|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 25. - Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great. Little by little Eliphaz passes from a general description of the blessedness of those faithful ones who "despise not the chastening of the Almighty" (ver. 17) to a series of allusions which seem specially to touch Job's case. Without claiming prophetical inspiration, he ventures to promise him in the future "the exact reverse of all that he had experienced" in the past - "a safe home, flocks untouched, a happy and prosperous family, a peaceful old age" (Cook). The promises may have sounded in Job's ears as "a mockery" (ibid.); but it is creditable to the sagacity of Eliphaz that he ventured to make them. And thine offspring as the grass of the earth. The ordinary symbols for multitudinous-ness - the sand of the sea, and the stars of heaven - are here superseded by an entirely new one, "the grass of the earth." Undoubtedly it is equally appropriate, and perhaps more natural in a pastoral community.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great,.... Not his seed sown in the earth, and the increase of that, but his children, as the next clause explains it, as Bar Tzemach well observes; and designs either their greatness in worldly things, in wealth and riches, in honour and dignity, in power and authority, or else their numbers; for the word may be rendered "much" or "many" (n), a multitude of children being reckoned a great temporal blessing; but this seems rather intended in the following words:
and thine offspring as the grass of the earth; as numerous as the spires of grass, which can no more be told than the stars of the heavens, or the sand of the sea, by which the same thing, a numerous progeny, is sometimes illustrated: this is to be understood not of his immediate offspring, but his descendants in successive ages and generations, and which should be as beautiful as the grass of the earth when in its verdure; pointing at the comeliness of their persons, their honour and dignity raised unto, the largeness of their substance, the greatness of their prosperity, and flourishing circumstances they should be in; though it may also denote the original of them, amidst all, being of the earth and earthy, and their frailty and fading condition; for which reason all flesh is said to be as grass, and men are frequently compared unto it, see Psalm 90:5.
(n) "multum", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Mercerus, Piscator, Schmidt, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. as the grass—(Ps 72:16). Properly, "herb-bearing seed" (Ge 1:11, 12).
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