Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:17

"I will tell you, listen to me; And what I have seen I will also declare;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eliphaz (2);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I will show thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare - Eliphaz is now about to quote a whole collection of wise sayings from the ancients; all good enough in themselves, but sinfully misapplied to the case of Job.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I will show thee … - The remainder of this chapter is a violent declamation, designed to overwhelm Job with the proofs of personal guilt. Eliphaz professes to urge nothing which had not been handed down from his ancestors, and was the result of careful observation. What he says is made up of apothegms and maxims that were regarded as containing the results of ancient wisdom, all meaning that God would punish the wicked, or that the wicked would be treated according to their deserts. The implied inference all along was, that Job, who had had so many proofs of the divine displeasure, must be a wicked man.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-15.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE DARK PICTURE THAT ELIPHAZ PAINTED OF JOB'S FUTURE

"I will show thee, hear thou me;

And that which I have seen I will declare

(Which wise men have told

From their fathers, and have not hid it;

Unto whom alone the land was given,

And no stranger passed among them):

The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days,

Even the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor.

A sound of terror is in his ears;

In prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.

He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness,

And he is waited for of the sword.

He wandereth abroad for bread, saying,

Where is it?

He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Distress and anguish make him afraid;

They prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.

Because he hath stretched out his hand against God,

And behaveth himself proudly (biddeth defiance to) against the Almighty.

He runneth upon him with a stiff neck,

With the thick bosses of his bucklers;

Because he hath covered his face with his fatness,

And gathered fat upon his loins;

And he hath dwelt in desolate cities,

In houses which no man inhabited,

Which were ready to become heaps;

He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue,

Neither shall their possessions be extended .... on the earth.

He shall not depart out of the darkness;

The flame shall dry up his branches,

And by the breath of God's mouth shall he go away.

Let him not trust in vanity, deceiving himself;

For vanity shall be his recompense.

It shall be accomplished before his time,

And his branch shall not be green.

He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine,

And shall cast off his flower as the olive tree

For the company of the godless shall be barren,

And fire shall consume the tents of bribery.

They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity,

And their heart prepareth deceit."

The discerning reader will not overlook Eliphaz' strategy in this evil speech. In effect, he preached Job's funeral, mentioning all the things he could think of that would tie his description of the wicked to what had already happened to Job. The implied prophecies were that Job would never be rich (Job 15:20), that he would soon die (Job 15:30,32). etc. These prophecies, of course, were never fulfilled. Note particularly Job 15:21 in which Eliphaz explained that God's judgment would fall upon the wicked in the time of his "prosperity," exactly as it had happened to Job. A dozen other such brutal insinuations may be detected in this shameful tirade against Job.

We are delighted to skip any further attention to this crooked speech, although a fantastic instrument of the devil it surely was!

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/job-15.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I will show thee, hear me,.... Here Eliphaz proceeds to illustrate and make plain, to clear and defend, his former sentiment and proposition, and into which the rest of his friends came; that only wicked, and not righteous men, are afflicted of God, especially in such a manner as Job was; and he proposes to show things worthy of his regard, and not such vain and unprofitable things which Job had uttered; and, in order to stir up and engage his attention, he says what follows:

and that which I have seen I will declare; what he had been an eyewitness of himself; the same he had observed, Job 4:8; and such testimonies are most regarded, and reckoned most authentic and creditable, especially when they come from men of character; see Luke 1:1.

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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 15:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-15.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

In direct contradiction of Job‘s position (Job 12:6, etc.), that the lot of the wicked was the most prosperous here, Eliphaz appeals (1) to his own experience, (2) to the wisdom of the ancients.

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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 15:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;

I — I will prove what I have affirmed, that such strokes as thine are peculiar to hypocrites.

Seen — I speak not by hear-say, but from my own experience.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:17 I will shew thee, hear me; and that [which] I have seen I will declare;

Ver. 17. I will show thee, hear me] Here Eliphaz useth a short but a lofty preface, calling hard for attention, and raising in Job an expectation of no mean matters. But

Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu - (Horat.)

This is his argument:

This is to be held to be true which experience evinceth, and wise men teach us, just as they have learned it from their religious ancestors.

But, both continued experience and consent of men teach us, that wicked men have terrors within and troubles without.

Therefore this is to be taken for a truth. Therefore also, by consequence, that is false which thou hast spoken concerning the prosperity of wicked men, Job 12:6. Neither canst thou avoid the charge of wickedness who dost suffer the punishments of the wicked. Now what is all this more than Eliphaz had said in a former discourse (so that Job might have cried out, Apage coccysmum?) only there he grounded his argument upon a night vision; here upon the testimony and consent of certain wise men, commended by their power and justice. Some think he meaneth Noah and his pious posterity.

That which I have seen I will declare] Wilt thou not believe an eyewitness? What can be more sure than sight? John 1:1. Surely, if we were well read in the story of our own lives, and had laid up our experiences, we might have a divinity of our own. The ll9th Psalm is made up of experiments; and David oft telleth us what he had seen and observed.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 15:17. I will shew thee, hear me, &c.— I will shew thee, hear me, for this I have seen; I will declare also (Job 15:18.) what the wise men recounted; for they concealed not the tradition of their fathers. Heath and Houbigant. Eliphaz, says Bp. Warburton, speaking of the wonderful works of God, declares how he came to the knowledge of them, I will shew thee, Job 15:17-18. The very way which Moses directs to preserve the memory of the miraculous works of God. "It is so," replies Mr. Peters; "and the very way that all the ancient history, and all the ancient wisdom, from the beginning of the world, was transmitted to posterity." The Bishop adds, "And who are these wise men? They are so particularly marked out, as not to be mistaken; unto whom the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them, Job 15:19 a circumstance applying to no people whatsoever, but the Israelites settled in Canaan." But, is Eliphaz here speaking of a nation or people? says Mr. Peters in return: no; he only speaks of wise men: and this could never be meant of the Israelites in general, whom the learned writer himself now and then represents as a gross sort of people. I shall not perplex the reader or myself with the various conjectures of expositors, in order to shew who are meant by these wise men; they are so particularly marked out, as the learned writer above mentioned observes, that one would think they could not easily be mistaken; and yet none of the commentators, who have come within my reach, seem to have been aware, that the characters here laid down so distinctly, can belong to none so properly as to Noah and his sons, from whom, in reality, the ancient traditions were delivered down: and it is evident, from the scripture history, that the earth was divided among these; that they were all of one family, and no stranger passed among them. See Peters, p. 32.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 15:17". 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

I will prove what I have affirmed, that such strokes as thine are peculiar to hypocrites and wicked men. I speak not by hearsay only, but from my own experience.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-15.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Seen. He had before given himself out for a prophet. Perhaps he may only mean to deliver what he had been taught, or had learned by experience, ver. 18. His observations are in themselves just; but the application to Job is no less insulting. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-15.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"I will tell you, listen to me; and what I have seen I will also declare": Here is the man of "experience" speaking and to his own lifelong observations; he will add the collected wisdom of the ancient (15:18). "Eliphaz was about to tell Job something wise men had told-traditions from their fathers, traditions that had not been hidden, but had been passed on" (Zuck p. 71).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "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

I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;

In direct contradiction of Job's position (Job 12:6, etc.), that the lot of the wicked was the most prosperous here, Eiphaz appeals

(1) To his own experience;

(2) To the wisdom of the ancients.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;
hear me
5:27; 13:5,6; 33:1; 34:2; 36:2
Reciprocal: Job 13:1 - ear;  Psalm 44:1 - in the times;  Proverbs 24:30 - went

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-15.html.