Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 5:17

"Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Chastisement;   Faith;   God;   Happiness;   Philosophy;   Resignation;   Righteous;   Thompson Chain Reference - Afflictions;   Blessings-Afflictions;   Happiness;   Joy-Sorrow;   Trials;   The Topic Concordance - Chastisement;   Despisement;   Happiness/joy;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Afflicted Saints;   Afflictions;   Blessed, the;   Happiness of Saints in This Life;   Peace;   Reproof;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Discipline;   Providence of God;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Chasten, Chastisement;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Discipline;  
Encyclopedias:
The Jewish Encyclopedia - James, General Epistle of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Behold, happy is the man - הנח hinneh, behold, is wanting in five of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., and also in the Syriac, Vulgate, and Arabic. We have had fathers of our flesh, who corrected us for their pleasure, or according to their caprices, and we were subject to them: how much more should we be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? for he corrects that we may be partakers of his holiness, in order that we may be rendered fit for his glory. See Hebrews 12:5; James 1:12; and Proverbs 3:12.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth - This verse commences a new argument, designed to show that afflictions are followed by so important advantages as to make it proper that we should submit to them without a complaint. The sentiment in this verse, if not expressly quoted, is probably alluded to by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 12:5. The same thought frequently occurs in the Bible: see James 1:12; Proverbs 3:11-12. The sense is plain, that God confers a favor on us when he recalls us from our sins by the corrections of his paternal hand - as a father confers a favor on a child whom he restrains from sin by suitable correction. The way in which this is done, Eliphaz proceeds to state at length. He does it in most beautiful language, and in a manner entirely in accordance with the sentiments which occur elsewhere in the Bible. The word rendered “correcteth” (יכח yâkach ) means to argue, convince, reprove, punish, and to judge.

It here refers to any of the modes by which God calls people from their sins, and leads them to walk in the paths of virtue. The word “happy” here, means that the condition of such an one is blessed (אשׁרי 'ēshrēy ); Greek μακάριος makarios - not that there is happiness in the suffering. The sense is, that it is a favor when God recalls his friends from their wanderings, and from the error of their ways, rather than to suffer them to go on to ruin. He does me a kindness who shows me a precipice down which I am in danger of falling; he lays me under obligation to him who even with violence saves me from flames which would devour me. Eliphaz undoubtedly means to be understood as implying that Job had been guilty of transgression, and that God had taken this method to recall him from the error of his ways. That he had sinned, and that these calamities had come as a consequence, he seems never once to doubt; yet he supposes that the affliction was meant in kindness, and proceeds to state that if Job would receive it in a proper manner, it might be attended still with important benefits.

Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty - “Do not regret (תמאס tı̂m'ās ). Septuagint, μή ἀπανάινου mē apanainou - the means which God is using to admonish you.” There is direct allusion here undoubtedly to the feelings which Job had manifested Job 3; and the object of Eliphaz is, to show him that there were important benefits to be derived from affliction which should make him willing to bear it without complaining. Job had exhibited, as Eliphaz thought, a disposition to reject the lessons which afflictions were designed to teach him, and to spurn the admonitions of the Almighty. From that state of mind he would recall him, and would impress on him the truth that there were such advantages to be derived from those afflictions as should make him willing to endure all that was laid upon him without a complaint.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-5.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

CONCLUSION OF ELIPHAZ' FIRST SPEECH

"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:

Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.

For he taketh sore, and bindeth up;

He woundeth, and his hands make whole.

He will deliver thee in six troubles;

Yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.

In famine he will redeem thee from death;

And in war from the power of the sword.

Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue;

Neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.

At destruction and dearth thou shalt laugh;

Neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.

For thou shalt be in league with the beasts of the field;

And the beasts of the field shall be in league with thee.

And thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace;

And thou shalt visit thy fold, and shalt miss nothing.

Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great,

And thine offspring as the grass of the earth.

Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age,

Like a shock of grain cometh in its season.

Lo this, we have searched it, so it is;

Hear it, and know thou it for thy good."

"Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty" (Job 5:17). "It is true, of course, that God chastens those whom he loves; but it is not true that we can know every time one suffers that he is being chastened of the Lord."[19]

One of the most offensive elements of Eliphaz' ineffective and futile efforts to comfort Job was his conceited assumption that he knew all the answers. How often must all of us ministers of the gospel have fallen into the same error! "Eliphaz had not yet learned that reverent humility exhibited by the apostle Paul in his words, `We now see through a glass darkly, but then face to face.' How often must we find a place for this confession in our religious thinking"![20]

In the last few verses of this chapter, Eliphaz enumerates all of the blessings that may come to Job, if only he will confess his wickedness and ask God to help. Perhaps the most tasteless and tactless blunder of all is that which he stated in Job 5:25.

"Thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth" (Job 5:25). Imagine saying that to a man whose children have all been killed in a tragic accident! To say to a man in the clutches of a mortal illness that he shall attain to a ripe old age, and that his children shall multiply as the grass (when, as a matter of fact, his children were all dead) was an almost unforgivable insult. "Oh yes, it actually came to pass, but that did not altar the situation. Here, as elsewhere, Eliphaz was not speaking that `which was right' (Job 42:7). His overconfident and arrogant conclusion (Job 5:27) did not comfort Job, but only added to his irritation."[21] "What Job needed here was love and understanding, not theological doctrine and criticism."[22]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/job-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth,.... Reproves, rebukes, convinces by his word, which is profitable for correction of men's minds and manners; and by his messengers, the prophets and ministers, who are sent as reprovers of the people, and to rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in their principles, and sober in their conversation; and by his Spirit, which makes the correction of the word and ministers effectual, and who reproves and convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and sometimes this is done by afflictive providences, by blows as well as words, which are the rod of correction God makes use of with his children; for this is not the correction of a judge reproving, condemning, and chastising malefactors and criminals, but of a father correcting his children, in love, in judgment, and in measure, for faults committed; Proverbs 3:12; so God's corrections are for sin, to bring his people to a sense of it, to humiliation and repentance for it, and to an acknowledgment of it; and often for remissness in duty, private or public, and when they set too high a value on the creature, and creature enjoyments, trust in them, and glory of them, to the neglect of the best things: now such persons are happy who are corrected by God in this manner; for these corrections are fruits and evidences of the love of God to them, and of their relation to God as children; he grants them his presence in them, he sympathizes with them, supplies and supports them under them, and delivers out of them; he makes them work for their good, spiritual and eternal; by these he prevents and purges sin, tries and brightens their graces; makes them more partakers of his holiness; weans them from this world, and fits them for another: and this account is introduced with a "behold", as a note of attention, exciting it in Job and others; thereby suggesting that it was worthy of notice and regard, and a matter of moment and importance; and as a note of admiration, it being a wonderful thing, a mere paradox with natural men especially, and contrary to all their notions and things, that an afflicted man should be a happy man, who generally reckon good men to be unhappy men, because of their afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions; and as a note of asseveration, affirming the truth and certainty of the assertion, and which is confirmed by after testimonies, and by the experience of the saints, Psalm 94:19; the Targum restrains this to Abraham; but it is true of every good man whom God afflicts in a fatherly way:

therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty; who is able to save and to destroy to take off his hand, or lay it heavier it not regarded, to bear up his people under all their afflictions, or to deliver them out of them; or of ShaddaiF26שדי σαδδαι, Symmachus; Saddai, Montanus, Drusius; "omnisufficientis", Cocceius. , God all sufficient, who has a sufficiency in himself, and needs not anything from his creatures; whose grace is sufficient for his people, to supply them in all their straits and difficulties; or of him who is all nourishing, who has breasts of consolation to draw out to his people in distress, the wordF1"Alii a mamma deducunt quae" שד, Ebraeis, "q. mammosum dieas, quod omnia alat", Drusius. used coming from one that signifies a pap, or breast, as some think; hence mention is made of the blessings of the breast, when he is spoken of under this character, Genesis 49:25; now this chastising of his is not to be understood of chastisement in a way of vindictive wrath and justice, and as a proper punishment for sin, for this is laid on Christ, the surety of his people, Isaiah 53:5; and to inflict this on them would be a depreciating the satisfaction of Christ, be contrary to the justice of God, and to his everlasting and unchangeable love; but this is the chastening of a father, and in love, and for the good of his people, in when he deals with them as with children: the word signifies "instruction"F2מוסר νουθετημα, Sept. "eruditionem", Cocceius. ; affliction is a school of instruction, in which the saints learn much of the mind and will of God, and more of his love, grace, and kindness to them; and are enriched with a larger experience of divine and spiritual things: and therefore such chastening should not be "despised" or rejected as nauseous and loathsome, as the word signifies: indeed no affliction is joyous; the bread of affliction, and water of adversity, are not palatable or grateful to flesh and blood; yea, are even a bitter and disagreeable potion, as the cup of sorrow was to the human nature of Christ; but yet should not be rejected, but drank, for the same reason he gives, it being the cup given by his heavenly Father, John 18:11; nor should it be despised as useless and unprofitable, as the word is used in Psalm 118:22; seeing afflictions are of great use for humiliation for sin, for the increase of grace and holiness; the chastening of the Father of spirits is for profit now, and works a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, Hebrews 12:10; this passage seems to be referred to by Solomon, Proverbs 3:11; and is quoted by the apostle, in Hebrews 12:5; where he uses a wordF3 ολιγωρει. by which he translates this, which signifies to "make little of"; and as on the one hand afflictions should not be magnified too much, as if there were none, nor ever had been any but them; so, on the other hand, they should not be slighted and overlooked, and no notice taken of them, as if they were trifling and insignificant, and answered no end or purpose; the hand of God should be observed in them, and acknowledged; and men should humble themselves under his mighty hand, and quietly and patiently bear it; and, instead of despising, should bless him for it, it being for their good, and many salutary ends being answered by it.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-5.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

happy — not that the actual suffering is joyous; but the consideration of the righteousness of Him who sends it, and the end for which it is sent, make it a cause for thankfulness, not for complaints, such as Job had uttered (Hebrews 12:11). Eliphaz implies that the end in this case is to call back Job from the particular sin of which he takes for granted that Job is guilty. Paul seems to allude to this passage in Hebrews 12:5; so James 1:12; Proverbs 3:12. Eliphaz does not give due prominence to this truth, but rather to Job‘s sin. It is Elihu alone (Job 32:1-37:24) who fully dwells upon the truth, that affliction is mercy and justice in disguise, for the good of the sufferer.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Behold — Eliphaz concludes his discourse, with giving Job a comfortable hope, if he humbled himself before God.

Happy — Heb. Blessednesses (various and great happiness) belong to that man whom God rebukes. The reason is plain, because afflictions are pledges of God's love, which no man can buy too dear; and are necessary to purge out sin, and thereby to prevent infinite and eternal miseries. Without respect to this, the proposition could not be true. And therefore it plainly shews, that good men in those ancient times, had the belief, and hope of everlasting blessedness.

Despise not — Do not abhor it as a thing pernicious, refuse it as a thing useless, or slight it as an unnecessary thing. But more is designed than is exprest. Reverence the chastening of the Lord: have an humble, aweful regard to his correcting hand, and study to answer the design of it.

The Almighty — Who is able to support and comfort thee in thy troubles, and deliver thee out of them: and also to add more calamities to them, if thou art obstinate and incorrigible.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 5:17 Behold, happy [is] the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Ver. 17. Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth] This behold holds forth a paradox, a strange sight, viz. an afflicted man, a blessed man. This the world wondereth at, and can as little conceive of, or consent to, as the Philistines could of Samson’s riddle of meat out of the eater, &c. How can these things be, say they? It will never be, saith sense; it can never be, saith reason; it both can be, and will be, saith faith: the property whereof is to gather one contrary out of another; life out of death, happiness out of misery, assurance of deliverance out of deepest distresses, and to believe God upon his bare word, and that against sense in things invisible, and against reason in things incredible. What if the afflicted man be Enosh (that is the word here), a sorry, sickly, miserable man, so the world esteemeth him? yet blessed is the man (there he is called Geber, the gallant man) "whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law," Psalms 94:12. Oh the happiness, the μυρισμακαριοτης, the present and future happiness of that man whom God correcteth, and withal instructeth, chastening him with pain upon his bed, and in addition opening his ears to counsel, and sealing his instructions, Job 33:16; Job 33:19, disputing him out of his evil practices, with a rod in his hand.

Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty] Fret not, faint not, be not so impatient as to think that either thy crosses come not from God, or not in mercy, or that he is not all sufficient to bear thee up under them, or to help thee out of them. Set not light by his love tokens (this is one of those two extremes Solomon warns us of, Proverbs 3:11, neither despise afflictions, nor despond under them). See my Treatise called God’s Love Tokens, and the Afflicted Man’s Lessons, p. 37-39, &c. Loth we are to take up the cross, and when called to carry it, we shrink in the shoulder: no chastening seemeth joyous, but grievous; as averse the best may be to it, as a sick man is to those physical slibber sauces; he had as soon have died almost as take them down. How then, alas! will wicked men do to drink off that cup of God’s wrath that hath eternity to the bottom? Psalms 75:8. Let the saints be content, and say, Ferre minora volo, ne graviora feram, I wish to bear the lessor so I will not bear the greater. "It is the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed," Lamentations 3:22, that we are set safe from the wrath to come, whatever here betideth us. It is the chastening of the Almighty, who could as easily crush us as correct. See Isaiah 13:6, Joel 1:15.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 5:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Behold; for what I am saying, though most true, will not be believed without serious consideration.

Happy is the man whom God correcteth, Heb. blessednesses (i.e. various and great happiness, as the plural number implies) belong to that man whom God rebukes, to wit, with strokes, Job 33:16,19. Those afflictions are so far from making thee miserable, as thou complainest, that they are, and will be, if thou dost thy duty, the means of thy happiness: which, though a paradox to the world, is frequently affirmed in Holy Scripture; and the reason of it is plain, because they are pledges of God’s love, which no man can buy too dear; and though bitter, yet necessary physic to purge out that sin which is deeply fixed in all men’s natures, and thereby to prevent far greater, even infinite and eternal, miseries; without respect to which this proposition could not be true or tolerable. And therefore it plainly shows that good men in those ancient times of the Old Testament had the prospect, and belief, and hope of everlasting blessedness in heaven after this life.

Despise not thou, i.e. do not abhor it as a thing pernicious and intolerable, nor refuse it as a thing useless and unprofitable, nor slight it as a mean and unnecessary thing; but, on the contrary, prize it highly, as a favour and vouchsafement of God; for such negative expressions oft imply the contrary, as 1 Thessalonians 5:20 1 Timothy 4:12. See Proverbs 10:2 17:21.

Of the Almighty; or, of the all-sufficient God, who is able to support and comfort thee in thy troubles, and to deliver thee out of them, and to add more calamities to them, if thou art obstinate and incorrigible.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 5:17". 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

Fifth double strophe — THE BLESSED RESULTS OF SUBMISSION, Job 5:17-27.

First strophe — The happiness of him who willingly yields himself to the loving chastisements of the Almighty, Job 5:17-21.

17.Behold, happy Behold, blessed is the man. One of the earliest beatitudes; so important, that our attention is specially invited. It appears again in the Psalms, (94,) the Proverbs, (3,) and Hebrews, (12.) “The world,” says A.H. Hallam, “was loved in Christ alone. The brethren were members of his mystical body. All the other bonds that had fastened down the spirit of the universe to our narrow round of earth were as nothing in comparison to this golden chain of suffering and self-sacrifice, which at once riveted the heart of man to one who, like himself, was acquainted with grief. Pain is the deepest thing we have in our nature, and union [with God] through pain has always seemed more real and more holy than any other.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "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 5:17. Behold — Consider, for what I am saying, though most true and important, will not be believed, without serious consideration. Eliphaz concludes his discourse with giving Job a comfortable hope of deliverance from his troubles, and of restoration to his former, or even a greater state of prosperity, if he humbled himself before God. Happy is the man — Hebrews blessednesses, various kinds and degrees of happiness belong to that man whom God rebukes. The reason is plain, because afflictions are pledges of God’s love, which no man can buy too dear; and are necessary to purge out sin, and thereby to prevent infinite and eternal miseries. Without respect to this, the proposition could not be true. And therefore it plainly shows, that good men in those ancient times had the belief and hope of everlasting blessedness. Despise not — Do not abhor it as a thing pernicious, refuse it as a thing useless, or slight it as an unnecessary thing: but more is designed than is expressed. Reverence the chastening of the Lord: have an humble, awful regard to his correcting hand, and study to answer the design of it. The Almighty — Who is able to support and comfort thee in thy troubles, and deliver thee out of them; and also to add more calamities to them, if thou art obstinate and incorrigible.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 5:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-5.html. 1857.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty": What he says is often true, God does discipline His people (Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5ff), the problem is that this man believes that all suffering is always divine punishment.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-5.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6. Compare Psalms 94:12. Proverbs 3:11, Proverbs 3:12. Hebrews 12:5. James 1:12.

man. Hebrew. "enosh. App-14.

GOD. Hebrew El. App-4.

THE ALMIGHTY. Hebrew Shaddai. See App-4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Happy. Not that the actual suffering is joyous; but the consideration of the righteousness of Him who sends it, and the end for which it is sent, make it a cause for thankfulness, not for complaints, such as Job had uttered. "No chastening for the present seemeth joyous but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11). Eliphaz implies that the end in this case is to call back Job from the particular sin of which he takes for granted that Job is guilty. Paul seems to allude to this passage in Hebrews 12:5; so James 1:12; Proverbs 3:12. Eliphaz does not give due prominence to this truth, but rather to Job's sin. It is Elihu alone (32-37) who fully dwells upon the truth that affliction is mercy and justice in disguise for the good of the sufferer.

Despise not - do not refuse to accept it, as heretofore, as though you did not deserve it.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "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

(17) This is probably the original of Proverbs 3:12, which is itself quoted by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Job 12:5), while the spirit of it is expressed by St. James and St. John in the Revelation. (See the margin.) This is the only place in Job in which the word here used for happy—which is the very first word of the Psalms, and is used five-and-twenty times in them alone—is found.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
happy
Psalms 94:12; Proverbs 3:11,12; Jeremiah 31:18; Hebrews 12:5-11; James 1:12; 5:11; Revelation 3:19
Reciprocal: Leviticus 26:43 - and they;  Deuteronomy 8:5 - as a man;  Ruth 1:20 - the Almighty;  2 Samuel 7:14 - I will;  2 Samuel 24:12 - that I may;  Job 33:19 - chastened;  Psalm 51:8 - bones;  Psalm 118:18 - chastened;  Proverbs 27:6 - the wounds;  Hosea 7:15 - bound;  Micah 6:9 - hear;  1 Corinthians 11:32 - we are;  2 Corinthians 1:10 - General2 Corinthians 4:9 - cast

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 5:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-5.html.