|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:15-20 Eliphaz would have Job mark the old way that wicked men have trodden, and see what the end of their way was. It is good for us to mark it, that we may not walk therein. But if others are consumed, and we are not, instead of blaming them, and lifting up ourselves, as Eliphaz does here, we ought to be thankful to God, and take it for a warning.
Verse 20. - Whereas our substance is not cut down. It is best to take these as the words of the righteous in their triumph over the wicked; but they can scarcely bear the interpretation given them in the Authorized Version. The clause is not really negative but affirmative, and the word קִים. does not mean "substance," but "adversary." Translate, Surely they that rose up against us (or, our adversaries) are cut off; and compare the Revised Version. The "adversaries" of the righteous are the "wicked men" who have been "snatched away before their time," and have had their "foundation overflown with a flood" (ver. 16). But the remnant of them the fire consumeth; rather, and the remnant of them hath the fire consumed (see the Revised Version). The "fire" here, like the "flood" in ver. 16, is a metaphor, and therefore not to be pressed. All that is essential is that the wicked are destroyed. Over this the "righteous" and the "innocent" rejoice.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whereas our substance is not cut down,.... As yours is; Noah and his family were preserved in the ark, and the creatures with him, and sufficient sustenance was laid up for them all, when everything relating to the wicked was destroyed: but this may be thought too restrictive, as well as what follows too subtle, that this should respect the human species not being cut down and utterly destroyed in the flood, but preserved in and restored by Noah and his family; it may perhaps be thought better to interpret these words as the words of Eliphaz and his friends, joining with the righteous and the innocent, putting themselves in their number, and rejoicing with them at the destruction of the wicked, and as having a particular regard to Job's case, and the difference between him and them; his substance being cut down, and he stripped of all; whereas they were not deprived of theirs, but it continued with them, and they in the full possession of it; the reason of which difference was, he was a wicked man, and they righteous and innocent; but by others, who also take them to be the words of the righteous triumphing over the wicked, they are rendered thus; "is not he cut off that rose up against us?" (g) Our enemy and adversary, he is no more, he can do us no more hurt, and we are delivered out of his hand:
but the remnant of them the fire consumes; which Aben Ezra, Ben Gersom, and others, interpret of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities, by fire; which would have had some appearance of truth, if the destruction had been of the whole world, and as general as the flood was, or more so, and had cleared the world of the remnant of the ungodly, whereas it was only of a few cities: rather it may be Eliphaz glances at the case of Job, as different from him and his friends, that when their substance was untouched, the remnant of Job's was consumed by fire; what were left by the Chaldeans and Sabeans were destroyed by fire from heaven; though if it could be thought that Eliphaz had knowledge of the general conflagration at the last day, and had that in view, it would afford a better sense; but it may be he does not mean material, but metaphorical fire, the fire of divine wrath, which will consume the wicked, root and branch, and leave them nothing.
(g) "annon exscinditur qui insurgit contra nos", Schmidt, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. The triumphant speech of the pious. If "substance" be retained, translate, rather as the Septuagint, "Has not their substance been taken away, and … ?" But the Hebrew is rather, "Truly our adversary is cut down" [Gesenius]. The same opposition exists between the godly and ungodly seed as between the unfallen and restored Adam and Satan (adversary); this forms the groundwork of the book (Job 1:1-2:13; Ge 3:15).
remnant—all that "is left" of the sinner; repeated from Job 20:26, which makes Umbreit's rendering "glory" (Margin), "excellency," less probable.
fire—alluding to Job (Job 1:16; 15:34; 18:15). First is mentioned destruction by water (Job 22:16); here, by fire (2Pe 3:5-7).
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