Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 5:8

"But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Faith;   God;   Philosophy;   Seekers;   The Topic Concordance - Craftiness;   Exaltation;   God;   Mourning;   Poverty;   Safety;   Salvation;   Uplift;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Seeking God;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - God;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Commit;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Job;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for December 3;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I would seek unto God - Were I in your place, instead of wasting my time, and irritating my soul with useless complaints, I would apply to my Maker, and, if conscious of my innocence, would confidently commit my cause to him.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I would seek unto God - Our translators have omitted here the adversative particle אוּלם 'ûlâm but, yet, nevertheless, and have thus marred the connection. The meaning of Eliphaz, I take to be, “that since affliction is ordered by an intelligent Being, and does not spring out of the ground, therefore he would commit his cause to God, and look to him.” Jerome has well expressed it, Quam ob rem ego deprecabor Dominum. Some have understood this as meaning that Eliphaz himself was in the habit of committing his cause to God, and that he exhorted Job to imitate his example. But the correct sense is that which regards it as counsel given to Job to look to God because afflictions are the result of intelligent design, and because God had shown himself to be worthy of the confidence of people. The latter point Eliphaz proceeds to argue in the following verses.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-5.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

SOME MORE GENERALITIES IN THE SPEECH OF ELIPHAZ

"But as for me, I would seek unto God,

And unto God would I commit my cause;

Who doeth great things, and unsearchable,

Marvelous things without number:

Who giveth rain upon the earth,

And sendeth waters upon the fields;

So that he setteth upon on high those that are low,

And those that mourn are exalted to safety.

He frustrateth the devices of the crafty,

So that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

He taketh the wise in their own craftiness;

And the counsel of the cunning is carried headlong.

They meet with darkness in the daytime,

And grope at noonday as in the night.

But he saveth from the sword of their mouth,

Even the needy from the hand of the mighty.

So the poor have hope,

And iniquity stoppeth her mouth."

"Unto God would I commit my cause" (Job 5:8). We like Dilday's paraphrase here: "If I were you Job, I would quit complaining and humbly trust God to help me. He thinks that Job should rejoice in sufferings because they open the way to richer blessings."[10] Eliphaz, however, was mistaken. "Suffering does not come to men in proportion to their sins, and neither is prosperity granted in proportion to one's piety. Everything depends upon the will of God."[11] Indeed God did, at a later time, bless Job superlatively, "But not upon the conditions which Eliphaz here imagined."[12]

"He setteth up on high those that are low" (Job 5:11). Barnes pointed out that the Virgin Mary very beautifully expressed much the same thought in Luke 1:52-53.[13]

"He taketh the wise in their own craftiness" (Job 5:13). Also, it appears that Eliphaz' remarks here prompted the apostle Paul to write 1 Corinthians 3:19; but our own opinion is that no New Testament writer quoted from the Book of Job. Some scholars think that Paul did so in the verse cited; but Driver and Gray pointed out that, "If Paul here quoted from Job, he either translated from the Hebrew himself, or quoted from some other than any of the known versions."[14] We learned in our New Testament studies that Paul often used the language of Old Testament passages to formulate his own inspired writings, and that in a number of passages where Paul is sometimes alleged to have "misquoted" or garbled some Old Testament Scripture, he was by no means `quoting' Scripture; he was `writing' Scripture.[15] Heavenor stated that 1 Corinthians 3:19 is the only clear case of a quotation from Job to be found in the New Testament;[16] and, in the light of Driver's analysis, this writer does not believe that even that reference qualifies as a bona fide quotation.

Eliphaz' message to Job in this speech is, "Repent, confess your sins to God, and he will bless you." "Good old orthodox, conceited prosperous Eliphaz; he thinks he is a prophet; but, if he had been tried like Job, he would have been just as unreasonable, just as perplexed, just as eager for death and just as wild and passionate as was Job,"[17] perhaps more so.

"He taketh the wise in their craftiness" (Job 5:13). DeHoff reminds us that Sanballat, Ahithophel and Haman are Old Testament examples of instances when God did that very thing.[18] But what comfort is there in such information for one who is not wicked, and who is not planning some crafty deception against another?

"He saveth from the sword of their mouth" (Job 5:15). What an eloquent description we have here of a slanderous tongue. It is the `mouth-sword' of evil men.

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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 5:8". "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

I would seek unto God,.... Or "truly"F5אולם "profecto", Junius & Tremellius; "enimvero", Piscator, Cocceius, Schultens; "certe", Mercerus, Vatablus, Beza; "verum, enimvero", Schmidt, Michaelis; so Broughton. , "certainly, doubtless, I do seek unto God", verily I do so; for so the words are introduced in the original text, and express what Eliphaz had done when under afflictions himself; for he was not without them, though he had not them to such a degree as Job had; and when he was under them, this was the course he took; he sought unto God by prayer to support him under them, to sanctify them to him, and to deliver him out of them; and this he proposes for Job's imitation, and suggests, that if he was in his case, this would be the first step he should take; and good advice this is, nothing more proper for a man, especially a saint, than, when afflicted of God, to seek unto him, to seek his face and his favour, to entreat his gracious presence, and the discoveries of his love, that he may see that it is not in wrath, but in love, he afflicts him; to submit unto him, humble himself before him, acknowledge his sins, and implore his pardoning grace and mercy; to entreat him to help him, in this time of need, to exercise the graces of faith and patience, and every other; to desire counsel and advice how to behave under the present trial, and to be made acquainted with the reasons, ends, and uses of the dispensation, as well as to beg for strength to bear up under it, and in his own time to grant deliverance from it:

and unto God would I commit my cause; or "direct my word or speech"F6אשים דברתי "ponam eloquium meum", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "deponerem verba mea, i.e. dirigerem", Vatablus; "dirigerem sermonem meum", Beza, Michaelis; "dispose my talk unto God", Broughton. to him; that is, in prayer, as Sephorno adds; I would, as if he should say, make known my case to him, tell him the whole of it, and pour out my soul before him; and then I would leave it with him, and not wrangle, quarrel, and contend with him, but say, "here am I, let him do what seemeth good unto him": some render the words, "truly", or "indeed I shall discourse concerning God, and order my speech about Deity"F7"Enucleatius disseram de Deo, et de Numine instruam sermocinationem meam", Schultens. ; I shall no longer insist on this subject, but drop it, and hereafter treat of God, his nature, being, and perfections, and particularly his works; though these are rather observed in the following verses, as so many arguments to engage Job to seek the Lord, and leave his case and cause to him.

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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 5:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I would seek unto k God, and unto God would I commit my cause:

(k) If I suffered as you do, I would seek God.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Therefore (as affliction is ordered by God, on account of sin), “I would” have you to “seek unto God” (Isaiah 8:19; Amos 5:8; Jeremiah 5:24).

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

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:

I would — If I were in thy condition.

Seek — By prayer, and humiliation, and submission, imploring his pardon, and favour.

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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 5:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 5:8 I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:

Ver. 8. Surely I would seek unto God] Not let fly at him, as thou hast done, cursing thy birthday, and wishing thyself out of the world. Assure thyself, this that thou takest is not the way to get off with comfort, but rather to return by repentance unto him that smiteth thee, and to seek the Lord of hosts, Isaiah 9:12, since else his anger will not turn away, but his hand will be stretched out still (as the prophet there hath it); for is it fit that he should lay down the bucklers first? or that we should stand upon terms, and capitulate with him, and not stoop unto him by a humble yieldance? especially since,

- Deus crudelius urit

Quos videt invitos succubuisse sibi (Tibul. Eleg. i. 8).

God burns more severely those he sees to have laid themselves down in envy. The way to disarm God’s heavy indignation, is to submit to his justice, and to implore his mercy, Hosea 5:14, to flee from his anger to his grace. Blood letting is a cure for bleeding, and a burn a cure against a burn; and running to God is the way to escape him; as to close and get in with him that would strike you doth avoid the blow: and this is the thing I would do, were I in thy case, saith Eliphaz here. He doth not vaunt (as Olympiodorus mistaketh his meaning), but advise Job to humble himself, and confess his sins, and sue for pardon of sin and release of punishment; to kiss the rod, and not to bite it; to drink from God’s cup willingly and at first, when it is full (as Mr Bradford, martyr, hath it), lest if he linger, he drink at length of the dregs with the wicked.

And unto God] The righteous judge, as the word importeth, who πασι δικαια νεμει, μηδε κρισιν ες χαριν ελκει (Phocyl.), neither hateth nor feareth any man (as it was said of Trajan the emperor, but more truly of God): he proceedeth according to truth, not according to opinion or appearance, and greatly scorneth to look at displeasure, revenge, or recompense.

Would I commit my cause] Put my case and condition, by self resignation, and humble supplication. This David did notably, 2 Samuel 15:25-26, Psalms 142:2, and counsels all to do accordingly, Psalms 55:22. Cast thy burden (or thy request) upon the Lord by virtue of this writ or warrant.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 5:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-5.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(8) I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:

This advice is truly scriptural; though it is rather to be feared, when viewed in connexion with what Eliphaz said before and after, it is rather meant to imply that Job did not seek to GOD in his affliction. But, Reader! let you and I not consider the Temanite's motive so much as the goodness of his counsel. One of the sweetest signs that grace is in the heart, and that trouble will be sanctified, is when that trouble leads the heart to GOD, and not from GOD. That it was so in Job's instance is evident by what the poor man said in another chapter, Show me wherefore thou contendest with me? Job 10:2.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/job-5.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

If I were in thy condition; and therefore I would advise thee to the same course.

Seek unto God, to wit, by prayer, and humiliation, and submission, imploring his pardon, and favour, and help, and not repine at him, and accuse his providence, as thou dost.

Would I commit my cause, i.e. commend my afflicted condition to him by fervent prayer, and resign myself and all my concerns to him, and humbly hope for relief from him. Or, propound my matters, i.e. make known my afflictions and requests to him; or, put or dispose my words, i.e. pray to him, and pour out my complaints before him.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 5:8". 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

Fourth double strophe — GOD’S MORAL GOVERNMENT, Job 5:8-16.

First strophe — His government is as beneficent in the moral as in the natural world, Job 5:8-11.

8.I would seek — Literally, But I, I would seek. As for me, whatever others may do, I would seek unto God. He proposes to go, not to saints or angels, or through the medium of saints or angels, but directly to God himself.

God — The first name of God is El, the second Elohim. The first designation of God presents him as the mighty one; the second, as “God in the totality of his variously manifested nature.” He turns with strongest aversion from the thought of Job’s outcries of despair, in like manner as afterward (Job 22:18) from the spectacle of successful antediluvian sinners, and betakes himself to God.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "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 5:8. I would seek unto God, &c. — If I were in thy condition, instead of accusing the dispensations of Divine Providence, and repining under them, I would apply to God, by a full and free confession of those sins which have drawn this sad calamity upon me, and by sincere repentance, humiliation, and submission to his will: to God, who is able to do wonders, (as he presently adds,) and who can and will restore thee to thy former happy state, if he sees that thou art penitent for thy past transgressions, and hast reformed thy conduct. For this is the whole purport of the following part of his speech, namely, to give him hopes of a happy turn to his condition, if he would do what he thought was absolutely necessary to be done in this case; make a frank confession of those crimes which had brought down this severe chastisement upon him. See Peters and Dodd. And unto God would I commit my cause — Would resign myself and all my concerns to him, and humbly hope for relief from him. And let my cause be what it would, and my own opinion of it ever so favourable, I would commit it wholly to him, and leave him to judge and determine it.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 5:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

I will, or if I were in your place, I would sue for pardon. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "I would seek unto God," (Haydock) under affliction. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-5.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God": From the context this does not appear to be an encouragement to seek God for comfort, but rather to repent. "If I were in your shoes I would.."

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-5.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

I would seek. The pronoun "I" is emphatic, and stands in contrast with "thou" in Job 5:1.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "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

I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:

I would seek unto God . Therefore (as affliction is ordered by God on account of sin) if I were in your place. (Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 9:13; Amos 5:8; 1 Chronicles 22:19).

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
seek
8:5; 22:21,27; Genesis 32:7-12; 2 Chronicles 33:12,13; Psalms 50:15; 77:1,2; Jonah 2:1-7
unto God
Psalms 37:5; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 2:23; 4:19
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 24:12 - Lord judge;  2 Samuel 21:1 - of the Lord;  Job 9:15 - I would;  Job 11:13 - prepare;  Job 15:4 - restrainest;  Job 15:11 - the consolations;  Psalm 119:154 - Plead;  Proverbs 16:3 - thy works;  Ecclesiastes 9:1 - that the;  Jeremiah 11:20 - revealed

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 5:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-5.html.