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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Job 5

 

 


Verses 1-27

Job 5:1. To which of the saints wilt thou turn? Men in anguish look every way for help, but how can either angel or departed spirit of the just help us, without a special command from heaven. Men should therefore bear their afflictions till God relieve them.

Job 5:4. His children—are crushed in the gate, when brought before the elders for their wicked deeds. The gate of the city was the ancient bench of justice.

Job 5:15. He saveth the poor—from [the threats] of their mouth.

Job 5:17. Happy is the man whom God correcteth. Those three friends of Job were perfectly acquainted with the blessings of the Noachial, the Abrahamic, and Mosaic covenant. They partly enumerated them in the following verses: and though Eliphaz might not know it, his words imply a prophecy of Job’s restoration, that his tabernacle should be in peace, and his offspring like the grass. Yea, that Job, like a shock of corn, should come to his grave in a good old age.

Job 5:23. In league with the stones. Covenants, laws, and actions were often written on rocks. A Swedish prince of the seventh century caused the actions of his father to be cut in a high rock of that country; where stones of this description are of frequent occurrence.—The beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. In ancient times, the wild beasts devoured many shepherds and husbandmen, especially during the sultry seasons, when the sun was in the sign of Leo, at which time the lions came to drink at the rivers.

REFLECTIONS.

Eliphaz, continuing his discourse, enlarges on the perfections of God in governing the world, and with a view to reprehend Job for murmuring and execrating his calamities. He asks where he would find a precedent of any saint afflicted as he was; and of any saint who had cursed the day of his birth? On the contrary, it is the wicked who perish; and their children being wicked also are brought before the judges at the gate, and crushed at the bar of their country. Wrath kills the foolish, for they are ever involving themselves in war and mischief. Hence he saw, so far as reason could suggest, that Job and his house were for ever undone; and he endeavoured to bring him to repentance, and to a reliance on God for the salvation of his soul. He was quite confident that those unheard of afflictions came not by chance, nor sprung up out of the ground as a plant in a natural way. They all came from God, who exerts his power a thousand ways to succour the poor and oppressed, and to take the wise in their own craftiness: and how admirable is that providence which suffers the wicked to prepare their own punishment.

If Job should turn to the saints, Eliphaz farther pleads, he would not find them afflicted and forsaken. Perhaps Eliphaz had never known any heavy affliction, and therefore builds on theory rather than experience. He exclaims, happy is the man whom God correcteth, but thou art miserable; thou art all despair and gloom. If thy conscience was pure, if thy faith was sound; God would bind up thy sore. He would deliver thee out of six troubles; he would preserve thee from the wild beasts, and thou shouldest come to thy grave in a good old age like a shock of corn. Thus Eliphaz augmented Job s grief and affliction, by a misapplication of the wise rules of providence, being totally ignorant of the extraordinary nature of his friend’s case. In all mysterious occurrences let us be swift to learn, and slow to speak, for God is the ultimate and unerring judge.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 5:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/job-5.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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