Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 22:17

"They said to God, ‘Depart from us!' And ‘What can the Almighty do to them?'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Antediluvians;   Blasphemy;   Infidelity;   Skepticism;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Deluge, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Job;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gadara;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
The Jewish Encyclopedia - Mezuzah;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Which said unto God, Depart from us - Notes, Job 21:14. A very correct description of the old world. They had no wish to retain God in their knowledge. Probably Eliphaz here refers to what Job had said, Job 21:14-15. He had remarked, in describing the wicked, that they said unto God, “Depart from us,” and yet they lived prosperously. “But see,” says Eliphaz,‘” a case” where they did this. It was done by the inhabitants of the world before the deluge, and their houses were filled, as you say the houses of the wicked are, with good things, but God swept them all suddenly away.”

And what can the Almighty do for them? - Margin, or,” to.” That is, they demanded what the Almighty could do for them. They did not feel their dependence on him; they did not admit that they needed his aid; they cast off all reliance on him. This whole passage is a most sarcastic retort on what Job had said in Job 21:14-15. He had affirmed that though wicked people used this language, yet that they prospered. Eliphaz takes the same language and applies it to the sinners before the deluge, and says that they expressed themselves just in this manner. The language which Job puts into the mouths of the wicked, had indeed, says Eliphaz, been used. But by whom? By those who lived in security and prosperity. “By the men before the deluge,” says he, “the race that was so wicked that it was necessary to cut them off by the flood. These are the people to whose sentiments Job appeals; these the people with whom he has sympathy!”

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 22:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-22.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

A CLUMSY EFFORT TO REPLY TO JOB'S WORDS IN JOB 21:14

"Who said unto God, Depart from us;

And what can the Almighty do for us?

Yet he filled their houses with good things:

But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

The righteous see it, and are glad;

And the innocent laugh them to scorn,

Saying, Surely they that did rise up against us are cut off,

And the remnant of them the fire hath consumed."

"Who said unto God, Depart from us, etc." (Job 22:18). Eliphaz in this and the following verse quoted the words Job had spoken in Job 21:14-16. This is an elaborate and clumsy effort of Eliphaz to turn Job's own words against himself. Job had said that the wicked who said such things prospered; but Eliphaz here asserted that the generation which was lost in the Deluge had said exactly the same thing. He thus contradicted Job, saying, "On the contrary, it is those who come to ruin who have dismissed God."[17] It should be noted here that what Eliphaz attributed to the ante-diluvian generation was his own personal invention, as the Scriptures do not confirm the words he attributed to them.

It is tiresome to this writer, the manner in which so many make excuses for Eliphaz and Job's other friends. They were not merely mistaken; they were not free of guilt in their treatment of Job; they were not true and honest; THEY WERE SINNERS; ENGAGED IN SATAN'S WORK! This is a necessary deduction from the fact that God Himself ordered them to bring sacrifices and seek the prayers of Job that they might be forgiven (See Job 42).

"The righteous see it, and are glad" (Job 22:19). This is by far the nastiest thing any of his friends said. Driver gave the meaning here as, "The righteous see the fate which habitually befalls the wicked, and are glad."[18]

This was Eliphaz' declaration that he and Bildad and Zophar were happy to see Job reaping what he sowed, getting what he deserved, having his sins exposed, and his hypocrisy revealed!

Eliphaz ended with his plea for Job to confess his wickedness, and repent of it, assuring him, guilty as he was, that God would deliver him if he would only clean up his dirty and sinful hands.

We find it impossible to view this as any kind and thoughtful remonstrance on the part of Eliphaz. Having thrust a dagger into Job's heart with his sinful accusations against him, he here twisted it in these final words.

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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 22:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/job-22.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Which said unto God, depart from us,.... Choosing not to be admonished of their sins, nor be exhorted to repentance for them, nor be instructed by him in the way of their duty, nor to attend the worship and ordinances of God, nor be under his rule and government; the same is observed by Job of wicked men, but to a different purpose; he makes this to be the language of such who were in very prosperous circumstances, and continued in them, notwithstanding their impiety; here by this Eliphaz describes such persons who were cut off, and destroyed for their wickedness, see Job 21:14;

and what can the Almighty do for them? that is, for us; for these are either the words of the wicked continued, being so self-sufficient, and full of good things, having as much, or more, than heart can wish, that they stood in no need of anything from God; nor could they imagine they should receive any profit and advantage from him, by listening to his instructions, or obeying his will; they had such low and mean thoughts of God, that he would neither do them good nor evil; they expected no good from him, and feared no ill at his hands; they ascribed all the good things they had to their own care, industry, and diligence; and when any ill befell them, they attributed it to chance, and second causes, thinking nothing of God: as these are the words of Eliphaz, they may be rendered, "what has the Almighty done to them", or "against them?"F5ומה יפעל שדי למו "et quid fecerat omnipotens illis?" Piscator. what injury has he done them, or ill will has he shown them, that they should treat him in so contemptuous a manner? so far from it, that he has bestowed abundance of good things on them, as follows, see Jeremiah 2:5.

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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 22:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-22.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Eliphaz designedly uses Job‘s own words (Job 21:14, Job 21:15).

do for them — They think they can do everything for themselves.

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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 22:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-22.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Who — He repeats Job's words, chap21:14,15, but to a contrary purpose. Job alleged them to shew that they prospered notwithstanding their wickedness; and Eliphaz produces them to shew that they were cut off for it.

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
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 22:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-22.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 22:17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Ver. 17. Which said unto God, Depart from us] Atheists those antediluvians were; if not dogmatic, yet practical, such as Job had described, speaking the like language of hell, Job 21:14. Et malitiose eum Eliphazus talium atheorum numero accenset, saith Mercer: And maliciously doth Eliphaz reckon Job among those odious atheists, so thinking to cut his throat with his own sword, and confute him with his own words. Malice cares not how truly things are set forth, so it may gall or kill.

And what can the Almighty do for them?] That is, they asked, What can the Almighty do for them? As if God neither could nor would reward their services; as if he would do them neither good nor evil. The Seventy render it, τι επαξεται ημιν, What will he bring upon us? q.d. He threateneth us with a flood, but when, where, and how? Let the day of the Lord come! Isaiah 5:19. "Where is the promise of his coming?" &c., 2 Peter 3:4. Thus they jeered when it was fitter they should have feared: but what was the issue?

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 22:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-22.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He reports Job’s words, Job 21:14,15, (where they are explained,) but to a contrary purpose. Job alleged them to show that they prospered notwithstanding their professed wickedness, and Eliphaz produceth them to show that they were cut off for it.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 22:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-22.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17.Depart from us — Note, Job 21:14. Do for them Do to them, as in the margin. To them, that is, to us; a poetical change of person. Job had spoken in these very terms of the defiant prosperity of the wicked. Eliphaz sarcastically ascribes the same language to the ungodly who lived at the time of the deluge. They reveled in luxury, as Job in general terms said the wicked do, and yet they were overwhelmed by the flood. The retort is both striking and logically complete.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 22:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-22.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 22:17. Which said unto God, Depart from us — He repeats Job’s words, Job 21:14-15; but to a contrary purpose. Job alleged them to show that some men prospered, notwithstanding their professed wickedness, and Eliphaz produces them to show that they were cut off for it. And, What can the Almighty do for them? — Thus did that wicked generation, whom Noah had in vain called to repentance, as it were, defy God, contemning both his threatenings and his promises.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 22:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-22.html. 1857.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"What can the Almighty do to them?" Compare with 21:14-16. Here is a sample of the words that unbelievers in the past have said (Jude 15).

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Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 22:17". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-22.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Eliphaz designedly uses Job's own words (Job 21:14-15), to show that the wicked, who so put away God from them, are not prosperous, as Job had asserted.

Do for them. They think they, can do everything for themselves.

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 22:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-22.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Which said unto God, Depart from us.—Here again he attributes to Job the very thoughts he had ascribed to the wicked (Job 20:14-15).

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 22:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-22.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?
Depart
21:10,14,15; Isaiah 30:11; Matthew 8:29,34; Romans 1:28
and what
Psalms 4:6; Malachi 3:14
for them
or, to them.
Reciprocal: Genesis 25:32 - and what;  Job 34:9 - It;  Psalm 10:4 - will not;  Hosea 7:13 - fled;  Luke 15:13 - and took;  2 Thessalonians 1:9 - from the presence;  Hebrews 3:12 - in;  Hebrews 7:25 - come;  James 3:5 - so

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 22:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-22.html.