|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:7-11 Consider him that waits for a crop of corn; and will not you wait for a crown of glory? If you should be called to wait longer than the husbandman, is not there something more worth waiting for? In every sense the coming of the Lord drew nigh, and all his people's losses, hardships, and sufferings, would be repaid. Men count time long, because they measure it by their own lives; but all time is as nothing to God; it is as a moment. To short-lived creatures a few years seem an age; but Scripture, measuring all things by the existence of God, reckons thousands of years but so many days. God brought about things in Job's case, so as plainly to prove that he is very pitiful and of tender mercy. This did not appear during his troubles, but was seen in the event, and believers now will find a happy end to their trials. Let us serve our God, and bear our trials, as those who believe that the end will crown all. Our eternal happiness is safe if we trust to him: all else is mere vanity, which soon will be done with for ever.
Verse 11. - Behold, we count them happy. Μακαρίζειν: only here and Luke 1:48 (comp. James 1:12, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation;" Daniel 12:12, "Blessed is he that waiteth"). Which endure; rather, which endured, reading ὑπομείναντας, with א, A, B, Syriac, Latt. (quisustinuerunt). Ye have heard of the patience of Job. A book very rarely referred to in the New Testament; only here and in 1 Corinthians 3:19, where Job 5:13 is quoted. And have seen the end of the Lord. Ἴδετε ("see") is found in A, B, L, but εἴδετε of the Received Text has the support of א, B, K, Vulgate (ridistis), and is now generally adopted. The "end of the Lord (τὸ τέλος Κυρίου)" cannot possibly be interpreted of the death and resurrection of our Savior. The whole context is against this, and Κυρίου would certainly require the article. The Syriac Version rightly interprets the clause, "the end which the Lord wrought for him." It dearly refers to the end which God brought about in the case of Job, whose "latter end the Lord blessed more than his beginning" (Job 42:12; cf. Winer, 'Grammar of New Testament Greek,' p. 309). That the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy, Πολύσπλαχνος: here only; never in the LXX, but equivalent to Hebrew רַב חֶסֶד; cf. Psalm 103. (102.), 8; 111. (110.), 4, which may have suggested the phrase to St. James. Οἰκτίρμων: only here and Luke 6:36; several times in the LXX. Ὁ Κύριος is omitted entirely in K, L, and some manuscripts of the Vulgate; the article is also wanting in B.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, we count them happy which endure,.... Affliction, with courage, constancy, and patience, and hold out to the end; for such shall be saved; theirs is the kingdom of heaven; they are happy now, and will be so hereafter: the Spirit of God, and of glory, now rests upon them; and it is an honour done them that they are counted worthy to suffer for Christ; and they will be glorified with him to all eternity; the consideration of which may serve to encourage and increase patience.
Ye have heard of the patience of Job; from the account which is given of him, and his patience, in the book that bears his name; how he behaved under every trial, which came one upon the back of another; as the plundering of his substance, the loss of his children, and of the health of his body; and yet in all this Job sinned not, nor murmured against God, nor charged him foolishly, and was a mirror of patience; and though he afterwards let fall some expressions of impatience, yet he was humbled for them, and brought to repentance: this shows, that as the Apostle James, so the Jews, to whom he writes, believed that there had been really such a man as Job; and that the book which bears his name is an authentic piece of holy Scripture, and contains a narrative of matters of fact; or otherwise this reference to him would have been impertinent. How long Job endured the chastenings of the Lord cannot be said. The Jews (y) say they continued on him twelve months, which they gather from Job 7:3.
And have seen the end of the Lord; that is, the happy end, or exodus, out of all his troubles; which the Lord gave "to him", as the Oriental versions add; for he gave him twice as much as he had before, and blessed his latter end more than his beginning, Job 42:10. Some understand this of the Lord Jesus Christ, both of his great patience in sufferings, in which he is an example to his people, and they would do well to look to, and consider him; and of the end of his sufferings, his glorious resurrection from the dead, and session at the right hand of God, where he is crowned with glory and honour; but the former sense is best:
that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy; as to Job, so to all his people; his paternal relation to them engages his pity towards them; nor does he willingly afflict them; and when he does, he sympathizes with them; he is afflicted with them, and in his pity redeems them; his heart moves towards them, and he earnestly remembers them, and works deliverance for them in his own time and way; and therefore it becomes them to be patient.
(y) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 3. p. 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. count them happy—(Mt 5:10).
which endure—The oldest authorities read, "which have endured," which suits the sense better than English Version: "Those who in past days, like the prophets and Job, have endured trials." Such, not those who "have lived in pleasure and been wanton on the earth" (Jas 5:5), are "happy."
patience—rather, "endurance," answering to "endure": the Greek words similarly corresponding. Distinct from the Greek word for "patience" Jas 5:10. The same word ought to be translated, "endurance," Jas 1:3. He here reverts to the subject which he began with.
Job—This passage shows the history of him is concerning a real, not an imaginary person; otherwise his case could not be quoted as an example at all. Though he showed much of impatience, yet he always returned to this, that he committed himself wholly to God, and at last showed a perfect spirit of enduring submission.
and have seen—(with the eyes of your mind). Alford translates from the old and genuine reading, "see also," &c. The old reading is, however, capable of being translated as English Version.
the end of the Lord—the end which the Lord gave. If Job had much to "endure," remember also Job's happy "end." Hence, learn, though much tried, to "endure to the end."
that—Alford and others translate, "inasmuch as," "for."
pitiful … of tender mercy—The former refers to the "feeling"; the latter, to the act. His pity is shown in not laying on the patient endurer more trials than he is able to bear; His mercy, in His giving a happy "end" to the trials [Bengel].
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