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Eliphaz, checks Job for his complaints of God, ver. 1 - 4.
Charges miseries on his sins, ver, 5 - 14.
Compares his case to that of the old world, ver. 15 - 20.
Assures him, that if he would return to God, he would shew him mercy,
ver. 21 - 30.
2: Can, &c. - Why dost thou insist so much upon thy own
righteousness, as if thou didst oblige God by it.
3: Is it - Such a pleasure as he needs for his own ease and
contentment. Nay, God needs not us, or our services. We are undone,
forever undone without him: but he is happy, forever happy without
4: Reprove - Punish thee. Because he is afraid, lest if he should
let thee alone, thou wouldst grow too great and powerful for him: surely
no. As thy righteousness cannot profit him, so thy wickedness can do him
5: Evil - Is not thy evil, thy affliction, are not thy calamities
procured by, and proportionable to thy sins.
6: Surely - He speaks thus by way of strong presumption, when I
consider thy unusual calamities, I conclude thou art guilty of all,
or some of these crimes. Brother - Of thy neighbour. Nought - Without
sufficient and justifiable cause. Stripped - By taking their garment
for a pledge, or by robbing them of their rights, all other injuries
being comprehended under this.
8: Dwelt - Either by thy sentence or permission, he had a peaceable
and sure possession of it, whether he had right to it, or no.
9: Arms - Their supports, and rights.
11: Or - Either thou art troubled with fear of further evils
or with the gross darkness of thy present state of misery.
Waters - Variety of sore afflictions, which are frequently compared to
12: Heaven - And from that high tower looketh down upon men, to
behold, and govern, and recompense all their actions, whether good
or bad. How high - Yet God is far higher than they, and from thence
can easily see all things.
14: Walketh - His delight is in heaven, which is worthy of his care,
but he will not burden himself with the care of earth: which was the
opinion of many Heathen philosophers, and, as they fancied, was
Job's opinion also.
15: Old way - Heb. the way of antiquity, of men living in ancient
times, their end or success.
16: Out of - Before their time. A flood - Who, together with their
foundation, the earth and all their supports and enjoyments in it,
were destroyed by the general deluge.
17: Who - He repeats Job's words, (Job 21:14,15), but to a
contrary purpose. Job alleged them to shew that they prospered
notwithstanding their wickedness; and Eliphaz produces them to
shew that they were cut off for it.
18: Yet - Yet it is true, that for a time God did prosper them, but
at last, cut them off in a tremendous manner, But - He repeals Job's
words, (Job 21:16), not without reflection: thou didst say so, but
against thy own principle, that God carries himself indifferently
towards good and bad; but I who have observed God's terrible judgments
upon wicked men, have much more reason to abhor their counsels.
20: Because - Because when wicked men are destroyed, they are
preserved. He should have said their substance; but he changes the
person, and saith, our substance; either as including himself in the
member of righteous persons, and thereby intimating that he pleaded
the common cause of all such, while Job pleaded the cause of the
wicked, or because he would hereby thankfully acknowledge some eminent
and particular preservation given to him amongst other righteous men.
Remnant - All that was left undestroyed in the general calamity.
Fire - Sodom and Gomorrah. As if he had said, thou mayest find
here and there an instance, of a wicked man dying in peace.
But what is that to the two great instances of the final perdition of
ungodly men, the drowning the whole world, and the burning of Sodom
21: Him - With God, renew thy acquaintance with God by prayer, and
repentance for all thy sins, and true humiliation under his hand, and
hearty compliance with all his commands, and diligent care to serve and
enjoy him. It is our honour, that we are made capable of this acquaintance,
our misery that by sin we have lost it; our privilege, that through Christ
we may return to it; and our unspeakable advantage, to renew and cultivate
it. And be at peace - At peace with God, and at peace with thyself, not
fretful or uneasy. Good shall come unto thee - All the good thou canst
desire, temporal, spiritual, eternal.
22: Receive - Take the rule whereby thou governest thy thoughts, and
words, and whole life, not from thy own imaginations or passions, but
from God, from his law, which is written in thy own mind, and from the
doctrines and instructions of the holy men of God. And do not only hear
them with thine ears, but let them sink into thy heart.
23: If - The Hebrew phrase is emphatical, and implies a thorough
turning from sin, to God, so as to love him, and cleave to him, and
sincerely devote a man's self to his fear and service. Built - God will
repair thy ruins, and give thee more children, and bless thee with
prosperity. Thou shalt - It is either,
- a spiritual promise, if thou dost sincerely repent, God will
give the grace effectually to reform thyself and family: or,
- a temporal promise, thou shalt put away iniquity, or the
punishment of thy sins; as iniquity is very often used: far
from thy tabernacles; from all thy dwellings, and tents, and
26: Lift up - Look up to him, with chearfulness and confidence.
27: Make - The word is, thou shalt multiply thy prayer. Under
all thy burdens, in all thy wants, cares and fears, thou shalt send
to heaven for wisdom, strength and comfort. Pay - Thou shalt obtain
those blessings for which thou didst make vows to God, and therefore,
according to thy obligation, shalt pay thy vows to him.
28: Established - Thy purposes shalt not be disappointed, but
ratified by God. And in all thy counsels, and actions, God shall
give thee the light of his direction and governance, and of comfort
29: Cast down - All round about thee, in a time of general calamity.
There is - God will deliver thee. He - God.
30: He, &c. - God will have so great a respect to thy innocency, that
for thy sake he will deliver those that belong to thee, or live with thee,
or near thee, thought in themselves they be ripe for destruction.
Their hands - By thy prayers proceeding from a pure heart and conscience.
So Eliphaz and his two friends, who in this matter were not innocent,
were delivered by the pureness of Job's hands, (Job 42:8).