Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 5:16

"So the helpless has hope, And unrighteousness must shut its mouth.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Faith;   God;   Philosophy;   Poor;   Righteous;   Thompson Chain Reference - Men;   Silence-Speech;   Silenced, Men;   The Topic Concordance - God;   Poverty;   Salvation;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Poor, the;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Mouth;  
Encyclopedias:
The Jewish Encyclopedia - Hope;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

So the poor - דל dal, he who is made thin, who is wasted, extenuated; hath hope - he sees what God is accustomed to do, and he expects a repetition of gracious dealings in his own behalf; and because God deals thus with those who trust in him, therefore the mouth of impiety is stopped. Religion is kept alive in the earth, because of God's signal interventions in behalf of the bodies and souls of his followers.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

So the poor hath hope - From the interposition of God. They are not left in a sad and comfortless condition. They are permitted to regard God as their protector and friend, and to look forward to another and a better world. This sentiment accords with all that is elsewhere said in the Scriptures, that the offers of mercy are specially made to the poor, and that they are especially the objects of the divine compassion.

And iniquity stoppeth her mouth - That is, the wicked are confounded when they see all their plans foiled, and find themselves entangled in the snares which they have laid for others. A similar sentiment occurs in Psalm 107:41-42:

Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction,

And maketh him families like a flock.

The righteous shall see it and rejoice,

And all iniquity shall stop her mouth.”

It is to be remembered that Eliphaz states this as the result of his own observation, and as clearly demonstrating in his view that there is a superintending and overruling Providence. A careful observation of the course of events would lead undoubtedly to the same conclusion, and this has been embodied in almost every language by some proverbial sentiment. We express it by saying that “honesty is the best policy;” a proverb that is undoubtcdly founded in wisdom. The sentiment is, that if a man wishes long to prosper, he should pursue a straight-forward and an honest course; that cunning, intrigue, underhanded dealing, and mere management, will sooner or later defeat itself, and recoil on the head of him who uses it; and that, therefore, if there were no higher motive than self-interest, a man should be honest, frank, and open. See this argument stated at greater length, and with great beauty, in Psalm 37.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 5:16

So the poor hath hope.

The expediency of preventive wisdom

By God’s different treatment of men, according to their different characters, the afflicted receive comfort, and the unrighteous are silenced and restrained. “So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.” The words recommend--

I. A careful imitation of the divine goodness, by showing a compassionate regard to those who are really destitute and afflicted. The amiable perfection of the great Original, the excellence and beauty of unlimited goodness, if duly regarded, must prove a sufficient persuasive to study this resemblance; the rational and delightful resemblance of that Divine bounty which is good to all, and whose tender mercies are over all His works. An example so perfect may justly warm our hearts to attempt the nearest imitation which human frailty can accomplish; to be merciful as our Father, our Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, our kindest Friend, our constant Benefactor.

II. The restraint and correction of the disorderly and the wicked. “And iniquity stoppeth her mouth.” How affecting it is to consider that so many thousand wretched creatures are now actually employed in multiplying distempers, now swallowing those deadly potions, that, by slower degrees indeed, but with the certainty of a bullet, must soon fatally end their days. How infectious, how shameless is this horrible vice! These things ought not so to be. What then is to be done to stop, to remedy this growing evil? Inattention cannot do it. Despair cannot do it. Public communities and private persons, everyone in his respective station must exert his zealous, honest endeavours in this important cause; the cause of religion and humanity, the cause of our country, and the cause of God. Once resolve upon the good work--and resolve to pursue it--with God’s blessing, it is half accomplished. (Lord Bishop of Worcester, 1750.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 5:16". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

So the poor hath hope,.... Who observing this and that and the other poor man crying to the Lord and saved, hopes that he may be saved by him also; and having had experience of salvation out of one trouble or more, even out of six troubles, as in Job 5:19, entertains a comfortable hope he shall be saved out of the seventh, or whatsoever he is in: the wordF25לדל "tenai", Montanus, Vatablus, Junius, Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. used signifies one that is weak and feeble, attenuated, and exhausted of his strength, wealth, and substance; and may be applied to one spiritually poor, and in a very destitute and forlorn condition in himself; and yet, through the revelation of the grace and mercy of God to him, has hope of safety in Christ, the strong hold and hope set before him to flee unto; and of salvation by him, it being in him, and for the chief of sinners, and altogether free; and of eternal life through him, as being promised of God, that cannot lie: the free gift of God through Christ, and in his hands to dispose of:

and iniquity stoppeth her mouth: that is, iniquitous men: very wicked men, who are iniquity and wickedness itself; these shall stop their mouths, through shame at what they have said concerning the poor that God saves, see Micah 7:9; and through admiration at the goodness of God in saving them, Isaiah 52:15; having nothing to say against the ways and dispensations of Divine Providence, they are apt to quarrel with, Psalm 107:40; and especially at the last day such shall have their mouths stopped, and shall not be able to open them against the Lord or his people, being convinced of their hard speeches which they have spoken against them, Judges 1:15; and will be like the man at the feast without a wedding garment, speechless, or muzzled, and his mouth stopped, Matthew 22:12.

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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 5:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

So the poor hath hope, and iniquity r stoppeth her mouth.

(r) If the wicked are compelled by God's works to shut their mouths, how much more they who profess God.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the poor hath hope — of the interposition of God.

iniquity stoppeth her mouth — (Psalm 107:42; Micah 7:9, Micah 7:10; Isaiah 52:15). Especially at the last day, through shame (Judges 1:15; Matthew 22:12). The “mouth” was the offender (Job 5:15), and the mouth shall then be stopped (Isaiah 25:8) at the end.

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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 5:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.

So — So he obtains what he hoped for from God, to whom he committed his cause.

Iniquity — Wicked men.

Stoppeth — They are silenced and confounded, finding that not only the poor are got out of their snares, but the oppressors themselves are ensnared in them.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 5:16 So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.

Ver. 16. So the poor hath hope] How should it be otherwise? experience will breed confidence. Thou hast, thou wilt, is an ordinary Scriptural medium, Psalms 85:1-4, 2 Corinthians 1:10. So, the poor, helpless, hopeless person, who is pined away, spent and utterly exhausted and wasted, both for health and wealth, he hath hope ( spem maiorum et meliorum, greater and better, as Alexander said when he had given away all); and this holds head above water, makes wants plenitudes, and beguiles calamity, as good company doth the way. Neither is hope ever more highly elevated than when our state in all men’s eyes is at its lowest. I was brought low (or drawn dry, the same word as here), and he helped me, Psalms 116:6. "So he will regard the prayer of the destitute," Psalms 102:17. The Hebrew word there signifies a poor shrub that is in the wilderness low and slender, trod upon by beasts, unregarded, worthless; such a one looketh unto God and is lightened, Psalms 34:5, conceiveth lively hope, hope unfailable through faith unfeigned, having earnest expectation (as the word signifieth) of strong consolation; so that he can truly say with St Paul, When I am weak, then am I strong, 2 Corinthians 12:10. Such prisoners of hope can turn them to the strong holds, Zechariah 9:12.

And iniquity stoppeth her mouth] Iniquity, that is, the workers of iniquity, those worst sort of sinners (the word importeth men of manifold perverseness, Maligni et nocendi studiosi. Aquinas), amazed at godly men’s good successes, contrary to their expectations, shall stand speechless, as he did, Matthew 22:12, convicted of their wickedness, and confounded at God’s wonderful works. See the like Isaiah 52:15, Psalms 107:42, Micah 7:16, Jeremiah 8:14. Thus Jannes and Jambres were silenced and convinced, but not converted. No more are many today, who yet have as little to say as they. The full accomplishment of this promise is not to be looked for till the last day.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 5:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

So this poor man obtaineth what he in some measure hoped or expected from God, to whom he committed his cause; and other poor men will be encouraged by his example to place their hope in God.

Iniquity, i. e. wicked men; the abstract for the concrete, as pride, deceit, injustice, are put for proud, deceitful, and unrighteous men, Jeremiah 13:9 2 Peter 3:13.

Stoppeth her mouth, i.e. they are silenced and confounded, being convicted of their own wickedness and folly, and finding that not only the poor are got out of their nets and snares, in which they thought that they had them fast, but also the oppressors themselves are insnared in them; and all this by sudden and unexpected means.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 5:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-5.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.So the poor hath hope — As the poor are God’s special care, Heaven’s proteges, it is particularly said of them, that they have hope. Eliphaz sublimely declares the care of the poor, the lowly, and the suffering ones of this world to be the ulterior end of the natural and moral worlds; to this end converge all the arrangements of nature and of grace, with all their criss-cross and apparently contradictory motions. In harmony with our thought is the pleasing one of Whewell, (Bridgewater Tr., chap. 3,) who “considers the whole mass of the earth, from pole to pole and from center to circumference, as employed in keeping a snow-drop in the position most suited to the promotion of its vegetable health.” The verse is a grand climactical close to this sublime description of God. Comp. Luke 7:22, with a similar climax — “The poor have the gospel preached to them.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-5.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 5:16. So the poor, &c. — Hebrews ותהי לדל, vatehi ladal, even to the poor there is hope: Dal signifies one who is deprived of his strength or power, either by poverty or sickness: in Arabic, He who is submissive, and humbles himself in a low, abject manner. Here the interpretation seems to be, Even the abject, contemptible man hath hope; that is, obtains what he hoped for from God, to whom he had committed his cause. And iniquity — Iniquitous men, the abstract term being put for the concrete, as pride, deceit, injustice, are put for proud, deceitful, unrighteous men, Jeremiah 13:9; 2 Peter 3:13. Stoppeth her mouth — They are silenced and confounded, finding not only the poor are got out of their snares, but that the oppressors themselves are insnared in them.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 5:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-5.html. 1857.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.

The poor hath hope - of the interposition of God.

Iniquity stoppeth her mouth - (Psalms 107:42, which seems a quotation and inspired confirmation of the book of Job; Micah 7:9-10; Isaiah 52:15). Especially at the last day, through shame (Jude 1:15; Matthew 22:12). The mouth was the offender (Job 5:15), and the mouth shall then be stopped - (Isaiah 25:8, at the end - "The rebuke of his people shall He take away from off all the earth").

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) Iniquity stoppeth her mouth.—See Psalms 107:42, where the same phrase occurs.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.
the poor
1 Samuel 2:8,9; Psalms 9:18; Isaiah 14:32; Zechariah 9:12
and
Exodus 11:7; Psalms 63:11; 107:42; Romans 3:19
Reciprocal: Job 10:1 - My soul;  Psalm 10:9 - when;  Psalm 35:10 - which;  Psalm 72:13 - shall save;  Psalm 82:4 - rid;  Psalm 113:7 - raiseth;  Isaiah 25:4 - thou hast;  Matthew 22:12 - And he was;  1 Peter 2:15 - with

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 5:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-5.html.