Job 4

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, 2 “If someone ventures to talk with you, will you be grieved? But who can withhold himself from speaking? 3 Behold, you have instructed many, you have strengthened the weak hands. 4 Your words have supported him who was falling, You have made firm the feeble knees. 5 But now it has come to you, and you faint. It touches you, and you are troubled. 6 Isn’t your piety your confidence? Isn’t the integrity of your ways your hope? 7 “Remember, now, whoever perished, being innocent? Or where were the upright cut off? 8 According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity, and sow trouble, reap the same. 9 By the breath of God they perish. By the blast of his anger are they consumed. 10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, the teeth of the young lions, are broken. 11 The old lion perishes for lack of prey. The cubs of the lioness are scattered abroad. 12 “Now a thing was secretly brought to me. My ear received a whisper of it. 13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, 14 fear came on me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake. 15 Then a spirit passed before my face. The hair of my flesh stood up. 16 It stood still, but I couldn’t discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes. Silence, then I heard a voice, saying, 17 ‘Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? 18 Behold, he puts no trust in his servants. He charges his angels with error. 19 How much more, those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth! 20 Between morning and evening they are destroyed. They perish forever without any regarding it. 21 Isn’t their tent cord plucked up within them? They die, and that without wisdom.’

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

Verses 1–6

Satan undertook to prove Job a hypocrite by afflicting him; and his friends concluded him to be one because he was so afflicted, and showed impatience. This we must keep in mind if we would understand what passed. Eliphaz speaks of Job, and his afflicted condition, with tenderness; but charges him with weakness and faint-heartedness. Men make few allowances for those who have taught others. Even pious friends will count that only a touch which we feel as a wound. Learn from hence to draw off the mind of a sufferer from brooding over the affliction, to look at the God of mercies in the affliction. And how can this be done so well as by looking to Christ Jesus, in whose unequalled sorrows every child of God soonest learns to forget his own?

Verses 7–11

Eliphaz argues, 1. That good men were never thus ruined. But there is one event both to the righteous and to the wicked, Ec 9:2, both in life and death; the great and certain difference is after death. Our worst mistakes are occasioned by drawing wrong views from undeniable truths. 2. That wicked men were often thus ruined: for the proof of this, Eliphaz vouches his own observation. We may see the same every day.

Verses 12–21

Eliphaz relates a vision. When we are communing with our own hearts, and are still, Ps 4:4, then is a time for the Holy Spirit to commune with us. This vision put him into very great fear. Ever since man sinned, it has been terrible to him to receive communications from Heaven, conscious that he can expect no good tidings thence. Sinful man! shall he pretend to be more just, more pure, than God, who being his Maker, is his Lord and Owner? How dreadful, then, the pride and presumption of man! How great the patience of God! Look upon man in his life. The very foundation of that cottage of clay in which man dwells, is in the dust, and it will sink with its own weight. We stand but upon the dust. Some have a higher heap of dust to stand upon than others but still it is the earth that stays us up, and will shortly swallow us up. Man is soon crushed; or if some lingering distemper, which consumes like a moth, be sent to destroy him, he cannot resist it. Shall such a creature pretend to blame the appointments of God? Look upon man in his death. Life is short, and in a little time men are cut off. Beauty, strength, learning, not only cannot secure them from death, but these things die with them; nor shall their pomp, their wealth, or power, continue after them. Shall a weak, sinful, dying creature, pretend to be more just than God, and more pure than his Maker? No: instead of quarrelling with his afflictions, let him wonder that he is out of hell. Can a man be cleansed without his Maker? Will God justify sinful mortals, and clear them from guilt? or will he do so without their having an interest in the righteousness and gracious help of their promised Redeemer, when angels, once ministering spirits before his throne, receive the just recompence of their sins? Notwithstanding the seeming impunity of men for a short time, though living without God in the world, their doom is as certain as that of the fallen angels, and is continually overtaking them. Yet careless sinners note it so little, that they expect not the change, nor are wise to consider their latter end.

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