Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:19

To whom alone the land was given, And no alien passed among them.
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

Unto whom alone the earth was given - He very likely refers to the Israelites, who got possession of the promised land from God himself; no stranger being permitted to dwell in it, as the old inhabitants were to be exterminated. Some think that Noah and his sons may be intended; as it is certain that the whole earth was given to them, when there were no strangers - no other family of mankind - in being. But, system apart, the words seem to apply more clearly to the Israelites.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Unto whom alone the earth was given - The land; the land or country where they dwelt. He refers to the period before they became intermingled with other nations, and before they imbibed any sentiments or opinions from strangers. The meaning is, “I will give you the result of the observations of the golden age of the world when our fathers dwelt alone, and it could not be pretended that they had been corrupted by foreign philosophy; and when in morals and in sentiment they were pure.” Probably all nations look back to such times of primeval simplicity, and freedom from corruption, when the sentiments on morals and religion were comparatively pure, and before the people became corrupt by the importation of foreign opinions. It is a pleasing delusion to look back to such times - to some innocent Arcadia, or to a golden age - but usually all such retrospections are the mere work of fancy. The world really grows wiser as it grows older; and in the progress of society it is a rare thing when the present is not more pure and happy than its early stages. The comforts, privileges, and intelligence of the patriarchal age were not to be compared with those which we enjoy - any more than the condition of the wandering Arab is to be preferred to the quiet, peace, intelligence, and order of a calm, Christian home.

No stranger passed among them - No foreigner came to corrupt their sentiments by an admixture of strange doctrines. “Eliphaz here speaks like a genuine Arab, whose pride is in his tongue, his sword, and his pure blood.” Umbreit. It is possible, as Rosenmuller suggests, that Eliphaz means to insinuate that Job had been corrupted by the sentiments of the Chaldeans and Sabeans, and had departed from the pure doctrines of earlier times.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-15.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Unto whom alone the earth was given,.... Who were intrusted with the government of whole kingdoms and nations; and therefore not mean men, but persons of great consequence, and to be credited; being such as were appointed by God, and by him put into such an high office, for which they were qualified by him; and being observed to be such by men, were made choice of by them to take the government of them: this is not to be restrained to the land of Canaan, and to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom it was given, and to their posterity; and who it is very probable at this time did not yet enjoy it; but it respects more and larger tracts of land, and the rulers of them, and at a greater distance of time, and very likely Noah and his sons, to whom the whole earth was given, and by whom it was replenished, and among whom it was divided; this seems opposed to what Job had said, Job 9:24;

and no stranger passed among them; either there was no wicked man among them, a stranger to God and godliness; or an enemy that invaded them, passed through them, disturbed and dispossessed them of their power and substance; which shows how wise and good men are regarded by the Lord, and not distressed and afflicted as wicked men be; as well as serves to strengthen the credit of their character, and the report received and derived from them by tradition, and tacitly glances at Job's distress and disturbance by the Chaldeans and Sabeans; next follows the account of the things either seen by Eliphaz, or handed down from such credible persons now described.

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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 15:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Unto whom alone the earth was l given, and no stranger passed among them.

(l) Who by their wisdom so governed, that no stranger invaded them, and so the land seemed to be given to them alone.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 15:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Eliphaz speaks like a genuine Arab when he boasts that his ancestors had ever possessed the land unmixed with foreigners [Umbreit]. His words are intended to oppose Job‘s (Job 9:24); “the earth” in their case was not “given into the hand of the wicked.” He refers to the division of the earth by divine appointment (Genesis 10:5; Genesis 25:32). Also he may insinuate that Job‘s sentiments had been corrupted from original purity by his vicinity to the Sabeans and Chaldeans [Rosenmuller].

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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 15:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.

To whom — By the gracious gift of God: this he alleges to make their testimony more considerable, because these were no obscure men, but the most worthy and famous men in their ages; and to confute what Job had said, chap9:24, that the earth was given into the hand of the wicked. By the earth he means the dominion and possession of it.

Stranger — No person of a strange nation and disposition, or religion.

Passed — Through their land, so as to disturb, or spoil them, as the Sabeans and Chaldeans did thee. God watched over those holy men so, that no enemy could invade them; and so he would have done over thee, if thou hadst been such an one.

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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 15:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.

Ver. 19. To whom alone the earth was given] Noah and his pious posterity (as was above noted), whom Methodius and other ancients call, Mundi chiliarchos, the lords of the whole world, given them by the possessor of heaven and earth, as Melchisedek first called God, Genesis 14:19, and from him Abraham, another prince of God, Genesis 22:3, as those heathens acknowledged him, and heir of the whole world, Romans 4:13 As for Melchisedek (commonly taken to be Shem), he was king in Salem, and no stranger, that is, no enemy, molested him; no, not those great spoilers, Chedorlaomer and his accomplices; these never meddled with Melchisedek and his subjects (probably out of respect to his wisdom and holiness, for which he was famous), no, not when, marching against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, they wasted and smote all the neighbour countries. So true of his subjects and territories was that which followeth here,

And no stranger passed among them] viz. In a hostile way, in a warlike manner, Nehemiah 4:15 Some read, No strange thing passeth among them; as not the devouring sword, so neither the pestilence that walketh in darkness nor the destruction that wasteth at noonday, Psalms 91:6. Such as was the reign of Ferdinando III, king of Spain, for five and thirty years’ time. In quibus nec fames nec pestes fuit ni regno, saith Lopez, wherein there happened neither famine nor pestilence (Gloss. in Prolog. par. 1).

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-15.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Unto whom alone the earth was given; either,

1. By the special and gracious gift of God; whereas wicked men invaded their parts of the earth, and took them away by force. Or,

2. By the choice and consent of the people, who for their great and known wisdom and virtue conferred this power and trust upon them. This he allegeth, partly to make their testimony more considerable, because these were not obscure, and mean, and foolish men, whose words are commonly despised, but the most worthy and famous men in their places and ages; and partly to contradict and confute what Job had said, Job 9:24, that the earth was given into the hand of the wicked. By the earth he means either the dominion of the earth, to wit, of that part of the earth in or nigh which Job and his friends lived; or rather, the possession of the earth, i.e. of a great portion of worldly goods; or particularly, the land, or that land, (as the word properly signifies,) to wit, the land of Canaan, which was given by special gift unto Abraham, (from whom it seems most probable that both Job and his friends were descended,) and to Isaac, and to Jacob; who, though they met with some common and ordinary afflictions, yet enjoyed a great measure of comfort, and wealth, and honour, and power in the world, as the fruits of God’s blessing, and of his covenant made with good men, whilst wicked men were exposed to manifold distresses and grievous calamities; all which those holy patriarchs diligently observed, and industriously imparted to their children, to encourage them to continue and proceed in the ways of true piety. But how was the earth or land given to them alone, as is here said?

Answ. Either,

1. Because Noah and his sons (of whom some understand these words) had the sole possession and dominion of the earth. Or,

2. Because Canaan was given to Abraham and to his seed alone; and some of Abraham’s children had the dominion of, or an ample possession in, those parts where Job and his friends lived, who also seem to be in the number of them. Or,

3. Because they only had it either by God’s special and gracious providence, or by the choice and approbation of the people; whereas wicked men took it by rapine and violence, without asking leave either from God or men.

No stranger, i.e. the enemy; for such are called strangers, both in Scripture, as Proverbs 5:10 Isaiah 1:7 Ezekiel 11:9 28:10, and in other authors. No person of a strange nation and disposition or religion.

Among them, i.e. through their land, as this phrase is used, Numbers 20:18, to wit, so as to molest, or disturb, or spoil them, as the Sabeans and Chaldeans did thee. God watched over those wise and holy men so carefully, that no enemy should invade them; and so he would have done over thee, if thou hadst been such a one.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:19". 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

Fourth strophe — The remarkable fragment out of the experience and wisdom of the ancients which Eliphaz is about to recite in confirmation of his own views as to the miserableness of the wicked, he thinks is worthy of the more consideration, because of the purity of the race-stock by whom it has been preserved and transmitted, Job 15:17-19. The strophe is transitional.

19.The earth The land. Eliphaz boasts, like a true Ishmaelite, that his ancestors had kept their land against the intrusion of strangers, and their blood free from foreign commixture. Hence their doctrines and faith were more trustworthy because unalloyed. With Arabs even at the present day, purity of blood is the highest nobility, and a guarantee of superior wisdom. An unmixed Temanite was necessarily a wise man. See note Job 2:11, and Delitzsch, 1:259.

Rosenmuller suggests that Eliphaz means to insinuate that Job’s belief had been corrupted by association with the Chaldaeans and Sabeans; and he might have added the Egyptians, for Job makes more frequent allusions to their customs than to those of either of the others.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 15:19". "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 15:19. Unto whom alone the earth was given — By the gracious gift of God: this he alleges to make their testimony more considerable, because these were no obscure men, but the most worthy and famous men in their ages; and to confute what Job had said, Job 9:24, that the earth was given into the hand of the wicked. By the earth he means the dominion and possession of it. No stranger passed among them — No person of a strange nation and disposition, or religion, passed through their land, so as to disturb or spoil them, as the Sabeans and Chaldeans did thee. God watched over those holy men so that no enemy could invade them; and so he would have done over thee, if thou hadst been such a one. It seems evident, that Noah and his sons, Melchizedeck, Abraham, and others of the patriarchs, who lived before Job, are here intended.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 15:19". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Them. Their antiquity, courage, and purity of morals must consequently be greater, as they have preserved themselves from the inroads of strangers. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 15:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-15.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"To whom alone the land was given, and no alien passed among them": This was wisdom that was pure before the land had been infested by alien and foreign teachings.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:19". "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

Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.

Eliphaz speaks like a genuine Arab when he boasts that his ancestors had ever possessed the land unmixed with foreigners (Umbreit). His words are intended to oppose Job's (Job 9:24); "the earth" in their case was not "given into the hand of the wicked." He refers to the division of the earth by divine appointment (Genesis 10:5; Genesis 10:25; Genesis 10:32). Also, he may insinuate that Job's sentiments had been corrupted from original purity by his vicinity to the Sabeans and Chaldeans (Rosenmuller).

Copyright Statement
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 15:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.
Unto whom
Genesis 10:25,32; Deuteronomy 32:8; Joel 3:17
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-15.html.