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Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Job 4

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-21

Chapter 4

So Job has made his complaint, and so Eliphaz, his friend who came to comfort him, he said,

If we attempt to talk to you, will you be grieved? [But really after what you've said] who can keep silent? [He said,] Behold, you have instructed many people, you have strengthened weak hands. Your words have held up the person who was falling, and you have strengthened feeble knees. But now when it comes to you, you faint; it touches you, and you are troubled ( Job 4:3-5 ).

Uh-oh, those are nice words to hear, aren't they? From a friend who has come to comfort you in all your misery. "Well, you know, great one you are. You were counseling and lifting up others. Your words held them up and all and you were going around doing this. But now it comes to you, look what happens, man, you faint. You go under."

Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? Remember, I pray thee, what innocent man ever perished? ( Job 4:6-7 )

You see, already he's beginning to get the knife out. "Job, you're not innocent. What innocent man ever perished?" Well, let me tell you this. Many innocent men have perished. There's not really good logic to what Eliphaz is saying at all. In fact, the most innocent of all men was crucified. So there really isn't sound wisdom in what Eliphaz is saying. It's just the argumentations of men which often lack real wisdom.

Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same ( Job 4:8 ).

So Job, you're just getting what you reap, what you sowed. You're reaping it now. Those that sow iniquity and wickedness, they reap the same.

By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils they are consumed. The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken. The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion's whelps are scattered abroad ( Job 4:9-11 ).

Now, he said, he gets all mystic.

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and my ear received a little of it. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep had fallen upon men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, it made all my bones shake. A spirit passed before my face; and the hair on my flesh stood up: And it stood still, but I could not discern the form of it: an image was before my eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly ( Job 4:12-18 ):

So the guy comes off now super spiritual. Have you ever had those people come around super spiritual, you know, when you're in trouble? And you know, visions and dreams and voices of angels, and spirits and all, and this oohh thing, you know. So here is old Eliphaz, "When other men were asleep, a deep sleep in the night, the spirit passed by. I could tell it was there. I couldn't tell the form. Began to speak, you know. He charged his angels with folly."

How much less in those that dwell in houses of clay ( Job 4:19 ),

Interesting and picturesque phrase of our body, a house of clay. But in the New Testament it said, "We have a treasure in this earthen vessel" ( 2 Corinthians 4:7 ). Same thing. In this house of clay there's a fabulous treasure, for God is dwelling in this house of clay. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?" ( 1 Corinthians 3:16 ) And we have this glorious treasure, he said, in these earthen vessels. That the glory... God has put a lot of treasure in this dumb clay pot in order that the glory will always go to God, not to the clay pot. I'm just the vessel, but I have the capacity to contain the wealthiest treasure in the world, even God will dwell within my life. But it is ridiculous; it is ludicrous to put something of such great value in such a common container. Just a clay pot. But God has done it, that the glory will not be in the vessel but in the contents. Now, it is always pathetic and sad and tragic when the clay pot tries to get the glory and tries to draw attention and glory to itself, rather than to the One who dwells within doing the work. So I love this, it's very picturesque. Men who dwell in houses of clay, talking about our body.

whose foundation is the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom ( Job 4:19-21 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 4". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-4.html. 2014.
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