Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:11

"Are the consolations of God too small for you, Even the word spoken gently with you?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Murmuring;   Pride;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gentleness;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Secret;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Consolation;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Are the consolations of God small with thee? - Various are the renderings of this verse. Mr. Good translates the verse thus: "Are then the mercies of God of no account with thee?" or, "the addresses of kindness before thee?"

The Vulgate thus: - "Can it be a difficult thing for God to comfort thee? But thou hinderest this by thy intemperate speeches."

The Syriac and Arabic thus: - "Remove from thee the threatenings (Arabic, reproaches) of God, and speak tranquilly with thy own spirit."

The Septuagint thus: - "Thou hast been scourged lightly for the sins which thou hast committed; and thou hast spoken greatly beyond measure; or, with excessive insolence."

Houbigant thus: - "Dost thou not regard the threatenings of God; or, has there been any thing darkly revealed to thee."

Coverdale: - Dost thou no more regarde the comforte of God? But thy wicked wordes wil not suffre the.

Scarcely any two translators or interpreters agree in the translation, or even meaning of this verse. The sense, as expressed in the Vulgate, or in our own version, or that of Coverdale, is plain enough: - "Hast thou been so unfaithful to God, that he has withdrawn his consolations from thy heart? And is there any secret thing, any bosom sin, which thou wilt not give up, that has thus provoked thy Maker?" This is the sense of our version: and I believe it to be as near the original as any yet offered. I may just add the Chaldee - "Are the consolations of God few to thee? And has a word in secret been spoken unto thee?" And I shall close all these with the Hebrew text, and the literal version of Arius Montanus: -

אל ינחומות ממך המעט

hameat mimmecha tanchumoth el .

עמך לאט ודבר

vedabar laat immak .

Nonne parum a te consolationes Dei? Et verbum latet tecum?

"Are not the consolations of God small to thee? And does a word (or thing) lie hidden with thee?"

Now, let the reader choose for himself.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Are the consolations of God small with thee? - The “consolations of God” here refer probably to those considerations which had been suggested by Eliphaz and his friends, and which he takes to be the “consolations” which God had furnished for the afflicted. He asks whether they were regarded by Job as of little value? Whether he was not willing to take such consolations as God had provided, and to allow them to sustain him instead of permitting himself to inveigh against God? The Septuagint renders this, “thou hast been chastised less than thy sins deserve. Thou hast spoken with excessive haughtiness!” But the true idea seems to be, that Eliphaz regarded the considerations adduced by him and his friends, as the gracious consolations which God had provided for people in affliction, and as the results of all former reflections on the design of God in sending trial. He now represents Job as regarding them as of no value, and maintaining sentiments directly at variance with them. “Is there any secret thing with thee?”

Noyes renders this,” and words so full of kindness to thee,” that is, are they of no account to you? So Dr. Good and Wemyss, “or the addresses of kindness to thyself?” Luther translates it, “but thou hast, perhaps, yet a secret portion with thee.” Rosenmuller, “and words most guilty spoken toward thee.” The Septuagint renders it, “and thou hast spoken proudly beyond measure” - μεγάλως ὑπερβαλλόντας λελάηκας megalōs huperballontas lelalēkas The word which occurs in the Hebrew - לאט lâ'aṭ when it is a single word, and used as a verb, means to wrap around, to muffle, to cover, to conceal, and then to be “secret” - whence the Greek: λάφω lathō and λανθάνω lanthanō and the Latin: lateo. In this sense it is understood here by our translators. But it may be also a compound word - from אט 'aṭ - a gentle sound, murmur, whisper; from where it is used adverbially - לאט le'at and לאט lâ'aṭ - gently, softly, slowly - as of the slow gait of a mourner, 1 Kings 21:27; and of water gently flowing, as the water of Siloam, Isaiah 8:6. And hence, also, it may refer to words flowing kindly or gently toward anyone; and this seems to be the meaning here. Eliphaz asks whether Job could despise or undervalue the words spoken so gently and kindly toward him? A singular illustration, to be sure, of kindness, but still showing how the friends of Job estimated their own remarks.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 15:11

Are the consolations of God small with thee?

Losing the Divine consolations

Some take the words to be an expostulation with Job, showing him the unreasonableness of impatience or despondency, how sad soever were his case, while having the consolations of God to make recourse to. They may also be taken as a reproof to Job for the complaints he had uttered under his sufferings; as if he had not been duly attentive to the Divine consolations. Even the servants of God, under afflictions, are apt to lose the sense of Divine consolations, and to behave as if they were small to them.

I. The consolations here spoken of. Consolation is said to be God’s, as He is the father and fountain of it. All true consolation is of and from Him.

1. By way of eminency. No comforts like the comforts of God.

2. By way of sovereign disposal. In and from Him alone consolation is to be had. As none can comfort like Him, so none without or in opposition to Him. Christ, who is called the consolation of Israel, came out from the Father.

3. Note the plenty and variety of the consolations of God. He is the God of all consolation.

4. The consolations of God imply their power and efficiency. No trouble or distress can be too great for Divine consolations to overbalance.

II. When may these consolations be said to be small?

1. When God’s servants are ready to faint under their affliction.

2. When they grow impatient under affliction, if they are not speedily delivered, or as soon as they desire or expect.

3. When they have recourse to any other method for ease and deliverance from trouble, than that which God has appointed, of waiting upon Him, and looking to Him.

4. When they are full of anxious disquieting thoughts, what will become of us if our afflictions continue much longer?

III. The servants of God are liable to such complaints and grievings. This proceeds--

1. From the grievousness and weight of affliction itself, especially of some sorts of it, under which it is not easy to bear up, or behave ourselves as we ought.

2. From the weakness and imperfection of grace, and the strength of the remains of corruption. Their thoughts are held down to what they suffer, and seem wholly taken up with it. Amidst so much confusion and affliction, if they think of God, they apprehend Him as departed from them, or turned against them. And as their life is bound up in His love, the apprehension of His displeasure wounds them to the heart.

IV. The sinfulness of not attending to the consolations of God, or making light of them.

1. The consolations of God are great in themselves; so it is a high affront to Him that they should be small with us. The consolations in God, from Him, and with Him, are great. There is no case in which a saint can need consolation, but he is encouraged to look for it from some or other of the perfections of God. He is a God of infinite wisdom, almighty power, infinite goodness and mercy, everywhere present, and this to His people in a way of grace; and unchangeable in His nature and perfections. The consolations from God are in His Son, and by His Spirit, and in His Word.

2. The affront of slighting them may be aggravated, from the unworthiness of the person by whom they are slighted.

3. And further aggravated by the obligations His people are under to Him, for what He has done for them, and bestowed upon them. A servant of God has more matter of comfort and delight in him than reason of sorrow, upon the account of what he suffers. Application--

The consolations of God

I. Take a brief view of the consolations of God. Real comfort, of every kind and in every degree, is from God.

1. There are consolatory providences. There is a special providence which attends the saints.

2. The promises are full of consolation. These unfold the gracious purposes of God, and come between the decree and the execution.

3. There are many experimental consolations, which true believers enjoy.

II. When may we be said to make light of these consolations and to account them small.

1. When we undervalue the blessings of salvation, by placing carnal gratifications on a level with them, or not giving them the preference.

2. These consolations are small to us when we are slothful and negligent in seeking after them.

3. When we do not so estimate the blessings of the Gospel as to find satisfaction in them, in the absence of all created good, we may be said to account them small

III. The unreasonableness and sinfulness of treating the consolations of the Gospel with neglect.

1. These consolations are not small in themselves, and therefore ought not to be lightly esteemed by us. They lay a foundation for peace and comfort under the greatest afflictions.

2. To make light of them is the way to be deprived of them, either in whole or in part.

3. It is to cast contempt upon their Author. Improvement--

The consolations of God

I. The substance and character of God’s consolations. In their substance they are true, solid, strong, everlasting, and are set in love. The character of these consolations reaches as high a standard as their substance. Consolations, to be effectual, must be appropriate and adequate. For us this character is reflective, contemplative, comparative, and prospective.

II. The method and manner of the conveyance of God’s consolations. God uses the method of an over-ruling providence; of Divine revelation; of the abiding Spirit,. The ministry of consolation peculiarly needs a tender heart, an enlightened mind, a gentle hand, and a gracious tongue. There is always need for such a ministry in a world like ours. The manner of God is considerate and concessive and conclusive.

III. The spirit of reception given to God’s consolations. They must be received in the spirit of faith. The spirit of cheerfulness will be the offspring of this submissive faith. The spirit of prayer will discover that “calamity is but the veiled grace of God.” (W. A. Bevan.)

The consolations of God

1. God is the consoler of man by the very fact of His existence. There is a class of passages in the Bible which appear to rest the peace of the human soul upon the mere fact of the existence of the larger life of God. It is because God is that man is bidden to be at peace. I pity the man who has never in his best moods felt his life consoled and comforted in its littleness by the larger lives that he could look at, and know that they too Were men, living in the same humanity with himself, only living in it so much more largely. For so much of our need of consolation comes just in this way, from the littleness of our life, its pettishness and weariness insensibly transferring itself to all life, and making us sceptical about anything great or worth living for in life at all; and it is our rescue from this debilitating doubt that is the blessing which falls upon us when, leaving our own insignificance behind, we let our hearts rest with comfort on the mere fact that there are men of great, broad, generous, and healthy lives--men like the greatest that we know. It is not the most active people to whom we owe the most.

2. Then there is the sympathy of this same God. It becomes known to us, not merely that He is, but that He cares for us. Not merely His life, but His love, becomes a fact. The real reason why the sufferer rejoices in the sympathy of God is, that thereby, through love, that dear and perfect nature after which he has struggled before, is made completely known to him. Love is the translating medium. Through God’s sympathy he knows God more intensely and more nearly, and so all the consolations of God’s being have become more real to him. How do we learn of such a sympathy of God? How can we really come to believe that He knows our individual troubles, and sorrows for them with us? More than from any abstract or scientific arguments about the universality of great laws, I think it is the bigness of the world, the millions upon millions of needy souls, that makes it hard for men to believe in the discriminating care and personal love of God for each. In such perplexity what shall we do?

2. Open the heart to that same conviction, as it has been profoundly impressed upon the hearts of multitudes of men everywhere.

3. Get the great spirit of the Bible. Get possessed of its idea, that there is not one life which the Lifegiver ever loses out of His sight; not one which sins so that He casts it away.

3. God has great truths which He brings to the hearts He wishes to console. He gives them His great truths of consolation. What are those truths? Education, spirituality, and immortality--these seem to be the sum of them.

4. Man wants to feel God doing something on his life, showing His sympathy by some strong act. And so he prays for God to help him, to do something positive for him. All that there is consolatory in God--being, sympathy, truth, power--Christ has set in the clearness and the splendour of His life. If you want consolation you must come to Him. (Phillips Brooks.)

The consolations of God

I. Sometimes the Christian lacks consolation from the very weakness and imperfection of his nature. As perfect holiness would of itself secure perfect bliss, so is there a necessary connection between moral debility and transient and incomplete enjoyment. Nothing could show more plainly that our nature is fallen and corrupt than the simple but startling fact, that even when Divine love had provided a Mediator between God and man, the Holy Spirit must come into the world, not only to apply the remedy, but to make us feel our need of it.

II. Another reason why even Christian people are sometimes depressed and desponding is, separation from Godly fellowship. As ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, so does a man his friend by wise and timely counsel. Even St. Paul, hero as he was, had his periods of sadness, while pursuing his weary way, cut off from Christian sympathy; but when he saw the brethren, he thanked God and took courage (Acts 28:15).

III. Neglect of the Divinely appointed means or comfort is another very common reason why Christians enjoy so little of it. God will console us in His own way: in devout meditation, in secret prayer, in public worship, in the diligent study of His Holy Word, and in the humble and frequent reception of “the most comfortable sacrament of the body and blood of Christ.” When providentially hindered from sharing in the public means of grace, the good Lord will make all due allowance for us. He will be with us in this trouble, and we shall see His power and glory, as we have seen Him in the sanctuary.

IV. Once more, “the consolations” of God’s people are sometimes “small,” because they live in wilful neglect of His Holy Spirit. “Are the consolations of God small with thee?” If so, is it not your own fault? The discovery of the source of the evil is a most important step towards its correction and cure. (John N. Norton, D. D.)

Strength impaired

I. The consolations of God are small with thee. You have not that satisfactory conviction of things unseen, which once you enjoyed. The light of heaven does not now shine in your hearts. Thou sittest in darkness. Thou hast just enough light to see how great is thy darkness. What is that thing with thee which causes this inward darkness?

II. This spiritual backsliding may have crept so secretly over thy soul, that you may not have perceived it until now. Inward darkness must be caused by sin. Sin that lies at the root of all declension from God, is neglect of private prayer, or giving way to some inward sin. The consolations of God will be small with us, unless we are constantly stirring up the gift of God which is in us.

III. What is the cure for this? First find out the cause, and this will point to the cure. (R. A. Suckling, M. A.)

Unhappy religion

That there cannot be an effect without a cause is as true in ethics as in physics, in the kingdom of grace as in the kingdom of nature. However complicated a web that system of facts, truths, doctrines, precepts, promises, duties, exercises, experiences, consciousnesses, which we designate religion, may appear in the estimation of some men, they whose spirit this system has searched through, find it to be a much simpler system than is commonly supposed, and that it is based, for the most part, upon uniform and ascertainable laws. Though its details of operation upon the individual heart and life may vary,--though the path whereby men are led to know God, and to know themselves, by being led to see how thoroughly they are known to God, may not in all instances be the same,--there are certain plain rules which will be found applicable throughout the universe of souls. One of these is, that in the spiritual, as in the natural, life, there is no effect without its cause: that as health and disease have their causes in the natural life, so have prosperity and adversity in the spiritual: that the same laws which would explain the spiritual estate for better or for worse, of those around us, will, if fairly applied, explain ours. As there is “the same God which worketh all in all,” His work where it is will assuredly exhibit some feature or other whereby it may be recognised as His. Of this truth Eliphaz seems to have been well persuaded. He beheld the afflictions of Job. He set them down for an effect; and was determined, if possible, to convict the patriarch of some moral obliquity as their cause. His mistake was in assuming that it was his mission to ascertain the cause in this particular case, and in believing that his sagacity had not failed in discovering precisely what it was. There was a cause why Job was thus afflicted; but a cause which may have been, and was, so deeply hidden in the Divine bosom, as at this time to be as inexplicable to the patriarch himself as to his friends. All trouble doth not arise from sin. Much trouble is the consequence of sin; and all sin will, sooner or later, be the source of trouble . . . Eliphaz is here addressing his spiritual patient in a milder tone. Here he hints that Job’s visitation may have been for some sin known only to himself. “Are the consolations of God small with thee?” he inquires: “is there any secret thing with thee?” All men are punished secretly for what they do openly; and some are punished openly for what they do secretly. Though the interpretations of the text did not apply to the case of the patriarch, they might have been, as they may be, applicable to the cases of others. How is it that the “consolations of God are small” with any of us? How is it that there is so little religious joy in the world? Mind is so constituted as to be affected by trifles. Little sufficeth to elevate many, and as little to depress. This easiness of being pleased is childhood’s happiest attribute. Surely there must be some cause for the cold, joyless, uncomfortable religion, which is so prevalent. All deep thinkers are deep sufferers--not sufferers, perhaps, in body or estate, but in mind. They suffer because they think. The religious man is of necessity a thoughtful one. How is it that religious joy is so little known? There may be seasons when we cannot rejoice; yea, ought not. It may be necessary for us to be for a season in heaviness; to be deprived of the sensible comforts of faith, hope, and charity; being apt to undervalue them till they have fled. We do not, however, look to such cases as these. We are thinking of cases where mourning, heaviness, bondage of spirit, mental gloom, spiritual depression, seem to be chronic complaints; when the soul seldom or never rejoiceth. There is a constraint, a distrust, a timidity, a suspicion, in our piety. We are afraid, we know not of what. We are ready to say, “Let us be miserable, that we may be religious.” Ask then, “Is there any secret thing with us,” that will help to explain this enigma of a joyless Christianity? What is possible in this case?

1. Is there any moral obliquity with thee? We do not ask, Have you done wrong; or do you do wrong; but do we cherish any wrongdoing; are we in love with any? Is there any base passion or propensity we will not part with? St. Augustine says, “It is not the act but the habit that justifieth a name,” i.e., he is not a sinner who committeth a sin, but who liveth in the commission of it. Is there then any sin indulged or persisted in?

2. Is there aught that is evil in the state of thy affections? Most of us have some pretence to seriousness.

3. Is there any secret misgiving with thee as to the certainty of Divine truth? Did you ever have a doubt if the religion of Christ were true? Did you ever mistrust your persuasions? One doubt does not make an infidel. The habit of doubting may. They who have ended in disbelieving began by doubting, i.e., by giving place to doubt: by making that scruple their own which was at first their enemy’s.

4. Is there any secret fear of ourselves? Are we in doubt of our own state before God? Are we afraid to trust our principles? If there be none of these “secret” things, what is to hinder the joys of religion from flooding our souls, or the consolations of God from being great with us? It is related of Dr. Francis Xavier that “he was so cheerful as to be accused of being gay.” Why should not we be thus cheerful, gladsome, satisfied? (Alfred Bowen Evans.)

The consolations of God and secret things

This is a beautiful expression, “the consolations of God.” Poor, indeed, are the world’s best consolations. But He who has made us does not wish us to rest in these, but gives Himself to us as the consolation. The Gospel is the grand scheme whereby God becomes ours, and we are His; whereby the consolations of God become the consolations of man. If, then, a Christian is a tried man, he ought to be a joyful man--a man abounding in consolation.

I. Some marks of the state of mind in which the consolations of God are small.

1. It is the one great privilege of the true Christian, to know that his sins are forgiven. It is God’s gracious will, not only that we should be reconciled to Himself through faith in Christ, but that we should be conscious of our reconciliation. It is just the want of this which we take to be the first mark of all those Christians whose consolations are small. It is possible to live in practical forgetfulness that our sins have been forgiven, and this forgetfulness is always a sign of lukewarmness, and of a very low state of Christian feeling and conduct.

2. Again, Jesus is very near His people, according to His own gracious promise. What singleness of aim in life, what encouragement in duty, what steadfastness in conflict, and what hopefulness in work, this consciousness of the presence of Christ would give us. But, alas! is it not just in this that we grievously fail? How many are the hours of our life--how many are the duties which we perform--how many are the works in which we engage, without thinking of our Saviour’s presence and nearness! This may be taken as a second mark. If we live as though Christ were not near, our consolations cannot abound.

3. Not only are great things now given to the true Christian, but still greater things are promised. How pleasant should heaven be to our thoughts. But here also we fail. As our thoughts of heaven, so will our consolation be, little of one, little of the other.

II. Some reasons for this state.

1. Some besetting sin. “Is there any secret thing with thee?” Many things may be given up, but if only one wrong thought or feeling be retained--one bad habit spared--the injury it will do is incalculable. There is something, it seems a little thing, which we spare. The temper is not always controlled; the tongue is not always bridled; unforgiving feelings are not earnestly uprooted at once. Whatever our besetting sin be, if yielded to but a little, it will darken the heart. It will hinder communion with God.

2. Another secret thing is want of faith. Some look too much into their own hearts, too little to Christ. They know but little of the unsearchable riches which are laid up in Him for our daily use and consolation; hence their hands often hang down, and their knees are feeble. They make little progress.

3. Another secret thing is spiritual sloth. There are many who are very active in body and mind, who, nevertheless, are spiritually very slothful. They are slothful in prayer, and in reading the Bible. Every Christian should seek to attain a fresh and lively spirit, a readiness for communion with God, and for every good work. A spirit of sloth and self-indulgence eats as a canker into the spiritual life, and reduces our consolation to the smallest possible degree. If this “secret thing” is allowed in our hearts, it is no wonder that our consolations are small.

4. One more secret thing is, guilt upon the conscience. It is essential to a close walk with God, never to allow the guilt of sin to rankle in the conscience, for this is always followed by estrangement of heart from God. Any delay in confessing sin, and casting it upon Jesus, is injurious, and tends to hinder communion with God. The consolations of the Spirit are suspended, and the heart sinks into a low state. Such are some of the secret things which hinder the consolations of God. May God enable us by His grace to guard against them, that our consolations may abound, and our joy may be full. (George Wagner.)

Why is there no more enjoyment of religion

The consolations of God are not small in themselves: “her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” They are not small in their design and intended benefit: “light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart”--sown as seed that it may bring forth a harvest of joy to the soul. To the experience of the faithful Christian they are not small, for in every age not a few have been able, with the Psalmist, from their own experience to say, “In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.” And yet, alas! it is but too true that many a Christian knows the full value of this joy rather from the want of it than from its possession, having at some time had the taste which leads him to ask, “Where is the blessedness that once I knew?” rather than now having the clear and steady and habitual enjoyment of God and His service, which is the true sunshine and health of the soul. And if we do not find full enjoyment in religion we must look for the reasons in ourselves.

I. The absence of bodily health. An imperfect, morbid, or deranged state of health impairs our happiness from every source. So intimate is the connection between the soul and body that a weak or depressed state of the former not unfrequently arises from the latter, so that even the faithful Christian may not, at times, find enjoyment in religion because he does not find enjoyment in anything--because the same cloud comes over, at the same time, both his temporal and his spiritual horizon. In such cases the absence of enjoyment is not justly a matter of self-condemnation, and the evil is not a thing to be repented of but regretted, and the remedy is to be sought not in greater fidelity in duty, but rather from the skill of the physician. It is said of the eminent and eminently spiritual Archibald Alexander, that when once asked “if he always enjoyed the full assurance of faith,” he replied, “Well--yes--almost always, unless the east wind is blowing.” And an eminent divine of wide experience as a pastor has said, that “of twenty persons of hopeful piety who came to him in religious despondency, eighteen had more need of the physician than of the Divine.” And more than two hundred years ago, good old Richard Baxter preached and published, in his practical and sharply logical way, on “the cure of melancholy and overmuch sorrow by faith and physic,” laying greatest stress on the “physic”; and though his medical prescriptions might excite the smile of the modern physician, yet the treatise, as a whole, is worthy of a place among our religious classics. The truth is, there are not a few troubles that cannot be cured by the Bible and hymn book or by mere spiritual counsel, that may be cured by rest, and exercise, and diet, and the fresh air of heaven. Another reason why many do not find enjoyment in religion is--

II. That they seek it for its own sake, and as in itself an end, rather than as only an incidental result of fidelity in duty. There are not a few who, either thoughtlessly or selfishly, seek for happiness in religion when they should be seeking only for duty--spiritual epicures, aiming at their own comfort when they should be seeking, as the great thing, to be holy and useful. They forget that they were not brought into the family of Christ merely to enjoy themselves, but to obey and serve Him, and that His direction is not, “Seek first your own comfort and enjoyment in My service,” but, “Seek first My kingdom and its righteousness,” in your own hearts, and in the hearts and lives of others, and then your joy, with all other needed things, shall be added thereto. They forget that happiness, when sought directly and for its own sake, in any sphere, flies from us; but that when we are occupied With the means to it, then it comes of itself, and that in religion the means to it is fidelity in duty. Another reason why some do not find more enjoyment in religion is--

III. That they do not practically regard the common occupations of life as a means of grace. They regard the Sabbath and its services and private devotion as intended to draw them nearer to God, and to aid them to enjoyment in religion, and believe that if not misimproved they will actually do it. But the common occupations and employments of life they practically regard as antagonistic to these ends and tending in the opposite direction. The former they seem to think are a stream bearing them on to God; the latter a stream bearing them away from Him. The Sabbath they practically regard as the antidote to the week, and the week to be counterbalanced by the Sabbath--the piety gained on the Sabbath to be used up and exhausted in the week, and the week in turn to be furnished afresh from the Sabbath. Such, however, is not the teaching of the Bible, though it is, alas! too much the practical belief of multitudes who ought to know better, and who to know better need only to think as to what God has taught. For it is impossible that He should command two things that cross and are inconsistent with each other; and having bidden us to be diligent in business and at the same time fervent in spirit--in the sweat of our brow to earn our bread, and yet to pray without ceasing, it cannot be that He would not have both tend to the same end. The arrangements of His providence, as well as the teachings of His Word, show that the means of grace are not to be limited to the forms of public and private worship, and that the Sabbath is not the only day that God claims, while six days are to be given up to worldliness of thought and aim and spirit. Our trade or profession or calling, the right ordering of our property or farm or merchandise, our family and household cares, each may be a means of access to God and of aiding us to enjoy Him, just as truly the gate of heaven to the soul as the sanctuary itself. The labourer toiling at his task, the mother diligently training up her children or taking the oversight of her household, the merchant in his counting house, the professional man in his office, or the servant in his daily duties, each may not only find a sphere for the exercise and growth of his graces--for patience, and gentleness, and contentment, and charity, and self-denial, but through these for that joy in God which every good and faithful servant of Christ should expect and may find. Another reason why some find so little enjoyment of religion is--

IV. From the want of symmetry and proportion in their Christian character. In the human body the full enjoyment of health is never known except where the various parts are proportioned and sound in themselves, and their various functions are rightfully performed. Let a limb be out of joint, or a bone broken, or a vital part diseased, or a nerve in a disordered state, and the whole system will measurably suffer, and the fun and childlike and buoyant feeling of perfect health can never be known. There may be, and there is life, and there may not be positive and greatly painful sickness, but the process or progress of living is not of itself a joy as it is to those in absolutely perfect health. And so it is with the religious life--with the spiritual vitality--with the enjoyment or want of enjoyment in religion. The disproportion of Christian character, the want of symmetry in the Christian graces, the undue development or prominence of some one virtue or class of virtues, with the corresponding depression of their opposites, this, to the soul, is like the disordered nerve, or broken bone, or chronic inflammation to the body. It is only when the true symmetry of Christian character is kept up, when the active and passive virtues are equally cherished, when piety toward God is proportioned to benevolence to man, when principle keeps pace with emotion, and hope with fear, and reverence with love, and knowledge with faith, and trust with obedience, and self-control within with active performance without, and devotion and action go hand in hand--only thus, when every chord of the soul is perfect and in tune, that the full harmony of the strain tells of that joy in the spirit of which it is at the same time the offspring and evidence. A disproportioned Christian character necessarily loses much of the joy of religion, just as the instrument out of tune makes discordant music, or the body in sickness feels not the full joy of health. Still another reason why some find so little enjoyment in religion is--

V. Because they have not clear views of the gospel ground of reliance for the Christian--of the full and strong and broad foundation it lays for hope, and thus, of course, for joy. It is hard for a sinner, even though he is a penitent and forgiven sinner, to realise the glorious fulness of the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Too often for our hope, and thus for our joy, we are prone to look to Christ as one who is to work with us to make up our deficiencies, rather than as one who is a complete and perfect and all-sufficient Saviour, Himself doing the entire work, and bestowing freely, on us its full benefit and blessing. “The labour of a lifetime,” says Dr. Chalmers, “seeking to establish a merit of our own, will but widen our distance from peace,” and so from joy; “and nothing will send this blessed visitant to our bosoms but a firm and simple reliance on the declarations of the Gospel.” As God spared not His own but has freely given Him up for us all, surely with Him He will freely give us all things. Still another reason why many do not more enjoy religion is--

VI. That they are not active in doing good. They look on religion rather as a profession than as a progress, as something they received in conversion, and which is to bear them safely on to heaven, rather than as a spirit to be cherished, and a character to be improved--a principle of duty and effort to be carried out in doing good in imitation of Christ. No truth is more plainly stated by inspiration, or more fully sustained by experience, than that it is more blessed to give than to receive. As to do good with wealth or influence is the way to enjoy wealth or influence, so to do good as a Christian is the way to find enjoyment as a Christian. “Assurance,” says President Edwards, “is not to be obtained so much by self-examination as by action”; and the assertion is equally true of the joy that flows from assurance, and is increased by every effort to do good to others. Doubt and depression often come from inactivity. John, active and earnest in the desert, needs no proof that the Messiah has come, but when shut up in prison, inactive and depressed, he seems to have become morbid and doubtful, and sends to inquire if Jesus is indeed the Christ. When Dr. Marshman was a young man and at home, he often had doubts and fears as to his spiritual state, but when after thirty years’ missionary work in India, William Jay said to him, “Well, Doctor, how now about your doubts and fears?” his reply was, “I have had no time for them; I have been too busy preaching Christ to the heathen.” And Howard, the philanthropist, tells us that his rule for shaking off trouble of any kind was, “Set about doing good; put on your hat and go and visit the sick and poor in your neighbourhood; inquire as to their wants and minister to them; seek out the desolate and oppressed, and tell them of the consolations of religion. I have often tried it,” he adds, “and have always found it the best medicine for a heavy heart.” This is the true spirit of benevolence, which is always the spirit of enjoyment. This will leave no time for doubt and despondency, and will call forth those sympathies of our nature which are the sure sources of happiness, giving us that evidence of piety which is found in doing good, and which cannot but minister to our joy. One more, and a general reason why many do not find the full enjoyment of religion, may be found--

VII. In neglect and unfaithfulness as to duty. It is that in some form our iniquity separates between us and God, and shuts out the light of His countenance from us--that our sins, either positive or negative, either of commission or omission, hide His face from the soul. One, it may be, is lukewarm and vacillating and changeable, having too little religion to enjoy God, and too much to find enjoyment in the world. With another the private indulgence of some desire, or the pursuit of some object inconsistent with the known will of God, is like the worm to the gourd of the prophet, a cause not visible, but real,,withering the refreshing shade over his head by secretly gnawing at the root. Or the source of the evil may be not only the sin committed, but the duty neglected. (Tryon Edwards, D. D.)

Small consolations

Stars not valued in daytime but at night. So with friends in adversity. Many kinds of friends. Some real but unsafe. Some wanting in tenderness. Thus with Job’s three friends. Turn from Job to ourselves. If I ask, Are you all free from trouble? none say “Yes,” absolutely. Seneca said, “The happiest man in the world is the man who thinks himself so.” As to true happiness, the Christian is the only really happy man, but even he has his bitterness.

I. We need consolation.

1. If we look at our dwelling place. Our dwelling is the world. God made it. Well, what He made cannot create sorrow. No. Change, sin entered. “In the world ye shall have tribulation.”

2. If we look at our afflictions, personal, domestic. Dark dispensations of providence, death.

3. If we look at our enemies. Life a warfare. Satan “goeth about.”

4. If we look at our experience. So changeable. We are now on the mountain, next week in the valley. Need not be so.

II. That consolation may be obtained from God. All earthly sources fall.

1. In His name. Ideas of God overwhelming. There is His justice, etc. These not His name but His attributes. What is His name? “I am that I am,” unchangeable. “The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious,” etc.

2. In His nature. His love infinite. Unbounded gift of His Son.

3. In His relationship. Creator, Preserver, Redeemer. He is our Father.

4. Promises. “As thy day,” etc. How variable it is! As thy day, etc.

III. That if small consolations, there are reasons for it. Reason not with God. What makes them small?

1. State of health.

2. Neglect of means.

3. Depending on other sources.

4. Neglecting Christ as the meritorious cause, and the Spirit as the instrumental cause of peace. (Homiletic Magazine.)

Consolation abundant but unrealised

We have heard of persons in Australia who walked habitually over nuggets of gold. We have heard of a bridge being built with what seemed common stones, but it contained masses of golden ore. Men do not know their wealth. Is it not a pity that you should be poor in comfort, and yet have all this gold of consolation at your feet? (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Insidious influences destroying spiritual joy

In the Harlem district of New York came the report of a disease-smitten residence, the occupants of which gave symptoms of arsenical poisoning. At first it was supposed that someone living in the house was secretly administering the poison to the other inmates through their food. But chemical tests of various dishes at various times, even examination of the drinking water, elicited nothing wrong. Once or twice a domestic was arrested on suspicion, but almost as soon released. The trouble grew more alarming, and with the growing alarm grew the mystery. At last a prominent chemist of the city, who had been quietly studying the newspaper and other accounts given, called at the house, and requested permission to personally inspect it. This was readily granted. Almost the first thing he did upon gaining entrance was to carefully examine, not the sanitary appointments, which were known to be correct, but the paper on the walls. He minutely examined all the paper on every wall in the place, and upon leaving without disclosing his suspicions, took with him several sections of the wallpaper in the bedrooms and dining room. These he subjected to a careful examination in his laboratory, with the result, as he had suspected, that every sample of wallpaper contained large quantities of pure arsenic, used in the production of the various colours. This poison was particularly plentiful in the composition of the pink papers, one Sample of which had enough arsenic on a square foot of it to destroy the life of an adult. The discovery caused at the time much excitement, and many persons tore down their wallpapers, some without cause, and substituted other styles of decoration. So is it often that the soul’s life is threatened and dangerously affected by some secret, hidden, mysterious cause as insidious, yet all-pervading and powerful, as the filling of the Harlem lot or the arsenically prepared colours in the wallpaper. “Is there any secret thing with thee?” is in such a case a timely question, which may find a saving answer. (G. V. Reichel.)

Concerning the consolations of God

These are the words of Eliphaz, one of those three friends of Job who blundered dreadfully over his case. Their words are not to be despised; for they were men in the front rank for knowledge and experience. If we are indeed believers in the Gospel, and are living near to God, our consolation should be exceeding great. Passing through a troubled world, we have need of consolations; but these are abundantly provided.

I. Our first question follows the interpretation given by most authorities: “Do you regard the consolations of God as small?” “Are the consolations of God too small for thee?”

1. I would ask you, first, Do you think religion makes men unhappy? Have you poisoned your mind with that invention of the enemy? Have you made yourself believe that godliness consists in morbid self-condemnation, despondency, apprehension, and dread?

2. Is not your verdict different from that of those who have tried godliness for themselves? Do you not know that many, for the joy they have found in the love of Christ, have renounced all sinful pleasures, and utterly despised them? Have you not also remarked, in many afflicted Christians, a peace which you yourself do not know? Have you not observed their patience under adversity?

3. Will you follow me a while as I ask you, Upon consideration, will you not amend your judgment? Do you think that the All-sufficient cannot provide consolation equal to the affliction? See again these consolations of God deal with the source of sorrow. Whence came the curse, but from the sin of man? Jesus has come to save His people from their sins. Comfort which left us under the power of evil would be dangerous comfort; but comfort which takes away both the guilt and the power of sin is glorious indeed. Remember, too, that the consolations of God reveal to us a reason for the sorrow when it is allowed to remain. There is a needs-be that we are in heaviness. Another reflection sweetly cheers the heart of the tried one during his tribulation, namely, that he has a comrade in it. We are not passing through the waters alone. If the Son of God be with us, surely there is an end of every sort of fear. Besides, “the consolations of God” lie also in the direction of compensations. You have the rod; yes, but this is the small drawback to heavenly sonship, if drawback indeed it be. Would you not far rather be of the seed of the woman, and have your heel bruised? Besides, there is the consolation that you are on your journey home, and that every moment you are coming closer to the eternal rest.

II. Have these consolations been small in their effect upon you? Have these consolations, though great in themselves, been small in their influence upon you?

1. I will begin my examination by putting to one disciple this question: Have you never very much rejoiced in God? Have you always possessed a little, but a very little, joy? Why is this? Whence comes it? Is it ignorance? Do you not know enough of the great doctrines of the Gospel, and of the vast privileges of the redeemed? Is it listlessness? Have you never felt desirous to know the best of the Christian life? But it may be, that you once did joy and rejoice?

2. Well, then, is it of late that you have lost these splendid consolations, and come down to feel them small with you? Is it that you have more business, and have grown more worldly? Do you reply to me that you do use the means of grace?

3. Do the outward means fail to bring you the consolation they once did? Are you as much in prayer as ever? and is prayer less refreshing than it used to be? I may come near to your experience if I ask--

4. Do you revive occasionally and then relapse?

5. Does the cause of your greater grief lie in a trial to which you do not fully submit?

6. It may be that while you are thus without the enjoyment of Divine consolation, Satan is tempting you to look to other things for comfort.

III. Since the consolations of God appear so small to you, have you anything better to put in their place? Perhaps this is what Eliphaz meant when he said, “Is there any secret thing with thee?” If God’s Gospel fails you, what will you do?

1. Have you found out a new religion with brighter hopes?

2. Are you hoping to find comfort in the world?

3. Or, do you conclude that you are strong-minded enough to bear all the difficulties and trials of life without consolation?

4. Do you say that what can’t be cured must be endured, and you will keep as you are? This is a poor resolve for a man to come to. If there is better to be had, why not seek it?

IV. If it be so, that you have hitherto found heavenly consolations to have small effect with you, and yet have nothing better to put in their place, is there not a cause for your failure? Will you not endeavour to find it out?

1. Is there not some sin indulged?

2. Next, may there not have been some duty neglected?

3. Again, may there not be some idol in your heart?

4. But, if you do not enjoy the consolations of God, do you not think it is because you do not think enough of God?

5. If any of you have not the joy of the Lord which you once possessed, is it not possible that when you used to have it you grew proud?

6. Have you begun to distrust? Do you really doubt your God? (C. H. Spurgeon.)

“God’s consolations”

It must be admitted that there is a tendency to forget, or at least to underestimate God’s consolations.

I. Now, first let me tell you what it is that prompts this enquiry.

1. You really must excuse me for asking you if the mercies of God seem trivial to you, for some of you look as if they were. If I judged by your countenance I should suppose that you had scarcely any of them, and that they were wonderfully paltry and powerless.

2. I ask the question of others, because I am bound to say they speak as if the consolations of God were small. You get into conversation with them for half an hour, and the season is none too long for them to recite the story of their griefs. Some go further than to omit the mention of their mercies; they complain against God, and murmur at their Master.

3. I ask the question of others, because I find that they act as if the consolations of God were small with them. Acts are the outcome of thoughts, the concrete forms of imaginings and emotions. Is not Jehovah enough for Israel? Does not His covenant stand, whatever else fails? Why dost thou draw the blinds, when the sun would fain shine right into thy soul, and make thee glad again?

4. There are others who pray as if the consolations of God were small with them. Some people’s prayers are nothing but a long and dismal list of wants, and woes, and weariness.

5. Some there are who sing as if the mercies of God were few, and scarcely worthy of their notice. Some do not sing at all.

II. I should like to recount the consolations of God. Here is Jesus. “Behold the Man.” “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” Then we have His Spirit, the Comforter, a reservoir of consolations. In this blessed book are twenty thousand promises, “yea,” all in Christ Jesus, and in Him, “Amen.” Ours is the privilege of prayer. Amongst the other consolations do not forget the whispers of God’s love. They have been unmistakable. Thank God also for peace of mind and rest of conscience.

III. Shall I try next to describe the consolations of God?

1. They are Divine.

2. They are abounding, too.

3. His consolations are abiding.

4. And they are strong.

IV. What do you suppose are the results of a proper appreciation of God’s consolations.

1. If we appraise them at their real value we shall be forgetful of the past. Forgetting the things which are behind, we shall press forward to those that are before.

2. If you properly appreciate God’s consolations, you will be grateful for the present, you will raise a stone of help each day, and pour oil, the oil of gratitude upon it; you will be trustful for the future.

V. Let me mention some few aids to proper appreciation of God’s consolations. Will you remember what you used to be? Will you consider also what you must have come to, if God had not come to your rescue and relief? Consolation! How can it be small with me when it was condemnation that I deserved? Moreover, reflect what you still are. “Above all, recollect how great the condescension on God’s part to comfort and console.” (T. Spurgeon.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 15:11". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Are the consolations of God small with thee?.... Meaning either those which Eliphaz and his friends had administered, when, upon his repentance and reformation, they promised him great and good things that should befall him and his family, and that his latter end should be greater than his beginning; which Job slighted, took no notice of, nor entertained any hope concerning it; and these they called the consolations of God, not only because great, as things excellent have the name of God added to them, to express their excellency, but because they were administered in the name of God, and were according to the word and will of God, at least as they thought: Ben Gersom renders it, "the consolations of these"; these were Bildad and Zophar; so Bar Tzemach; or, as others, "these consolations"F2תנחומות אל "consolationes istorum virorum", Vatablus; "consolationes istae", so some in Drusius. which I and my friends have suggested; but not human, rather divine consolations are meant; and this is a fresh charge against Job, that he made light of such, even the consolations of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, who are each of them comforters; saints may and should comfort one another, and ministers of the Gospel are Barnabases, sons of consolation; but God is the great Comforter, it is he only can speak and apply comfort to purpose; and his consolations are not to be accounted "small", if it be considered from whence they come, from the great God, the Creator, to creatures, dust and ashes, sinful ones, on whom they are bestowed, such as are undeserving of them, yea, deserving of the wrath of God, and the curses of his law; and also the nature of these comforts, as that they are strong consolations, and effectual through the power and grace of God, and are everlasting, the matter and foundation of them being so; and though they may be refused through unbelief, as being too great in the view of a sinful creature for himself yet they can never be accounted small, or slighted and despised by a gracious soul; nor can it be though they were by Job, since he was so distressed with the arrows of the Almighty, a sense of divine wrath, and was so desirous of the divine Presence, and even begged he might take comfort a little:

is there any secret thing with thee? any secret wisdom and knowledge which they were strangers to; or any secret way of conveying comfort to him they knew not of; or any secret sin in him, any Achan in the camp, Joshua 7:11, that hindered him from receiving comfort, or put him upon slighting what was offered to him.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

[Are] the consolations of God g small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

(g) He accuses Job's pride and ingratitude, that will not be comforted by God, but by their counsel.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

consolations — namely, the revelation which Eliphaz had stated as a consolatory reproof to Job, and which he repeats in Job 15:14.

secret — Hast thou some secret wisdom and source of consolation, which makes thee disregard those suggested by me? (Job 15:8). Rather, from a different Hebrew root, Is the word of kindness or gentleness addressed by me treated by thee as valueless? [Umbreit].

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

Are — Are those comforts, which we have propounded to thee on condition of thy repentance, small and contemptible in thine eyes? Secret - Hast thou any secret and peculiar way of comfort which is unknown to us, and to all other men?

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John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:11 [Are] the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

Ver. 11. Are the consolations of God] Sic fastuose suas consolationes appellat et sociorum, saith Mercer; so Eliphaz, with state enough, calleth the comforts that he and his fellows had ministered to Job, promising him mercy from God upon his sound repentance; but telling him withal, that unless he Would yield himself a hypocrite, those promises would profit him nothing at all. Had Job slighted the precious promises, those conduits of comfort, he had been much to blame, as he was, doubtless, who said, My soul refused comforts, Psalms 77:2; like some sullen child, that will not eat his milk because he hath it not in the golden dish. The soul is ready to turn the back of the hand, and not the palm, to the staff of divine consolations, saying, Oh my stubbornness, &c., and rather to shift and shirk in every by corner for comfort, than to suck it out of those breasts of consolation, and be satisfied, Isaiah 66:11. The apostle taxeth his Hebrews, that they had forgotten the consolation (so the words may be read) which spake unto them as unto children, saying, My son, &c., Hebrews 12:5-11 Wrangling with God by cavilling objections, when they should rather have wrestled with him by earnest supplications, putting the promises in suit, and drawing waters with joy out of those wells of consolation, Isaiah 12:3. Job was not altogether clear of this fault. He was so poor and sore without, and within so full of horror and terror, that he was ready, with Rachel, to refuse to be comforted. Mercies were offered unto him, but he was scarce in case to receive them. The ear, which tasteth words as the mouth doth meat, was so filled with choler, that he could hardly relish any comfort. The easiest medicines of waters are troublesome to sore eyes. The flesh with her roarings and repinings maketh such a din, that the voice of the comforter cannot well be heard in the best heart sometimes. The Spirit knocks, but there is none to open; hence he goes away grieving, and that should not be.

Is there any secret thing with thee?] Hast thou food to eat that we know not of? Are there with thee consolations of thine own better than those of God, which we have ministered unto thee? Some render it, and lieth there any hidden thing within thee? that is, either some greater and more profound wisdom than every man knoweth; or else some secret sin which must be cast out ere comforts can fasten. For as the wound cannot close and heal as long as any part of the iron weapon remaineth in it; so here in the Cordiaea passio, or passion of heart, the heart is so oppressed and overly covered, that the most refreshing cordials cannot come at it, so that it is even suffocated with sorrow. In allusion whereunto, the Church prays, Lamentations 3:65, "Give them sorrow of heart." This was Spira’s case; and for the time might be Job’s. Possibly some sin or sorrow might lie at the fouutain head, and stop the course of his comforts. This Eliphaz fisheth after, and would have found out, and remedied.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Job 15:11

God has a different side of Himself to show to each of us. To the young man He is the Setter of great tasks, the God who asks great sacrifices and gives glorious rewards. You say nothing to the young man about the God of repair, the God of consolation, the God who takes the broken life into His hands and mends it, nothing of that God yet. The time will come for that. And is there anything more touching and pathetic in the history of man than to see how absolutely, without exception, the men and women who start out with only the need of tasks, of duties, of something which can call out their powers, of the smile of God stimulating and encouraging them—how they all come, one by one, certainly up to the place in life where they need consolation?

I. God is the Consoler of men by the very fact of His existence. It is because God is that man is bidden to be at peace. Although we live petty and foolish lives, the knowledge that there is greatness and wisdom, the knowledge that there is God, is a far greater and more constant consolation to us than we know.

II. But what comes next? The sympathy of this same God, whose existence is already real to us. It becomes known to us, not merely that He is, but that He cares for us. Through God's sympathy we know God more intensely and more nearly, and so all the consolations of God's being become more real to us.

III. God has His great truths, His ideas which He brings to the hearts He wishes to console. What are those truths? Education, spirituality, and immortality—these seem to be the sum of them. These ideas are the keys to all the mysteries of life, and to the gateways to consolation.

IV. God comes Himself and shows His presence and His power by working the miracle of regeneration upon the soul that has cried out for Him. That is the consummate consolation. Everything leads up to that.

Phillips Brooks, Sermons, p. 98.

References: Job 15—S. Cox, Expositor, 1st series, vol. vii., p. 1; Ibid., Commentary on Job, p. 185. Job 16:2.—R. Glover, Homiletic Magazine, vol. x., p. 167. Job 16:22.—E. J. Hardy, Faint yet Pursuing, p. 138. Job 16-17—S. Cox, Expositor, 1st series, vol. vii., p. 100; Ibid., Commentary on Job, p. 197. Job 17:1-3.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. vi., p. 70. Job 17:3.—Expositor, 3rd series, vol. iv., p. 426. Job 17:6.—Ibid., p. 427.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 15:11. Are the consolations of God small with thee? Dost thou make light of the indignation of God? or hast thou some secret charm? Heath. Houbigant renders the latter clause, Or hath any thing been secretly revealed to thee? לאט laat, rendered secret thing in our version, besides its general signification of something concealed, has a peculiar reference to spells and charms. See Exodus 7:11. Those charms were frequently used to prevent the effect of ill designs against any one.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 15:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Are those comforts, which we in the name, and according to the mind, and by the direction, of God have propounded to thee, upon condition of thy true repentance, Job 11:13,14, &c., small and contemptible in thine eyes? Hast thou any secret and peculiar ground or way of comfort which is unknown to us, and to all other men, except thyself; for which, or in comparison of which, thou despisest our consolations as mean and trivial? To pretend to this is vanity and impudence; and if thou hast not this, to despise and reject our comforts is horrible pride and stubbornness.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.Consolations of God — Such as he and his friends administered.

Small with thee Too little for thee, great and “wise in thy own conceit.”

Is there any secret thing with thee — Literally, and the word so gentle with thee. (Hitzig.) Is that, also, too small for thee. The word , so gentle, is used in 1 Kings 21:27 of the slow gait of a mourner, and in Isaiah 8:6 of the gentle waters of Shiloah, “that go softly.” God’s words are words of tenderness. The affection and the wisdom of God are seen in the adaptation of his revelation to the heart, no less than to the mind, of man. “The Bible fits into every fold of the heart.” It is God’s book because it is, in the tenderest sense, man’s book. God’s yearning over man is the lesson of its every page. He who holds over our world the atmosphere, like a veil that the severest rays of the sun may be toned down, has modified his revelation to every heart; so that the blind may see, the despairing take heart, the guilty find pardon, and the dying live.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 15:11. Are the consolations of God small with thee? — Are those blessings which we have pro-pounded to thee, on condition of thy repentance, small and inconsiderable in thine eyes? He takes it ill that Job did not value the comforts which he and his friends administered to him, more than, it seems, he did, and that he did not welcome every word they said as the truth of God. And he represents this as a slight put upon divine consolations in general, as if they were of small account with him; whereas, really, they were not: if Job had not highly valued them he could not have borne up as he did under his sufferings. It is true Job’s friends had said some very good things, but in their application of them to him they were miserable comforters. Is there any secret thing with thee? — Hast thou any secret and peculiar way of obtaining comfort, which is unknown to us, and to all other men? some cordial to support thee, that no body else can pretend to, or knows any thing of? Or, perhaps he means, Is there some secret sin harboured and indulged in thy bosom, which hinders thy reception of divine comforts? None disesteem divine consolations but those that secretly, if not openly, are attached to the world, and live after the flesh.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 15:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Thee. This would not be difficult, (Tirinus) if thy presumption did not prove an obstacle. Thou makest small account of those comforts or of our advice, trusting in thy own justice. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "Thou hast been chastised little, considering thy sins. Thou hast spoken with excessive insolence."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Are the consolations of God too small for you, even the word spoken gently with you?" Here the claim is that Job ought to be content with the fact that God is consoling Job would Eliphaz"s gentle speech, yet his speech is far from gentle at times. Job will later dismiss these friends as being miserable comforters (16:2).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

Consolations - namely, the revelation which Eliphaz had stated (Job 4:12; Job 4:17; Job 5:7-26) as a consolatory reproof to Job, and which he partly repeat in Job 15:14.

Secret. Hast thou some secret wisdom and revealed source of consolation, which makes thee disregard those suggested by me? (Job 15:8) I prefer this to the other translation, from a different Hebrew root, Is the word of kindness [ daabaar (Hebrew #1697) laa'aT (Hebrew #328)], or gentleness (addressed by me), treated by thee as valueless? (Umbreit.)

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Are the consolations of God small with thee?—This is one of the obscure phrases of Job upon which it is very difficult to decide. The Authorised Version gives very good sense, which seems to suit the context in the following verse; but it is susceptible of other phases of meaning: e.g., “or a word that dealeth gently with thee (2 Samuel 4:5), such as ours have been (?)”; or “the word that he hath spoken softly with thee” (but see Job 15:8); or, again, the consolations of God may mean strong consolations (Psalms 80:11), such as ours have been, spoken in strong language,” in which case the second clause would mean, “Was thine own speech gentle?” “Small with thee” means, of course, too small for thee.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?
the consolations
5:8-26; 11:13-19; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; 7:6
is there
8; 13:2; 1 Kings 22:24
Reciprocal: Job 11:6 - show thee;  Job 19:3 - ye reproached;  Job 21:2 - let this be

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".