2. a wise man--which Job claims to be.
vain knowledge--Hebrew, "windy knowledge"; literally, "of wind"
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 winds
Thus here,--empty violence.
belly--the inward parts, the breast
4. fear--reverence for God
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 end.
5. The sophistry of thine own speeches proves thy guilt.
6. No pious man would utter such sentiments.
7. That is, Art thou wisdom personified? Wisdom existed before the
hills; that is, the eternal Son of God
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
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, 3; 13:2).
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
Eliphaz seems to have been himself older than Job; perhaps the other
two were also
does not refer to his three friends; it therefore forms no objection.
The Arabs are proud of fulness of years.
11. consolations--namely, the revelation which Eliphaz had stated
as a consolatory reproof to Job, and which he repeats in
secret--Hast thou some secret wisdom and source of consolation,
which makes thee disregard those suggested by me?
Rather, from a different Hebrew root, Is the word of
kindness or gentleness addressed by me treated by thee as
13. That is, frettest against God and lettest fall rashwords.
14. Eliphaz repeats the revelation
in substance, but using Job's own words (see on
on "born of a woman") to strike him with his own weapons.
15. Repeated from
"servants" there are "saints" here; namely, holy angels.
heavens--literally, or else answering to "angels"
16. filthy--in Arabic "sour"
(Ps 14:3; 53:3),
corrupted from his original purity.
17. In direct contradiction of Job's position
&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
18. Rather, "and which as handed down from their fathers, they have
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
"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
(Ge 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 end.
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
Rather (in the night of danger), "he looks anxiously towards the
sword," as if every sword was drawn against him
23. Wandereth in anxious search for bread. Famine in Old
Testament depicts sore need
Contrast the pious man's lot
knoweth--has the firmconviction. Contrast the same word applied to
(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.
25. stretcheth . . . hand--wielding the spear, as a bold rebel against
26. on his neck--rather, "with outstretched neck," namely, that of
the rebel [UMBREIT]
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
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
28. The class of wicked here described is that of robbers who plunder
"cities," and seize on the houses of the banished citizens
Eliphaz chooses this class because Job had chosen the same
29. Rather, he shall not increase his riches; he has reached his
highest point; his prosperity shall not continue.
perfection--rather, "His acquired wealth--what he possesses--shall
not be extended," &c.
30. depart--that is, escape
(Job 15:22, 23).
branches--namely, his offspring
(Job 1:18, 19;
dry up--The "flame" is the sultry wind in the East by which plants
most full of sap are suddenly shrivelled.
his mouth--that is, God's wrath
32. Literally, "it (the tree to which he is compared,
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
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
The "fire of God" that consumed Job's possessions
Eliphaz insinuates may have been on account of Job's bribery as an Arab
sheik or emir.
35. Bitter irony, illustrating the "unfruitfulness"
of the wicked. Their conceptions and birthgivings consist solely in