|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:5-14 Eliphaz brought heavy charges against Job, without reason for his accusations, except that Job was visited as he supposed God always visited every wicked man. He charges him with oppression, and that he did harm with his wealth and power in the time of his prosperity.
Verse 12. - Is not God in the height of heaven? From taxing Job with definite open sins, Eliphaz proceeds to accuse him of impious thoughts and principles. He does not acknowledge, Eliphaz says, either the majesty or the omniscience of God. Here he has, at any rate, some tangible ground for his reproaches. Job's words have been over-bold, over-venturesome. He has seemed to forget the distance between God and man (Job 9:30-33; Job 10:2, 3; Job 13:3, etc.), and to call in question either God's omniscience or his regard for moral distinctions (Job 9:22, 23; Job 21:7-13, 23-26). Hence Eliphaz is enabled to take a high tone and ask, "Hast thou forgotten that God is in the height of heaven, far up above all us poor wretched mortals? Dost thou need to be reminded of this? He is above the stars, and yet behold the height of the stars, how high they are! Even they are infinitely above men, yet how far below him!" (comp. Job 35:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Is not God in the height of heaven?.... The heaven is high, it has its name from its height, and is noted for it; some of the heavens are higher than others, as the heaven of heavens, the third heaven, the habitation of angels and glorified saints; and here God dwells, this is the habitation of his holiness, and the high and holy place he inhabits; his throne is in heaven, in the heaven of heavens is his throne, where he in an especial manner manifests his glory, and the lustre of it; he is not indeed continued here, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him, he is everywhere; yet this is his court and palace, where his residence and retinue is and angels behold his face, and wait upon him; and because this is the principal seat of his majesty, it becomes one of his names, Daniel 4:26; and the words here will bear to be rendered, "is not God the height of the heavens?" (t) or, as the Vulgate Latin version, "higher than the heavens"; he is above them, more exalted than they, being the Creator of them, see Hebrews 7:26;
and behold the height of the stars, how high they are; or "the head" or "top of the stars" (u), which Ben Gersom interprets of the supreme orb, or that high and vast space in which the fixed stars are, or the highest of them, which are at the greatest distance; according to Mr. Huygens (w) a cannon ball discharged would be twenty five years in passing from the earth to the sun, from, Jupiter to the sun an hundred twenty five years, from Saturn two hundred fifty, and from the sun to the dog star (v) 691,600 years; and if therefore it would be so long going to the nearest of the fixed stars, how great must be the distance of them from our earth, which are so much higher than the dog star as that is from the sun? But, though these are so exceeding high, yet God is higher than they, see Isaiah 14:13; the truth contained in these words was what both Eliphaz and Job were agreed in, let them be spoken by which they will, some ascribing them to the One, and some to the other; from whence Eliphaz represents Job drawing an inference very impious, blasphemous, and atheistical.
(t) "sublimitas coelorum", Bolducius; "altitudo coeli", Michaelis; "altitudo coelorum", Schultens. (u) "capat stellarum", Montanus, Bolaucius, Mercerus, Cocceius; "verticem stellarum", V. L. Tigurine version, Michaelis, Schultens. (w) Cosmotheoros, l. 2. p. 125, 137. (v) (The Dog Star is the brighest star in the heavens when viewed from the earth. It has a visual magnitude of -1.4 and is 8.7 light years from the earth. It is in the constellation Sirius. The closest star to the earth is Centaurus and has a visual magnitude of 0 and is 4.3 light years from the earth. It is several times fainter the the Dog Star but is still quite bright compared to neighbouring stars. 1969 Oberserver's Handbook, p. 74, 75. The Royal Astonomical Society of Canada, Toronto, Ontario. Editor)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. Eliphaz says this to prove that God can from His height behold all things; gratuitously inferring that Job denied it, because he denied that the wicked are punished here.
height—Hebrew, "head of the stars"; that is, "elevation" (Job 11:8).
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