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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Job 5

Dunagan's Commentary on the BibleDunagan's Commentary

Verse 1

5:1 "Call now, is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn?"

Eliphaz contends that there is no one who can defend or protect Job, certainly not the holy ones or angels (4:18).

Verse 2

5:2 "For anger slays the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple": Eliphaz may have been interpreting Job's lament in chapter three as being the anger of a foolish man and as a simple man's jealousy.

Verse 3

5:3-5 "I have seen the foolish taking root, and I cursed his abode immediately": He now speaks of a fool he had known who had prospered ("taken root") for a while, and yet he was suddenly cursed. "The unrighteous often strike deep into the earth their strange roots. Prosperity is thus effectively presented by an analogy with a vigorously growing tree" (Strauss pp. 45-46).

Verse 4

5:4 "His sons are far from safety": Here he is pouring salt into Job's open wounds by basically blaming Job for the death of his children. The problem with his argument is the misconception that because a fool meets disaster, all that meet disaster must be fools. "Sympathy will not be a major preoccupation of anyone who believes that prosperity is proof of God's blessings" (Strauss p. 46).

Verse 5

Verse 6

5:6 "For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground": The source of the troubles does not come from the ground but from within the man.

Verse 7

5:7 "For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upwards": "Man is born for trouble as certainly as flames from an open fire fly upwards. Eliphaz's view that man by his sin brings trouble on himself, though a partial truth, overlooks Jesus' statement that a falling tower may kill people who were no more sinful than the survivors (Luke 13:4)" (Zuck p. 34).

Verse 8

5:8 "But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God": From the context this does not appear to be an encouragement to seek God for comfort, but rather to repent. "If I were in your shoes I would.."

Verse 9

5:9-16 Job is encouraged to seek God because God is powerful and majestic, benevolent, and encourages and helps the downcast, frustrates the shrewd, and delivers the poor and helpless. This advice is not wrong in itself, for God indeed does all these things, the problem is assuming that Job has sinned deliberately and needs to repent.

Verse 13

5:13 "He captures the wise by their own shrewdness": "The image of total confusion which ensnares the crafty (Deut. 28:29; Isaiah 19:14; 59:10)" (Strauss p. 48). This is the only verse quoted directly from the book of Job in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 3:19). The person who seeks success or victory without regard to morality will often become caught in their own traps.

Verse 17

5:17 "Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty": What he says is often true, God does discipline His people (Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5ff), the problem is that this man believes that all suffering is always divine punishment.

Verse 18

5:18-26 The idea in this section is that if Job will confess and repent, God will bless him with healing, deliverance from famine, war, slander, violence, wild beasts, good crops, security, numerous descendants, health, and long life. 5:23 "In league with the stones of the field": That is, they will not hinder Job from sowing his crops. 5:26 "Like the stacking of grain in its season": "Coming to the grave in full vigor, beautifully pictures a life lived to the full and ready to be ended" (Zuck p. 35).

Verse 27

5:27 "Behold this; we have investigated it, and so it is. Hear it, and know for yourself": He smugly ends his first speech. "He seemed to have said, 'I have the truth, so you might as well face up to it, and act accordingly'" (Zuck p. 35).

Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 5". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dun/job-5.html. 1999-2014.
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