Job 22:1-30. As Before,
1. Eliphaz shows that man's goodness does not
add to, or man's badness take from, the happiness of God; therefore it
cannot be that God sends prosperity to some and calamities on others
for His own advantage; the cause of the goods and ills sent must lie in
the men themselves (Ps 16:2; Lu 17:10; Ac 17:25; 1Ch
29:14). So Job's calamities
must arise from guilt. Eliphaz, instead of meeting the facts,
tries to show that it could not be so.
2. as he that is wise—rather, yea
the pious man profiteth himself. So "understanding" or
"wise"—pious (Da 12:3, 10; Ps 14:2) [Michaelis].
3. pleasure—accession of happiness; God
has pleasure in man's righteousness (Ps 45:7), but He is not dependent on man's
character for His happiness.
4. Is the punishment inflicted on thee from
fear of thee, in order to disarm thee? as Job had implied (see on Job 7:12; Job 7:20; and Job 10:17).
will he enter … into
judgment?—Job had desired this (Job 13:3, 21). He ought rather to have spoken
as in Ps
5. Heretofore Eliphaz had only insinuated, now
he plainly asserts Job's guilt, merely on the ground of his
6. The crimes alleged, on a harsh inference,
by Eliphaz against Job are such as he would think likely to be
committed by a rich man. The Mosaic law (Ex 22:26; De 24:10) subsequently embodied the feeling that
existed among the godly in Job's time against oppression of debtors as
to their pledges. Here the case is not quite the same; Job is charged
with taking a pledge where he had no just claim to it; and in
the second clause, that pledge (the outer garment which served the poor
as a covering by day and a bed by night) is represented as taken from
one who had not "changes of raiment" (a common constituent of wealth in
the East), but was poorly clad—"naked" (Mt 25:36; Jas
2:15); a sin the more heinous
in a rich man like Job.
7. Hospitality to the weary traveller is
regarded in the East as a primary duty (Isa 21:14).
8. mighty—Hebrew, "man of arm"
10:15; namely, Job).
or, accepted for countenance" (Isa 3:3; 2Ki 5:1); that is, possessing authority. Eliphaz
repeats his charge (Job 15:28;
so Zophar, Job 20:19),
that it was by violence Job wrung houses and lands from the poor, to
whom now he refused relief (Job 22:7, 9) [Michaelis].
9. empty—without their wants being
relieved (Ge 31:42).
The Mosaic law especially protected the widow and fatherless (Ex 22:22); the violation of it in their
case by the great is a complaint of the prophets (Isa 1:17).
arms—supports, helps, on which one
7:15). Thou hast robbed them
of their only stay. Job replies in Job 29:11-16.
10. snares—alluding to Job's admission
19:6; compare Job 18:10; Pr
11. that—so that thou.
abundance—floods. Danger by floods is
a less frequent image in this book than in the rest of the Old
Testament (Job 11:16; 27:20).
12. Eliphaz says this to prove that God can
from His height behold all things; gratuitously inferring that
Job denied it, because he denied that the wicked are punished here.
height—Hebrew, "head of the
stars"; that is, "elevation" (Job 11:8).
13. Rather, And yet thou sayest, God
does not concern Himself with ("know") human affairs (Ps 73:11).
14. in the circuit of heaven—only, not
taking any part in earthly affairs. Job is alleged as holding this
Epicurean sentiment (La 3:44;
Isa 29:15; 40:27; Jer 23:24; Eze 8:12; Ps 139:12).
15. marked—Rather, Dost thou keep
to? that is, wish to follow (so Hebrew, 2Sa 22:22). If so, beware of sharing their
the old way—the degenerate ways of the
world before the flood (Ge 6:5).
16. cut down—rather, "fettered," as in
16:8; that is, arrested by
out of time—prematurely, suddenly
(Job 15:32; Ec 7:17); literally, "whose foundation was
poured out (so as to become) a stream or flood." The solid earth passed
from beneath their feet into a flood (Ge 7:11).
17. Eliphaz designedly uses Job's own words
do for them—They think they can do
everything for themselves.
18. "Yet" you say (see on Job 21:16) that it is "He who filled their
houses with good"—"their good is not in their hand," but
comes from God.
but the counsel … is—rather,
"may the counsel be," &c. Eliphaz sarcastically quotes in
continuation Job's words (Job 21:16).
Yet, after uttering this godless sentiment, thou dost hypocritically
add, "May the counsel," &c.
19. Triumph of the pious at the fall of the
recent followers of the antediluvian sinners. While in the act of
denying that God can do them any good or harm, they are cut off by Him.
Eliphaz hereby justifies himself and the friends for their conduct to
Job: not derision of the wretched, but joy at the vindication of God's
ways (Ps 107:42; Re 15:3; 16:7; 19:1, 2).
20. The triumphant speech of the pious. If
"substance" be retained, translate, rather as the Septuagint,
"Has not their substance been taken away, and … ?" But the
Hebrew is rather, "Truly our adversary is cut down"
[Gesenius]. The same opposition exists
between the godly and ungodly seed as between the unfallen and restored
Adam and Satan (adversary); this forms the groundwork of the
book (Job 1:1-2:13; Ge 3:15).
remnant—all that "is left" of the
sinner; repeated from Job 20:26,
which makes Umbreit's rendering "glory"
(Margin), "excellency," less probable.
fire—alluding to Job (Job 1:16;
15:34; 18:15). First is
mentioned destruction by water (Job 22:16); here, by fire (2Pe 3:5-7).
21. Eliphaz takes it for granted, Job is not
yet "acquainted" with God; literally, "become a companion of
God." Turn with familiar confidence to God.
and be—So thou shalt be:
the second imperatively expresses the consequence of obeying the
peace—prosperity and restoration to
Job; true spiritually also to us (Ro 5:1; Col
22. lay up—(Ps 119:11).
23. Built up—anew, as a restored
thou shalt put away—rather, "If thou
put away" [Michaelis].
24. Rather, containing the protasis from the
last clause of Job 22:23,
"If thou regard the glittering metal as dust"; literally, "lay
it on on the dust"; to regard it of as little value as the dust on
which it lies. The apodosis is at Job 22:25, Then shall the Almighty be,
&c. God will take the place of the wealth, in which thou didst
gold—rather, "precious" or "glittering
metal," parallel to "(gold) of Ophir," in the second clause [Umbreit and Maurer].
Ophir—derived from a Hebrew
word "dust," namely, gold dust. Heeren
thinks it a general name for the rich countries of the South, on the
African, Indian, and especially the Arabian coast (where was the port
Aphar. El Ophir, too, a city of Oman, was formerly the center of
Arabian commerce). It is curious that the natives of Malacca still call
their mines Ophirs.
stones of the brooks—If thou dost let
the gold of Ophir remain in its native valley among the stones of the
brooks; that is, regard it as of little worth as the stones, &c.
The gold was washed down by mountain torrents and lodged among the
stones and sand of the valley.
Yea—rather, Then shall the
Almighty be, &c.
defence—rather, as the same
Hebrew means in Job 22:24
(see on Job 22:24)—Thy precious
metals; God will be to thee in the place of riches.
plenty of silver—rather, "And shall be
to thee in the place of laboriously-obtained treasures of
silver" [Gesenius]. Elegantly implying,
it is less labor to find God than the hidden metals; at least to the
humble seeker (Job 28:12-28). But [Maurer] "the shining silver."
26. lift up … face,
&c.—repeated from Zophar (Job 11:15).
27. (Isa 58:9, 14).
pay thy vows—which thou hast promised
to God in the event of thy prayers being heard: God will give thee
occasion to pay the former, by hearing the latter.
29. Rather, When (thy ways; from Job 22:28) are cast down (for a time), thou shalt
(soon again have joyful cause to) say, There is lifting up (prosperity
returns back to me) [Maurer].
humble—Hebrew, "him that is of
low eyes." Eliphaz implies that Job is not so now in his affliction;
therefore it continues: with this he contrasts the blessed effect of
being humble under it (Jas 4:6; 1Pe 5:5 probably quote this passage). Therefore
it is better, I think, to take the first clause as referred to by "God
resisteth the proud." When (men) are cast down, thou shalt say
(behold the effects of) pride. Eliphaz hereby justifies himself
for attributing Job's calamities to his pride. "Giveth grace to
the humble," answers to the second clause.
30. island—that is, "dwelling." But the
Hebrew expresses the negative (1Sa 4:21); translate "Thus He (God) shall deliver
him who was not guiltless," namely, one, who like Job himself on
conversion shall be saved, but not because he was, as Job so constantly
affirms of himself, guiltless, but because he humbles himself
22:29); an oblique attack on
Job, even to the last.
and it—Rather, "he (the
one not heretofore guiltless) shall be delivered through the
purity (acquired since conversion) of thy hands"; by thy intercession
18:26, &c.). [Maurer]. The irony is strikingly exhibited in
Eliphaz unconsciously uttering words which exactly answer to what
happened at last: he and the other two were "delivered" by God
accepting the intercession of Job for them (Job 42:7, 8).