Job 5


‘Call if you will, but who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn? Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple. I myself have seen a fool taking root, but suddenly his house was cursed. His children are far from safety, crushed in court without a defender. The hungry consume his harvest, taking it even from among thorns, and the thirsty pant after his wealth. For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.’ Job 5:1-7

Eliphaz Continues His Speech

Eliphaz now asks Job to call out to see if anyone would answer and listen to his complaint against God. Everyone had turned away from him.

Job couldn’t even turn to the holy ones, that is, angels, who were commissioned by God to help the righteous on earth, Hebrews 1:14. Eliphaz basically rebuked Job and told him there was no one to help him.

Notice he says that he himself has seen a fool taking root, and suddenly his house was crushed. In other words, he says if Job continues to worry about his present condition, Matthew 6:25, then he will surely make it worse. Eliphaz says that the person he has seen, saw their children crushed in court without a defender.

Judgments were sought from courts, the city gates, Genesis 23:10 / Deuteronomy 21:19 / Deuteronomy 25:6-7 / Ruth 4:1ff / Psalm 127:5 / Proverbs 22:22, but the children of the wicked had no security, the courts would make judgments against them.

The hungry steal the crops of the wicked, even though the crops struggled to survive among the thorns. Deceivers scheme to relieve the wicked of their possessions. Man himself must take responsibility for the trouble that he creates for himself.

Eliphaz, like the Jews, erroneously believed that disasters and calamities were invariably due to the sin of those who suffered such things, John 9:2.

‘But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.’ Job 5:8-16

Because Eliphaz came to the conclusion that Job was suffering because of sin, he now comes up with a solution to his problem. Job must seek God in order to be relieved of his suffering.

His thinking is this because He is the One who lifts up the fallen and works in the lives of those who seek Him, then the solution for Job’s problems was that he should turn to the Lord.

Eliphaz also argued that God would work against the wicked in order to bring calamity into their lives.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following, concerning verse 13.

‘This passage is quoted by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:19, with the usual formula in referring to the Old Testament, ‘for it is written’, showing that he regarded it as a part of the inspired oracles of God. The word ‘wise’ here undoubtedly means cunning, astute, crafty, and designing. It cannot mean those who are truly wise in the Scripture sense but the meaning is, that those who form plans that they expect to accomplish by cunning and craft, are often the victims of their own designs. The same sentiment not unfrequently occurs in the Scriptures and elsewhere, and has all the aspect of being a proverb, Psalm 7:15.’

‘Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you. In famine, he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword. You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes. You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals. For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing. You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. You will come to the grave in full vigour, like sheaves gathered in season. “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.” Job 5:17-27

Eliphaz is certainly coming across as someone who thinks he knows it all. It’s very true that God corrects those whom He loves but it isn’t true that we can know every time someone suffers that they are being corrected by the Lord. When affliction comes our way, we must trust God because it is God who strengthens the righteous and heals their affliction.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The numbers six and seven are put here for many. Though several troubles should come upon thee all at once, and there should be no hope, humanly speaking, yet God would rid thee out of them all; for he saves as well from many as from few. We may also understand the words, He who hath been thy deliverer in past troubles, will not deny his help in those which are to come.’

Eliphaz goes on to list several difficult situations that could come upon the righteous. He describes in some detail all the blessings of restoration that would come to Job’s life if he would only repent and turn to God.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘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 endeavouring 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, Psalms 31:20 / Psalms 52:2-4 / Proverbs 12:18 / Proverbs 14:3 / James 3:1-8.’

What kind of friend would say to someone who has just lost their children, ‘you will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth’. The problem was, that he thought Job was sinful, when in fact he wasn’t because when all this is over, Job was indeed blessed with more children and he was rewarded with double possessions, Job 42:12-17, because he was right, it was Eliphaz who was wrong.

Eliphaz concluded that Job should listen to this tried and tested advice in order to deliver himself from his affliction. What Job needed most of all at this point was to be loved and understood, he didn’t need to hear some theological, doctrinal argument as to why he was suffering.

Go To Job 6