|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 24. - And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; rather, thy tent; i.e. thy habitation, whatever it may be. Thou shalt feel assured of peace in thy dwelling, since God's peace will rest upon it. And thou shalt visit thy habitation; or, thy fold (see the Revised Version). And shalt not sin; and shalt miss nothing (Revised Version). The exact meaning is very uncertain. Professor Lee renders, "Thou shalt not err;" Schultens, "Thou shalt not be disappointed of thy desires;" Rosenmuller, "Thou shalt not miss thy mark."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace,.... Not a place of religious worship, though the Targum renders it an house of doctrine or instruction; for we read not of any such but the tabernacle of Moses, erected in the wilderness, and which was indeed about, or little after, the times of Job; but it cannot be reasonably thought he did or could attend there; nor the tabernacle of his body, now in great pain and anguish, in which there were no rest nor soundness, being filled with sore boils and burning ulcers; but his dwelling house, which was built as a tent or tabernacle: such were the houses of the eastern people, made to move from place to place, for the sake of pasturage for their flocks and herds, in which their wealth consisted; so Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, dwelt in tabernacles; and hence in later times more firm, fixed, and stable dwellings, were so called; David calls his palace the tabernacle of his house, Psalm 132:3; though this also includes all that dwelt in his house, his family; and the meaning is, that should he behave aright under the afflicting hand of God, his family should live in concord, harmony, and love; there should be no discord, animosity, and contention among them, but they should be at peace and in unity among themselves; as indeed Job's children were while he had them, and before this calamity came upon him; and that also they should be secure from enemies, and dwell unmolested by them; and be in the utmost safety, enjoying all kind of prosperity, inward and outward, temporal and spiritual; which the word peace includes, as used in eastern countries, whose common salutation was, "peace be with thee"; thereby wishing all kind of happiness: or the words may be rendered, "peace shall be thy tabernacle" (i) as is a good man's tabernacle: he dwells in God, who is all love, all peace, in whom there is no wrath or fury; he dwells by faith in Christ, who is his peace, his peace maker, and peace giver; and in whom he has peace amidst all the tribulation he meets with in the world; the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps and guards him in Christ, as in a garrison, safe and secure; and he enjoys much peace, as the fruit of the Spirit, arising from a view of interest in the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; and when he dies he enters into peace, and dwells and abides in it as his everlasting mansion, Isaiah 57:2; now all this, Eliphaz says, Job, behaving well, should know; that is, have an experience of it; should really enjoy it, and find it in fact true what he asserted:
and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin; meaning not his wife, as some interpreters, Jewish and Christian, understand it; and so in the Talmud (k), the word being rendered "she that tarried at home", Psalm 68:12; which is a description of a good housewife, that keeps at home and minds the affairs of her family; but rather it designs the same as his tabernacle in the preceding clause, his dwelling house, and signifies a fine, fair, and beautiful one; a spacious and goodly building, and well stored with rich household goods; and including his family also: and to "visit" this is to take care of his family, rule and govern them well, protect and defend them, and provide all things necessary for them; as well as to inspect into the affairs of his house, inquire, examine, and see how things are managed; to know the state, condition, and circumstances it is in; which is looking well to the ways of his household: and this he should do, and "not sin"; not that a man, even a good man, can so conduct himself always in his family as not to be guilty of any sin at all, but not of sin in common, or continually; at least not any gross and notorious ones: the sense is, that he should not sin himself, while making such a visit and inquiry, by an undue heat, excessive anger, by rash and passionate expressions, things not being entirely to his mind; or be the cause of sin in others, by provoking his children to wrath, by threatening and menacing his servants in a severe, boisterous, and blustering manner; but reproving both, as there may be occasion, in a mild and gentle way; or else not sin by conniving at it and not correcting for it, which was the fault of Eli: Ben Gersom thinks Eliphaz tacitly suggests, and strikes at, Job's indulgence to his children; and so Sephorno: the word used having the signification of wandering and straying, some take the sense to be this; that he should have a sure and certain dwelling place to come into, and abide in, and should not wander about (l), or be as a stroller and vagabond in the earth: though this has sometimes been the case of good men; as of the godly in the times of the Maccabees, who wandered in deserts and mountains, in caves and dens of the earth; and even of the disciples of Christ, who had no certain dwelling place; yea, of Christ himself, who had not where to lay his head: rather, since the word signifies to miss the mark, and so be disappointed; in which sense it is used in Judges 20:16; the sense may be, that when he visited his habitation he should find nothing amiss or wanting, but everything should answer his expectations and wishes, so Aben Ezra; and Mr. Broughton renders it, "shalt not misprosper"; and others, "shalt no be frustrated" (m); balked, disappointed of thine ends and views, designs, hopes, and wishes.
(i) "quod pax tentorium tuum", Montanus, Bolducius; so Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens. (k) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 34. 1. Yebamot, fol. 62. 2. & 63. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 76. 2.((l) "non errabis, i.e. non eris erro et palans", Codurcus; "non aberrabis", Beza, Piscator, Cocceius. (m) "Nec votis frustrabere", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. know—"Thou shalt rest in the assurance, that thine habitation is the abode of peace; and (if) thou numberest thine herd, thine expectations prove not fallacious" [Umbreit]. "Sin" does not agree with the context. The Hebrew word—"to miss" a mark, said of archers (Jud 20:16). The Hebrew for "habitation" primarily means "the fold for cattle"; and for "visit," often to "take an account of, to number." "Peace" is the common Eastern salutation; including inward and outward prosperity.
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