Umbreit] (Ps 75:5).
upon … bucklers—rather,
"with—his (the rebel's, not God's) bucklers." The rebel
and his fellows are depicted as joining shields together, to form a
compact covering over their heads against the weapons hurled on them
from a fortress [Umbreit and Gesenius].
27. The well-nourished body of the rebel is
the sign of his prosperity.
collops—masses of fat. He pampers and
fattens himself with sensual indulgences; hence his rebellion against
God (De 32:15; 1Sa 2:29).
28. The class of wicked here described is that
of robbers who plunder "cities," and seize on the houses of the
banished citizens (Isa 13:20).
Eliphaz chooses this class because Job had chosen the same (Job 12:6).
29. Rather, he shall not increase his
riches; he has reached his highest point; his prosperity shall not
acquired wealth—what he possesses—shall not be
30. depart—that is, escape (Job 15:22, 23).
branches—namely, his offspring (Job
1:18, 19; Ps 37:35).
dry up—The "flame" is the sultry wind
in the East by which plants most full of sap are suddenly
his mouth—that is, God's wrath (Isa 11:4).
31. Rather, "let him not trust in vanity or he
will be deceived," &c.
vanity—that which is unsubstantial.
Sin is its own punishment (Pr 1:31; Jer 2:19).
32. Literally, "it (the tree to which
he is compared, Job 15:30,
or else his life) shall not be filled up in its time"; that is,
"he shall be ended before his time."
shall not be green—image from a
withered tree; the childless extinction of the wicked.
33. Images of incompleteness. The loss of the
unripe grapes is poetically made the vine tree's own act, in order to
express more pointedly that the sinner's ruin is the fruit of his own
conduct (Isa 3:11; Jer 6:19).
34. Rather, The binding together of the
hypocrites (wicked) shall be fruitless [Umbreit].
tabernacles of bribery—namely,
dwellings of unjust judges, often reprobated in the Old Testament
1:23). The "fire of God" that
consumed Job's possessions (Job 1:16)
Eliphaz insinuates may have been on account of Job's bribery as an Arab
sheik or emir.
35. Bitter irony, illustrating the
"unfruitfulness" (Job 15:34)
of the wicked. Their conceptions and birthgivings consist solely in
mischief, &c. (Isa 33:11).