Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day.

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

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;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Hill;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Job 15:7. 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?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


Eliphaz speaks (15:1-35)

The three friends are offended that their collective wisdom has not humbled Job as they had hoped. They are angered that Job continues to argue with God. Therefore, in this the second round of argument they emphasize the terrors of God’s judgment, hoping that this might bring Job to repentance.
Eliphaz, the least aggressive of the three, leads off again, though clearly even he is angered and offended at Job’s speech. Job claims to be a wise and godly person, but his rash answers have been unprofitable and irreverent. Such speech is itself proof of his guilt (15:1-6). Does Job think that he alone has knowledge of the ways of God (7-9)? Does he think that he can ignore teaching that is the fruit of generations of experience (10)? Why does he despise the comfort of his friends and turn against them with such hostility (11-13)? If even angels are not perfect, how sinful must the rebellious, self-righteous, argumentative Job appear in God’s sight (14-16. Note how Eliphaz again refers to his dream; cf. 4:18).
Job cannot ignore the lessons of experience, nor can he ignore the teaching of traditional wisdom (which, Eliphaz notes approvingly, has not been affected by foreign ideas) (17-19). Experience and traditional wisdom show clearly that pain, loss of prosperity and the feeling of hopelessness are all the results of wickedness (20-24). And the supreme wickedness, says Eliphaz, is to fight against God. When God destroys, a person should not try to rebuild (25-28).
The rebel, in punishment for his sin, suffers personal loss and an early death. He is like a healthy vine or tree that is suddenly destroyed (29-33). Such disaster is the unavoidable result of a deceitful heart (34-35).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible


"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.

Copyright Statement
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". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

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 Psalms 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?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 15

Now at this point, Eliphaz, who was the first friend of Job's to speak, speaks for the second time. And he claims that he is older than Job, more experienced than Job, and thus Job ought to listen to him.

Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? ( Job 15:1-2 )

Job, you're just a big bag of wind, man.

Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches whereof he can do no good? Yea, you cast off fear, and restrain prayer before God. For your mouth utters your iniquity, and you choose the tongue of the crafty. Your own mouth condemns you, not I: yea, your own lips are testifying against you. Are you the first man that was ever born? or were you made before the hills? Have you heard the secret of God? do you restrain wisdom to yourself? What do you know, that we don't know? what do you understand, which is not in us? With us is the grayheaded and the very aged men, much older than your father. Are the consolations of God small with thee? Is there any secret thing with thee? ( Job 15:3-11 )

In other words, "We've been giving you God's advice, man. Is it just nothing to you?" You know, oh, help.

Why does your heart carry thee away? what are your eyes winking at ( Job 15:12 ),

Job, what sin are you just sort of closing your eyes to?

That you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth? What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, God puts no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinks iniquity like water? I will show you, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare; Which wise men have told from their fathers, and not hid it ( Job 15:13-18 ):

Okay, now here are the traditions. Now these are the truths that are passed down from the fathers to their sons and all.

Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them. The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him ( Job 15:19-21 ).

So a man who experiences pain is surely wicked. A man who has been wiped out is a man who is guilty of sin.

He believes not that he shall return out of darkness, he is waited for of the sword. He wanders abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? And he knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand. Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; and they shall prevail against him, as a king that is ready to battle. For he stretched out his hand against God, and he strengthened himself against the Almighty. He runs upon him, even on his neck, and the thick bosses of his bucklers: Because he covers his face with fatness, and makes the collops of fat on his flanks. And he dwells in desolate cities, in houses which no man inhabits, which are ready to become heaps. He shall not be rich, neither will his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. He shall not depart out of darkness; and the flame shall dry up his branches, by the breath of his mouth shall he go away. Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompense ( Job 15:22-31 ).

Job, you're deceiving yourself. You're trusting in emptiness, and emptiness will be the result, your reward.

It shall be accomplished before his time, his branch shall not be green. He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and cast off his flower as the olive. For the congregation of the hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. They conceive mischief, and bring forth emptiness, and their belly prepares deceit ( Job 15:32-35 ).

So all of these things, in a sense, are accusations against Job. "Job, you've been deceitful. Job, you've been lying. Job, you're a hypocrite. Job, you know, you're wicked. And these things are all happening to you because of your own iniquity." "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Job’s attitude rebuked 15:1-16

Specifically, Eliphaz accused Job of speaking irreverently (Job 15:1-6) and of pretending to be wiser and purer than he was (Job 15:7-16). For a second time one of his friends said Job was full of hot air (Job 15:2-3; cf. Job 8:2). The east wind (Job 15:2) was the dreaded sirocco that blew in destruction from the Arabian Desert.

"Eliphaz was using one of the oldest tactics in debate-if you can’t refute your opponent’s arguments, attack his words and make them sound like a lot of hot air.’" [Note: Wiersbe, p. 32.]

Eliphaz judged that Job’s iniquity (better than "guilt," Job 15:5) caused him to speak as he did.

"This is another debater’s trick: when you can’t refute the speech, ridicule the speaker." [Note: Ibid.]

Eliphaz felt insulted that Job, a younger man, had rejected the wisdom of his older friends. This was an act of disrespect on Job’s part, and Eliphaz interpreted it as a claim to superior wisdom. Job had made no such claim, however; he only said he had equal intelligence (Job 12:3; Job 13:2). He did not claim to know why he was suffering as he was, only that his friends’ explanation was wrong. Eliphaz interpreted Job’s prayers of frustration to God as rebellion against God (Job 15:12-13), which they were not. We need to be careful to avoid this error too. Eliphaz was correct in judging all people to be corrupt sinners (Job 15:14), but he was wrong to conclude that Job was suffering because he was rebelling against God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

1. Eliphaz’s second speech ch. 15

Job’s responses so far had evidently convinced Eliphaz that Job was a hardened sinner in defiant rebellion against God. [Note: Pope, p. 114.]

"There is a great change in tone between this address of Eliphaz and the first. There is no tenderness here. The philosophy of life is stated wholly on the negative side, and it was impossible for Job to misunderstand the meaning." [Note: Morgan, p. 208.]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Job 15:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

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 man z? 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, Psalms 90:2.

z So Mercerus, and some in Vatablus, Schmidt, Jarchi, & Bar Tzemach.

Copyright Statement
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". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Second Address of Eliphaz. B. C. 1520.

      1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,   2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?   3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?   4 Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.   5 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.   6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.   7 Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?   8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?   9 What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?   10 With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.   11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?   12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,   13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?   14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?   15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.   16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

      Eliphaz here falls very foul upon Job, because he contradicted what he and his colleagues had said, and did not acquiesce in it and applaud it, as they expected. Proud people are apt thus to take it very much amiss if they may not have leave to dictate and give law to all about them, and to censure those as ignorant and obstinate, and all that is naught, who cannot in every thing say as they say. Several great crimes Eliphaz here charges Job with, only because he would not own himself a hypocrite.

      I. He charges him with folly and absurdity (Job 15:2; Job 15:3), that, whereas he had been reputed a wise man, he had now quite forfeited his reputation; any one would say that his wisdom had departed from him, he talked so extravagantly and so little to the purpose. Bildad began thus (Job 8:2; Job 8:2), and Zophar, Job 11:2; Job 11:3. It is common for angry disputants thus to represent one another's reasonings as impertinent and ridiculous more than there is cause, forgetting the doom of him that calls his brother Raca, and Thou fool. It is true, 1. That there is in the world a great deal of vain knowledge, science falsely so called, that is useless, and therefore worthless. 2. That this is the knowledge that puffs up, with which men swell in a fond conceit of their own accomplishments. 3. That, whatever vain knowledge a man may have in his head, if he would be thought a wise man he must not utter it, but let it die with himself as it deserves. 4. Unprofitable talk is evil talk. We must give an account in the great day not only for wicked words, but for idle words. Speeches therefore which do no good, which do no service either to God or our neighbour, or no justice to ourselves, which are no way to the use of edifying, were better unspoken. Those words which are as wind, light and empty, especially which are as the east wind, hurtful and pernicious, it will be pernicious to fill either ourselves or others with, for they will pass very ill in the account. 5. Vain knowledge or unprofitable talk ought to be reproved and checked, especially in a wise man, whom it worst becomes and who does most hurt by the bad example of it.

      II. He charges him with impiety and irreligion (Job 15:4; Job 15:4): "Thou castest off fear," that is, "the fear of God, and that regard to him which thou shouldst have; and then thou restrainest prayer." See what religion is summed up in, fearing God and praying to him, the former the most needful principle, the latter the most needful practice. Where no fear of God is no good is to be expected; and those who live without prayer certainly live without God in the world. Those who restrain prayer do thereby give evidence that they cast off fear. Surely those have no reverence of God's majesty, no dread of his wrath, and are in no care about their souls and eternity, who make no applications to God for his grace. Those who are prayerless are fearless and graceless. When the fear of God is cast off all sin is let in and a door opened to all manner of profaneness. It is especially bad with those who have had some fear of God, but have now cast it off--have been frequent in prayer, but now restrain it. How have they fallen! How is their first love lost! It denotes a kind of force put upon themselves. The fear of God would cleave to them, but they throw it off; prayer would be uttered, but they restrain it; and, in both, they baffle their convictions. Those who either omit prayer or straiten and abridge themselves in it, quenching the spirit of adoption and denying themselves the liberty they might take in the duty, restrain prayer. This is bad enough, but it is worse to restrain others from prayer, to prohibit and discourage prayer, as Darius, Daniel 6:7. Now,

      1. Eliphaz charges this upon Job, either, (1.) As that which was his own practice. He thought that Job talked of God with such liberty as if he had been his equal, and that he charged him so vehemently with hard usage of him, and challenged him so often to a fair trial, that he had quite thrown off all religious regard to him. This charge was utterly false, and yet wanted not some colour. We ought not only to take care that we keep up prayer and the fear of God, but that we never drop any unwary expressions which may give occasion to those who seek occasion to question our sincerity and constancy in religion. Or, (2.) As that which others would infer from the doctrine he maintained. "If this be true" (thinks Eliphaz) "which Job says, that a man may be thus sorely afflicted and yet be a good man, then farewell all religion, farewell prayer and the fear of God. If all things come alike to all, and the best men may have the worst treatment in this world, every one will be ready to say, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it to keep his ordinances?Malachi 3:14. Verily I have cleansed my hands in vain,Psalms 73:13; Psalms 73:14. Who will be honest if the tabernacles of robbers prosper? Job 12:6; Job 12:6. If there be no forgiveness with God (Job 7:21; Job 7:21), who will fear him? Psalms 130:4. If he laugh at the trial of the innocent (Job 9:23; Job 9:23), if he be so difficult of access (Job 9:32; Job 9:32), who will pray to him?" Note, It is a piece of injustice which even wise and good men are too often guilty of, in the heat of disputation, to charge upon their adversaries those consequences of their opinions which are not fairly drawn from them and which really they abhor. This is not doing as we would be done by.

      2. Upon this strained innuendo Eliphaz grounds that high charge of impiety (Job 15:5; Job 15:5): Thy mouth utters thy iniquity--teaches it, so the word is. "Thou teachest others to have the same hard thoughts of God and religion that thou thyself hast." It is bad to break even the least of the commandments, but worse to teach men so,Matthew 5:19. If we ever thought evil, let us lay our hand upon our mouth to suppress the evil thought (Proverbs 30:32), and let us by no means utter it; that is putting an imprimatur to it, publishing it with allowance, to the dishonour of God and the damage of others. Observe, When men have cast off fear and prayer their mouths utter iniquity. Those that cease to do good soon learn to do evil. What can we expect but all manner of iniquity from those that arm not themselves with the grace of God against it? But thou choosest the tongue of the crafty, that is, "Thou utterest thy iniquity with some show and pretence of piety, mixing some good words with the bad, as tradesmen do with their wares to help them off." The mouth of iniquity could not do so much mischief as it does without the tongue of the crafty. The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety. See Romans 16:18. The tongue of the crafty speaks with design and deliberation; and therefore those that use it may be said to choose it, as that which will serve their purpose better than the tongue of the upright: but it will be found, at last, that honesty is the best policy. Eliphaz, in his first discourse, had proceeded against Job upon mere surmise (Job 4:6; Job 4:7), but now he has got proof against him from his own discourses (Job 15:6; Job 15:6): Thy own mouth condemns thee, and not I. But he should have considered that he and his fellows had provoked him to say that which now they took advantage of; and that was not fair. Those are most effectually condemned that are condemned by themselves, Titus 3:11; Luke 19:22. Many a man needs no more to sink him than for his own tongue to fall upon him.

      III. He charges him with intolerable arrogancy and self-conceitedness. It was a just, and reasonable, and modest demand that Job had made (Job 12:3; Job 12:3), Allow that I have understanding as well as you; but see how they seek occasion against him: that is misconstrued, as if he pretended to be wiser than any man. Because he will not grant to them the monopoly of wisdom, they will have it thought that he claims it to himself, Job 15:7-9; Job 15:7-9. As if he thought he had the advantage of all mankind, 1. In length of acquaintance with the world, which furnishes men with so much the more experience: "Art thou the first man that was born; and, consequently, senior to us, and better able to give the sense of antiquity and the judgment of the first and earliest, the wisest and purest, ages? Art thou prior to Adam?" So it may be read. "Did not he suffer for sin; and yet wilt not thou, who art so great a sufferer, own thyself a sinner? Wast thou made before the hills, as Wisdom herself was? Proverbs 8:23, c. Must God's counsels, which are as the great mountains (Psalms 36:6), and immovable as the everlasting hills, be subject to thy notions and bow to them? Dost thou know more of the world than any of us do? No, thou art but of yesterday even as we are," Job 8:9; Job 8:9. Or, 2. In intimacy of acquaintance with God (Job 15:8; Job 15:8): "Hast thou heard the secret of God? Dost thou pretend to be of the cabinet-council of heaven, that thou canst give better reasons than others can for God's proceedings?" There are secret things of God, which belong not to us, and which therefore we must not pretend to account for. Those are daringly presumptuous who do. He also represents him, (1.) As assuming to himself such knowledge as none else had: "Dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself, as if none were wise besides?" Job had said (Job 13:2; Job 13:2), What you know, the same do I know also; and now they return upon him, according to the usage of eager disputants, who think they have a privilege to commend themselves: What knowest thou that we know not? How natural are such replies as these in the heat of argument! But how simple do they look afterwards, upon the review! (2.) As opposing the stream of antiquity, a venerable name, under the shade of which all contending parties strive to shelter themselves: "With us are the gray-headed and very aged men,Job 15:10; Job 15:10. We have the fathers on our side; all the ancient doctors of the church are of our opinion." A thing soon said, but not so soon proved; and, when proved, truth is not so soon discovered and proved by it as most people imagine. David preferred right scripture-knowledge before that of antiquity (Psalms 119:100): I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. Or perhaps one or more, if not all three, of these friends of Job, were older than he (Job 32:6; Job 32:6), and therefore they thought he was bound to acknowledge them to be in the right. This also serves contenders to make a noise with to very little purpose. If they are older than their adversaries, and can say they knew such a thing before their opponents were born, this will not serve to justify them in being arrogant and overbearing; for the oldest are not always the wisest, Job 32:9; Job 32:9.

      IV. He charges him with a contempt of the counsels and comforts that were given him by his friends (Job 15:11; Job 15:11): Are the consolations of God small with thee? 1. Eliphaz takes it ill that Job did not value the comforts which he and his friends administered to him more than it seems he did, and did not welcome every word they said as true and important. It is true they had said some very good things, but, in their application to Job, they were miserable comforters. Note, We are apt to think that great and considerable which we ourselves say, when others perhaps with good reason think it small and trifling. Paul found that those who seemed to be somewhat, yet, in conference, added nothing to him,Galatians 2:6. 2. He represents this as a slight put upon divine consolations in general, as if they were of small account with him, whereas really they were not. If he had not highly valued them, he could not have borne up as he did under his sufferings. Note, (1.) The consolations of God are not in themselves small. Divine comforts are great things, that is, the comfort which is from God, especially the comfort which is in God. (2.) The consolations of God not being small in themselves, it is very lamentable if they be small with us. It is a great affront to God, and an evidence of a degenerate depraved mind, to disesteem and undervalue spiritual delights and despise the pleasant land. "What!" (says Eliphaz) "is there any secret thing with thee? Hast thou some cordial to support thyself with, that is a proprium, an arcanum, that nobody else can pretend to, or knows any thing of?" Or, "Is there some secret sin harboured and indulged in thy bosom, which hinders the operation of divine comforts?" None disesteem divine comforts but those that secretly affect the world and the flesh.

      V. He charges him with opposition to God himself and to religion (Job 15:12; Job 15:13): "Why doth thy heart carry thee away into such indecent irreligious expressions?" Note, Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust,James 1:14. If we fly off from God and our duty, or fly out into anything amiss, it is our own heart that carries us away. If thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. There is a violence, an ungovernable impetus, in the turnings of the soul; the corrupt heart carries men away, as it were, by force, against their convictions. "What is it that thy eyes wink at? Why so careless and mindless of what is said to thee, hearing it as if thou wert half asleep? Why so scornful, disdaining what we say, as if it were below thee to take notice of it? What have we said that deserves to be thus slighted--nay, that thou turnest thy spirit against God?" It was bad that his heart was carried away from God, but much worse that it was turned against God. But those that forsake God will soon break out in open enmity to him. But how did this appear? Why, "Thou lettest such words go out of thy mouth, reflecting on God, and his justice and goodness." It is the character of the wicked that they set their mouth against the heavens (Psalms 73:9), which is a certain indication that the spirit is turned against God. He thought Job's spirit was soured against God, and so turned from what it had been, and exasperated at his dealings with him. Eliphaz wanted candour and charity, else he would not have put such a harsh construction upon the speeches of one that had such a settled reputation for piety and was now in temptation. This was, in effect, to give the cause on Satan's side, and to own that Job had done as Satan said he would, had cursed God to his face.

      VI. He charges him with justifying himself to such a degree as even to deny his share in the common corruption and pollution of the human nature (Job 15:14; Job 15:14): What is man, that he should be clean? that is, that he should pretend to be so, or that any should expect to find him so. What is he that is born of a woman, a sinful woman, that he should be righteous? Note, 1. Righteousness is cleanness; it makes us acceptable to God and easy to ourselves, Psalms 18:24. 2. Man, in his fallen state, cannot pretend to be clean and righteous before God, either to acquit himself to God's justice or recommend himself to his favour. 3. He is to be adjudged unclean and unrighteous because born of a woman, from whom he derives a corrupt nature, which is both his guilt and his pollution. With these plain truths Eliphaz thinks to convince Job, whereas he had just now said the same (Job 14:4; Job 14:4): Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? But does it therefore follow that Job is a hypocrite, and a wicked man, which is all that he denied? By no means. Though man, as born of a woman, is not clean, yet, as born again of the Spirit, he is clean. 4. Further to evince this he here shows, (1.) That the brightest creatures are imperfect and impure before God, Job 15:15; Job 15:15. God places no confidence in saints and angels; he employs both, but trusts neither with his service, without giving them fresh supplies of strength and wisdom for it, as knowing they are not sufficient of themselves, neither more nor better than his grace makes them. He takes no complacency in the heavens themselves. How pure soever they seem to us, in his eye they have many a speck and many a flaw: The heavens are not clean in his sight. If the stars (says Mr. Caryl) have no light in the sight of the sun, what light has the sun in the sight of God! See Isaiah 24:23. (2.) That man is much more so (Job 15:16; 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, which are as God made them, much less man, who is degenerated. Nay, he is abominable and filthy in the sight of God, and if ever he repent he is so in his own sight, and therefore he abhors himself. Sin is an odious thing, it makes men hateful. The body of sin is so, and is therefore called a dead body, a loathsome thing. Is it not a filthy thing, and enough to make any one sick, to see a man eating swine's food or drinking some nauseous and offensive stuff? Such is the filthiness of man that he drinks iniquity (that abominable thing which the Lord hates) as greedily, and with as much pleasure, as a man drinks water when he is thirsty. It is his constant drink; it is natural to sinners to commit iniquity. It gratifies, but does not satisfy, the appetites of the old man. It is like water to a man in a dropsy. The more men sin the more they would sin.

Copyright Statement
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
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Job 15:7". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.