Job 15

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, 2 “Should a wise man answer with vain knowledge, and fill himself with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, or with speeches with which he can do no good? 4 Yes, you do away with fear, and hinder devotion before God. 5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the language of the crafty. 6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I. Yes, your own lips testify against you. 7 “Are you the first man who was born? Or were you brought out before the hills? 8 Have you heard the secret counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself? 9 What do you know, that we don’t know? What do you understand, which is not in us? 10 With us are both the grey-headed and the very aged men, much elder than your father. 11 Are the consolations of God too small for you, even the word that is gentle towards you? 12 Why does your heart carry you away? Why do your eyes flash, 13 That you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth? 14 What is man, that he should be clean? What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? 15 Behold, he puts no trust in his holy ones. Yes, the heavens are not clean in his sight; 16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks iniquity like water! 17 “I will show you, listen to me; that which I have seen I will declare: 18 (Which wise men have told by their fathers, and have not hidden it; 19 to whom alone the land was given, and no stranger passed amongst them): 20 the wicked man writhes in pain all his days, even the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor. 21 A sound of terrors is in his ears. In prosperity the destroyer shall come on him. 22 He doesn’t believe that he shall return out of darkness. He is waited for by the sword. 23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand. 24 Distress and anguish make him afraid. They prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle. 25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God, and behaves himself proudly against the Almighty; 26 he runs at him with a stiff neck, with the thick shields of his bucklers; 27 because he has covered his face with his fatness, and gathered fat on his thighs. 28 He has lived in desolate cities, in houses which no one inhabited, which were ready to become heaps. 29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall their possessions be extended on the earth. 30 He shall not depart out of darkness. The flame shall dry up his branches. By the breath of God’s mouth shall he go away. 31 Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; for emptiness shall be his reward. 32 It shall be accomplished before his time. His branch shall not be green. 33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive tree. 34 For the company of the godless shall be barren, and fire shall consume the tents of bribery. 35 They conceive mischief, and produce iniquity. Their heart prepares deceit.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–16

Eliphaz begins a second attack upon Job, instead of being softened by his complaints. He unjustly charges Job with casting off the fear of God, and all regard to him, and restraining prayer. See in what religion is summed up, fearing God, and praying to him; the former the most needful principle, the latter the most needful practice. Eliphaz charges Job with self-conceit. He charges him with contempt of the counsels and comforts given him by his friends. We are apt to think that which we ourselves say is important, when others, with reason, think little of it. He charges him with opposition to God. Eliphaz ought not to have put harsh constructions upon the words of one well known for piety, and now in temptation. It is plain that these disputants were deeply convinced of the doctrine of original sin, and the total depravity of human nature. Shall we not admire the patience of God in bearing with us? and still more his love to us in the redemption of Christ Jesus his beloved Son?

Verses 17–35

Eliphaz maintains that the wicked are certainly miserable: whence he would infer, that the miserable are certainly wicked, and therefore Job was so. But because many of God’s people have prospered in this world, it does not therefore follow that those who are crossed and made poor, as Job, are not God’s people. Eliphaz shows also that wicked people, particularly oppressors, are subject to continual terror, live very uncomfortably, and perish very miserably. Will the prosperity of presumptuous sinners end miserably as here described? Then let the mischiefs which befal others, be our warnings. Though no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. No calamity, no trouble, however heavy, however severe, can rob a follower of the Lord of his favour. What shall separate him from the love of Christ?

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