|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 13. - And thou sayest, How doth God know? Job had not said this in so many words, but, by equalizing the godly and the wicked (Job 9:22; Job 21:23-26), he might be supposed to mean that God took no note of men's conduct, and therefore had not a perfect knowledge of all things. The psalmist implies that many men so thought (Psalm 10:11; Psalm 73:11; Psalm 94:7). Can he judge through the dark cloud? rather, through the thick darkness. God was supposed to dwell remote from man, in the highest heaven, and, according to many, "clouds and darkness were round about him" (Psalm 97:2) - he "dwelt in the thick darkness" (1 Kings 8:12) - he "made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him was waters, and thick clouds of the skies" (Psalm 18:11). The imagery was, no doubt, at first used in reference to man's inability to see and know God; but when men became familiar with it, they turned the metaphor round, and questioned God's ability to see and know anything about man. Job had not really ever shared in these doubts; but it suits Eliphaz's purpose to malign and misrepresent him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou sayest, how doth God know?.... What is done on earth, the works of the children of men, their sinful actions, when he dwells at such a distance, and so remote from the earth, as the height of the stars, and highest heavens, be; not that Job said this expressly with his lips, but in his heart; Eliphaz imagined and supposed that such was the reasoning of his mind; it was an invidious consequence he had drawn from what Job had said concerning the afflictions of the godly, and the prosperity of the wicked; which he interpreted as a denial of the providence of God, as if he had no regard to human affairs, but things took place in a very disorderly and confused way, without any regard to right or wrong; and he concluded that Job was led into these sentiments by the consideration of the distance of God from the earth; that, dwelling in the highest heavens, he could not and did not see what was done here, and therefore men might commit all manner of sin with impunity; that their sins would never be taken notice of, or they be called to an account for them; which are the very language and sentiments of the most abandoned of men, see Psalm 10:11;
can he judge through the dark clouds? if he cannot see and know what is done, he cannot judge of it, whether it is good or bad, and so can neither justify nor condemn an action. By "the dark cloud" is not meant the matter, or corporeal mass, with which man is covered, as a Jewish commentator (x) interprets it; rather the cloudy air, or atmosphere around us; or that thick darkness in which Jehovah dwells, clouds and darkness being around him, Psalm 97:2; but all this hinders not his sight of things done here below; what is thick darkness to us is pure light to him, in which also he is said to dwell, and with which he covers himself as with a garment; and the darkness and the light are both alike to him, he can see and judge through the one as well as the other.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Rather, And yet thou sayest, God does not concern Himself with ("know") human affairs (Ps 73:11).
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