Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 5:4

"His sons are far from safety, They are even oppressed in the gate, And there is no deliverer.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Sin;   Wicked (People);   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Courts of Justice;   Gates;  
Dictionaries:
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Salvation Save Saviour;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Buying;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

His children are far from safety - His posterity shall not continue in prosperity. Ill gotten, ill spent; whatever is got by wrong must have God's curse on it.

They are crushed in the gate - The Targum says, They shall be bruised in the gate of hell, in the day of the great judgment. There is reference here to a custom which I have often had occasion to notice: viz., that in the Eastern countries the court-house, or tribunal of justice, was at the Gate of the city; here the magistrates attended, and hither the plaintiff and defendant came for justice.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

His children are far from safety - That is, this is soon manifest by their being cut off or subjected to calamity. The object of Eliphaz is, to state the result of his own observation, and to show how calamity overtook the wicked though they even prospered for a time. He begins with that which a man would feel most - the calamity which comes upon his children, and says that God would punish him in them. Every word of this would go to the heart of Job; for he could not but feel that it was aimed at him, and that the design was to prove that the calamities that had come upon his children were a proof of his own wickedness and of the divine displeasure. It is remarkable that Job listens to this with the utmost patience. There is no interruption of the speaker; no breaking in upon the argument of his friend; no mark of uneasiness. Oriental politeness required that a speaker should be heard attentively through whatever he might say. See the Introduction, Section 7. Cutting and severe, therefore, as this strain of remark must have been, the sufferer sat meekly and heard it all, and waited for the appropriate time when an answer might be returned.

And they are crushed in the gate - The gate of a city in ancient times was the chief place of concourse, and was the place where public business was usually transacted, and where courts of justice were held; see Genesis 23:10; Deuteronomy 21:19; Deuteronomy 25:6-7; Rth 4:1 ff: Psalm 127:5; Proverbs 22:22. The Greeks also held their courts in some public place of business. Hence, the forum, ἀγορά agora was also a place for fairs. See Jahn‘s Archaeology, section 247. Some suppose that the meaning here is, that they were oppressed and trodden down by the concourse in the gate. But the more probable meaning is, that they found no one to advocate their cause; that they were subject to oppression and injustice in judicial decisions, and then when their parent was dead, no one would stand up to vindicate them from respect to his memory. The idea is, that though there might be temporary prosperity, yet that it would not be long before heavy calamities would come upon the children of the wicked.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-5.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

His children are far from safety,.... From outward safety, from evils and dangers, to which they are liable and exposed, not only from men, who hate them for their father's sake, who have been oppressors of them, or from God, who visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children; and from spiritual and eternal safety or "salvation", or from salvation in the world to come, as the Targum, they treading in their fathers steps, and imitating their actions:

and they are crushed in the gate; or openly, publicly, as Aben Ezra and others; or in the courts of judicature whither they are brought by those their parents had oppressed, and where they are cast, and have no favour shown them; or literally by the falling of the gate upon them; and perhaps some reference is had to Job's children being crushed in the gate or door of the house, through which they endeavoured to get when it fell upon them and destroyed them; the Targum is,"and are crushed in the gates of hell, in the day of the great judgment:"

neither is there any to deliver them; neither God nor man, they having no interest in either, or favour with, partly on account of their father's ill behaviour, and partly on account of their own; and sad is the case of men when it is such, see Psalm 50:21.

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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 5:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

His e children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the f gate, neither [is there] any to deliver [them].

(e) Though God sometimes allows the father's to pass in this world, yet his judgments will light on their wicked children.

(f) By public judgment they will be condemned and no one will pity them.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

crushed in the gate — A judicial formula. The gate was the place of judgment and of other public proceedings (Psalm 127:5; Proverbs 22:22; Genesis 23:10; Deuteronomy 21:19). Such propylaea have been found in the Assyrian remains. Eliphaz obliquely alludes to the calamity which cut off Job‘s children.

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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 5:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.

Children — Whose greatness he designed in all his enterprizes, supposing his family would be established for ever.

Safely — Are exposed to dangers and calamities, and can neither preserve themselves, nor the inheritance which their fathers left them. There is no question but he glances here, at the death of Job's children.

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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 5:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 5:4 His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither [is there] any to deliver [them].

Ver. 4. His children are far from safety] This is one principal root of wicked men, viz. their children, which have their very name in Hebrew from building, because by them the house is built up, and way made to greatest honours by friendships and affinities of other great families. These are far from safety, that is, they are in a great deal of danger (Lavater); or, by their intemperance, they run into many diseases and disasters; by their evil practices they come under the lash of the law, and without repentance under the danger of damnation too; salvation is far from them, Psalms 119:155, Isaiah 59:11.

They are crushed in the gate] That is, they are cast in judgment, all goes against them, and sentence pronounced upon them, as it befell Haman’s children, and David’s enemies, Psalms 109:7.

Neither is there any to deliver them] None to plead for them, or rescue them, Proverbs 31:8-9; none to extend mercy to them, nor any to favour those fatherless children, Psalms 109:12, and that because their fathers were pitiless, Job 5:13-14, Haman for instance.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 5:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 5:4. In the gate In the tempest. See ch. Job 9:17 and Parkhurst on the word שׁער shangar, 9.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 5:4". 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

His children; whose greatness and happiness he designed in all his enterprises, supposing that his family was and would be established for ever.

Are far from safety, i.e. are exposed to great dangers and calamities in this life, and can neither preserve themselves, nor the great inheritance which their fathers got and left for them. Thus to be far from peace, Lamentations 3:17, is to be involved in desperate troubles.

In the gate, i.e. in the place of judicature; to which they are brought for their offences, and where they will find severe judges, and few or no friends; partly because, being wickedly educated, and trusting to their own greatness, they were insolent and injurious to all their neighbours; and partly because those many persons whom their powerful fathers defrauded or oppressed do seek for justice, and the recovery of their rights, which they easily obtain against such persons as plainly declared by their actions that they neither feared God nor reverenced him, and therefore were hated by all sorts of men.

Neither is there any to deliver them; they can find no advocates nor assistants, who are either able or willing to help them; but, like Ishmael, as their hand was formerly against every man, so now every man’s hand is against them.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 5:4". 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

4.His children — In the East the fate of the children was involved in that of the parent, as in the case of Haman’s ten sons, who were hanged on the gallows. Esther 9:13-14. The merciful legislation of Moses was arrayed against such monstrous perversion of justice. Deuteronomy 24:16. Are crushed — Davidson unnecessarily supposes the verb to be reflexive, that the children crushed each other by “family feuds and ruinous litigations.” “In the gate,” (Job 31:21; see also Job 29:7,) plainly points to courts of justice before which fatherless children, having no natural defender, would fare badly, even to being crushed.

In the gate of the city the great assemblies of people were held, (Proverbs 1:21,) whether for reading the law and proclamations, (Nehemiah 8:1; Nehemiah 8:3,) or for the administration of justice, (Joshua 20:4; Ruth 4:1,) or even for market purposes. (2 Kings 7:1.) The sculptures found by Botta (plate 18) represent the king sitting at the gate in an arm-chair, the seat of judgment. This Oriental custom is transmitted in the title of the court of the Sultan, The Sublime Porte — the word “porte” signifying gate. In the Koran (Sura xxiii, 79) we read: “We have opened against them the gate of supreme judgment.” See note on Matthew 16:19.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "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 5:4. His children — Whose greatness he designed in all his enterprises, supposing his family would be established for ever; are far from safety — Are exposed to dangers and calamities, and can neither preserve themselves, nor the inheritance which their fathers left them. There is no question but he glances here at the death of Job’s children; and they are crushed in the gate — That is, in the place of judicature, to which they are brought for their offences, and where they find severe judges, and few or no friends; because, being wickedly educated, and trusting to their own greatness, they had been insolent and injurious to all their neighbours; as also because those many persons, whom their powerful fathers had defrauded or oppressed, seek for justice and the recovery of their rights, which they easily obtain, against persons who plainly declared, by their actions, that they neither feared God nor regarded man, and therefore were hated by all sorts of people. Neither is there any to deliver them — They can find no advocates or assistants who are either able or willing to help them: for, as their hand was formerly against every man, so now every man’s hand is against them. Justice, therefore, takes hold on them, and will not let them escape.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 5:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Gate, in judgment. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-5.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"His sons are far from safety": Here he is pouring salt into Job"s open wounds by basically blaming Job for the death of his children. The problem with his argument is the misconception that because a fool meets disaster, all that meet disaster must be fools. "Sympathy will not be a major preoccupation of anyone who believes that prosperity is proof of God"s blessings" (Strauss p. 46).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-5.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

children = sons.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "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

His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.

His children ... crushed in the gate - a judicial formula. The gate was the place of judgment and of other public proceedings (Job 31:21; Psalms 127:5; Proverbs 22:22; Genesis 23:10; Deuteronomy 21:19). Such propyloea have been found in the Assyrian remains. Eliphaz obliquely alludes to the calamity which cut off Job's children.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "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

(4) They are crushed.—Rather, perhaps, they crush one another. Their internal rivalries and dissensions bring them to ruin. They exemplify the house divided against itself.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.
children
4:10,11; 8:4; 18:16-19; 27:14; Exodus 20:5; Psalms 109:9-15; 119:155; 127:5
they are crushed
1:19; Luke 13:4,5
neither
10:7; Psalms 7:2
Reciprocal: Joshua 20:4 - at the entering;  2 Chronicles 21:17 - carried away;  Job 19:3 - ye reproached;  Job 21:8 - GeneralJob 31:8 - let my;  Proverbs 12:7 - wicked;  Lamentations 5:8 - there

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 5:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-5.html.