Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:2

"Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge And fill himself with the east wind?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Belly;   Pride;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Winds;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Belly;   East wind;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Belly;   Vain;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Should a wise man utter vain knowledge - Or rather, Should a wise man utter the science of wind? A science without solidity or certainty.

And fill his belly with the east wind? - בטן beten, which we translate belly, is used to signify any part of the cavity of the body, whether the region of the thorax or abdomen; here it evidently refers to the lungs, and may include the cheeks and fauces. The east wind, קדים kadim, is a very stormy wind in the Levant, or the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, supposed to be the same with that called by the Greeks ευροκλυδων, euroclydon, the east storm, mentioned Acts 27:14. Eliphaz, by these words, seems to intimate that Job's speech was a perfect storm or tempest of words.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Should a wise man - Referring to Job, and to his claims to be esteemed wise; see Job 12:3; Job 13:2, Job 13:6. The argument of Eliphaz here is, that the sentiments which Job had advanced were a sufficient refutation of his pretensions to wisdom. A wise man would not be guilty of “mere talk,” or of using language that conveyed no ideas.

Utter - literally, answer. It refers to the replies which Job had made to the arguments of his friends.

Vain knowledge - Margin, “Knowledge of wind.” So the Hebrew; see Job 6:26; Job 7:7. The “wind” is used to denote what is unsubstantial, vain, changing. Here it is used as an emblem of remarks which were vain, empty, and irrelevant.

And fill his belly - Fill his mind with unsubstantial arguments or sentiments - as little fitted for utility as the east wind is for food. The image is, “he fills himself with mere wind, and then blows it out under pretence of delivering the maxims of wisdom.”

With the east wind - The east wind was not only tempestuous and vehement, but sultry, and destructive to vegetation. It passed over vast deserts, and was characterized by great dryness and heat. It is used here to denote a manner of discourse that had in it nothing profitable.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-15.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Should a wise man utter vain knowledge,.... As Job had been thought to be, or as he himself thought he was, which he might say sarcastically; or as he really was, not worldly wise, nor merely wise in things natural, but in things divine; being one that had the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom itself; believed in Christ, and walked wisely and circumspectly before men; now it is not becoming such a man to utter vain knowledge, or such knowledge as is like the wind, or, as the Targum, windy knowledge; empty, not solid, nor satisfying, but swells and puffs up, and is knowledge falsely so called; but it does not appear that Job did utter such vain and fruitless things as deserved to be compared to the wind:

and fill his belly with the east wind; which is noisy and blusterous, rapid and forcible, bearing all before it, and very infectious in hot countries; and such notions Job, according to Eliphaz, satisfied himself with, and endeavoured to insinuate them into others; which were nothing but great swelling words of vanity, and tended to subvert the faith of men, and overthrow all religion, and were very unwholesome, infectious, and ruinous to the minds of men, as suggested.

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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 15:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Should a wise man utter a vain knowledge, and fill his belly b with the east wind?

(a) That is, vain words, and without consolation?

(b) Meaning, with matters that are of no importance, which are forgotten as soon as they are uttered, as the East wind dries up moisture as soon as it falls.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

a wise man — which Job claims to be.

vain knowledgeHebrew, “windy knowledge”; literally, “of wind” (Job 8:2). In Ecclesiastes 1:14, Hebrew, “to catch wind,” expresses to strive for what is vain.

east wind — stronger than the previous “wind,” for in that region the east wind is the most destructive of winds (Isaiah 27:8). Thus here, - empty violence.

belly — the inward parts, the breast (Proverbs 18:8).

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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 15:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-15.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?

Fill — Satisfy his mind and conscience.

East wind — With discourses not only unprofitable, but also pernicious both to himself and others; as the east-wind was in those parts.

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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 15:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?

Ver. 2. Should a wise man utter vain knowledge] Heb. Knowledge of the wind; light, frothy, empty discourses, that have no tack or substance in them, but only words that are no better than wind, a mere flash or airy nothing. Solomon thinks a wise man should beware of falling into this fault, lest he forfeit his reputation: Ecclesiastes 10:1, "Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour"; as spots are soonest observed in the whitest and finest garments; and envy, like worms and moths, doth usually feed on the purest cloth. A great many dead flies may be found in a tar box, and no harm done, but one of them fallen into a pot of sweet odours, or precious perfumes, may soon taint and corrupt them.

And fill his belly with the east wind?] Per ventrem, mentem intellige, et per ventum Orientalem, vanam opinionem, saith Vatablus. By belly understand the mind, and by the east wind a vain conceit, or frothy knowledge, blown forth out of a swelling breast, to the hurt of others; for the east wind is destructive to herbs and fruits, Hosea 12:1, Genesis 41:6. But doth not Eliphaz here by these bubble of words and blustering questions, betraying much choler and confidence, fall into the very same fault which he findeth with Job; doth not he also fill his belly with heat (so the Vulgate rendereth this text), which, kindling in his bosom, blazeth out at his lips? Doth not this angry man exalt folly, and show himself none of the wisest, though he were the oldest in all the company.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-15.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A wise man; such as thou seemest and pretendest to be.

Vain knowledge, i.e. empty words, without any sense or solidity in them.

Fill his belly, i.e. satisfy his own mind and conscience, which being secret is compared to the inwards of the belly; as Job 32:19 Proverbs 20:27 22:18.

With the east wind, i.e. with discourses which are not only flashy and unprofitable, and without any weight, but also boisterous and pernicious, both to himself and others; as the east wind was in those parts, Genesis 41:6 Exodus 10:13 Hosea 12:1.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:2". 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

First division — JOB’S SPEECHES SUBSTANTIATE HIS GUILT, Job 15:2-19.

First strophe — His discourses are distinguished for inane vehemence, destructive godlessness, and low cunning, Job 15:2-6.

2.Vain knowledge — Literally, windy knowledge. See note Job 16:3.

His belly — The sense of the Hebrew beten is best expressed by the Arabic, el battin, which signifies that which is within. In a mystical sense, it means the inmost being, in which were united, as Orientals believe, all the powers of mind, body, and spirit.

East wind — See Job 1:19. This wind was exceedingly violent and destructive, and is frequently used in the prophets as an image of desolation and emptiness.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "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 15:2. Should a wise man — Such as thou pretendest to be, utter vain knowledge — Hebrews דעת רוח, dagnath, ruach, knowledge of wind; that is, empty words, without any sense or solidity in them; and fill his belly — Satisfy his mind and conscience; with the east wind — With notions and speeches, which are not only unsubstantial and unprofitable, but also hasty, impetuous, and pernicious; and full as hurtful to the peace of his own mind, and the quiet and comfort of others, as the boisterous, scorching east wind is to fruits and herbs of every kind. The Hebrew is literally, And should the east wind fill his belly — his vain and useless knowledge puff him up with pride and self-conceit?

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 15:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Heat. Hebrew, "east wind," (Haydock) or give vent to passion. (Haydock) --- Eliphaz now rebukes Job without any reserve. (Calmet) --- He was perhaps displeased at the comparison used by the latter, chap. xiii. 4. Baldad had also hinted that Job's discourse was nothing but wind, chap. viii. 2. (Haydock) --- Being unable to answer his arguments, he reviles him as an enemy of God. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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

vain = empty. i.e. windy science.

wind. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "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

Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?

A wise man - which Job claims to be. Vain knowledge - Hebrew, windy knowledge-literally, 'of wind' (Job 8:2), In Ecclesiastes 1:14 [ r

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "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

(2) Should a wise man utter vain knowledge . . .—Job therefore is not wise, and his words have been vain and windy.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?
a wise man
11:2,3; 13:2; James 3:13
vain knowledge
Heb. knowledge of wind.
6:26; 8:2
fill
Hosea 12:1
Reciprocal: Job 12:2 - ye are the people;  Job 16:3 - vain words;  Job 24:25 - who will make;  Job 33:3 - my lips;  Job 34:35 - GeneralIsaiah 44:20 - feedeth

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-15.html.