¶ Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
.2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?
3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?
.4 Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.
man A challenge to Job's statements jb1202,
Eliphaz begins his speeches with a question.
Vain knowledge Literally "knowledge of wind." Perhaps a response to Job's statement at jb0626.
East wind From the desert – considered as the worst kind. See ge4106, ge4123, je1817, ez1710, ez1912, ez2726, ho1315.
Fear Or "reverence." See his attitude at jb1303-22.
Restrainest prayer Or "... You discourage sincere meditation [on the part of those who see you]."
| 5 For thy mouth uttereth thine
iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.
6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.
.7 Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?
.8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?
8 Have you heard the counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself? (NKJV)
| 5 -
From the same root as for the word "subtil" in ge0301.
6 - Mouth condemneth The same drew accusation for Jesus mt2665.
7 - Art thou the first? This is a harsh challenge. More are coming. Such criticism vents the feelings of the speaker but only deepens his hatred and is not redemptive. On "before the hills" compare ps09002.
8 - Secret From sod meaning "council" or "group gathered for discussion." Ironically, neither Job nor his friends knew of the sod where God had authorized this test for Job jb0106. The word is translated "assembly" in je0611, je1517, ez1309, and "counsel" in je2318,22.
8 - Restrain wisdom Compare Job's charge jb1202.
| 9 What knowest thou, that
we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?
10 With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.
.11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?
us He wants Job to think that all the wise people are with him
and the other two friends, not with Job.
Consolations He implies that Job was too proud to accept their advice about how to repent and get right with God. See jb0518, jb0820, jb1113.
Secret thing Literally "gentle word." His advice.
| 12 Why doth thine heart carry
thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,
13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?
14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
at From razam. The word appears nowhere else in the Bible.
In this verse it is parallel with "heart." Eliphaz accuses Job of, at least,
being distracted from what he considers as Job's duty.
Lettest ... words He accuses Job of being proud and blasphemous.
Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean
in his sight.
.16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
No trust in ... saints Literally "holy ones." The idea we get
is that God does not trust even angels. Compare jude14.
Eliphaz argues that everything is corrupt before God. This is not supported
by Scripture 1pe0115.
We do not attain the perfection of God but may be perfect in our sphere.
Filthy From 'alach. See on ps01403.
Drinketh iniquity See on pr1928.
¶ I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;
18 Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it:
19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.
|19 - Alone ... given ... no stranger "Eliphaz speaks like a genuine Arab when he boasts that his ancestors had ever possessed the land unmixed with foreigners. . . . His words are intended to oppose Job's (Job 9:24); 'the earth' in their case was not 'given into the hand of the wicked.'" (JFB Commentary) For Eliphaz, Job apparently wasn't of pure race or attitude. See ac1726.|
The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years
is hidden to the oppressor.
21 A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.
22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.
23 He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
- In prosperity the destroyer Eliphaz continues his effort
to frighten Job into compliance.
Beginning with verse 17, we see a description of the terrible things that are predicted for Job.
| 24 Trouble and anguish shall
make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the
25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty.
|24 - Make him afraid A prediction that Job will fear is coming punishment.|
| 26 He runneth upon him, even
on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:
27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.
28 And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.
- Or "running
stubbornly against Him With his strong, embossed shield."
27 - Fatness A sign of prosperity.
28 - Desolate cities Condemned by God. de1316, jos0626, 1ki1634.
28 - Houses Compare le1446.
| 29 He shall not be rich, neither
shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof
upon the earth.
30 He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.
|29 - He shall not be rich Continuing the description of Job pictured as "the wicked man" in verse 20.|
| 31 Let not him that is deceived
trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.
32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.
33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.
|31 - Trust in vanity Eliphaz's view of Job's words.|
| 34 For the congregation of
hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of
35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.