Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 15:7

"Were you the first man to be born, Or were you brought forth before the hills?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

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

Adam Clarke Commentary

Art thou the first man that was born? - Literally, "Wert thou born before Adam?" Art thou in the pristine state of purity and innocence? Or art thou like Adam in his first state? It does not become the fallen descendant of a fallen parent to talk as thou dost.

Made before the hills? - Did God create thee the beginning of his ways? or wert thou the first intelligent creature which his hands have formed?

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Art thou the first man that was born? - Hast thou lived ever since the creation, and treasured up all the wisdom of past times, that thou dost now speak so arrogantly and confidently? This question was asked, because, in the estimation of Eliphaz and his friends, wisdom was supposed to be connected with long life, and with an opportunity for extended and varied observation; see Job 15:10. Job they regarded as comparatively a young man.

Wast thou made before the hills - The mountains and the hills are often represented as being the oldest of created objects, probably because they are the most ancient things that appear on earth. Springs dry up, and waters change their beds; cities are built and decay; kingdoms rise and fall, and all the monuments of human skill and art perish; but the hills and mountains remain the same from age to age. Thus, in Psalm 90:2:

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.

So in Proverbs 8:25, in the description of wisdom:

Before the mountains were settled,

Before the hills was I brought forth.

So the hills are called “everlasting” Genesis 49:26, in allusion to their great antiquity and permanence. And so we, in common parlance, have a similar expression when we say of anything that “it is as old as the hills.” The question which Eliphaz intends to ask here of Job is, whether he had lived from the creation, and had observed everything?

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-15.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

ELIPHAZ CALLED JOB ABOMINABLE AND CORRUPT

"Art thou the first man that was born?

Or wast thou brought forth before the hills?

Hast thou heard the secret counsel of God?

Or dost thou limit wisdom to thy self?

What knowest thou that we know not?

What understandest thou that is not known in us?

With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men,

Much elder than thy father.

Are the consolations of God too small for thee,

Even the word that is gentle toward thee?

Why doth thy heart carry thee away?

And why do thine eyes flash,

That against God thou turnest thy spirit,

And lettest words go out of thy mouth?

What is man, that he should be clean?

And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Behold, he putteth no trust in his holy ones;

Yea the heavens are not clean in his sight:

How much less one that is abominable and corrupt,

A man that drinketh iniquity like water!"

Eliphaz claimed that all of the aged men approved of their judgment and condemnation of Job as a gross sinner, implying that the whole population of the area concurred in their evil appraisal of the situation; and he was very probably correct in that allegation.

Satan here had succeeded in the complete isolation of Job from every possibility of any human support. And how had he been able to do that? It all stemmed from that evil proverb: GOD ALWAYS DEALS (IN THIS LIFE) WITH EVERY MAN EXACTLY AS HE DESERVES. THE GOOD GET RICH; THE EVIL SUFFER. A lie has always been the principal weapon in the arsenal of the devil. Satan is the Father of Lies; and it was with a lie that he seduced and destroyed our Progenitors in Eden.

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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 15:7". "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

Art thou the first man that was born?.... The first Adam, who was created in wisdom and knowledge, and had a large share of understanding in things natural, civil, and moral; knew much of God and his perfections, of the works of nature, and of the wisdom and power of God displayed in them; one instance of which is his giving names to the creatures; dost thou think thou art that selfsame individual person, the father of all mankind, who had such a stock and fund of knowledge, until, by seeking after more, and that unlawful, he lost much of what he had? dost thou imagine that thou hast lived ever since, and seen or known everything that was done in all ages from the beginning, and hast gathered a large share of knowledge from long experience, and by making strict observations on men and things in such a length of time? or, as the Targum,

"wast thou born with the first man, without father and mother?'

and hast thou existed ever since? or, "wast thou born before Adam?" before the first manF26So Mercerus, and some in Vatablus, Schmidt, Jarchi, & Bar Tzemach. ? Art thou the wisdom and son of God, who was before Abraham, before Adam, before any creature whatever, was in the beginning with God, and was God? What dost thou make thyself to be, Job? thou, a mere man, dost thou make thyself to be the eternal God? for to be before the first man, or to be the firstborn of every creature, or to be born before every creature, is expressive of eternity, as is the following phrase:

or wast thou made before the hills? or existed before they did? as is said of the son of God, Proverbs 8:25; what is before the hills and mountains is eternal; the eternal God and his eternity are thus described, Psalm 90:2.

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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 15:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

[Art] thou the e first man [that] was born? or wast thou made before the hills?

(e) That is, the most ancient and so by reason the most wise?
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

That is, Art thou wisdom personified? Wisdom existed before the hills; that is, the eternal Son of God (Proverbs 8:25; Psalm 90:2). Wast thou in existence before Adam? The farther back one existed, the nearer he was to the Eternal Wisdom.

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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 15:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-15.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 15:7 [Art] thou the first man [that] was born? or wast thou made before the hills?

Ver. 7. Art thou the first man that was born?] Or, Wast thou made before Adam? Ut vox Rishon non significet primus, sed prius (Lavat., Bucholc.). Out of the mouth of Adam, as from a fountain, flowed whatsoever profitable learning, skill, or wisdom, is found in the world, saith the divine chronologer. Job had taxed Zophar for a young puny and a novice. Job 12:9-12 This Eliphaz kindleth at, and taketh upon him to answer in Zophar’s behalf. As indeed these three speakers, Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad, stood to one another, as much as any one of them did for himself, as if they had all entered bond, and given security for reciprocal assistance. Here then Eliphaz asketh, Art thou the first man born? that is, Art thou the wisest man alive? and must we all be taught by thee, as Adam’s nephews were by him, in things divine and human.

Or wast thou made before the hills?] i.e. Before the angels, as some sense it. But take it literally for the mountains, called, for their antiquity, the everlasting hills, Genesis 49:26, Habakkuk 3:6, because they were from the beginning, and shall continue to the end. These appeared first at the separation of the waters, Genesis 1:9-10. And Christ, to set forth his eternity, saith, Proverbs 8:25, "Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, was I brought forth." So Psalms 90:2.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 15:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 15:7. Art thou the first man that was born? Wast thou born before Adam? Schultens, Heath, &c.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 15:7". 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

Hast thou lived ever since the creation of the world, and treasured up the experiences of all ages in thy own breast, that thou speakest so arrogantly and magisterially, and with such contempt of other men? Art thou the most ancient and the wisest of all mortal men? Whom dost thou make thyself? Before the hills; before the earth was made and distinguished into mountains and valleys.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 15:7". 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

Second strophe — Ironical questioning as to the possible modes by which Job had attained to such superior wisdom and self-sufficiency that he could discard divine consolations imparted through his friends, Job 15:7-11.

7.Art thou the first man — Literally, Wast thou born the first man? Art thou an Adam still alive, having gathered all the treasures of wisdom — the experience of many centuries? In India, Mr. Roberts tells us, a pertinacious opposer is asked, “What! were you born before all others?” “Yes, yes, he is the first man: no wonder he has so much wisdom.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-15.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

First. Is thy experience so great, (Menochius) or art thou the most excellent of men? To hear thee we are but novices, chap. xiii. 5. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-15.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Were you the first man to be born, or were you brought forth before the hills?" This is like our modern expression, "older than the hills". "Eliphaz suggests that the patriarch is egotistical by implying that he believed that his wisdom was greater than that of antiquity" (Jackson p. 47). "Who does Job think he is, the oldest man on the earth, and therefore the wisest?"

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-15.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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

made = brought forth.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "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

Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?

i.e., Art thou wisdom personified? Wisdom existed before the hills - i:e., the eternal of God (Proverbs 8:25; Pa. 90:2). Want thou in existence before Adam? The further back one existed, the nearer he was to the Eternal Wisdom.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "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

(7) Art thou the first man that was born?—This is a retort upon Job 12:2; Job 12:7; Job 12:9, where Job had claimed equal knowledge for the inanimate creation.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?
the first
10; 12:12; Genesis 4:1
or wast thou
38:4-41; Psalms 90:2; Proverbs 8:22-25
Reciprocal: Job 32:6 - durst not;  Job 38:12 - since;  Job 38:21 - GeneralProverbs 8:25 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-15.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"Art thou the first man that was born?"Job 15:7

The humbling questions which may be put to men!—The very strongest man is thrown down from his high position by the force of a blow like this.—How difficult it is to be an originator, the very first in the field, the man who had the earliest revelation and the first message to bring from heaven! We cannot get at that man; he is removed from us by a distance we cannot measure.—So when the poet sings he accompanies himself upon a harp which other men made; when a book is published it is only an advance upon a book published long before: when a man puts down upon paper all the knowledge he has acquired, he is bound to say that it was an acquisition and not an origination on his part; he says, in effect, Other men have told me this; whether they are right or wrong, I cannot tell; I merely repeat what I have been told.—We must distinguish between a voice and an echo.—The application of an inquiry of this kind lies in the direction of modifying our infallibility.—As I am not the first man that was born, I am obliged to consult some other Prayer of Manasseh, so that we may come to a common opinion about beginnings, and operations, and issues: he may have seen more than I have seen: he may be better able to express himself than I am: he may have the very thing which I want.—Here is the great principle of traditional knowledge and relative knowledge; and this principle must be recognised in the interpretation of the universe, and even in the interpretation of the Bible.—God takes away from us all privileges which could be ruined into boasting, or he limits those privileges by showing how many other people have shared them, and have borne their elevation in a modest spirit and with a thankful heart.—The question would admit of application in regard to all the worlds into which men are born: for example, a man is born into the world of literature, and there he finds himself crowded by ancestors;—a man is born into the spiritual world, in which he sings and prays, and holds communion with God, and suddenly he feels himself surrounded by an infinite host of fellow-worshippers;—he is born into a world of intellectual activity, and he is surprised at his own mental miracles, and scarcely has he plumed himself upon their originality or novelty when he finds that all he has looked upon as new are the commonplaces of ages forgotten.—Thus there is a subtle action of encouragement, and a concurrent action of humiliation, so that between the two the man"s mind may be established in modesty and reason.—We should beware how we go about boasting of our originality, lest the man to whom we speak has given up our novelties as commonplaces he could no longer tolerate.—Thus infallibility goes down; thus all papacy is overthrown; thus all priesthood is dispossessed of authority: we can only live healthfully by mental concession, by discussion, by acknowledgment of indebtedness one to another, and by preserving the fellowship which eventuates in common truths, and sentiments which are sustained by a large common practice.—Never listen to any teacher who claims to be the first man that was born; be thankful for any wise man"s word who is willing to regard it as but a contribution to the sum-total; and in proportion as the man refers to his authorities, and endeavours to found his claim upon his own gratitude, rather than upon his own inspiration, have confidence in the elevation of his intention.

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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 15:7". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/job-15.html. 1885-95.