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Bible Commentaries
Job 22

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Job Chapter 22

Job 22:1 "Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,"

Job 22:2 "Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?" Eliphaz had begun another ruthless attack of Job. God does not look to man to profit Him in any way. Man has nothing that is worthy of giving God, except his love and faithfulness.

Job 22:3 "[Is it] any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or [is it] gain [to him], that thou makest thy ways perfect?" Job’s friend was insinuating that Job was depending on his own righteousness. He thought that Job wanted to be perfect to assist God. This had never been what Job had said, or even implied. Job knew the righteousness that he had, had been given to him by God. He knew that he was not perfect, but redeemed. He stated in chapter 19, that his Redeemer liveth.

Job 22:4 "Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?" Eliphaz would not accept the fact that anyone would suffer the things that Job had suffered, if it was not a reproof from God for the evil he had done. He kept on telling Job that this suffering was a judgement on him from God.

Job 22:5 "[Is] not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?" The answer to that is no. Job’s wickedness was not great. In fact, quite the opposite. Many ministries today try to relate problems Christians are having with sins in their lives. This book proves beyond a shadow of doubt, that problems that come to Christians are not always because of sin. Sometimes, Satan is afraid of the good example the Christian is leading in their community, and tries to stop him, before he wins others to Christ by example.

Job 22:6 "For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing." This had to be a custom of the land long before the law of Moses was given. A person could hardly afford to pledge his clothing, which kept his body from the harsh temperatures he lived in. Of course, this was a lie. Job had not done this. Human decency, besides the teachings of God, would not allow a person to do such a thing.

Job 22:7 "Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry." Eliphaz had thought up some of the most evil things he could think of, and that was what he accused Job of. Of course, his accusations were untrue

Job 22:8 "But [as for] the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it." Job was being accused, here, of being a respecter of persons. Eliphaz was, also, calling Job the mighty man. Much of what he said to Job was from his jealousy.

Job 22:9 "Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken." We will find, of all the accusations that Eliphaz made, Job would find the sending of the widows away was the most offensive to him. He had done exactly the opposite. The last of that was an accusation that he made the fatherless even more weak than they had been. Perhaps, Eliphaz was judging Job on his own failures.

Job 22:10 "Therefore snares [are] round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;"

Job 22:11 "Or darkness, [that] thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee." Job did fear God, but not for the reasons Eliphaz mentioned. Job feared that he might have unknowingly displeased God. It did seem as if Job was living in darkness, and was covered over with water from his tears. This darkness was brought on by Satan, and not God.

Job 22:12 "[Is] not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!" Yes, God is in the high heaven, but he is everywhere. He is omnipresent. He is everywhere all at the same time.

Job 22:13 "And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?" Job was fully aware that God knew everything that happened in the darkest place. He was not trying to hide his sins. He knew it would have been impossible to hide them from God, even if he had something to hide, which he did not.

Job 22:14 "Thick clouds [are] a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven." This is just not true. God is spoken of as the "All Seeing Eye". There is no darkness great enough to hide from God. The Light of God can penetrate the darkest place. Eliphaz was making a lot of untrue statements.

Job 22:15 "Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?" Eliphaz was accusing Job of walking on that wide path that evil men in the past had walked. He believed Job would walk there to his own destruction.

Job 22:16 "Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:" There are two flood marks around the world, that speak of two catastrophic floods. This Scripture alone, would not date Job after the flood of Noah. We do know that in the time of Noah, the wicked were judged of God, and God repented that he had made them. Noah was the only one God spoke of as finding favor in His eyes. His family of 8 including him were the only survivors of that flood.

Job 22:17 "Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?" This was a question of the evil men, and certainly had not been asked by Job.

Job 22:18 "Yet he filled their houses with good [things]: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me." Eliphaz was trying to prove he knew God, as well as Job. True, it was God that filled their houses with good things, because all good gifts come down from heaven from God.

Job 22:19 "The righteous see [it], and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn." The righteous see the wicked prosper in this life. They had better enjoy their earthly pleasures, because if they do not change, they will not have pleasure after the death of their bodies.

Job 22:20 "Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth." In the end, the fire would consume the wicked.

Job 22:21 "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." Eliphaz had been accusing Job of sins that he had not committed. He, now, changed his pace a little, and tried once more, to get Job to repent, and perhaps, God would remove these calamities from him.

Job 22:22 "Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart." This was speaking of the law of God. This speaks of the spoken Word of God, because it came from His mouth. The following Scriptures are the exact thing that Eilphaz was trying to say. Psalms 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Job had already done this.

Job 22:23 "If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles." Eliphaz, and Job’s other two friends, were all convinced that Job was out of fellowship with God. Eliphaz believed that Job could still return to 103 the LORD God Almighty, if he would. He did not realize that Job had not left God.

Job 22:24 "Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks." Eliphaz was teaching that prosperity automatically went with being in right standing with God. Eliphaz might have thought that was important, if he came to God. Job was not caught up in things of this world, and that was not important to him. He came to God, because he worshipped Him, not as a get rich quick scheme.

Job 22:25 "Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver." Silver, in the spiritual sense, means redemption. The Almighty does redeem all who will dare to believe. He will be our very present help in trouble. It does not automatically bring good times to serve God, however.

Job 22:26 "For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God." He was telling Job to put his trust in the Almighty and all of his problems would be over. There was just one thing that was unusual about that. Job had already put his trust in the Almighty. This was not an attack from the LORD, but was from Satan.

Job 22:27 "Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows." Again, Eliphaz, was sure that Job had not prayed. He was assured that Job had promised God, and then did not follow through with his vows.

Job 22:28 "Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways." We must still remember, that this was Eliphaz speaking. He still related being in right standing, with God with having everything going right in your life. We mentioned earlier, if things are going right in your life, it could mean that you are no threat to Satan. In verse 28, above, Eliphaz had gone so far as to say, that if Job would get right with God, anything he spoke with his mouth would happen. The last part of this is true. The Light of God does shine on those who are His. He shines that Light in good times, and in bad.

Job 22:29 "When [men] are cast down, then thou shalt say, [There is] lifting up; and he shall save the humble person." When a person was cast down and Job prayed and asked God to lift him up, he would be lifted up, was what this Scripture was saying. In all of the Bible studies, we have discussed how we must examine who is speaking, and to whom he is speaking, before we decide whether that Scripture is doctrine for all, or not. This friend was saying, in a sense, that Job would be lifted up, because of Eliphaz’s position with God. We will find this was not true at all.

Job 22:30 "He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands." God will sometime, deliver the island of the innocent. Again, this is not automatic. In a sense, Eliphaz was prophesying that Job’s prayers to God would deliver Eliphaz. At this point, Eliphaz did not realize he had done wrong, so he did not say this on purpose.

Job 22 Questions

1. God does not look to man to ________ Him.

2. The only thing man has to give to God, is his ________ and his ____________.

3. What was Job’s friend insinuating in Job 22:3?

4. What did Job know about himself, that was the opposite of what Eliphaz said?

5. What did Eliphaz keep on telling Job about the problems he was having?

6. How do many ministries today remind us of what Eliphaz is doing to Job here?

7. What 2 sins did Eliphaz specifically mention in Job 22:6?

8. Had Job really done this?

9. What 2 additional sins did he mention in Job 22:7?

10. Who was the mighty man, in Job 22:8, supposed to be?

11. Which of the accusations that Eliphaz made were the most offensive to Job?

12. Job did fear God, but not for the __________ Eliphaz mentioned.

13. The darkness that seemed to surround Job was from __________ and not from _______.

14. Where did Eliphaz say that God is?

15. What does omnipresent mean?

16. Can God judge through the dark cloud?

17. _________ ________ are a covering to Him.

18. Where did Eliphaz believe that God walked?

19. What did Eliphaz believe about the path that Job was walking? 20. Why does the author say that the flood, in Job 22:16, is not necessarily speaking of the flood of Noah?

21. Who survived Noah’s flood?

22. The question, in Job 22:17, was of ________ men.

23. In Job 22:18, Eliphaz was trying to prove what?

24. The righteous see the ________ prosper, and that discourages them.

25. In the end, the ________ would consume the wicked.

26. What suggestion was Eliphaz making to Job in Job 22:21-22.

27. What did Eliphaz promise Job, if he would repent?

28. In Job 22:24, Eliphaz was speaking that _________ automatically went with being in right standing with God.

29. What does "silver" mean spiritually?

30. What was Eliphaz saying in Job 22:29?

31. What did Eliphaz say prophetically unknowingly?

Verses 1-3

Job 22:1-3

Introduction

Job 22

THE THIRD SPEECH OF ELIPHAZ:

HIS FALSE CHARGES ACCUSING JOB OF SPECIFIC SINS

"The only thing new in this speech of Eliphaz was the list of specific sins he charged him with committing." In this evil speech, "We have the most brutal, the most harsh, and the most unjust words spoken against Job in the whole book." Satan’s malicious campaign against Job is about to fail, and this accounts for the increased savagery and injustice of his attacks through his instruments, the alleged friends of Job. Not for one moment can we agree with Blair that, "What Eliphaz said, in the main, was good." How can a Christian writer refer to the malicious lies which Eliphaz uttered against Job’s character as `good,’ with no evidence or support whatever, except the prompting of his own evil imagination, - how can any of that be `good.’?

"It was one of the unhappinesses of Job, as is the case with many an honest man, to be misunderstood by his friends." "The lamentable fact is that the friends endorsed Satan’s view of Job as a hypocrite. Thinking to defend God, they became Satan’s advocates, insisting that he (Job) whom God designated as his servant, actually belonged to the devil!"

"The second cycle of these dialogues had practically exhausted all the real arguments."[6] And in the third cycle that begins here, only Eliphaz tried to clinch the discussion by his barrage of shameful sins with which he shamelessly charged Job. Bildad replied with what some have called "a short ode," and Zophar apparently withdrew from the contest.

Job 22:1-3

THE IRRELEVANT PRELUDE TO ELIPHAZ’ SPEECH

"Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,

Can a man be profitable unto God?

Surely he that is wise is profitable unto himself.

Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous?

Or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect?"

Rawlinson referred to these lines as "irrelevant"; but actually, there was a terribly wicked thrust in these words. "Eliphaz here thinks that it is for man’s sake alone that God created him," and that God laid out the rules, which if a man follows them, he shall be happy and prosperous, and that if he does not follow them, illness, misfortune and destruction shall be his portion.

That view expressed here by Eliphaz completely ignores God’s love of mankind (John 3:16), the passionate desire of God Himself that man should love his Creator (Mark 12:30), and the joy in heaven over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:7). It is impossible to imagine a more evil proposition than the one Eliphaz advocated here.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 22:1-2. Eliphaz was the first speaker of the three "friends." He is now about to make his third and last speech to Job. The position will not be changed, but he will repeat many of the assertions that have already been made. He asked if a man could be as profitable to God as to himself. Any one would answer it with a negative but that would not touch the question at hand.

Job 22:3. It is of no advantage to God to have a man live a righteous life. This is the teaching of Eliphaz and all people will agree with him, Job not excepted. That is, the Lord would not be personally benefited by the righteousness of man and it is not for that purpose; it is for the benefit of man’s soul.

Verses 4-11

Job 22:4-11

Job 22:4-11

THAT LIST OF SPECIFIC SINS WHICH ELIPHAZ CHARGED TO JOB

"Is it for thy fear of him that he reproveth thee,

That he entereth with thee into judgment?

Is not thy wickedness great?

Neither is there any end to thine iniquities.

For thou hast taken pledges of thy brother for naught,

And stripped the naked of their clothing.

Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink,

And thou hast witholden bread from the hungry.

And as for the mighty man, he had the earth:

And the honorable man, he dwelt in it.

Thou hast sent widows away empty,

And the arms of the fatherless have been broken.

Therefore snares are round about thee,

And sudden fear troubleth thee,

Or darkness, so that thou canst not see,

And abundance of waters cover thee."

Eliphaz here was sailing through the wicked imaginations of his own heart. Job was guilty of none of these things. The envy and hatred he had for the former estate of Job as a mighty man of wealth and power appear here in the specifics of these imagined sins of Job. They were precisely the things that were usually charged against the rich by those who were envious of them or hated them.

"Thou hast taken pledges of thy brother for naught" (Job 22:6). "The law required that a garment taken as a pledge had to be returned before sundown (Deuteronomy 24:10-13)."

"The mighty man, he had the earth" (Job 22:8) "This is an oblique reference to Job as an arrogant land-grabber who dispossessed his weaker neighbors."

"Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee" (Job 22:1). "The very things that Bildad had predicted concerning the wicked in a general sense (Job 18:8-11) were here applied specifically to Job."[ The thrust of the words of Eliphaz here was the blunt allegation that, you are getting exactly the punishment that your inhuman sins deserve.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 22:4-5. God will not argue with man in order to get him to do right, yet Job ought to repent of his wickedness.

Job 22:6-10. Since Job denied being guilty of any specific sin, Eliphaz named a number of them as suggestions in hope that he would admit them.

Job 22:11-14. Eliphaz implied that Job was making his claim of innocence because he did not really know how great and wise the Lord is.

Verses 12-16

Job 22:12-16

Job 22:12-16

ELIPHAZ WARNS: JOB CANNOT HIDE HIS SINS FROM GOD

"Is not God in the height of heaven?

And behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

And thou sayest, What doth God know?

Can he judge through the thick darkness?

Thick clouds are a covering to him, so that he seeth not;

And he walketh on the vault of heaven.

Wilt thou keep the old way

Which wicked men have trodden?

Who were snatched away before their time,

Whose foundation was poured out as a stream."

Eliphaz parades himself as a mind-reader in this passage. He charges that Job thinks that God is so high and far away that he cannot see Job’s sins, and that God cannot see what Job did on cloudy days.

"Wilt thou keep the old way which wicked men have trodden" (Job 22:15)? Such unfeeling, ignorant and insulting words must have been particularly obnoxious to Job.

"Whose foundation was poured out as a stream" (Job 22:16). Our American Standard Version translators evidently missed it here. Foundations cannot be `poured out’ because they are not liquids. The KJV has, "Whose foundation was overflown with a flood"; and the RSV has, "Their foundation was washed away." Kline, DeHoff and Driver interpreted this as a reference to the flood; and Driver gave the literal meaning as, "The foundations of whose houses were carried away by the Deluge." However, Pope disputed this interpretation, stating that, "Many interpreters incorrectly take this line to refer to the Flood; but the thought is only of the sudden destruction of the wicked, exactly as in Jesus’s parable (Matthew 7:26)." Pope himself is in error here, because Eliphaz was not referring to some local flood, but to the destruction of wicked men walking in the "way of old" (Job 22:15), which is clearly a reference to some specific event of great antiquity. In all the editions which we have consulted, the marginal references list Genesis 6:5; Genesis 6:13; Genesis 6:17 as shedding light on what is written here. These, of course, refer to the Deluge.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 22:11-14. Eliphaz implied that Job was making his claim of innocence because he did not really know how great and wise the Lord is.

Job 22:15-17. Job was asked to recall the experiences of wicked men who had lived before him and profit thereby.

Verses 17-20

Job 22:17-20

Job 22:17-20

A CLUMSY EFFORT TO REPLY TO JOB’S WORDS IN Job 21:14

"Who said unto God, Depart from us;

And what can the Almighty do for us?

Yet he filled their houses with good things:

But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

The righteous see it, and are glad;

And the innocent laugh them to scorn,

Saying, Surely they that did rise up against us are cut off,

And the remnant of them the fire hath consumed."

"Who said unto God, Depart from us, etc." (Job 22:18). Eliphaz in this and the following verse quoted the words Job had spoken in Job 21:14-16. This is an elaborate and clumsy effort of Eliphaz to turn Job’s own words against himself. Job had said that the wicked who said such things prospered; but Eliphaz here asserted that the generation which was lost in the Deluge had said exactly the same thing. He thus contradicted Job, saying, "On the contrary, it is those who come to ruin who have dismissed God." It should be noted here that what Eliphaz attributed to the ante-diluvian generation was his own personal invention, as the Scriptures do not confirm the words he attributed to them.

It is tiresome to this writer, the manner in which so many make excuses for Eliphaz and Job’s other friends. They were not merely mistaken; they were not free of guilt in their treatment of Job; they were not true and honest; THEY WERE SINNERS; ENGAGED IN SATAN’S WORK! This is a necessary deduction from the fact that God Himself ordered them to bring sacrifices and seek the prayers of Job that they might be forgiven (See Job 42).

"The righteous see it, and are glad" (Job 22:19). This is by far the nastiest thing any of his friends said. Driver gave the meaning here as, "The righteous see the fate which habitually befalls the wicked, and are glad.”

This was Eliphaz’ declaration that he and Bildad and Zophar were happy to see Job reaping what he sowed, getting what he deserved, having his sins exposed, and his hypocrisy revealed!

Eliphaz ended with his plea for Job to confess his wickedness, and repent of it, assuring him, guilty as he was, that God would deliver him if he would only clean up his dirty and sinful hands.

We find it impossible to view this as any kind and thoughtful remonstrance on the part of Eliphaz. Having thrust a dagger into Job’s heart with his sinful accusations against him, he here twisted it in these final words.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 22:15-17. Job was asked to recall the experiences of wicked men who had lived before him and profit thereby.

Job 22:18-21. Again Job was bidden to take a lesson from the experiences of the generations who lived before him.

Verses 21-30

Job 22:21-30

Job 22:21-30

"Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace:

Thereby good shall come unto thee.

Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth,

And lay up his words in thy heart.

If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up,

If thou put away unrighteousness far from thy tents.

And lay thou thy treasure in the dust,

And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.

And the Almighty will be thy treasure,

And precious silver unto thee.

For then shalt thou delight thyself in the Almighty,

And shalt lift up thy face unto God.

Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he will hear thee;

And thou shalt pay thy vows.

Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee;

And light shall shine upon thy ways.

When they cast thee down, thou shalt say,

There is lifting up;

And the humble person he will save.

He will deliver even him that is not innocent:

Yea, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of thy hands."

This final shot from Eliphaz was loaded with the most slanderous insinuations against Job. Exactly as some rabble-rouser will preach "non violence," in such a manner as to cause violence, Eliphaz pretended to be talking about repentance, forgiveness and blessings, but what he was really doing was heaping charge after charge upon the head of Job.

Job 22:21 stated that Job did not know God.

Job 22:22 stated that Job rejected God’s law.

Job 22:23 stated that he had left God, and that he dwelt in unrighteousness.

Job 22:24 stated that gold was his treasure.

Job 22:25 implied that he loved silver, not God.

Job 22:26 stated that he did not delight in God.

Job 22:27 stated that his prayers were not heard, and that he was not paying his vows.

Job 22:28 stated that Job was in darkness.

Job 22:29 stated that he was soon to be cast down.

Job 22:30 stated that Job was not innocent, and that his dirty hands needed cleaning!

May God deliver all of us from that kind of "consolation" and "comforting" from our friends!

E.M. Zerr:

Job 22:18-21. Again Job was bidden to take a lesson from the experiences of the generations who lived before him.

Job 22:22-23. Eliphaz came directly to his old theory and exhorted Job to repent.

Job 22:24-30. This whole paragraph is on the same line. If Job would acknowledge his sins and make amends then the Lord would abundantly bless him.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 22". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-22.html.
 
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