- Eliphaz, checks Job for his complaints of God, verse 1-4.
- Charges miseries on his sins, ver, 5-14. Compares his case to that of the old world, verse 15-20.
- Assures him, that if he would return to God, he would shew him mercy, verse 21-30.
Can, &c. - Why dost thou insist so much upon thy own righteousness, as if thou didst oblige God by it.
Is it - Such a pleasure as he needs for his own ease and contentment. Nay, God needs not us, or our services. We are undone, forever undone without him: but he is happy, forever happy without us.
Reprove - Punish thee. Because he is afraid, lest if he should let thee alone, thou wouldst grow too great and powerful for him: surely no. As thy righteousness cannot profit him, so thy wickedness can do him no hurt.
Evil - Is not thy evil, thy affliction, are not thy calamities procured by, and proportionable to thy sins.
Surely - He speaks thus by way of strong presumption, when I consider thy unusual calamities, I conclude thou art guilty of all, or some of these crimes. Brother - Of thy neighbour. Nought - Without sufficient and justifiable cause. Stripped - By taking their garment for a pledge, or by robbing them of their rights, all other injuries being comprehended under this.
Dwelt - Either by thy sentence or permission, he had a peaceable and sure possession of it, whether he had right to it, or no.
Arms - Their supports, and rights.
Or - Either thou art troubled with fear of further evils or with the gross darkness of thy present state of misery. Waters - Variety of sore afflictions, which are frequently compared to water.
Heaven - And from that high tower looketh down upon men, to behold, and govern, and recompense all their actions, whether good or bad. How high - Yet God is far higher than they, and from thence can easily see all things.
Walketh - His delight is in heaven, which is worthy of his care, but he will not burden himself with the care of earth: which was the opinion of many Heathen philosophers, and, as they fancied, was Job's opinion also.
Old way - Heb. the way of antiquity, of men living in ancient times, their end or success.
Out of - Before their time. A flood - Who, together with their foundation, the earth and all their supports and enjoyments in it, were destroyed by the general deluge.
Who - He repeats Job's words, chap. 21:14,15, but to a contrary purpose. Job alleged them to shew that they prospered notwithstanding their wickedness; and Eliphaz produces them to shew that they were cut off for it.
Yet - Yet it is true, that for a time God did prosper them, but at last, cut them off in a tremendous manner, But - He repeals Job's words, chap. 21:16, not without reflection: thou didst say so, but against thy own principle, that God carries himself indifferently towards good and bad; but I who have observed God's terrible judgments upon wicked men, have much more reason to abhor their counsels.
Because - Because when wicked men are destroyed, they are preserved. He should have said their substance; but he changes the person, and saith, our substance; either as including himself in the member of righteous persons, and thereby intimating that he pleaded the common cause of all such, while Job pleaded the cause of the wicked, or because he would hereby thankfully acknowledge some eminent and particular preservation given to him amongst other righteous men. Remnant - All that was left undestroyed in the general calamity. Fire - Sodom and Gomorrah. As if he had said, thou mayest find here and there an instance, of a wicked man dying in peace. But what is that to the two great instances of the final perdition of ungodly men, the drowning the whole world, and the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Him - With God, renew thy acquaintance with God by prayer, and repentance for all thy sins, and true humiliation under his hand, and hearty compliance with all his commands, and diligent care to serve and enjoy him. It is our honour, that we are made capable of this acquaintance, our misery that by sin we have lost it; our privilege, that through Christ we may return to it; and our unspeakable advantage, to renew and cultivate it. And be at peace - At peace with God, and at peace with thyself, not fretful or uneasy. Good shall come unto thee - All the good thou canst desire, temporal, spiritual, eternal.
Receive - Take the rule whereby thou governest thy thoughts, and words, and whole life, not from thy own imaginations or passions, but from God, from his law, which is written in thy own mind, and from the doctrines and instructions of the holy men of God. And do not only hear them with thine ears, but let them sink into thy heart.
If - The Hebrew phrase is emphatical, and implies a thorough turning from sin, to God, so as to love him, and cleave to him, and sincerely devote a man's self to his fear and service. Built - God will repair thy ruins, and give thee more children, and bless thee with prosperity. Thou shalt - It is either, 1. a spiritual promise, if thou dost sincerely repent, God will give the grace effectually to reform thyself and family: or, 2. a temporal promise, thou shalt put away iniquity, or the punishment of thy sins; as iniquity is very often used: far from thy tabernacles; from all thy dwellings, and tents, and possessions.
Lift up - Look up to him, with chearfulness and confidence.
Make - The word is, thou shalt multiply thy prayer. Under all thy burdens, in all thy wants, cares and fears, thou shalt send to heaven for wisdom, strength and comfort. Pay - Thou shalt obtain those blessings for which thou didst make vows to God, and therefore, according to thy obligation, shalt pay thy vows to him.
Established - Thy purposes shalt not be disappointed, but ratified by God. And in all thy counsels, and actions, God shall give thee the light of his direction and governance, and of comfort and success.
Cast down - All round about thee, in a time of general calamity. There is - God will deliver thee. He - God.
He, &c. - God will have so great a respect to thy innocency, that for thy sake he will deliver those that belong to thee, or live with thee, or near thee, thought in themselves they be ripe for destruction. Their hands - By thy prayers proceeding from a pure heart and conscience. So Eliphaz and his two friends, who in this matter were not innocent, were delivered by the pureness of Job's hands, chap. 42:8.