Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 5:21

"You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you will not be afraid of violence when it comes.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Faith;   Fear of God;   Happiness;   Righteous;   Scourging;   Slander;   Thompson Chain Reference - Courage-Fear;   Fearlessness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Slander;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Providence of God;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Deliverance, Deliverer;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Tongue;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Scourge;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Alliteration and Kindred Figures;   Demonology;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue - The Targum refers this to the incantations of Balaam: "From injury by the tongue of Balaam thou shalt be hidden in the clouds; and thou shalt not fear from the blasting of the Midianites, when it shall come." Perhaps no evil is more dreadful than the scourge of the tongue: evil-speaking, detraction, backbiting, calumny, slander, tale-bearing, whispering, and scandalizing, are some of the terms which we use when endeavoring to express the baleful influence and effects of that member, which is a world of fire, kindled from the nethermost hell. The Scripture abounds with invectives and execrations against it. See Psalm 31:20; Psalm 52:2-4; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 14:3; James 3:1-8.

Neither shalt thou be afraid - "Thou shouldst have such strong confidence in God, that even in the presence of destruction thou shouldst not fear death," the God of life and power being with thee.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 5:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue - Margin, Or, “when the tongue scourgeth.” The word rendered “scourge” - שׁוט shôṭ - means properly a whip. It is used of God when he scourges people by calamities and punishments; Isaiah 10:26; Job 9:23. See the use of the verb שׁוּט shûṭ in Job 2:7. Here it is used to denote a slanderous tongue, as being that which inflicts a severe wound upon the reputation and peace of an individual. The idea is, that God would guard the reputation of those who commit themselves to him, and that they shall be secure from slander, “whose breath,” Shakespeare says, “outvenoms all the worms of Nile.”

Neither shalt thou be afraid when destruction cometh - That is, your mind shall be calm in those calamities which threaten destruction. When war rages, when the tempest howls, when the pestilence breathes upon a community, then your mind shall be at peace. A similar thought occurs in Isaiah 26:3: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee;” and the same sentiment is beautifully illustrated at length in Job 5:20: “In the famine in Egypt, he redeemed thee from death; and in the war with Amalek, from being slain by the sword;” Job 5:21: “In the injury inflicted by the tongue of Balaam thou wert hid among the clouds, and thou didst not fear from the desolation of the Midianites when it came;” Job 5:22: “In the desolation of Sihon, and in the famine of the desert, thou didst laugh; and of the camps of Og, who was like a wild beast of the earth, thou wert not afraid.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 5:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 5:21

Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue.

The scourge of the tongue

I. The scourge. “The scourge of the tongue.”

1. There is the lying tongue. It perverts facts. It turns the lame out of the way and misleads the blind.

2. There is the cursing tongue.

3. There is the obscene tongue.

4. There is the scolding tongue. What martyrs have some members of a family become! A scolding tongue withers and blights everything it comes across, just like the lightning withers and blasts the tree it strikes. It is as a goad to an ox, the mosquito to the traveller, the thorn eating into the gangrened flesh.

II. The deliverance. “Thou shall be hid from the scourge of the tongue.” It is one of the peculiarities of God’s promises that He does not undertake to remove evils. We shall be hid--

1. By the direct influence of Divine power. God will restrain the evil speaker and the rage of the ungodly.

2. By the sanctifying influence of Divine grace. There axe some creatures who when water is poured on them repel the same by the nature of their skin or feathers. So the heart which is prepared by grace, casts aside and rejects the evil word, or the cruel insinuation, or the boisterous abuse; these things have no power over it.

3. By the resignation of a chastened spirit. The chastened spirit of the Christian disarms the shafts of the evil tongue, and, bending before the furious blast, is spared the poignant stings of malice.

4. By the prospect of future freedom. The nauseous taste of medicine is little heeded when the anticipated end is considered, which is restored health and renewed strength. So in the view of future glory and entire sanctification, the present bitterness will be little regarded. (J. J. S. Bird.)

The scourge of the tongue

Some folks lay themselves out to be as unpleasant as they can and say disagreeable things. They are the wasps of human intercourse. The candid friends whom Canning so abhorred, the people who “speak their mind,” but have a mind that were far better not spoken. (H. O. Mackey.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 5:21". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thou shall be hid from the scourge of the tongue,.... Of Satan, as Jarchi, the accuser of the brethren; or rather from the evil tongue of wicked men, their slanders, calumnies, and reproaches; the tongue is a small weapon, but it is a cutting one; it is like a scourge or whip, with which wicked men strike hard: the enemies of Jeremiah encouraged one another to smite him with their tongue, Jeremiah 18:18; and a sad thing it is to be under the lash of some men's tongues, and a great mercy it is to be delivered from them: God does sometimes hide his people, and keeps them secretly, as in a pavilion, from the strife of tongues; Psalm 31:20; he either restrains the tongues of men, lays an embargo on them, and will not suffer them to say that evil of his people which Satan and their wicked hearts prompt them to; or, if they are suffered to defame and speak evil of good men, yet they do it in such a romantic way, and so overcharge and load it, that it is not credited by any what they say, even by those of their own party; so that the characters of God's people suffer not by their lies and calumnies: some render it, "when the tongue wanders about"F7בשוט "dum pervagabitur", Vatablus; "quum grassatur", Cocceius, Godurcus; "grassabitur", Grotius; so Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom, and R. Jonah, in Ben Melech. ; walks through the earth, and spares none, all ranks and degrees of men; God hides his people from being hurt by it, see Psalm 73:9; Aben Ezra interprets the word rendered "tongue" of a nation or people; and so it may be understood of one nation entering into another, passing through it, and making desolations in it; as the Scythians, Gauls, Goths, Huns, and Vandals, have done in different ages; and that, in such a time of calamity, God has his hiding places in Providence for the protection and safety of his people: but the Targum interprets it of an evil tongue, and particularly of the tongue of Balaam:

neither shall thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh: meaning either of pestilence, which is the destruction that wastes at noonday, Psalm 91:6; which, when it comes into a nation or neighbourhood, shall not come nigh the good man, and infect him; or if it does, shall not carry him off; and if it does that, it carries him home to heaven and happiness, and therefore he has no reason to be afraid of it: or of a general calamity; as when there is a complication of judgments in a nation, or in the world in general, as war, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, &c. as if all were just falling to pieces and into ruin; and yet even then the saints have no cause to fear; see Psalm 46:1; or the destruction of the whole world at the last day, when the heavens and earth, and all therein, shall be burnt up: for then good and righteous men will be safe with Christ, and dwell with him in the new heavens and the new earth, which shall be prepared for them; see 2 Peter 3:10; the Targum refers this to the destruction of the Midianites.

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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 5:21". "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

(Psalm 31:20; Jeremiah 18:18). Smite (Psalm 73:9).

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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 5:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-5.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 5:21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.

Ver. 21. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue] That is, from reproaches and slanders, which is a tongue smiting, Jeremiah 18:18, as smart as any hand smiting, and draws blood, Ezekiel 22:9. Backbiting is backbeating (Speed.). The devil is both a liar and a murderer, John 8:44. Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, was by the people of England thought to be doubly murdered (saith the chronicler), viz. by detraction and deadly practice. Plato commendeth that law of the Lydians that punished detracters like as they did murderers; because their words are swords, and their breath, as fire, devoureth, Isaiah 33:10. Now from such pests the Lord promiseth to hide his people, that either the traducer shall not find them, or not fasten upon them: Dabbar is the Hebrew for a word, Debher for a pest (Drus.). Some render the text thus, He shall be hid, cum vagabitur lingua, when the tongue wandereth or walketh about. Their tongue walketh through the earth, Psalms 73:9, it runs all the world over, and, like a mad dog, snaps at every one. Hence the Hebrew word Ragal, to defame or slander, Psalms 15:3, properly noteth a footing it up and down, a going to and fro to carry tales and rumours, 2 Samuel 19:27. Now from such a mischief, from the lash of such lewd tongues, God will hide his people under the hollow of his hand, because he knows that many a good heart is more afflicted with words than with blows, Psalms 42:3. St Paul reckoned that it were better for him to die than that any man should make his glorying void, that is, take away his good name, and so disable him from doing good by his ministry, 1 Corinthians 9:15.

Neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh] Much less at the rumour of it, Matthew 24:6, Luke 24:6. Thou shalt walk about the world as a conqueror, being above fear, then when others are below hope. Noah like-thou shall be, - mediis tranquillus in undis, calm in the midst of the waves, and not as Magormissabib, a terror to thyself and all about thee, Jeremiah 20:3.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 5:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 5:21. Thou shalt be hid, &c.— If at any time a fire shall rage, thou shalt be hid; nor shalt thou fear imminent ruin. Eliphaz seems to hint at those wicked persons who have been struck with fire from heaven, such as the inhabitants of Sodom. Houbigant. Heath renders the verse, From the scourge of detraction thou shalt be hidden; yea, thou shalt not fear the destroyer when he cometh. See Psalms 31:20. One observes upon the former clause of this verse, "This is here reckoned by Eliphaz among the acts of God's omnipotency in the protection of those whom he favours; as if it were a more supreme degree of his power than a deliverance from famine, war, or death, and much easier to escape those than this. Indeed the tongue has so many ways of doing mischief, so much art to wound, that no man can put himself into a secure posture of defence against it, nor without the immediate shelter of God himself be screened from it. He, and he only, can hide us from the scourge of tongues, or wipe out the marks of that scourge, and deliver us from all-devouring words."

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 5:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-5.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Hid, i.e. protected, as in some secret and safe place.

From the scourge of the tongue, i.e. from false accusations and virulent slanders and reproaches, either by diverting their tongues to other persons or things, or by clearing thy integrity.

Neither shalt thou be afraid; thou shalt have no cause to fear it, because God will secure thee in it and from it.

When it cometh, to wit, upon others; near thee, or round about thee.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 5:21". 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

21.Scourge of the tongue — The Targum refers this to the incantations of Balaam, but without reason. The word scourge, , means whip, and is used here figuratively, with prime reference, perhaps, to the whip so frequently depicted on the monuments of Egypt. The same word, , used of Satan’s rapid and destructive course and rendered “going to and fro,” means literally “whipping through,” Job 1:7. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 18:18) makes similar allusion to the tongue as a whip. Comp. Isaiah 28:15. Hitzig finds the secret of the figure used here in the resemblance of the sound of the tongue to that of a whip, or in their like flexibility — a thought which Homer has, “flexible is the tongue of mortals.” — Iliad, 20:248. It is worthy of remark, (Schlottmann calls it a certain irony,) that the very evil — calumny — from which Job is assured he should be hidden, in case he yields to the divine chastisement, is that with which the friends already threaten him.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 5:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-5.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

CHAPTER V.

Scourge. Ecclesiasticus (xxvi. 9., and xxviii. 21.) has the same expression. See James iii. 6. (Calmet) --- Calamity, from robbers, as the Hebrew shod, (Haydock) intimates. The word is rendered destruction, vastitate, ver. 22. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 5:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-5.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 5:21". "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

(21) Shalt thou be afraid.—Comp. the expression in Job 5:15.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 5:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
be hid
Psalms 31:20; 55:21; 57:4; Proverbs 12:18; Isaiah 54:17; Jeremiah 18:18; James 3:5-8
from the scourge
or, when the tongue scourgeth. neither.
Psalms 91:5-7
Reciprocal: Psalm 12:5 - puffeth at;  Proverbs 3:25 - Be;  Proverbs 14:3 - the mouth

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 5:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-5.html.