Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:12

"Why does your heart carry you away? And why do your eyes flash,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Mocking;   Murmuring;   Pride;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Smith Bible Dictionary - El'iphaz;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Wink;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Why doth thine heart carry thee away? - Why is it that thou dost conceive and entertain such high sentiments of thyself?

And what do thy eyes wink at - With what splendid opinion of thyself is thine eye dazzled? Perhaps there is an allusion here to that sparkling in the eye which is excited by sensations of joy and pleasing objects of sight, or to that furious rolling of the eyes observed in deranged persons. Rosenmuller translates thus: -

Quo te tuus animus rapit?

Quid occuli tui vibrantes?

"Whither does thy soul hurry thee?

What mean thy rolling eyes?"

Thou seemest transported beyond thyself; thou art actuated by a furious spirit. Thou art beside thyself; thy words and thy eyes show it. None but a madman could speak and act as thou dost; for thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth, Job 15:13. This latter sense seems to agree best with the words of the text, and with the context.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Why doth thine heart carry thee away? - Why do you allow your feelings to control you in spite of the decisions of the understanding? Eliphaz means to represent him as wholly under the influence of passion, instead of looking calmly and cooly at things as they were, and listening to the results of past experience and observation.

And what do thy eyes wink at - This expression has given considerable perplexity to commentators. Rosenmuller (and after him Noyes) remarks that the expression indicates pride, haughtiness, and arrogance. In Psalm 35:19, it is an indication of joyfulness or triumph over a prostrate foe:

Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me;

Neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

In Proverbs 6:13, it is an indication of a haughty, froward, self-confident person:

A haughty person, a wicked man,

Walketh with a froward mouth;

He winketh with his eyes,

He speaketh with his feet,

He teacheth with his fingers.

The Hebrew word (רזם râzam ) occurs nowhere else, and it is therefore difficult to determine its true signification. The most probable meaning is, to wink with the eyes as a gesture of pride and insolence; compare the notes at Isaiah 3:16. The Vulgate renders it, attonitos habes oculos? - “Why, as though meditating great things, hast thou eyes of astonishment?” Septuagint, “Why are thine eyes elevated?” Schultens renders it, “Why do thine eyes roll fury?” - Quid fremitum volvunt oculi tui? Luther, “Why art thou so proud? There can be no reasonable doubt that the word conveys the idea of pride and haughtiness manifested in some way by the eyes.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-15.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 15:12

Why doth thine heart carry thee away?

Impulsiveness

Elihu means to say, Why dost thou allow thy feelings to carry thee beyond the boundaries of reason? The vast masses of mankind are the victims of ungoverned impulses. See this--

1. In the formation of friendships. Such impulses often bring the sexes together in a fellowship which does but issue in mutual irritation and disappointment.

2. In the history of religion. The religion of the people is not unfrequently directed by ungoverned impulses, excited by the impassioned appeals of enthusiasts and fanatics.

3. In the current of politics. A few red-hot demagogues and effective stump orators will often turn the whole current of a nation’s politics. “Why doth thine heart carry thee away?” Why act from ungoverned impulse?

I. It is unnatural. Man’s constitution shows that he was made, not to act from blind instinct, but intelligent motive. And that these motives should be formed by an understanding duly enlightened with a knowledge of the fundamental principles of moral obligation. In fact his constitution shows--

1. That all his passions should be governed by his intellect.

2. That his intellect should be governed by his conscience.

3. That his conscience should be governed by the revealed laws of heaven.

II. It is immoral Man is a responsible being, amenable to his Maker for all the operations of his existence, bound evermore to give an account of himself. When he acts from impulse, he acts as a brute, not as a man; and acting thus he sins against his Maker. That man is responsible is proved--

1. By his own consciousness. He condemns himself when he does not act from the enlightened conviction of duty.

2. By the Word of God. Everywhere, by distinct statements as well as by implications, the Bible holds forth the doctrine of men’s responsibility.

III. It is ruinous. A man, or a community of men--whether the community be commercial, political, or religious--who act from ungoverned impulse, is like a vessel tossed on the ocean in a tempest without chart, compass, or pilot to direct it. (Homilist.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 15:12". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-15.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Why doth thine heart carry thee away?.... To such conceit of thyself, and contempt of others, and even to slight the consolations of God; the heart, being deceitful and wicked, sometimes carries away good men to say and do those things which are unbecoming; and if, in any instance, this was Job's case, it was owing to his own heart, which carried him beyond due bounds; for whenever any man is "tempted" to do evil, "he is drawn away of his own lust", and enticed, James 1:14;

and what do thine eyes wink at; conniving at and shutting his eyes against his own sins and iniquities, unwilling to see them, and be convinced of them, and own them; or shutting them against the charges and reproofs of his friends, and all the light and evidence with which they came; or rather as carelessly attending to them, and scoffing and sneering at them: some render it, "what do thine eyes aim at"F3זמון "collimant", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; so Broughton. ? as men, when they take an aim at a mark, wink with or shut one eye; what are thy designs? what hast thou in view? what wouldest thou be at, talking and behaving in such a manner as thou dost?

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Why doth thine heart h carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,

(h) Why do you stand in your own conceit?
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

wink — that is, why do thy eyes evince pride? (Proverbs 6:13; Psalm 35:19).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,

Why — Why dost thou suffer thyself to be transported by the pride of thine heart, to use such unworthy expressions? Wink - Why dost thou look with such an angry, supercilious, and disdainful look?

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,

Ver. 12. Why doth thine heart carry thee away?] Violently transport thee; sc. beyond all bounds of reason and modesty, Quis te furor cordis exagitat? (Pineda.) There is another charge, and higher than the former, as if he had been emotae mentis, not well in his wits, but wild and wood, as they call it; or, at least, that his passions were so far too hard for his reason, as they did

Rectam de cardine tollere mentem,

We are in no small danger of our naughty hearts. It was no ill prayer of one, Lord, keep me from that naughty man myself, Domine, libera me a malo homine, meipso. Nor was it any ill counsel of another, who said, So take heed to thyself, that thou beware of thyself, Ita cave tibi ut caveas teipsum. Though there were no devil, yet our corrupt nature would act Satan’s part against itself; it would have a supply of wickedness (as a serpent hath of poison) from itself, it hath a spring to feed it. Keep thy heart therefore with all custody, Proverbs 4:24; it will get away else, and carry thee away with it.

And what do thy eyes wink at?] Nictant, celeriter scilicet, et subtiliter. Possibly Job, through pain and anguish, might be made to wink while he was speaking to them, or they to him; and this they miscontrue as done in contempt. See Psalms 35:19. Or that he was plotting some mischief, Proverbs 10:10; Proverbs 16:30, or pretending to some extraordinary devotion, and therefore shutting his eyes, that he might be the more reserved to God. The Vulgate hath it, Why doth thine heart lift thee up? and as if thou wert thinking of some great things, why are thine eyes so set? it is for no goodness, sure.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 15:12. And what do thine eyes wink at? Or, And what are thine eyes taking aim at? The verb signifies properly to wink with one eye, as those who aim at a mark. See Heath and Houbigant.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 15:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-15.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Why dost thou suffer thyself to be transported by the pride and lusts of thy heart to use such unworthy and unbecoming expressions, both concerning us, and concerning God and his providence.

What do thine eyes wink at, i.e. what dost thou aim at? What benefit dost thou expect from such words and carriages? So it is a metaphor from archers, who wink when they take their aim at a mark. Or, why do thine eyes wink, i.e. why dost thou look with such an angry, supercilious, and disdainful look, expressing both thy contempt of us, and thy rage against God? The eye is observed both by God and men, as the great discoverer of the heart; and winking with the eye is a note of a malicious mind, Psalms 35:9 Proverbs 6:13 10:10.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-15.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Third strophe — The fundamental error with Job is his ignorance of the true character of sin, Job 15:12-16.

12.Thy eyes Why do thy eyes twinkle? Job’s impatience at the hypocritical assumption of his friends must have manifested itself through the flashing of his eyes.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-15.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Why. Septuagint, "What has thy heart dared, or what have thine eyes brought thee?" Hebrew, "what do thy eyes wink at?" (Haydock) through pride and disdain, Psalm xxxiv. 19., and Proverbs vi. 13. (Calmet) --- We need not wonder that Eliphaz should misunderstand the looks of Job, (Haydock) since he gives such a false notion of his speeches. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-15.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Job is rebuked for his uncontrolled passion that has displayed itself in his spirited speeches. The claim is that Job has been angrily attacking God.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-15.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Why . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-15.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,

Wink - i:e., why do thy eyes evince passion and pride? (Proverbs 13:1-25; Psalms 35:19.)

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) What do thy eyes wink at?—Or, Why do they wink? as though it was only thou who perceivedst it.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,
thine heart
Ecclesiastes 11:9; Mark 7:21,22; Acts 5:3,4; 8:22; James 1:14,15
thy eyes
17:2; Psalms 35:19; Proverbs 6:13
Reciprocal: Job 19:3 - ye reproached;  Proverbs 10:10 - that;  Galatians 2:13 - carried

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-15.html.