Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:16

How much less one who is detestable and corrupt, Man, who drinks iniquity like water!
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Depravity of Man;   Sin;   Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Corruption;   Depravity;   Error;   Iniquity;   Love;   Nation, the;   Sin;   Sin-Saviour;   Transgression;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fall of Man, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Drink;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Sin;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Drink, Strong;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Water;   Smith Bible Dictionary - El'iphaz;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eliphaz (2);   Filth;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for July 26;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

How much more abominable and filthy is man - As in the preceding verse it is said, he putteth no trust in his saints, it has appeared both to translators and commentators that the original words, כי אף aph ki, should be rendered how much Less, not how much More: How much less would he put confidence in man, who is filthy and abominable in his natures and profligate in his practice, as he drinks down iniquity like water? A man who is under the power of sinful propensities commits sin as greedily as the thirsty man or camel drinks down water. He thinks he can never have enough. This is a finished character of a Bad man; he hungers and thirsts after Sin: on the contrary, the Good man hungers and thirsts after Righteousness.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

How much more abominable and filthy is man - How much more than the angels, and than the heavens. In Job 4:19, the image is somewhat different. There it is, how can man be the object of the divine confidence since he lives in a house of clay, and is so frail? Here the image is more striking and forcible. The word rendered filthy (אלח 'âlach ) means, in Arabic, to be sour, as milk, and then to be corrupt, in a moral sense; Psalm 14:3; Psalm 53:4. Here it means that man is defiled and polluted, and this declaration is a remarkable illustration of the ancient belief of the depravity of man.

Which drinketh iniquity like water - This is still a true, though a melancholy account of man. He loves sin, and is as greedy of it as a thirsty man is of water. He practices it as if it were his very nature - as much so as it is to drink. Perhaps too there may be an allusion, as Dr. Good supposes, to the large draught of water which the camel makes, implying that man is exceedingly greedy of iniquity; compare Job 20:12; Job 34:7; Proverbs 19:28.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-15.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

How much more abominable and filthy is man,.... In his natural, corrupt, and unregenerate estate; man, as a creature, was not abominable, but becoming sinful he is; he is so in himself, cast out to the loathing of his person, being full of wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores, yea, like a dead corrupted carcass, for he is dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:1; and he appears to be corrupt by the abominable works done by him, as all the works of the flesh are; yea, he is abominable to himself, when made sensible of his state and case; he then abhors himself, and repents of his sins, he loathes his sins, and himself for them; and must be much more so in the sight of God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, as man is nothing else than a mass of sin, and therefore must be "filthy"; for sin is of a defiling nature, it defiles the body and all its members, and the soul with all its powers and faculties: man is naturally and originally filthy, being conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; nor can a clean thing be brought out of an unclean; he is internally and universally unclean, his heart is a sink of sin, desperately wicked, and wickedness itself; his mind and conscience are defiled, and there is no place clean; and this appears outwardly in his actions, in his life and conversation, which is filthy also: for if the ploughing of the wicked is sin, and the righteousnesses of men are filthy rags, how impure must the immoral actions of wicked men be? man is so impure, that nothing but the blood of Christ can purify his heart, and purge his conscience from dead works, and make white his outward conversation garment:

which drinketh iniquity like water; it is as natural to him to commit iniquity as it is for a man to drink water when he is thirsty, and he does it with equal gust, delight, and pleasure; as cold water is delightful to a thirsty soul, so is sin to a sinner, a sweet morsel he holds in his mouth; various lusts are various pleasures, though these pleasures are but for a season: sin, like water, is easy to be come at, it is near at hand, it easily besets men, and is all around them, and they easily give into it; everyone turns to his wicked course as readily as the horse rushes into the battle; and the phrase may be expressive of the abundance of sin committed, like large draughts of water greedily taken down by a man athirst, and repeated again and again; moreover, as water drank enters into men, and is taken down as an harmless thing, yet often proves very hurtful and pernicious to them when drank while they are hot, and occasions disorders, which issue in death; so sin, though it may seem harmless, and be pleasing and refreshing, going down like water, yet it works like poison, and is the gall of asps within a man, and ends in eternal death, if grace prevents not. This is the conclusion and application of the whole to man, arguing from the greater to the lesser, and so proving the impurity and imperfection of man, and that he cannot be clean and righteous before God of himself.

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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 15:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

How much more abominable and filthy [is] man, which k drinketh iniquity like water?

(k) Who has a desire to sin, as he who is thirsty to drink.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

filthy — in Arabic “sour” (Psalm 14:3; Psalm 53:3), corrupted from his original purity.

drinketh — (Proverbs 19:28).

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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 15:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Who — Who besides his natural proneness to sin, has contracted habits of sinning; and sins as freely, as greedily and delightfully, as men, especially in those hot countries, drink up water.

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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 15:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy [is] man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Ver. 16. How much more abominable and filthy is man?] And therefore abominable because filthy, or stinking and noisome, as putrefied meat is to the nose and palate. Now this is every man’s case by nature, Psalms 14:3, there being never a barrel of better herring, but all in a pickle, though few believe it. Kακοι κεν θριπες κακοι δε και ιπες. Prov. Circumcision of old taught them, that that which was begotten by that part deserved, in like sort, as abominable and accursed, to be cut off and thrown away by God. And what else doth baptism still teach us? See Colossians 2:11-13, 1 Peter 3:21. David compareth man to the beasts that perish, pecoribus morticinis, to beasts that die of the murrain, and so become carrion, and are good for nothing, Psalms 49:20 (Tremel.). He lieth rotting in the graves of sin, wrapt up in the winding sheet of hardness of heart, and (as the carcass crawleth with worms) swarming with noisome lusts, such as God’s soul abhorreth. This is his nature; and for his life,

He drinketh iniquity like water] He is as it were altogether steeped and soaked in sin; he sucks it in with delight, as an ox doth water, or a drunkard wine, who prefer that you take away his life as his liquor, and could find in his heart to be drowned in a butt of Malmsey; as George, duke of Clarence, was in the Tower of London, and, as some say, by his own election. Sure it is that a draught of sin is the only merry-go-down to a carnal man; he drinks it frequently and abundantly, even till he swelleth therewith. One observeth here, that Eliphaz saith not, Man eateth, but, drinketh iniquity; because to eat a man must chew, and this taketh up some time, and leaveth a liberty to spit out what he liketh not; but drink goeth down without delay, and we usually drink oftener than we eat; so here.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-15.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Who, besides his natural proneness to sin, hath contracted habits and customs of sinning, and sinneth as freely and easily, as greedily and delightfully, as frequently and abundantly, as men, especially in those hot countries, used to drink up water. But this did not Job; and therefore though the things delivered by him and the rest be true in the general, yet they commit a great error in misapplying them to Job, for which therefore they are afterwards reproved.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:16". 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

16.How much more Much less is he, the abominable and filthy man, that drinketh iniquity like water. Man’s pollution seems the greater by contrast.

Abominable . Man is a being detestable because of his corruption. The original implies both. The more pure a nature is, the more it loathes moral corruption. An infinitely pure being regards it as infinitely abominable.

Filthy , to be muddy, dirty, spoken of water; hence, to be corrupt in a moral sense. (Furst.) The word in the Arabic means to turn sour, as in the case of milk or wine. The same word is used in Psalms 14:3; Psalms 53:3.

Drinketh iniquity like water — It is supposed by Dr. Good that this is a “proverbial expression, with a direct allusion to the prodigious draught of water swallowed by a camel.” A custom connected with the Arabic dance, described by Burckhardt, favours this view. In the exclamations with which the men standing in line animate the girl who dances, they do not address her by name, which would, according to Bedouin etiquette, be a breach of politeness, but style her “camel,” affecting to suppose that she advances toward them in search of food or water. This fiction is continued during the whole dance. “Get up, O camel,” “walk fast,” “the poor camel is thirsty,” and similar expressions, are used on the occasion. — Notes on the Bedouins, 1:254. The expression of the text, considered from any point of view, indicates an exceeding fondness for sin. Semper nitimur in vetitum, “We always strive for the forbidden.” (Ovid.) Evil takes the form of thirst. This thirst is abnormal — it conflicts with man’s entire being. Its indulgence only increases its power; the more the soul drinks of evil the more it demands. “In divine speech water is the hieroglyphic for abundance.” — Corderus. The soul drinks iniquity abundantly. Everywhere this holds true of man: “No one is born without vices.” — Horace, Sat., Job 3:1. Society, education, custom, manners, civilization, may do much to disguise the diseased condition of the soul, but it is everywhere man’s inalienable heritage, though the soul be, in the words of Sakuntala, (Sanscrit drama,) “like a deep well whose mouth is covered over with smiling plants.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-15.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 15:16. How much more abominable and filthy is man — If saints are not to be trusted, much less sinners. If the heavens are not pure; if heavenly beings, who maintained their allegiance to their Maker, are not free from imperfection, when compared with God, much less is man, who is degenerated, and has rebelled against him. Which drinketh iniquity like water — Who, besides his natural proneness to sin, has contracted habits of sinning; and sins as freely, as greedily, and delightfully, as men, especially in those hot countries, drink up water.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 15:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Water, with the utmost avidity and unconcern, Proverbs x. 23., and xxvi. 6.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-15.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

The word "detestable" means repulsive and the term "corrupt", means to sour like milk. "The clear implication is that Job is impure, unrighteous, detestable, and corrupt, and that he guzzles sin as naturally and intensely as if it were water" (Zuck p. 71).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-15.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Filthy - in Arabic, sour (Psalms 14:3; Psalms 53:3); corrupted from his original purity.

Drinketh - (Proverbs 19:28, "The mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity;" cf. Job 34:7; Psalms 73:10).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "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

(16) How much more abominable and filthy is man . . .—This strong language, thus couched in general terms, is doubtless intended to reflect on Job, otherwise it would not need to have been so strong.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
How much
Rather, "How much less aph kee, abominable and filthy man," who, under the influence of sinful propensities, commits sin as greedily as a thirsty man or camel drinks down water.
abominable
4:19; 42:6; Psalms 14:1-3; 53:3; Romans 1:28-30; 3:9-19; Titus 3:3
drinketh
20:12; 34:7; Proverbs 19:28
Reciprocal: Genesis 6:5 - every imagination;  Job 4:18 - he put;  Psalm 14:3 - filthy;  Psalm 17:4 - works;  Psalm 36:4 - abhorreth;  Psalm 53:1 - Corrupt;  Proverbs 14:9 - Fools;  Ecclesiastes 3:18 - concerning;  Ecclesiastes 9:3 - also;  Matthew 7:11 - being;  Luke 1:35 - that;  Romans 3:10 - none;  Ephesians 4:19 - with;  Titus 1:16 - being;  Hebrews 9:14 - How

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-15.html.