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Eliphaz reproves Job for justifying himself, ver. 1 - 13.
Persuades him to humble himself before God, ver. 14 - 16.
Describes the misery of wicked men, ver. 17 - 35.
2: Fill - Satisfy his mind and conscience. East wind - With
discourses not only unprofitable, but also pernicious both to
himself and others; as the east - wind was in those parts.
4: Castest off - Heb. thou makes void fear; the fear of God,
piety and religion, by thy unworthy speeches of God, and by those
false and pernicious principles, that God makes no difference between
good and bad in the course of his providence, but equally prospers
or afflicts both: thou dost that which tends to the subversion of the
fear and worship of God. Restrainest prayer - Thou dost by thy words and
principles, as far as in thee lies, banish prayer out of the world, by
making it useless and unprofitable to men.
5: Uttereth - Thy words discover the naughtiness of thy heart.
Crafty - Thou speakest wickedly, and craftily: thou coverest thy
impious principles with fair pretences of piety.
11: Are - Are those comforts, which we have propounded to thee on
condition of thy repentance, small and contemptible in thine eyes?
Secret - Hast thou any secret and peculiar way of comfort which is unknown
to us, and to all other men?
12: Why - Why dost thou suffer thyself to be transported by the
pride of thine heart, to use such unworthy expressions? Wink - Why dost
thou look with such an angry, supercilious, and disdainful look?
13: Against God - Eliphaz here does in effect give the cause on
Satan's side, and affirms that Job had done as he said he would,
Curse God to his face.
15: Saints - In his angels, (Job 4:18), who are called his
saints or holy ones, (De 33:2,Ps 103:20). Who though they
were created holy, yet many of them fell. Heavens - The angels that
dwell in heaven; heaven being put for its inhabitants. None of these
are pure, simply and perfectly, and comparatively to God. The angels
are pure from corruption, but not from imperfection.
16: Who - Who besides his natural proneness to sin, has contracted
habits of sinning; and sins as freely, as greedily and delightfully,
as men, especially in those hot countries, drink up water.
17: I - I will prove what I have affirmed, that such strokes as
thine are peculiar to hypocrites. Seen - I speak not by hear - say, but
from my own experience.
18: Hid - They judged it to be so certain and important a truth,
that they would not conceal it in their own breasts.
19: To whom - By the gracious gift of God: this he alleges to make
their testimony more considerable, because these were no obscure men,
but the most worthy and famous men in their ages; and to confute what
Job had said, (Job 9:24),
that the earth was given into the hand of the wicked. By the earth
he means the dominion and possession of it. Stranger - No person of a
strange nation and disposition, or religion. Passed - Through their land,
so as to disturb, or spoil them, as the Sabeans and Chaldeans did
thee. God watched over those holy men so, that no enemy could invade
them; and so he would have done over thee, if thou hadst been such an one.
20: Pain - Lives a life of care, and fear, and grief, by reason of
God's wrath, the torments of his own mind, and his outward calamities.
Hidden - He knows not how short the time of his life is, and therefore
lives in continual fear of losing it. Oppressor - To the wicked man: he
names this one sort of them, because he supposed Job to be guilty of
this sin, in opposition of what Job had affirmed of the safety of such
persons, (Job 12:6), and because such are apt to promise themselves a
longer and happier life than other men.
21: A sound - Even when he feels no evil, he is tormented with
perpetual fears. Come upon him - Suddenly and unexpectedly.
22: Believeth not - When he falls into trouble, he despairs of
deliverance, by reason of his guilty conscience. Waited for - Besides
the calamity which is upon him, he is in constant expectation of greater;
the sword is used for any grievous affliction.
23: Knoweth - From his own guilty conscience.
25: For - Now he gives the reason of all the fore - mentioned
calamities, which was his great wickedness. Against God - He sinned
against God with an high hand. The Almighty - Which aggravates the
madness of this poor worm that durst fight against the omnipotent God.
26: He - The wicked man. Neck - As a stout warrior who cometh
close to his adversary and grapples with him. He acts in flat
opposition to God, both to his precepts and providences.
Bosses - Even where his enemy is strongest.
27: Because - This is mentioned as the reason of his insolent
carriage towards God, because he was fat, rich, potent, and successful,
as that expression signifies, (De 32:15,Ps 78:31,Jer 46:21).
His great prosperity made him proud and secure, and regardless of God
and men. Fat - His only care is to pamper himself.
28: But - This is fitly opposed to the prosperity last mentioned,
and is the beginning of the description of his misery.
29: Substance - What he had gotten shall be taken from him.
30: Depart - His misery shall have no end. Flame - God's anger
and judgment upon him. Branches - His wealth, and power, and glory,
wherewith he was encompassed, as trees are with their branches.
His mouth - And this expression intimates, with how much ease God
subdueth his enemies: his word, his blast; one act of his will is
sufficient. Go - Heb. go back: that is, run away from God faster than
he ran upon him, ver.(26). So it is a continuation of the former
metaphor of a conflict between two persons.
31: Vanity - In the vain and deceitful things of this world, he
subjoins a general caution to all men to take heed of running into the
same error and mischief. Vanity - Disappointment and dissatisfaction,
and the loss of all his imaginary felicity. Recompence - Heb. his
exchange; he shall exchange one vanity for another, a pleasing vanity
for a vexatious vanity.
32: Accomplished - That vanity should be his recompence.
Before - When by the course of nature, and common providence
he might have continued much longer.