Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 5:20

"In famine He will redeem you from death, And in war from the power of the sword.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Faith;   Famine;   Fear of God;   God;   Happiness;   Philosophy;   Righteous;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Famine;   Judgments;   Privileges of Saints;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Providence of God;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Deliverance, Deliverer;   Famine and Drought;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Famine;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

In famine he shall redeem thee - The Chaldee, which understands this chapter as speaking of the troubles and deliverances of the Israelites in Egypt and the wilderness, renders this verse as follows:

"In the famine of Egypt he redeemed thee from death; and in the war of Amalek, from the slaying of the sword."

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 5:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In famine he shall redeem thee - That is, will deliver thee from death. On the meaning of the word “redeem,” see the notes at Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 43:3.

From the power of the sword - Margin, as in Hebrew “hands.” That is, he should not be slain by armed men. A mouth is often attributed to the sword in the Scriptures, because it devours; “hands” are attributed to it here, because it is by the hand that we perform an undertaking, and the sword is personified, and represented as acting as a conscious agent; compare Ezekiel 35:5, margin. The meaning is that God would protect those who put their trust in him, in times of calamity and war. Doubtless Eliphaz had seen instances enough of this kind to lead him to this general conclusion, where the pious poor had been protected in a remarkable manner, and where signal deliverances had been vouchsafed to the righteous in danger.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 5:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-5.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In famine he shall redeem thee from death,.... In a time of extreme want of provisions, God so cares for his own dear people, that they shall not be starved to death by the famine; so in the famine in Egypt, which the Targum takes notice of, in the times of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, and the patriarchs, there was food provided for them, so that they and their families were sustained, and perished not for lack of the necessaries of life: God sometimes goes out of his ordinary way, and works wonders for his poor and needy in distress, when they cry unto him; see Isaiah 41:17,

and in war from the power of the sword; or, "from the hands of the sword"F6מידי חרב "de manu gladii", V. L. "e manibus gladii", Pagninus & Montanus, &c. : from swords in hand, when drawn, and men are ready to push with them with all their force; as he delivered and preserved Abraham from the sword of the four kings, when he waged war with them, Genesis 14:20; and the Israelites, in the war of Amalek, in the times of Moses, Exodus 17:8, which the Targum here refers to; and David from the harmful sword of Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:46, and others with whom he was concerned in war: and so the Lord covers the heads of his people in the day of battle oftentimes, when multitudes fall on their right hand and on their left.

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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 5:20". "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

power — (Jeremiah 5:12). Hebrew, “hands.”

of the sword — (Ezekiel 35:5, Margin). Hands are given to the sword personified as a living agent.

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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 5:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.

He shall — These things he utters with more confidence, because the rewards or punishments of this life, were more constantly distributed to men in the Old Testament according to their good or bad behaviour, than they are now: and because it was his opinion, that great afflictions were the certain evidences of wickedness; and consequently, that great deliverances would infallibly follow upon true repentance.

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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 5:20". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-5.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

redeem (See Scofield "Exodus 14:30"), See Scofield "Isaiah 59:20".

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Job 5:20". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/job-5.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 5:20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.

Ver. 20. In famine he shall redeem thee from death] They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger, Lamentations 4:9. Famine, therefore, is here set as the first and greatest of the six ensuing evils, the forest of God’s judgments, Ezekiel 6:11, Jeremiah 24:10; the certain harbinger of death, as here. From this so great a death God delivered Abraham, Genesis 12:12-20; Isaac, Genesis 26:6-12; Jacob and his family, Genesis 47:11-12; the poor widow, 1 Kings 17:9-16; the Israelites in the wilderness by quails; the Rochellers by a miraculous shoal of shellfish, cast up into their town in a strait siege, &c. There is a promise that the lions shall lack and suffer hunger, but so shall not any such as seek the Lord, Psalms 34:10. There shall be special provision made for such, and God shall redeem them from this evil by a wonderful separation, as he did in another case, Exodus 8:22 : either he will send them in meat or take away their stomachs, as she once said. Fides famem non formidat, Faith feareth no famine; having trusted God for a crown, she will not distrust him for a crust.

And in war from the power of the sword] Here is the saints’ safety, or their writ of protection. True it is, that the sword devoureth one as well as another, 2 Samuel 11:25, and pale death cutteth its way oftentimes through a wood of men, out of the mouth of a murdering piece, without distinction. But though the saints, with Josiah, be slain in battle, yet they die in peace, 2 Kings 23:29, with Job 22:20, for their eyes see not the evil that God bringeth upon others that outlive them, as it followeth there. Besides, they are gathered to their fathers, who enjoyed peace. Redeemed they are from the power or hands of the sword, which may kill them, but cannot hurt them; take away their head, but not their crown, αποκτειναι δυναται, βχαφαι δε ου.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 5:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In famine; which Job might be thought to fear, as being so poor that he needed his friends’ contributions for his relief.

From death; from that terrible kind of death.

These things he utters with more confidence, partly because the rewards or punishments of this life were more constantly distributed to men in the Old Testament according to their good or bad behaviour than now they are; and partly because it was his particular opinion, that great afflictions were the constant fruits and certain evidences of a man’s wickedness; and consequently, that great mercies and deliverances should infallibly follow upon true repentance and godliness.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 5:20". 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

20.The power of the sword — Literally, The hands of the sword. The Scriptures attribute hands to other destructive agencies: to the tongue, Proverbs 18:21; to the flame, Isaiah 47:14; to lions, Daniel 6:27; and to the grave, Psalms 49:15; as if, poetically, their destructive power could be accounted for only by their being endowed with man’s most formidable members of destruction.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 5:20". "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 5:20. In famine he shall redeem thee from death — From that terrible kind of death. Eliphaz might think that Job feared perishing by want, as being so poor, that he needed the contributions of his friends for his relief. And in war from the sword — These things he utters with more confidence, because the rewards or punishments of this life were more constantly distributed to men in the Old Testament, according to their good or bad behaviour, than they are now: and, because it was his opinion, that great afflictions were the certain evidences of wickedness; and, consequently, that great deliverances would infallibly follow upon true repentance.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 5:20". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-5.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

famine = famishing. Hebrew. ra"gab. Compare Job 5:22.

power. Hebrew = hands. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6; hands put for the destructive power which is in them.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 5:20". "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

In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.

Power - (Jeremiah 18:21 - "Famine ... force," literally, hands, "of the sword:" the two chief sources of public calamity.) [Hebrew, hands.]

Of the sword - (Ezekiel 35:5, margin). Hands are given to the sword personified as a living agent. 21. "Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them, secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongue" (Psalms 31:20); "Let us smite him with the tongue" (Jeremiah 18:18): so here "scourge of the tongue" (Psalms 72:9). There is a play of sounds in Hebrew shot (scourge), shod (destruction, or rather, "de vacation" - namely, such as comes from the agencies of nature; cf Job 5:22-23).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 5:20". "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

(20) He shall redeem thee.—It is rather, he hath redeemed thee, as though the speaker could appeal to Job’s own experience in the matter which itself became a ground of confident hope for the future.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 5:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.
famine
Genesis 45:7; 1 Kings 17:6; Psalms 33:19; Proverbs 10:3; Isaiah 33:16; Habakkuk 3:17
redeem
Psalms 49:7; Hosea 13:14
in war
Psalms 27:3; Matthew 24:6
the power
Heb. hands.
Reciprocal: Genesis 41:34 - and take;  Job 6:23 - Redeem;  Job 10:1 - My soul;  Psalm 37:19 - days;  Isaiah 58:11 - and satisfy;  Jeremiah 37:21 - and that;  2 Timothy 3:11 - but;  Hebrews 11:34 - escaped

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 5:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-5.html.