| 1 ¶ Then Eliphaz the
Temanite answered and said,
.2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?
4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?
| 1 -
He spoke in jb04 and jb15.
Here he assumes Job is wicked toward other people.
2 - Can a man be profitable ...? This is the first of four questions which are considered a syllogism: major premise, major premise, minor premise, conclusion. The verses are 2, 3, 4, and 5.
3 - Is it any pleasure to the Almighty? God is incorrectly pictured as impersonal and uninterested in humans. Compare jn1627.
¶ Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?
.6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
.8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it.
9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
| 5 -
wickedness Eliphaz begins judging Job.
6 - Taken a pledge Job is pictured as unfair ne0507, ex2226.
7 - Water to the weary A basic expectation. See pr2521, is2114.
8 - Mighty man Literally "man of arm." Arms symbolize power ps01015, ps08913, ez0321. A contrast is implied. Job's loss of power and wealth is apparently considered evidence of his supposed selfishness.
| 10 Therefore snares are round
about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;
11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.
12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
.13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?
13 - "Yet you say, What does God know?
Does he judge through such darkness? (NIV)
.14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
10 - Sudden fear See jb0714, jb1321.
11 - Darkness ... not see Job is pictured as confused. Bildad had raised this idea and Job knew his weakness jb1908, jb2317.
11 - Waters Indicating calamity jb2720, ps04207, ps06901,2, is4302, la0354. Perhaps picturing the confusion of the armies of Pharaoh as the water begins to return to its place in the sea ex1423-28.
13 - How doth God Know? See ps01011, ps03311, ps07311, ps09407, is2915, ez0812.
14 - Circuit See on is4022.
¶ Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?
.16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:
17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.
20 Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.
- Hast thou ... old? Literally, "Wilt thou keep the old way?"
Eliphaz assumes that Job is wicked as in verse 13.
16,17 - Cut down ... time ... Apparently a reference to the wicked who died in the global flood. They had claimed not to need God mt2439. Job had spoken of the wealthy wicked this way jb2114.
18 - Filled houses Wealth comes fro God.
19 - Righteous see ... glad Are they glad? "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)." (JFB).
¶ Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall
come unto thee.
22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.
23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.
25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.
26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.
27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.
28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
- Acquaint thyself with him Eliphaz appeals to Job to turn
from wickedness not knowing or finding out Job really was wicked. On "peace"
22 - Receive ... law The Torah (books of Moses).
23 - Tabernacles "The Hebrew phrase is emphatical, and implies a thorough turning from sin, to God, so as to love him, and cleave to him..." (John Wesley's Notes). Compare jb1114.
24 - Gold as dust Apparently a reference to wealth.
25 - Defence From beser which is translated "gold" in the previous verse.
27 - Prayer ... he shall hear The argument is that Job would feel close to God if he would repent (although not guilty).
| 29 When men are cast down,
then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble
30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.
- Save the humble See mt2312.
30 - Island From i. which is also used as a negative participle making the text read, "He delivers the innocent man; you will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands." (RSV)