|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:17-27 Eliphaz gives to Job a word of caution and exhortation: Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Call it a chastening, which comes from the Father's love, and is for the child's good; and notice it as a messenger from Heaven. Eliphaz also encourages Job to submit to his condition. A good man is happy though he be afflicted, for he has not lost his enjoyment of God, nor his title to heaven; nay, he is happy because he is afflicted. Correction mortifies his corruptions, weans his heart from the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to his Bible, brings him to his knees. Though God wounds, yet he supports his people under afflictions, and in due time delivers them. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure. Eliphaz gives Job precious promises of what God would do for him, if he humbled himself. Whatever troubles good men may be in, they shall do them no real harm. Being kept from sin, they are kept from the evil of trouble. And if the servants of Christ are not delivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, and while overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever is maliciously said against them shall not hurt them. They shall have wisdom and grace to manage their concerns. The greatest blessing, both in our employments and in our enjoyments, is to be kept from sin. They shall finish their course with joy and honour. That man lives long enough who has done his work, and is fit for another world. It is a mercy to die seasonably, as the corn is cut and housed when fully ripe; not till then, but then not suffered to stand any longer. Our times are in God's hands; it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect great wealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will be ordered for the best. And remark from Job's history, that steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour! how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of faith, in such moments!
Verse 20. - In famine he shall redeem thee from death. Famine appears throughout the whole of Scripture as one of God's severest chastisements (see Leviticus 26:19, 20; Deuteronomy 28:22-24; 2 Samuel 21:1; 2 Samuel 24:13; 2 Kings 8:1; Psalm 105:16; Isaiah 14:30; Jeremiah 24:10; Revelation 18:8). Ezekiel speaks of "the sword, the famine the noisome beast, and the pestilence," as God's "four sore judgments" (Ezekiel 14:21). Miraculous deliverances from famine are related in Genesis 41:29-36; 1 Kings 17:10-16; 2 Kings 7:1-16. And in war from the power of the sword. In war God protects whom he will, and they seem to have charmed lives. They are covered with his feathers, and safe under his wings (Psalm 91:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In famine he shall redeem thee from death,.... In a time of extreme want of provisions, God so cares for his own dear people, that they shall not be starved to death by the famine; so in the famine in Egypt, which the Targum takes notice of, in the times of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, and the patriarchs, there was food provided for them, so that they and their families were sustained, and perished not for lack of the necessaries of life: God sometimes goes out of his ordinary way, and works wonders for his poor and needy in distress, when they cry unto him; see Isaiah 41:17,
and in war from the power of the sword; or, "from the hands of the sword" (f): from swords in hand, when drawn, and men are ready to push with them with all their force; as he delivered and preserved Abraham from the sword of the four kings, when he waged war with them, Genesis 14:20; and the Israelites, in the war of Amalek, in the times of Moses, Exodus 17:8, which the Targum here refers to; and David from the harmful sword of Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:46, and others with whom he was concerned in war: and so the Lord covers the heads of his people in the day of battle oftentimes, when multitudes fall on their right hand and on their left.
(f) "de manu gladii", V. L. "e manibus gladii", Pagninus & Montanus, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. power—(Jer 5:12). Hebrew, "hands."
of the sword—(Eze 35:5, Margin). Hands are given to the sword personified as a living agent.
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