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Tuesday, July 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Job 15

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Job Chapter 15

Job 15:1 "Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,"

Job 15:2 "Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?" Eliphaz was criticizing Job for his talking. He thought all of Job’s talk was in vain. He thought that God regarded it no more than He would the blowing of the wind. The east wind in that part of the world was the worst of winds.

Job 15:3 "Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?" Eliphaz was saying that Job’s talk was unprofitable. He was telling Job that all of his talk would do no good at all. He had a terrible opinion of Job. He truly felt that Job’s sins were so great, that God would not even listen to him.

Job 15:4 "Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God." He forgot that Job had asked God to take away his fear of Him. Job had spoken boldly of his belief that God would save him. Eliphaz believed that Job was not showing reverence toward God. He even believed that Job was hindering other’s prayers to God.

Job 15:5 "For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty." Eliphaz believed that Job’s tongue was speaking from a heart filled with iniquity.

Job 15:6 "Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee." Now, he was saying that the words he was speaking were condemning himself. He believed that Job had been acting in an irreverent way in speaking to God. Job was in very good company being accused of sinning with what he said. They accused Jesus of speaking blasphemy, and therefore worthy of death. How wrong they were, and how wrong Eliphaz was here.

Job 15:7 "[Art] thou the first man [that] was born? or wast thou made before the hills?" He was accusing Job of believing that he had supernatural intelligence. He was also asking Job if he was the firstborn of God? In other words, He was saying, are you trying to compare yourself to God.

Job 15:8 "Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?" No mortal man had ever been included in the counsel of God, and yet, that was what Eliphaz was saying that Job believed he had done. He was really saying cutting things to Job, especially when he said that Job thought he was the only wise man on the earth.

Job 15:9 "What knowest thou, that we know not? [what] understandest thou, which [is] not in us?"

Job 15:10 "With us [are] both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father." This is the first indication that Job was not an extremely elderly man, even though he had 10 children. It appeared that one of Job’s friends was as old as Job’s father. It, probably, would have been Eliphaz, because he always spoke first. Old age is not always what makes a person wise, however. Wisdom is a gift from God. God gave great wisdom to Solomon, when he was very young.

Job 15:11 "[Are] the consolations of God small with thee? Is there any secret thing with thee?" Eliphaz was still saying that he and the other two friends had offered a solution to Job. He should repent of his sins and seek the LORD with all his heart and then, perhaps, God would stop the punishment against him.

Job 15:12 "Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at," He said that Job was winking at the sins he committed. His heart had convinced him he was not guilty.

Job 15:13 "That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest [such] words go out of thy mouth?" Eliphaz was saying that Job was rebellious toward God and was too proud to admit his sins. Of course, this was not true. Job had asked God to tell him what his sins were, so that he could repent.

Job 15:14 "What [is] man, that he should be clean? and [he which is] born of a woman, that he should be righteous?" This is the same message, that those who are trying to live holy before their Lord get today. They are accused of trying to work their way to heaven. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Those who try to live as near holy lives as they can, are appreciative of the free gift of salvation God has given them. Their holy lives are trying to be like Him. This was the same thing with Job, here. Eliphaz was saying it was impossible for man to live a righteous life. Job had done his best to do just that.

Job 15:15 "Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight." There is not anyone except God that is without spot or blemish in God’s eye. It is by grace, we are saved. The angels in heaven are not absolutely perfect either. We know that 1/3 of them left their first estate and followed Lucifer.

Job 15:16 "How much more abominable and filthy [is] man, which drinketh iniquity like water?" Eliphaz was saying that if even the heavens, and the angels in heaven were not clean, the earth and its inhabitants were filthy. They were filled with iniquity.

Job 15:17 "I will shew thee, hear me; and that [which] I have seen I will declare;"

Job 15:18 "Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid [it]:" These were the beginning verses of things that Eliphaz believed he had observed during his lifetime. He said that even the wise men of old and the fathers had warned their children of the punishment that came to those who sin. He was speaking this as an attack on Job. He said these thing were not secret.

Job 15:19 "Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them." This helps to date Job as a very ancient writing. He was speaking of a time, when there were very few men upon the earth. There were no wars. Each man was given his plot of ground by God.

Job 15:20 "The wicked man travaileth with pain all [his] days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor." Now, he was beginning to list the terrible things that come to those who sin. He was most assuredly slanting this toward Job, who he believed to be a sinner. He was speaking as if all sinners suffer all the days of their lives, which is really not a correct statement. Many sinners are not punished on this earth.

Job 15:21 "A dreadful sound [is] in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him." This was really saying that he was fearful at every sound, thinking harm might come to him.

Job 15:22 "He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword." He was afraid of the dark, because he felt someone was lurking in the dark to kill him.

Job 15:23 "He wandereth abroad for bread, [saying], Where [is it]? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand." This was speaking of starvation coming to those who had sinned. The day of darkness, in this particular instance, was the day of death. He was threatening Job, that he would starve to death.

Job 15:24 "Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle." Eliphaz was speaking specifically of the troubles of Job in this verse. He believed that Job’s troubles were like the troubles a vicious king brought when he overthrew a country.

Job 15:25 "For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty." This was another accusation that Job had threatened God. He said that Job thought he was stronger than God. This was a terrible untruth. Job 15:26 "He runneth upon him, [even] on [his] neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:"

Job 15:27 "Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on [his] flanks." This was a statement that Job had run against God like a charging warrior. He would have his head down running straight ahead. I personally believe that Eliphaz had gone too far. In verse 27, he was even calling Job a glutton.

Job 15:28 "And he dwelleth in desolate cities, [and] in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps." None of this had made this man anything. He lived in a ruined state. Again, Eliphaz was referring to Job’s children’s homes, which were destroyed by the storm.

Job 15:29 "He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth." Surely the riches of Job had been taken away, and that was what Eliphaz was stressing, here. Eliphaz had been jealous of all of the blessings that God had bestowed upon Job. It seems, he was a little thrilled that Job had lost it all now.

Job 15:30 "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." The branches were speaking of Job’s children who had been destroyed. He was trying to say that the dark day, that began with the loss of Job’s children, would continue.

Job 15:31 "Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence." He was saying that Job had deceived himself in thinking that he was in right standing with God. He believed that Job’s pride was his downfall.

Job 15:32 "It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green." Eliphaz was saying that death would come to Job before his natural time, because of his sins. He would be an old man long before his time from his disease.

Job 15:33 "He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive." Blight will cause a vine to do what is described here. Eliphaz was not speaking of a vine, but of Job. He was saying there was a blight in the character of Job.

Job 15:34 "For the congregation of hypocrites [shall be] desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery." He believed that Job had to be a hypocrite. Job had proclaimed his great faith in God. Eliphaz said, he did not really love God and want to serve him, it was just a front. He was now accusing Job of taking bribes.

Job 15:35 "They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit." Eliphaz had a very low opinion of Job. He had decided that Job’s heart was evil. That all of his iniquity was conceived in his evil heart. He would have a lot of regrets when he found out the truth about Job.

Job 15 Questions

1. Should a wise man utter vain _____________?

2. What was Eliphaz criticizing Job for?

3. He thought that God regarded it no more than He would the __________ of the wind.

4. Eliphaz was saying that Job’s talk was _____________.

5. What had he forgotten, when he made his statement against Job in Job 15:4?

6. Where did Eliphaz believe the evil words in Job’s mouth were coming from?

7. What did he say condemned Job?

8. What silly question did he ask Job in Job 15:7?

9. Hast thou heard the _________ of God?

10. What was one of the most cutting things he said to Job?

11. What was the first indication that Job was not an elderly man?

12. How many children did Job have?

13. Who was, probably, the oldest of Job’s friends?

14. What was the solution Job’s friends had offered?

15. Eliphaz said that Job was rebellious toward God and too ___________ to admit his sins.

16. Quote Job 15:14.

17. What, or who, are without spot or blemish?

18. How many of the angels followed Lucifer?

19. Which verse helps to date Job as a very early writing?

20. Why is the sinner afraid of the dark?

21. Job 15:25 was an accusation that Job had ________ God.

22. What was Eliphaz referring to in Job 15:28?

23. Job 15:29 speaks of Job losing his ___________.

24. Eliphaz said that Job had deceived himself, how?

25. In verse 32, he was saying that Job will not grow ______.

26. What did he call Job in Job 15:34?

27. What would happen to Eliphaz at the end?

Verses 1-6

Job 15:1-6


Job 15


It is the conviction of this writer that the speech of this old hypocrite Eliphaz is merely the ostentatious declamation of an arrogant ignoramus, absolutely worthless and unworthy of any special attention.

On the basis of his false theological axiom that God metes out, during this present lifetime, the just reward of every man, blessing the righteous and heaping on the punishments on the wicked. Eliphaz proceeded, in effect, to preach Job’s funeral. Jehovah himself addressed Eliphaz and the other friends of Job, saying, "Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right" (Job 42:7); and this is reason enough for avoiding any detailed analysis of this cruel and inconsiderate speech.

What he said was unkind, brutal, cruel, inaccurate, conceited, arrogant and without any redeeming quality whatever. It was merely another bitter experience for Job, serving no other purpose than that of Satan, namely, trying in vain to force Job from his integrity.

Job 15:1-6


"Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,

Should a wise man make answer with vain knowledge,

And fill himself with the east wind?

Should he reason with unprofitable talk,

Or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?

Yea, thou doest away with fear,

And hinderest (diminishes) devotion before God.

For thine iniquity teacheth thy mouth,

And thou chooseth the tongue of the crafty.

Yea, thine own lips testify against thee."

Job had just enunciated some of the greatest and most significant theological truths ever revealed from God, namely, the resurrection of the dead, and the forgiveness of sins; but such truth was lost on Eliphaz. Blinded by what he thought he knew, but didn’t, he made light of Job’s speech. Satan must have rejoiced at having so skillful a servant in his evil attack upon Job.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 15:1-2. The "friend" who first spoke to Job took his turn again. Let not the reader expect much new material in this speech. When a man holds to a false theory he can think of very little to say that even looks as if it belonged to the subject. In this paragraph Eliphaz merely accused Job of being a windy declaimer.

Job 15:3-4. In addition to accusing Job of using vain talk, he charged him with being unwilling to pray which we all know to have been a false accusation.

Job 15:5-6. About the only comment that should be made on this paragraph is that it is a bundle of false accusations.

Verses 7-16

Job 15:7-16

Job 15:7-16


"Art thou the first man that was born?

Or wast thou brought forth before the hills?

Hast thou heard the secret counsel of God?

Or dost thou limit wisdom to thy self?

What knowest thou that we know not?

What understandest thou that is not known in us?

With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men,

Much elder than thy father.

Are the consolations of God too small for thee,

Even the word that is gentle toward thee?

Why doth thy heart carry thee away?

And why do thine eyes flash,

That against God thou turnest thy spirit,

And lettest words go out of thy mouth?

What is man, that he should be clean?

And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Behold, he putteth no trust in his holy ones;

Yea the heavens are not clean in his sight:

How much less one that is abominable and corrupt,

A man that drinketh iniquity like water!"

Eliphaz claimed that all of the aged men approved of their judgment and condemnation of Job as a gross sinner, implying that the whole population of the area concurred in their evil appraisal of the situation; and he was very probably correct in that allegation.

Satan here had succeeded in the complete isolation of Job from every possibility of any human support. And how had he been able to do that? It all stemmed from that evil proverb: GOD ALWAYS DEALS (IN THIS LIFE) WITH EVERY MAN EXACTLY AS HE DESERVES. THE GOOD GET RICH; THE EVIL SUFFER. A lie has always been the principal weapon in the arsenal of the devil. Satan is the Father of Lies; and it was with a lie that he seduced and destroyed our Progenitors in Eden.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 15:7-8. This verse intimates that Job had claimed to possess all knowledge, and that he ranked far above all other men. Even a glance at the speeches of Job that we have heard so far will deny the charge.

Job 15:9-10. Job had not said that the friends were without knowledge. They had stated much truth and he did not deny it. All that he did claim was that the things they knew and stated had nothing to do with the case. That is what he meant in Job 6:25 when he asked, "what doth your arguing reprove" [prove].

Job 15:11. No, the consolations of God were not small with Job. In fact, they were the only ones he counted on for these friends were offering him none.

Job 15:12-13. Heart carry thee away was his way of saying that Job was beside himself and saying things that he did not realize.

Job 15:14. This was an implied false accusation. Job never claimed to be innocent, but that his afflictions were not a special punishment.

Job 15:15. This might be said to be true for 2 Peter 2:4 says that angels do sin.

Job 15:16. Men as well as angels will be treated according to their conduct. Job has been teaching the same thing all through the controversy.

Verses 17-35

Job 15:17-35

Job 15:17-35


"I will show thee, hear thou me;

And that which I have seen I will declare

(Which wise men have told

From their fathers, and have not hid it;

Unto whom alone the land was given,

And no stranger passed among them):

The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days,

Even the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor.

A sound of terror is in his ears;

In prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.

He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness,

And he is waited for of the sword.

He wandereth abroad for bread, saying,

Where is it?

He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Distress and anguish make him afraid;

They prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.

Because he hath stretched out his hand against God,

And behaveth himself proudly (biddeth defiance to) against the Almighty.

He runneth upon him with a stiff neck,

With the thick bosses of his bucklers;

Because he hath covered his face with his fatness,

And gathered fat upon his loins;

And he hath dwelt in desolate cities,

In houses which no man inhabited,

Which were ready to become heaps;

He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue,

Neither shall their possessions be extended .... on the earth.

He shall not depart out of the darkness;

The flame shall dry up his branches,

And by the breath of God’s mouth shall he go away.

Let him not trust in vanity, deceiving himself;

For vanity shall be his recompense.

It shall be accomplished before his time,

And his branch shall not be green.

He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine,

And shall cast off his flower as the olive tree

For the company of the godless shall be barren,

And fire shall consume the tents of bribery.

They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity,

And their heart prepareth deceit."

The discerning reader will not overlook Eliphaz’ strategy in this evil speech. In effect, he preached Job’s funeral, mentioning all the things he could think of that would tie his description of the wicked to what had already happened to Job. The implied prophecies were that Job would never be rich (Job 15:20), that he would soon die (Job 15:30; Job 15:32). etc. These prophecies, of course, were never fulfilled. Note particularly Job 15:21 in which Eliphaz explained that God’s judgment would fall upon the wicked in the time of his "prosperity," exactly as it had happened to Job. A dozen other such brutal insinuations may be detected in this shameful tirade against Job.

We are delighted to skip any further attention to this crooked speech, although a fantastic instrument of the devil it surely was!

E.M. Zerr:

Job 15:17-19. Eliphaz pretended that he was about to impart some great and new truths to Job; we shall see what they were if he had any to tell.

Job 15:20. But they turned out to be untrue, for wicked men are as free from pain as any other class of human individuals.

Job 15:21-23. This again was not true to the facts. The wicked man has frequently been among the most prosperous of the creatures of the earth.

Job 15:24. Instead of the unrighteous one being afraid, he is boastful and feels prepared to do as he pleases in spite of all opposition, human or divine.

Job 15:25. The wicked person stretches out his hand against God, it is true, but he has clothed himself with a feeling of security that will finally prove vain.

Job 15:26. He (the wicked man) runneth upon him (God). It represents a wicked human being making a charge upon God as if he were a warrior’s steed decorated with flashy ornaments and indications of strength and accomplishments.

Job 15:27. This is an exaggerated description of a prosperous person who is puffed up by his own sense of importance.

Job 15:28. This wicked man is so powerful that he can overcome the disadvantages of cities that had fallen to decay and ready to be heaped in ruins.

Job 15:29-30. Eliphaz wanted to impress Job concerning his own threatened downfall by describing the failure of this wicked one.

Job 15:31. This was good advice but entirely off of the subject being discussed.

Job 15:32. Before his time means the defeat of the wicked will come prematurely.

Job 15:33. Shake off unripe grape has the same meaning of prematurity as the italicized words in the preceding verse.

Job 15:34-35. This paragraph and most of the ones preceding in this chapter stated much truth. However, it was truth already known to Job and was taught by him. But it was all outside of the subject that was supposed to be under consideration.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 15". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-15.html.
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