Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 22:21

"Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Joy;   Peace;   Righteous;   Wicked (People);   Wisdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Peace;   Rest-Unrest;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Delighting in God;   Peace, Spiritual;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Fellowship;   Greatness of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Fellowship;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Peace, Spiritual;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eliphaz (2);   Peace;  
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for December 29;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Acquaint now thyself with him - Perhaps the verb הסכן hasken should be translated here, treasure up, or lay up. Lay up or procure an interest now with him, and be at peace. Get the Divine favor, and then thou wilt be at peace with God, and have happiness in thy own soul.

Thereby good shalt come unto thee - בהם bahem, "in them," shall good come unto thee. That is, in getting an interest in the Divine favor, and in having thy soul brought into a state of peace with him; thereby, in them, that is, these two things, good will come unto thee. First, thou wilt have an interest in his favor, from which thou mayest expect all blessings; and, secondly, from his peace in thy conscience thou wilt feel unutterable happiness. Get these blessings now, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Reader, hast thou these blessings?

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Acquaint now thyself with him - Margin, that is, “with God.” Eliphaz takes it for granted now, that Job was a sinner wholly unreconciled to God, and unacquainted with him. This fact, he supposes, was the source of all his calamities. As long as he remained thus unreconciled to God, he must be miserable. He proceeds, therefore, in a most beautiful manner, to exhort him to be at peace with God, and portrays the benefits which would result from such a reconciliation. There are few passages in the Bible of more exquisite beauty than this, and nothing could be sounder advice, on the supposition that Job was, as he supposed, a stranger to God. In this beautiful exhortation, be shows:

(1) what he means by becoming acquainted with God Job 22:21-23; and then

(2) what would be the happy results of such reconciliation, Job 22:24-30.

The word rendered “acquaint thyself” הסכן hasâkan - from סכן sâkan means, properly, “to dwell,” to be familiar with anyone, to associate with one - from the idea of dwelling in the same tent or house; and in the Hiphil, the form used here, to become familiar with anyone, to be on terms of friendship. The meaning here is, “Secure the friendship of God. Become truly acquainted with him. Be reconciled to him. You are now estranged. You have no just views of him. You murmur and complain, and you are suffering under his displeasure as a sinner. But it is not too late to repent, and to return to him; and in so doing you will find peace.” An acquaintance with God, in the sense of this passage, implies:

(1) a correct knowledge of his true character, and

(2) reconciliation with him.

There are two great difficulties among people in regard to God. The first is, that they have no just views of his real character. They think him harsh, stern, tyrannical. They regard his law as severe, and its penalty as unjust. They think his government to be arbitrary, and himself to be unworthy of confidence. This erroneous view must be corrected before people can be reconciled to him - for how can they be brought to lay aside their opposition to him while they regard him as unjust and severe? Secondly, even when the character of God is explained, and his true character is set before people, they are opposed to it. They are opposed to him because he is so holy. Loving sin, they cannot love one who has no sin, and who frowns on evil; and this opposition to the real character of God must be removed before they can be reconciled to him. This requires a change of heart - a change from sin to holiness; and this is the work performed in regeneration.

And be at peace - There can be no peace while you maintain a warfare with God. It is a war against your Maker, where he has control over your conscience, your intellect, your body, and all which can affect your welfare; and while this is maintained, there can be no peace. If the mind is reconciled to him, there will be peace. Peace of mind always follows reconciliation where there has been a variance, and nowhere is the peace so entire and full of joy as when man feels that he is reconciled to God. Eliphaz here has stated a doctrine which has been confirmed by all the subsequent revelations in the Bible, and by the experience of all those who have become reconciled to God; compare the notes at Romans 5:1: It is peace, as opposed to the agitation and conflict of the mind before; peace resulting from acquiescence in the claims of God; peace in the belief that he is wholly right, and worthy of confidence; and peace in the assurances of his friendship and favor forever. This doctrine, it seems, was thus understood in the early ages of the world, and, indeed, must have been known as early as religion existed after the fall. Man became alienated from God by the apostasy; peace was to be found again only by returning to God, and in reconciliation to him.

Thereby good shall come unto thee - The benefits which he supposed would result from such reconciliation, he proceeds to state in the following verses. They relate chiefly to temporal prosperity, or to proofs of the divine favor in this life. This was in accordance with the views which then prevailed, and especially with their limited and obscure conceptions of the future state. They saw a part - “we” see more; and yet we by no means see all. The “good” which results from reconciliation with God consists in:

(1) pardon of sin;

(2) peace of conscience;

(3) the assurance that we shall have all that is needful in this life;

(4) support in trial;

(5) peace and triumph in death;

(6) a part in the resurrection of the just; and

(7) a crown incorruptible and undefiled in heaven.

No man was ever “injured” by becoming reconciled to God; no one is reconciled to him who is not made a better and a happier man in this life, and who will not be crowned with immortal glory hereafter.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 22:21

Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.

Acquaintance with God

I. What it is, or implies.

1. The knowledge of God’s character and attributes. All true religion rests upon correct views of God’s character. Many persons assume that they naturally know God; but they do not feel the necessity of going to Scripture to learn the character of God. The mistake arises in part from not distinguishing carefully between the existence and the character of God. You must try your notions of God’s character and attributes by Scripture, and see whether they will stand the test.

2. But a man’s knowledge may be nothing more than an intellectual knowledge, whilst his heart may be alienated from Him. He may feel no delight in God’s character, and pay no heartfelt obedience to His will.

3. In real acquaintance with God, there is communion. This means participation in something (1 Corinthians 10:16). Communion also means intercourse, converse (Psalms 4:4). It is a wonderful thought, but it is true, that there can be, and is, communion between the eternal God and the believer’s spirit. You see some things which are implied in acquaintance with God, or knowledge of God’s character and attributes as revealed in Scripture, reconciliation of heart to Him, and communion with Him. The first requires the exercise of the understanding; the second, the surrender of the will; the third, purity of heart. What blessing is equal to this of acquaintance with God!

II. The results. “And be at peace.” With reference to Job. “Be happy again.” Eliphaz urges Job to acquaint himself with God, so that peace and joy may be restored again to his heart. To how many hearts may such words come home! Eliphaz speaks of other results. “Thereby good shall come to thee.” How much there is in that word “good!” No doubt Eliphaz thought of temporal blessings. Look at the blessings of the Christian. Sins blotted out; heart renewed; bondage changed into liberty; the power of sin broken; besetting infirmities overcome; his life made a blessing to others; death robbed of its sting. (George Wagner.)

Acquaintance with God

“Acquaint.” This is a very forceful word; it comes from an old Saxon root, from which we get the word “ken”--to know. The word “cunning” comes from the same root--cunnan, to know. Get to know God--to understand Him. One rendering of the text is, “Acquiesce in God”; another is, “Join yourself to God.” In the French Bible you will find that the translation is, “Attach yourself to God,” which is pretty nearly the same thing. Join yourself to Him; attach yourself to Him. Fall in, it seems to say, with His ways, and with His methods. (W. Williams.)

Acquaintance with God

I. Explain the nature of acquaintance with God.

1. It includes knowledge.

2. It includes friendship.

3. It includes communion.

4. It includes confidence.

II. Illustrate the benefits that result from it.

1. Peace--with God and in our own heart.

2. Good--temporal and spiritual.

3. Now--now or never. (G. Brooks.)

Acquaintance with God

I. Its nature. Men are not acquainted with God. They like not to retain God in their thoughts. Lay aside your enmity and your dread, and come and learn something of His mercy and loving kindness. Acquaint yourselves with--

1. His infinite holiness.

2. His perfect justice.

3. His boundless mercy.

4. His everlasting purposes.

II. Its benefits.

1. Peace. There is no true peace except from the knowledge of God.

2. Present and future good. Religion’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Apply--

Devout attendance at the Supper of our Lord. Intercourse with the Lord’s people. Perusal of good and devotional books. Ask continually for the gift of the Holy Spirit. (C. Clayton, M. A.)

The blessedness of acquaintance with God

I. The exhortation contained in the text. Naturally, we are ignorant of God; we are not at peace with God, but at enmity against Him. To acquaint ourselves with God, we must make ourselves acquainted with the revelation which God has made us respecting Himself and His will. We must make a heartfelt and experimental knowledge of Him the object of our unceasing pursuit. We must seek to be at peace with Him, by laying down our rebellion, asking pardon, and imploring the renewing and sanctifying influences of His Holy Spirit.

II. The promise with which this exhortation is enforced. “Good shall come unto thee.”

1. Thou shalt have that pardon and reconciliation which thou seekest.

2. Every temporal blessing which is really “good” for you shall be secured to you.

3. You shall be satisfied that God hears your prayers, and that His blessing rests upon your undertakings.

4. Your case shall serve as an encouragement to others to proceed in those steps which you have found to lead to such inestimable blessings.

5. Your example, and conduct, and prayers will have a tendency to do “good” to your country, and to bring down God’s blessing upon that.

6. The eternal good shall “come to them”--that complete deliverance from all evil, and that complete enjoyment of all “good,” which will be their portion forever. (John Natt, B. D.)

Acquaintance with God the best foundation for peace

I. The way of becoming acquainted with God. There are two kinds of knowledge--speculative and practical, or experimental--resting upon personal acquaintance. Of these two, the experimental is the only solid and satisfactory knowledge; and is as much superior to the ideal as the substance is to the shadow, as the sun in the firmament to a sun painted upon canvas, and as a living man to his picture. The reason of which is that ideal knowledge is not the perception of the things themselves present, but only the forming in our minds the images and pictures of things absent; whereas experimental knowledge is the real perception of the things themselves, present and acting upon us, and communicating themselves and their properties to us. The ideal knowledge which we have of God should excite us to endeavour after the experimental. A penitent sinner, who is sensible of God’s mercy in the forgiveness of his sins, who experiences the Divine favour in speaking peace to his soul, has a much better knowledge of the mercy, power, and goodness of God, than all the ideas of these attributes could give him as long as the world lasts. No ideal knowledge can give us either virtue or happiness. There are four ways of becoming acquainted with any person.

1. If he has written anything, to acquaint ourselves therewith. They are generally the truest and liveliest image of the mind.

2. If he be a great person, to get some opportunity of coming into his presence, and to do this as frequently and constantly as we may be permitted.

3. Readily to embrace all opportunities that are offered to us of eating at his table.

4. Living in the house, and conversing with him continually.

II. The advantages and happy effects of this acquaintance with God. These are the greatest and noblest human nature is capable of enjoying--peace and tranquillity of mind; happiness by the exercising and perfecting the noblest faculties of the soul, the understanding, and the will. The supreme happiness must consist in contemplating and possessing, in loving and enjoying the supreme Perfection, who is Beauty and Love itself, and “whom truly, to know is eternal life.” All happiness, consists in loving and possessing the object of our love. (V. Nalson.)

Acquaintance with God

The three friends of the patriarch Job often reasoned rightly, but on wrong principles and false assumptions. The best thing which natural religion can effect is the putting awful distances between man and God, the representing Deity as so sublimely inaccessible that the creature can only bow reverently down and adore from afar, with trembling of spirit, the mysterious Being who is the arbiter of his destinies. And it is not the province of revealed religion to take off anything from the mysteries of Godhead, nor to diminish that unmeasured separation which reason tells us must stretch between the infinite and the finite. Without bringing God down to our level, revelation shows man that he may be lifted up into communion with God Himself. Our text prescribes what we are bound to call familiarity with God. But the better I am acquainted with God, the more shall I find to wonder at. The precept, “Acquaint thyself with God,” would never have found a place amongst the dictates of natural religion. It is not the mere acknowledgment of the existence of God which will cause peace in the human soul. On the contrary, it may be given as a self-evident truth, that until Christ, and the scheme of redemption, through His precious death, are brought under review, the more God reveals Himself, the more will man be disturbed and distressed. Where our acquaintance with God is acquaintance with God in Christ, the closer the “acquaintance,” the greater will be our peace. (Henry Melvill, B. D.)

A Divine acquaintance

Two things no one will challenge.

1. That most men like to improve their acquaintance, to get familiar with such as show a higher social position, with a similar moral preference and taste to their own.

2. Any such acquaintance, to whom a man may “look up,” will be no small factor in giving shape and maturity to his character. The text indicates--

I. A distance, a variance of feeling, between heaven and earth. Here nonacquaintance is enmity. Man now is like to the disobedient child, Sin is nothing if it is not a perverted, a wronged, and a wronging relationship--a change on the one side from the natural to the unnatural. There is wrong relationship between heaven and earth. Sin is not only cruel in putting man at a hateful variance with his Divine Father, but it is murderously fatal. It has more than pain, there is peril of perdition.

II. Heaven desires the present and peaceful settlement of the difference.

1. Any estrangement between two who should be friends will always bring the most pain to the one who has the finest and most susceptible nature.

2. The initiative in seeking this readjustment has been taken by heaven. At the Cross He halts for audience and restoration. This He makes the one point for all negotiations--a witness of His love, and a challenge for others’ love and service.

III. This settlement, when effected, will certainly bring to man the highest blessedness. “Thereby good shall come unto thee.” Everywhere, with a fever of greed, men are seeking “good.” Sin pardoned is the true good.

IV. The attainment of this state demands the heartiest efforts of all men. Surely the dignity of this state makes a claim upon men. To be “at peace with God” will be the noblest, the safest, and the happiest of states. (Edwin D. Green.)

Acquaintance with God

I. Why we should acquaint ourselves with God. The fact is that our very salvation depends upon our knowledge of God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

1. That a better acquaintance with God will develop a more intense love for Him. We find a friend, and the more we study his traits of character and learn the true principles of his friendship, the more intense will become our love for him.

2. A closer acquaintance with God will develop in us a deeper work of grace. Grace and the knowledge of God are always associated in the Bible (Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).

3. In a closer acquaintance with God, our thoughts, and our words, and our very habits of life become assimilated unto the Divine Mind and ways.

4. With our acquaintance with God grows our delight in His service (Psalms 1:1-2; Psalms 119:35; Psalms 119:47; Psalms 119:92).

II. How shall we secure this acquaintance with God?

1. Through His Word.

2. We get acquainted with God by living much with Him in prayer.

3. By persistently submitting our wills to His will. Our friends delight to confer and counsel with us so long as they feel that we are putting their counsels to practical use.

4. We get better acquainted with God by carefully noting our experiences in life.

III. What must be the consequences of such an acquaintance with God? Such an acquaintance must result--

1. In a fixedness of purpose.

2. Proficiency in His service.

3. Constant peace and joy. (J. C. Jacoby.)

The peace of knowing God

The study of God’s nature in the page of revelation is oftentimes abused, so as to give a man not peace, but trouble. But we should be aware that this is not the necessary fruit, nay, that it never need be the consequence at all, of meditation on Gospel truth. Acquaint thyself with God. Thou knowest Him not aright by nature; thou art in need of diligent study, constant prayer, frequent meditation. Thy notions of God are far from being what they ought to be. Take pains to know Him as He is. To know that God made us, and at the same time to feel that we therefore owe to Him our own existence, this is to acquaint ourselves with God. To know of the gift of God’s Son as a Saviour from sin, and to know of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Sanctifier, this is to acquaint ourselves with God. Then thou shalt be at peace with God and with thyself. And “good shall come unto thee.” Both now and hereafter. (C. Girdlestone, M. A.)

Acquaintance with God

Peace--where does it dwell? There is peace in nature. But is there peace with man? Why has man no peace? Sin is the destroyer of your peace and mine. As sin is alienation from God, the recovery of that peace is only to be sought in deliverance from sin, and in a return to the knowledge and love of Him.

I. In what sense are we to acquaint ourselves with God? To what kind of knowledge does the text refer? Is it required for our peace that we should know Him “as He is”? Shall we strain our puny minds to span the countless ages of the eternity of the past? Surely eternity, self-existence, omnipotence, infinite and essential wisdom, holiness and love, these are depths which even angels can only “desire to look into.” Is it then to know Him in His counsels and ways--to understand His dealings in providence and grace? No. How often have His people to trust and not to trace! How seldom does He vouchsafe to show to them the thing that He does! How then shall man acquaint himself with God? “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” To know God as a reconciled Father in Christ, is saving, sanctifying, comforting, peace-speaking knowledge of God to your souls and mine. It is a knowledge which changes, warms, strengthens and cheers the heart.

II. By nature we are not thus acquainted with him. We are not talking of an intellectual, but, if I may say so, of a moral, a spiritual, knowledge. Sin must ever involve ignorance of God. The unrenewed heart cannot have the rich, experimental knowledge of the true child of God. Examine well, then, the character of your acquaintance with God, your religious knowledge.

III. The manner in which the more spiritual acquaintance is to be gained. Turn to the Bible. See in Jesus of Nazareth, “God with us.”

IV. The happy result promised as attendant upon this acquaintance with God. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (John C. Miller, M. A.)

Peace and good by acquaintance with God

These are the words of a heathen thinker. The words are true in substance. They are wise, far-sighted words. This sage made a grand mistake in the application of this truth to his friend Job.

1. Is there such a thing among men as “peace”--a deep and true peace--without any acquaintance with God? Suppose the case of one possessing high intelligence allied with all the ordinary virtues of human life, but who lacks entirely any personal faith in God as a Person. It is useless to approach such men with arguments for the existence of God, or in favour of any of His attributes. For they are in a state which no abstract argument can well reach. We may take them on the side of the text, and ask, “How about peace?” Is his whole nature at peace? He says, “Yes; I have no fear, no trouble, except that which comes by ignorance or inattention to law. Life is not long. I shall soon be in the dust, and that will be an end of me. If we are to live again, we shall be prepared for it when it comes: why should we trouble about the matter now?” Is this answer true? I say it is not. If it be true, then it comes to this, that one man is essentially different from another man. Not merely circumstantially, but in very nature. Any peace a man may have may be calmness, indifference, but cannot be the same thing as comes into a soul, and flows through it, and down into its far depths, as the result of acquaintance with God. Suppose the case of those who have no doubt of the existence of God, but cannot be said, in any true sense, to be acquainted with Him. Are any such at peace? Again the answer is “No.” Indeed, such imperfect and partial knowledge of God is practically more disturbing and alarming than complete scepticism. Once allow His existence, and it is impossible ever to put that existence anywhere but in the primary place. If God exists, clearly our relations to Him, and His relations to us, are of first importance. Suppose one convinced of the Divine existence, and yet destitute of any true idea of the Divine character, what is the result? It may be this or that, according to temperament, or circumstances, but it never is “peace.” It may be a silent distrust, or a habitual alienation, or a more active antipathy, or an undefined dread, or an awful, but most uncheerful and uncomfortable sense of solemnity, or a settled despondency, or the falling shadow of a black despair; but it never is “peace.” Those who are imperfectly acquainted with God look at some of the attributes separately, but never at the centre and essence of the character, where all the attributes meet. They never see that “God is love.” The text literally means, “dwell with God.” Dwell with Him in the same tent or home. To come to God in Christ is to come home: to enter the tent of the Divine presence.

2. “Thereby good shall come to thee.” Good of every kind, and especially of the best kind. In fact, the state itself is the good begun. By far the greatest good that can be done to a man is the making of himself good. This is done by bringing him into intimate acquaintance and reconciliation and friendship with God. No man is good who avoids the society of God. The reconciled soul is the receptive soul, receptive of God, and of His truth and love. This “good” that comes is, in fact, nothing less than all the benefits and blessings of the Gospel. (A. Raleigh, D. D.)

Acquaintance with God

I. All counsels that a man may give, or his fellow receive, there is none so important as that of cultivating acquaintance with God. Acquaintance signifies more than a bare knowledge. Acquaintance with God is included in three particulars.

1. In a spiritual knowledge of the being of God.

2. In a union of will, and a union of way, with that of God.

3. In a perpetual communion with God.

II. Of all times, seasons, and opportunities, there is no time like the present to cultivate acquaintance with God. Consider--

1. That this matter is important.

2. That there is no time like the present time.

3. That the future is quite uncertain.

4. That the longer a man lives in sin, the farther he goes from God.

III. Of all the benefits which man receives, or God bestows, there are none like those blessings that follow acquaintance with God. “Good shall thereby come unto thee.”

1. All the good in nature.

2. All good in grace.

3. All the good in glory. How miserable must be the state of that man who has no acquaintance with God. (T. Jones.)

On acquaintance with God

I. The proper methods of acquainting our own selves with God.

1. The first step is to acquire a competent knowledge of His nature, His attributes, and His will. We need not commend an inquiry into the metaphysical essence of the Supreme Being. But a competent knowledge of the moral nature of the Deity is both possible and necessary to us. In nature, and in the Scriptures, God’s infinite wisdom and almighty power, His perfect purity and holiness, His justice and faithfulness, His goodness and mercy, His general and particular providence, His determined resolution finally to punish incorrigible wickedness, and to award sincere though imperfect obedience, are set forth with such plainness that the most moderate understanding may gain all requisite intelligence concerning His Divine nature and attributes. God’s will, and all that He requires from us, is laid down with equal plainness.

2. A sincere repentance of our past transgressions. This is a necessary consequence of the former step toward an acquaintance with God. The result of our inquiries will be, that He is a Being of the most perfect purity and holiness. All unreasonable and vicious conduct must be offensive in His sight. While we continue in impenitence, we have the greatest reason to be overwhelmed with terror and dismay. But the repentance must be sincere and universal, extending to all the particulars of our duty and God’s commands.

II. When we have acquired an acquaintance with God, we must be careful to preserve and improve it, by frequent prayer and devotion. Prayer and religious meditation is the proper food of our souls. This maintains that communion with God without which whatsoever is good in us will quickly languish and decay. (R. Richmond, LL. D.)

The advice of Eliphaz

This is all the three friends could, in substance, say. It is difficult to read the exhortation of another man. We are, indeed, apt to put into all reading our own tone, and thereby sometimes we may do grievous injustice to the authors or speakers whom we seek to interpret. One canon of good reading, however, may surely be this, that when a man so seer-like, so prophet-like as Eliphaz, concluded his controversy with Job, observing the suffering and the sorrow of the patriarch, he would be sure to drop his voice into the music of consolation, and would endeavour, whilst speaking words of apparently legal and mechanical preciseness, to utter them with the tone of the heart, as if in the very sorrow was hidden a gracious Gospel, and as if duty might, by some subtle power, be turned into the most precious of delight. All hortatory words may be spoken with too much voice, with too strong a tone, so as to throw them out of proportion in relation to the hearer, whose sorrow already fills his ears with muffled noises. Let us imagine Eliphaz--eldest of the counsellors, most gracious of the speakers--laying his hand, as it were, gently upon the smitten patriarch, and approaching his ear with all the reverence of affectionate confidence, and giving him these parting instructions. Then the exhortation becomes music. The preacher does not thunder his appeal, but utters it persuasively, so that the heart alone may hear it, and the soul be melted by the plea. May it not be so with us also? We do not need the strong exhortation, but we do need the consolatory appeal and stimulus. You may frighten a man by calling out very loudly when he is within one inch of a brink; the nearer the man is to the precipice, the more subdued, the less startling, should be your appeal: you might whisper to him as if nothing were the matter; you might rather lure his attention than loudly and roughly excite it; and then when you get firm hold of him bring him away to the headland as urgently and strongly as you can. May it not be that some hearts may be so far gone that one rude tone from the preacher would break up what little hope remains? Should we not rather sometimes sit down quite closely to one another and say, softly, “Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace”? think of what all thy life comes to, poor soul, and see if even now, just at the very last, the flickering lamp cannot be revived, and made strong and bright: come, let us pray. Never regard the Gospel as having come roughly, violently, but as always coming like the dawn, like the dew, like music from afar, which, having travelled from eternity, stops to accommodate itself to the limitations of time. Still the exhortation has the strength within it. Speak it as you may, it is the strongest exhortation that can be addressed to human attention. When the tone is softened it is not that the law has given up the pursuit of the soul, has ceased to press its infinite claims upon the trespasser. Do not mistake the persuasion of the Gospel for the weaknesses of the preacher, and do not regard the errors of the preacher as implying in any degree defect on the part of his message. Eliphaz tells Job what he must do; let us read his bill of directions. “Acquaint now thyself with Him.” Here is a call to mental action. Job is invited to bethink himself. He is exhorted to put himself at the right point of view. Instead of dealing with social questions and personal details, the seer invites the smitten patriarch to betake himself to the sanctuary and to work out the whole solution in the fear and love of God. There are amongst ourselves questions that are supreme and questions that are inferior. Who would care for the inferior if he could solve the supreme, and fill himself with all the mystery of Deity? What are all our inventions, arts, sciences, and cleverest tricks, and boldest adventures into the region of darkness, compared with the possibility of knowing human thought--the power of removing the veil that separates man from man, and looking into the arcana of another soul? But this is kept back from us. We are permitted to dig foundations, to build towers and temples; we are permitted to span rivers with bridges, and bore our way through rocky hills; but we cannot tell what the least little child is thinking about. All other learning would be contemptible in comparison with an attainment so vast and useful. This is the explanation of men spending their days over crucibles, in hidden places, in darkened dungeons, seeking in the crucible for the particular Something that would dissolve everything that was hard, and reveal everything that was dark. This is the meaning of the quest in which men have been engaged for the Sangreal, the philosopher’s stone--that marvellous and unnamable something which, if a man had, he would open every kingdom and be at home in every province of the universe. You cannot kill that mysterious ambition of the human heart. It will come up in some form. It is the secret of progress. All this leads to the uppermost thought, namely, that if a man could acquaint himself with God, live with God, would not that be the very highest attainment of all? If he could enter the tabernacles of the Most High, and survey the universe from the altar where burns the Shechinah, what would all other attainments and acquisitions amount to? Yet this is the thing to be aimed at--grow in grace; grow in all life; for it means, in its fruition, acquaintance with God, identification with God, absorption in God, living, moving, having the being in God; taking God’s view of everything; made radiant with God’s wisdom, and calm with God’s peace. Assuming that to be a possibility, how all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory thereof, fade away into the dim distance! How grandly some of the old seers now and again touched the vital point; and how the ages have thrilled with their touch, knowing that at last they had left detail and cloud and mystification, and touched the very pulse of things. Here stands the great truth, the eternal verity: until we have acquainted ourselves with God, by means prescribed in God’s own Book, our knowledge is ignorance, and our mental acquisitions are but so many proofs of our mental incapacity. Eliphaz therefore lifts up the whole discussion to a new level. He will not point to this wound or that, to the sore, boil, or blain, to the withering skin, to the patriarch’s pitiful physical condition; he begins now to touch the great mystery of things--namely, that God is in all the cloud of” affliction, in all the wilderness of poverty, and that to know His purpose is to live in His tranquillity. (Joseph Parker, D. D.)

Peace through the knowledge of God

Here, if our received version is correct, Eliphaz hits upon one of the profoundest thoughts in religion, the significance and value of which each new step in the revelation of God to men has more and more disclosed. The principle is, that a more true and full knowledge of God is the cure for every phase of human unrest. Spiritual disquiet lies outside of God. He who does not know God as He is at all, lies open to every incursion of religious disquietude; whether through superstitious fear, or through conscience, or through doubt, or through passion, or through discontent, or through any other of the numberless and sometimes nameless alleys by which disturbance is forever assailing the souls of men. On the other hand, the more truly and the more fully anyone knows by acquaintance the personal God, the more is he rid of sources of inward dispeace.

1. Of what sort must our knowledge of God be? It is possible to know as a friend by personal intercourse, one whom we are by no means able fully to understand. A little child knows his father; but he does not comprehend, or embrace in his knowledge, the fulness of that father’s capacities. It is not through the intellect alone, or best, that the Infinite God is knowable by any creature. It is through the personal affections, through conscience, and through the spiritual faculty of faith. There are three stages to be observed in a man’s knowledge of God.

2. Show, by two or three instances, how God’s growing revelation of Himself to man has been followed in experience by a corresponding increase of peace in their souls. Take, for illustration, two items from the Old Testament manifestation of Jehovah to the Hebrew people, and two from the better revelation in His Son, which, as Christians, we enjoy.

The highest knowledge and the greatest good

Ignorance of God is the secret of all opposition to God. It is impossible for any man to know God message to those who are ignorant of His name. Do not misjudge His character any longer. Do not blaspheme the name that you would bless, if you did but understand the God that it represents.

I. An exposition of the text. There are two or three translations of this sentence: “Acquaint now thyself with Him,” or “Acquiesce in Him”--surrender that will of yours. The first step to salvation is an absolute surrender of the will. Another rendering is, “Join yourself to God.” The French translation has it: “Attach yourself to God.” Fall in with His ways, and with His methods. This is particularly practical advice to us as Christian workers. But there is a special force in the Saxon word “acquaint,” from which we get the word ken, to know. Get to know God--to understand Him. Know Him intellectually, for this is the pioneer of all other blessings. We can only become acquainted with God as He reveals Himself. Become acquainted with Him morally. Yield your hearts to Him. Know Him socially by walking with Him. Know God the Son, as well as God the Father. Your acquaintance with Him must begin at the Cross. And know God the Holy Spirit, as a Sanctifier, Comforter, Teacher, yea, as an abiding, tender Guide, and as a Power to help us in our Christian work.

II. Enforce this exhortation. The text speaks to us individually. And it must be acquaintance with Him--with Himself.

III. The promise of the text. The first good is, “Thou shalt be established”; the second, “Evil shall be removed from thy dwelling”; the third is, delight in God, and an uplifted face. (W. Williams.)

Acquaintance with God

I. An acquaintance with God, the best support under afflictions. The exceeding corruption and folly of man is in nothing more manifest than in his averseness to entertain any friendship or familiarity with God. In all cases where the body is affected with pain or sickness, we are forward enough to look out for remedies. Yet notwithstanding that, we find and feel our souls disordered and restless, tossed and disquieted by various passions, and notwithstanding that we are assured from other men’s experience, and from our own inward convictions, that the only way of regulating these disorders is to call off our minds from too close an attention to the things of sense, and to employ them often in a sweet intercourse with our Maker, the Author of our being, and Fountain of all our ease and happiness; yet we are strangely backward to lay hold of this safe, this only, method of cure; we go on still nourishing the distemper under which we groan, and choose rather to feel the pain than to apply the remedy.

I. What this Scripture phrase implies. Wherein does the duty consist? We are prone by nature to engage ourselves in too close and strict an acquaintance with the things of this world, which immediately and strongly strike our senses. To check and correct this ill-tendency, it is requisite that we should “acquaint ourselves with God,” that we should frequently disengage our hearts from earthly pursuits, and fix them on Divine things. This is only general; it may be useful to mention some particulars wherein it chiefly consists. In order to begin and improve human friendships, five things are principally requisite--knowledge, access, a similitude of manners, an entire confidence and love; and by these also the Divine friendship, of which we are treating, must be cemented and upheld.

II. This is the only way to a perfect tranquillity and rest of mind. “And be at peace.” Honour, profit, and pleasure, are the three great idols to which the men of this world bow, and one or all of these are generally aimed at in every friendship they make; and yet, though nothing can be more honourable, profitable, or pleasing to us, than an acquaintance with God, we stand off from it, and will not be tempted even by these motives, though appearing to us with the utmost advantage, to embrace it. Can anything improve, and purify, and exalt our natures more than such a conversation as this, wherein our spirits, mounting on the wings of contemplation, faith, and love, ascend up to the first principle and cause of all things, see, admire, and taste His surpassing excellence, and feel the quickening power and influence of it? In what conversation can we spend our thoughts and time more profitably than in this?

III. The most proper season for such a religious exercise of our thoughts is when any sore trouble or calamity overtakes us. “Now,” when the wise Disposer of all things hath thought fit to pour out afflictions upon thee. At such times our soul is most tender and susceptible of religious impressions, most apt to seek God, to delight in approaching Him, and conversing with Him. The kind and chief design of God, in all His severest dispensations, is to melt and soften our hearts to such a degree as He finds necessary in order to the good purposes of His grace. We are, by nature, indigent creatures, incapable of ourselves to content and satisfy ourselves; and therefore are ever looking abroad for somewhat to supply our defects and complete our happiness. How can the pious sons and daughters of affliction better employ themselves than in looking up to Him that hath bruised them, and possessing their souls in patience? Let us, throughout the whole course of our lives, take care to make the thoughts of God so present, familiar, and comfortable to us here, that we may not be afraid of appearing face to face before Him hereafter. (F. Atterbury, D. D.)

The true source of peace of mind

Of all earthly comfort, the firmest basis and the principal constituent is peace of mind. Without this, neither power, nor riches, nor even life itself, can yield any substantial or lasting satisfaction. If our peace of mind be destroyed, all pleasure is destroyed with it. No sufficient remedy was discovered by the efforts of unassisted reason: we may therefore inquire what aid can be derived from Divine revelation.

1. To acquaint ourselves with God, in the sense in which our Scriptures teach, and require the acquaintance, we shall soon perceive to be no difficult task, if we engage in it with zeal and diligence, and take those Scriptures for our instructor and guide. Of the Supreme Being we certainly have not the faculties to comprehend the “Eternal power and Godhead.” The misfortune is, we attach ourselves so entirely to the business and the pleasures of our present state, that we are unwilling to turn our thoughts to the greater and better objects of our care. Hence negligence produces many of the effects and mischiefs of ignorance. We must not only make God the subject of inquiry and speculation; we must seriously reflect on the relation in which we stand to this Creator and Ruler of the world, and what His providence is doing every day. In the Bible such laws are prescribed for our conduct, as, if duly observed, would render human life a constant scene of virtue, piety, and peace. More than half our sufferings are the effect of our own misconduct. From the Bible we learn that our present state is the time and place of trial for our faith and conduct. When this life has come to an end, then each will be adjudged to an eternal allotment of happiness or misery, proportioned to his vice or virtue, to his piety or his profaneness. Even this is not the whole of our information and advantages. We are offered, upon our repentance and amendment, the pardon of our sins of error and infirmity, through the merits and mediation of a Redeemer.

2. Of this acquaintance with our God, the declared intention, and the promised effect, are to be at peace--at peace in our own minds. The perplexities of life can only be satisfactorily explained, and the afflictions of life patiently endured, by acquainting ourselves with God, and obtaining this acquaintance by the assistance of his own revelation. It is universally allowed that the human mind is never fully satisfied with what human life can bestow upon us. In the midst even of riches, authority, and honours, some want is still felt, something new is still sought, something better is still desired. Even when we know that we have offended God by the transgression of His laws, when our conscience afflicts us with the sense of guilt and the apprehension of its punishment--under these unhappy circumstances, and most especially under these, to acquaint ourselves with God is the only expedient for us to be at peace. It is, indeed, in the hour of calamity, under the pressure of affliction, that this acquaintance with our God is most necessary, and will most avail us. It is when accident or sickness or poverty has deprived us of worldly comfort or of worldly hope, it is then our trust in Providence, and that only, will support our sinking spirits, speak peace to our minds, and teach us that patient submission which must be at once our duty and consolation. It was under such circumstances that Eliphaz gave to Job the advice of the text. (W. Barrow, LL. D.)

God is worthy of confidence

Man became alienated from God by the apostasy, and consequently miserable; and peace was to be found again only by reconciliation with Him. There are two great difficulties in the minds of men. The one is, they have no just views of the character and government of God; and the second is, if His true character is made known to them, they have no pleasure in it, no confidence in it. Both these difficulties must be removed before man can be reconciled to his Maker. No small part of the difficulty will be removed if we can show him that the character of God is such as to deserve his confidence.

I. The liability to error on our part in judging of the character and government of God. The great evil in this world is a want of confidence in God--a want of confidence producing the same disasters there which it does in a commercial community and in the relations of domestic life. The great thing needful to make this a happy world is to restore confidence in the Creator--confidence, the great restorer of happiness everywhere. Now, man can never be reconciled to God unless this confidence shall be restored. In disputes between you and your neighbour, the great thing for you to do is to restore to his mind just confidence in yourself--to explain matters. This is what is to be done in religion. It is to convince men that God is worthy of confidence. Why should a man wish to cherish any hard thoughts of God without the shadow of reason? In our estimate of God, are we in no danger of being influenced by improper feelings? See four sources of danger on this point.

1. We are in danger of being governed in our views of God by mere feeling, rather than by sober judgment and calm investigation.

2. We are often in circumstances where we are in danger of cherishing hard thoughts of God. They may make us feel that His government is severe and arbitrary.

3. We always regard ourselves as the aggrieved and injured party. We do not allow ourselves to suppose it possible that God should be right and we be wrong.

4. Back of all this is the fact that We are not pleased with the character of God when it is understood. By nature we have no pleasure in God. All the views of the Divine character which are formed under influences like these are likely to be wrong.

II. The real difficulties of the case. Such as a man might find who would wish to see such evidence as would enable him to put unwavering confidence in God. There are many things which such a man cannot understand. Such as, that sin should have been allowed to come into the system formed by a holy God. That misery should come into the universe, and that death, with many forms of woe, has been commissioned to cut down one whole race. That the immortal mind should be allowed to jeopard its infinite welfare. That any should suffer forever. That since God can save men, and will save a part, He has not purposed to save all. These, and kindred difficulties, meet the mind when we think on this great subject. They are real, not imaginary difficulties.

III. The evidences that he is worthy of confidence. They are, God Himself as revealed; and the government of God as--

1. One of law.

2. Stable and firm.

3. The arrangements of this government tend to promote the welfare of His subjects.

4. They provide for the evils that arise from the violation of law.

5. In the plan of recovery none are excluded.

6. Those who know God’s character best are found to repose most confidence in Him. (A. Barnes, D. D.)

How good comes to man

These are strange words to be addressed to a man renowned for piety and integrity! Job and the Almighty were by no means strangers to each other. How comes it, then, that Eliphaz says to Job, “Acquaint now thyself with Him”? God appears to have given him over to Satan for the time being, because that evil spirit had alleged that the piety of Job was maintained only for selfish ends. Dr. Stanley Leathes says: “It may be presumed that Satan challenged the Almighty in the case of Job, and that the Almighty accepted his challenge. It must, however, be carefully noted that the reader only, and not the several characters in this discussion, is supposed to be acquainted with this fact: for had it appeared openly at any point of the argument, there would at once have been an end to the discussion, The several speakers were shooting arrows in the dark; the reader only occupies a vantage-ground, in the light afforded by a knowledge of the secret.”

I. The fact of estrangement.

1. The witness of conscience. That there is more unrest in the world than there is of peace and contentment, few would deny. What is the cause of the dissatisfaction? The popular replies are, “We work at such high pressure. There is so much competition in commercial life that daily toil becomes a daily struggle. There is too much worry, and too little recreation”; etc., etc. But are these replies satisfactory? As a matter of experience, does recreation make for contentment? Do our worries cease as our possessions increase? One thing we know, that humanity is adrift from its God. Unacquaintance with Him explains much of the joylessness and impotence in human life today.

2. The witness of the world. To the questions, “Why should there be so much mutual suspicion in men’s hearts? Why so much strife?” The world itself bears witness that it has turned away from its Creator and its King.

3. The witness of God Himself. If God calls, there is a need for the call; and He, with lament and sorrow, says to the children of men, “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?”

II. The estrangement may end. “Acquaint now thyself with Him.” But what things are necessary to a reconciliation that shall be both just and abiding? There are two ways in which sin may be dealt with. First, to condone it; secondly, to forgive it. The Almighty, being a God of Justice, cannot do the former. We see then that--

III. The estrangement may end now. “Acquaint now thyself with Him.” But on certain conditions. And they are--

1. Repentance.

2. The forsaking of sin. (F. Burnett.)

How good comes to man

I. The results of this acquaintanceship, or the effects of reconciliation,--“be at peace; thereby good shall come unto thee.” What is this good which is as the gateway of peace? Is it a gift or an experience? How does it come? Am I but the passive object of the Divine pity? Have I to stand and wait, or to strive and obtain? The enriching of my life with good is God’s work; it is also my work. There is a human power in the Divine life. I must arise and return to the Father, ere He can receive me.

II. The possession of good is seen in contentment of mind. Discontent is more common than contentment. Is there no such thing as a righteous and justifiable ambition? Our text says that by making the acquaintance of God, we become the possessors of good. Material good or spiritual good? Both. The God who graciously invites my friendship, and offers His, is interested in my whole being. With the Bible--the story of man and his God--before us, and the testimony of men around us, we may reply that man, in making the acquaintance of God, is not a loser, but a gainer. Acquaintance with God has opened unto him the gates of peace and prosperity.

III. The possession of good is seen in an abundance of spiritual life. This life, that is life indeed, includes--

1. Sonship.

2. Joint-heirship with Christ.

3. Daily power for daily need. (F. Burnett.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 22:21". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace:

Thereby good shall come unto thee.

Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth,

And lay up his words in thy heart.

If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up,

If thou put away unrighteousness far from thy tents.

And lay thou thy treasure in the dust,

And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.

And the Almighty will be thy treasure,

And precious silver unto thee.

For then shalt thou delight thyself in the Almighty,

And shalt lift up thy face unto God.

Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he will hear thee;

And thou shalt pay thy vows.

Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee;

And light shall shine upon thy ways.

When they cast thee down, thou shalt say,

There is lifting up;

And the humble person he will save.

He will deliver even him that is not innocent:

Yea, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of thy hands."

This final shot from Eliphaz was loaded with the most slanderous insinuations against Job. Exactly as some rabble-rouser will preach "non violence," in such a manner as to cause violence, Eliphaz pretended to be talking about repentance, forgiveness and blessings, but what he was really doing was heaping charge after charge upon the head of Job.

Job 22:21 stated that Job did not know God.

Job 22:22 stated that Job rejected God's law.

Job 22:23 stated that he had left God, and that he dwelt in unrighteousness.

Job 22:24 stated that gold was his treasure.

Job 22:25 implied that he loved silver, not God.

Job 22:26 stated that he did not delight in God.

Job 22:27 stated that his prayers were not heard, and that he was not paying his vows.

Job 22:28 stated that Job was in darkness.

Job 22:29 stated that he was soon to be cast down.

Job 22:30 stated that Job was not innocent, and that his dirty hands needed cleaning!

May God deliver all of us from that kind of "consolation" and "comforting" from our friends!

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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace,.... Not with the righteous and innocent, but with God, as Job 22:22 show: from severe charges and censures, Eliphaz proceeds to advice and exhortations, and seems to be in a better temper, and to talk in a more kind and gentle manner, only he goes upon a false supposition and mistaken notion, that Job was a bad man; had he had a proper object to have directed his discourse to, it would have been excellently said; and, as it is, is not without its use: this first exhortation supposes unacquaintance with God, and an estrangedness from him; which is the case of every man from the womb, and in a state of nature and unregeneracy. Acquaintance with God begins at conversion, when he is made known, not only as the God of nature and providence, but as the God of grace and peace in Christ; and it is carried on by prayer, which is a converse with God, and by attendance on his worship and ordinances, in which men walk before him, and have fellowship with him: this is sometimes interrupted and dropped for a while, through temptation or sin; when there arises on account thereof a shyness and backwardness to draw nigh unto God, until he calls and invites them to take with them words, and return unto him; an acquaintance with God is not kept up when prayer before him is restrained; which Eliphaz charges Job with, Job 15:4; and when saints forsake the assembling of themselves together, or neglect public worship, or grow indifferent to it; and it is renewed again by prayer, and a fresh attendance on the above things; in which frequent visits are made between God and his people, mutual secrets communicated, a holy freedom, familiarity, and boldness contracted, and communion with God enjoyed: men may also acquaint themselves with him yet more and more by the contemplation of his works, by reading and hearing his word, and by conversation with good men, ministers, and others. The Jewish commentatorsF8Aben Ezra, Ben Gersom, Bar Tzemach. generally interpret it, "use" or "accustom thyself with him", to walk in his ways, and observe his commands: "and be at peace"; not make his peace with God, which a creature cannot do; only Job's living Redeemer could do that, and he has done it; but be easy and still under the afflicting hand of God, quietly submit to it, and patiently endure it, and not murmur at it; or, as Aben Ezra interprets it, as a promise of God, "thou shalt be in peace", or "thou shalt have peace"; all outward prosperity and happiness, which is often signified by this word; or inward peace of mind, which comes from God, and through an acquaintance with him, and from Christ, his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, by whom the acquaintance with God is opened and maintained; and it is had in a way of duty, in attendance on the ordinances of God, which are paths of peace; and also eternal peace hereafter, when acquaintance with God will be no more dropped, nor interrupted, but continue for ever:

thereby good shall come unto thee: temporal good things, necessary and convenient, the promise of which is annexed to godliness, or an acquaintance with God; spiritual good things, the blessings of grace, all things pertaining to life and godliness, and eternal good things; that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which afflictions, peaceably and patiently borne, work for and bring unto.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Acquaint now thyself q with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

(q) He exhorts Job to repentance, and to return to God.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Eliphaz takes it for granted, Job is not yet “acquainted” with God; literally, “become a companion of God.” Turn with familiar confidence to God.

and beSo thou shalt be: the second imperatively expresses the consequence of obeying the first (Psalm 37:27).

peace — prosperity and restoration to Job; true spiritually also to us (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20).

good — (1 Timothy 4:8).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Him — With God, renew thy acquaintance with God by prayer, and repentance for all thy sins, and true humiliation under his hand, and hearty compliance with all his commands, and diligent care to serve and enjoy him. It is our honour, that we are made capable of this acquaintance, our misery that by sin we have lost it; our privilege, that through Christ we may return to it; and our unspeakable advantage, to renew and cultivate it.

And be at peace — At peace with God, and at peace with thyself, not fretful or uneasy.

Good shall come unto thee — All the good thou canst desire, temporal, spiritual, eternal.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


‘Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.’

Job 22:21

I. We may learn much of God in nature.—Everywhere the world is beautiful—sea and sky, wave and grass, flower and sea-shell, wood and river; but how much poorer it would be if it did not speak from every leaf of its great picture-book—reminding us of the missals of the Middle Ages—of the Eternal God. As by studying the pictures, or books, of an illustrious man whom we have never seen, so by contemplating the works of God we may know Him. The invisible things of God are made known by the works of His hands—His eternal power and Godhead.

II. We may learn much of God also from great and good men who have lived in every age of the world and in every land.—‘Where is the country whose history is so dead that it has not had some such men to show?’ And we must always believe that the light which shone in them, amid a good deal of ignorance and mistake, was just borrowed from Christ Himself. ‘In them we have simply the sunlight before the sunrise.’

III. But after all, the only way of acquainting ourselves with God is by looking into the face of Jesus Christ.—‘Christ spoke the words of God, and that was much. Christ was the Word of God, and that was vastly more. The Incarnate Word of God is the real Light of the world.’ All other men are fragments of the One Man. In each there is some failure, some plan, something that we dare not imitate. But Jesus Christ is perfect Man, as He is also, by His essential nature, the Eternal God; and in His perfect humanity the Eternal God is declared. ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.’ He said to Philip, ‘How sayest thou then, Show us the Father?’

We must, first, be at peace with God by confessing ourselves worthless sinners, and taking our stand on His finished work, and then, being at peace with God through faith, we may go on to know God, according to His Divine promise, ‘I have declared thy name to those whom Thou hast given Me, and will declare it.’


‘To acquaint oneself with God is no light and easy task; it involves an intercourse which must be not only personal, but profound. There are many persons in the world whom we may know by name, by hearsay, even by sight. But we never properly begin to be acquainted with them until we get upon what are called “speaking terms.” So one primary method of spiritual acquaintance with God is the method of prayer. Only as we master this method, step by step, and grow familiar with its conditions and its results, do we come to understand the inward meaning of the will of the Father, and to realise “those deep abysses of judgment and mercy in which the foundation of every prayer is laid.”’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Job 22:21". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 22:21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Ver. 21. Acquaint now thyself with him] Accommoda te nunc illi, assuesce cum illo. Converse with God in a humble familiarity; set him at the right hand, Psalms 16:8, be ever at his hand, ut famulus seu accensus, as attendant upon his person. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and let him direct thy paths, Proverbs 3:6. Ask counsel at his mouth, aim at his glory, be thou in his fear all the day long, Proverbs 23:17. Account it thine happiness to be in communion with him, and conformity to him in all parts and points of duty. The Lord is with you if you be with him, 2 Chronicles 15:3.

And be at peace] Return to him by repentance from whom thou hast so deeply revolted, and against whom thou hast so shamefully rebelled. For Eliphaz here takes it for granted that Job had estranged himself from God; and therefore could not possibly be at peace till better acquainted with him, and acquiescing in him, as the Vulgate here hath it. Acquiesce ei. No creature is more fearful than a fish, fleeing at the shadow of a man; yet it feareth not the roaring ocean (which yet lions and other fierce creatures fear), because it is of its own nature and acquaintance. A sheep feareth not his shepherd; nor shall we God, if once acquainted with him. Peace shall be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy tabernacles.

Thereby good shall come unto thee] Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee, Psalms 128:2. A cornucopia, a confluence of all manner of comforts and contentments, shall betide thee; but then thou must humble thyself to walk with thy God, Micah 6:8. By faith walk with God, and by reflection walk with thyself, Compone et emenda vias tuas coram Domino, and then thou needest not say, with the worldling, "Who will show us any good?" Psalms 4:6; for God himself will say to thee, as once he did to Moses, when he gave him but a glimpse of himself and his glory, Ostendam tibi omne bonum, "I will make all my goodness pass before thee," Exodus 33:19.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 22:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Job 22:21

I. Consider of what sort our knowledge of God must be. It is a knowledge, not of comprehension, but of acquaintanceship. There are three stages to be observed in a man's knowledge of God. (1) Certain true notions respecting the Divine Being and His character must be presupposed before we can approach Him with that personal approach which is the basis of acquaintanceship. (2) The man must not suffer sin to hold him back from moral intercourse with God, else his knowledge will be only a knowledge about God, not a knowing of God. To worship, to love, to obey, is the road to real acquaintanceship with Him. (3) Such a moral acquaintanceship with God ekes out even the imperfection of our intellectual notions regarding Him. Out into the darkness which bounds on every side our small illumined spot of knowledge, faith and love can venture hand in hand without alarm, sure that He whom they know will be no other in the dark where we cannot watch Him than He has been in the things we see.

II. Consider, by two or three instances, how God's growing revelation of Himself to men has been followed by a corresponding increase of peace in their souls. (1) The fundamental truth, which it took nearly a thousand years to teach to the chosen nation of the old world, is the unity of God. Prepared in a corner of Syria through a millennium, this doctrine of the unity of God brought a beginning of peace to the world's heart. (2) What may be called God's absolute integrity, embracing, first, His truth or faithfulness; next, His justice; and third, His unchangeableness—this is the grand moral discovery of the Old Testament. On this, as on a rock, men's souls can repose themselves. (3) Until God was pleased to make through Christ a further disclosure of Himself we could never be at peace. Through all pre-Christian religions, as in the religion of every man still who has not acquainted himself with the Gospel of Christ, there ran, and there runs, some unquiet effort to solve the problem of atonement. The idea which rules them all is that man has to work on God through some means or other so as to change repulsion or aversion into favour. This notion brings no peace. Expiation is God's own act, dictated by His sole charity, wrought by His sole passion. Knowing Him in His Son, rest shall be imposed on the disquietudes of a wounded conscience. (4) As the discovery of the Second Divine Person, the Expiator and Reconciler, has allayed in those who acquaint themselves with Him the unrest and alarm of a conscience goaded by guilt to pacify, if it can, Divine displeasure, so we are led still nearer to perfect peace by a more recent revelation: that of the Third Person. God the Third Person broods like a dove of peace over the tumultuous chaos of a passionate heart, glimmers like a star of hope in our blackest night. With Him let us acquaint ourselves. Then shall we have more peace, increase of peace, even unto the full repose which follows conquest.

J. Oswald Dykes, Sermons, p. 191.

I. Is there such a thing among men as peace, a deep and true peace, without any acquaintance with God? (1) Suppose the case of one possessing high intelligence allied with all the ordinary virtues of human life, but who lacks entirely any personal faith in God as a Person. If you ask if his nature is at peace, he answers, Yes; I have no fear, no trouble, except that which comes by ignorance or inattention to law. Life is not long; I shall soon be in the dust, and that will be the end of me. I am at peace. The peace of such a man may be calmness, indifference; but cannot be the same thing as comes into a soul and flows through it and down into its far depths as the result of acquaintance with God. (2) Imperfect and partial knowledge of God is practically more disturbing and alarming than complete scepticism. Once allow His existence, and it is impossible ever to put that existence anywhere but in the primary place. Those who are imperfectly acquainted with God look at some of His attributes separately, but never at the centre and essence of the character where all the attributes meet.

II. The words of the text, "Acquaint thyself with God," literally mean, "Dwell with God," dwell with Him as in the same tent or home. To come to God in Christ is to come home.

III. "Thereby good shall come unto thee," good of every kind, and especially of the best kind. No man is good who avoids the society of God. Every man is good who seeks it and enjoys it. This is the supreme criterion of goodness, and the pledge that all goodness, in abundance and variety, will come. The "good" that comes is nothing less than all the benefits and blessings of the Gospel.

A. Raleigh, The Way to the City, p. 229:

References: Job 22:21.—H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2063; J. Natt, Posthumous Sermons, p. 184; Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 129; Old Testament Outlines, p. 97; C. Girdlestone, A Course of Sermons for the Year, vol. ii., p. 69. Job 22:26.—G. Matheson, Moments on the Mount, p. 277. Job 22:29.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii., No. 731. Job 22—S. Cox, Expositor, 1st series, vol. viii., p. 81; Ibid., Commentary on Job, p. 294. Job 22-28—A, W. Momerie, Defects of Modern Christianity, p. 128. Job 23:1-6.—W. Jay, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 157.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 22:21. Acquaint now thyself, &c.— Humble thyself, I pray thee, before him, and make restitution. Heath.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 22:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae



Job 22:21. Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace.

IN estimating the characters and conduct of men, we must make great allowance for their prejudices and mistakes. Unless we take into our consideration the erroneous idea which Job’s friends had conceived respecting the dealings of Providence with men, we shall be ready to view them in a most unfavourable light. Even with this allowance we scarcely know how to account for the extreme uncharitableness of Eliphaz. He is not content with accusing Job of secret sins that could be known to God only, but he brings plain and positive charges against him of open visible crimes, no one of which could with even a shadow of truth be imputed to him. We regret to see such inconsistency in a man, whom yet we are constrained to consider as pious: and we turn from this painful view of him, to notice the excellent advice, which, though still under a mistaken apprehension of Job’s character, he gave him. To a person under any circumstances, an acquaintance with God is most desirable, but more especially under such a dark and afflictive dispensation as that which Job at this time experienced. That we may invite you all to seek it, we propose to shew,

I. Wherein an acquaintance with God consists—

[There is a knowledge of God which may be obtained from the works of creation: but this must of necessity be extremely partial and defective. They display his wisdom, and power, and goodness; but they exhibit no traces of that perfection which we so greatly need to be acquainted with, namely, his mercy in pardoning sin. It is from revelation only that we can learn his true character as “a just God and a Saviour:” and for a discovery of him in that endearing new, we must look at him as exhibited to us in the Gospel of his Son. It is in the face of Jesus Christ that all his glory shines [Note: 2 Corinthians 4:6.]. It is in the cross of Christ that all his perfections are made to unite and harmonize: it is there alone that we can see “mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissing each other.” This then it is which constitutes a true knowledge of God; it is an acquaintance with the great work of redemption; a view of “God in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” — — —]

II. What is that measure of acquaintance with him which we as sinners are privileged to enjoy—

[It is not a mere speculative knowledge of these things, but an actual participation of them in our own souls: it is not “an hearing of God with our ears, but a seeing of him with our eyes,” as Job speaks; I mean, with the eye of faith, which is privileged to “behold Him who is invisible [Note: Hebrews 11:27.].” By faith “we have a fellowship,” yea a most intimate and endearing fellowship, “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” God will come and manifest himself to us, as our God, our Father, and our Friend [Note: Genesis 5:21.]. “By his Spirit he will enable us to cry, Abba, Father.” “He will dwell in us, and walk with us:” Christ will live in us, even as his heavenly Father lived in him; insomuch that “he himself will be our life [Note: John 6:56-57. with Colossians 3:4.].” What nearer intimacy can be conceived? yet this it is our privilege to enjoy: this union with him, this committing of our souls to him, this receiving of all needful communications out of his fulness, this living entirely by faith in him as our Saviour and our God; this, I say, is that measure of acquaintance with him which we ought to seek, and may actually possess [Note: Galatians 2:20.] — — —]

III. The benefits resulting from it—

[Who can ever fully declare what is implied in peace with God? Verily it is “a peace that passeth all understanding” — — — But there is peculiar emphasis in the word “Now;” “acquaint now thyself with God, and be at peace.” What was the estimate which Eliphaz had formed of Job’s character? He viewed Job as the vilest hypocrite upon earth, and considered him as punished by God with most signal vengeance: yet he said to him, “Acquaint now,” now, notwithstanding all thy vileness; now, in the midst of all these judgments; even now acquaint thyself with God; and “so shall good come unto thee.” This was indeed a just view of God, though an erroneous view of the poor afflicted saint. This is the view we should ever have of God in Christ Jesus: we should see him ready to bestow his richest mercies even on the chief of sinners, and as determined “never to cast out any who come unto him.” Be it known then, that, if only we will acquaint ourselves with God as he is revealed to us in the Gospel of his Son, there is not a good which God himself can bestow, which he will not richly communicate to us; nor is there a condition, either of sin or suffering, in which that acquaintance with him shall not be effectual for the restoration of our souls to peace. Were we the vilest of the human race, our iniquities should be blotted out — — — and were we in a condition a thousand times more deplorable than that of Job, it should turn all our sorrows into joy [Note: Song of Solomon 2:3.] — — —]


Acquaint now yourselves with God,

1. Ye who are in a state of sin—

[Seek him in reading, meditation, prayer, &c.]

2. Ye who are in a state of suffering—

[Doubt not his willingness or sufficiency.]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Job 22:21". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

With him, i.e. with God, as appears both from Job 22:23, where he is expressed, and from the nature of the thing, there being no other way to happiness. Renew thy acquaintance and converse with God by prayer, which thou hast restrained, Job 15:4. and repentance for all thy sins, and true humiliation under his hand, and hearty compliance with all his commands, and diligent care to serve and enjoy him; and be no longer estranged from God, as thou now art.

Be at peace: this is either,

1. A promise, the imperative being put for the future of the indicative mood, and so thou shalt have peace, i.e. prosperity and happiness. Or rather,

2. A counsel or command; If God be an enemy to thee, as thou sayest he is, reconcile thyself to him by true repentance, and earnestly seek his favour and friendship, and do not provoke him further by thy false and wicked speeches of him, or by thy froward carriage to him: and whereas thou art full of unquietness and rage against God, learn to possess thy soul in patience, give over murmuring against him, and get a composed, and quiet, and submissive mind and heart; which is called peace, Jude 6:23 19:20 Isaiah 57:21. Thus far is the command or exhortation; now followeth the promise.

Thereby, i.e. by following these counsels.

Good shall come unto thee; thou shalt be freed from all thy calamities, and enjoy all the happiness which thy heart can desire.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 22:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible


a. He who lives for God, and sacrifices his all, shall find in God abiding treasures and an inexhaustible mine of bliss, Job 22:21-25.

21.Acquaint now thyself . The idea that lies at the root of this verb is, of associating or dwelling together, (GESENIUS. Thes., 953;) thence of friendship, which leads the Germans to render, make friends with God.

Our translators have happily rendered it. acquaint thyself; now, in the sense of entreaty.

And be at peace — With God and with thyself; for the one implies the other. The former verb expresses the making, the latter, the preservation, of peace.

Good — A word bandied in the debate. See note Job 20:21. Also sermons in loc. by Archbishops Atterbury and Sumner.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 22:21. Acquaint now thyself with him — That is, with God, as appears both from Job 22:23, where he is expressed, and from the nature of the matter in hand, there being no other way to happiness. Renew thy acquaintance with God by prayer, and repentance for all thy sins, and true humiliation under his hand, and hearty compliance with all his commands, and diligent care to serve and enjoy him. It is our honour, that we are made capable of this acquaintance; our misery, that by sin we have lost it; our privilege, that through Christ we may return to it; and our unspeakable advantage, to renew and cultivate it. And be at peace — At peace with God, and at peace with thyself; not fretful or uneasy. Good shall come unto thee — All the good thou canst desire, temporal, spiritual, eternal.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 22:21". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Here is a call to repent. Job needs to yield to God and the result will be that Job will find peace.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Acquaint. This is the false theology of Eliphaz. Compare Job 42:8.

good = blessing. Most codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and

unto = upon. Vulgate, read "thy gain shall be blessing".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Eliphaz takes it for granted, Job is not yet 'acquainted' with God; literally, become a companion of God. Turn with familiar confidence to God.

And be - so thou shalt be. The second imperative expresses the consequence of obeying the first (Psalms 37:27).

Peace - prosperity and restoration to Job; true, spiritually, also to us (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20).

Good - (1 Timothy 4:8).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) Acquaint now thyself with him.—As he himself had done in Job 5, and as Zophar had done in Job 11, Eliphaz proceeds to give Job some good advice. “Thereby good shall come unto thee,” or “Thereby shall thine increase be good;” or perhaps he means that peace and rest from the obstinate questionings he was disturbed with would come to him thereby.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
1 Chronicles 28:9; John 17:3; 2 Corinthians 4:6
that is, God. be at peace.
Isaiah 27:5; 57:19-21; Matthew 5:25; Acts 10:36; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Philippians 4:7; Ephesians 2:14-17
Reciprocal: Genesis 13:2 - GeneralJob 5:8 - seek;  Job 8:5 - thou wouldest;  Job 11:13 - prepare;  Job 33:24 - Then;  Job 36:11 - If;  Proverbs 9:12 - GeneralEcclesiastes 7:12 - wisdom;  Isaiah 48:17 - which teacheth;  Luke 12:58 - give;  Romans 2:10 - and peace

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 22:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".