Job 15:11
Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?
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(11) Are the consolations of God small with thee?—This is one of the obscure phrases of Job upon which it is very difficult to decide. The Authorised Version gives very good sense, which seems to suit the context in the following verse; but it is susceptible of other phases of meaning: e.g., “or a word that dealeth gently with thee (2Samuel 4:5), such as ours have been (?)”; or “the word that he hath spoken softly with thee” (but see Job 15:8); or, again, the consolations of God may mean strong consolations (Psalm 80:11), such as ours have been, spoken in strong language,” in which case the second clause would mean, “Was thine own speech gentle?” “Small with thee” means, of course, too small for thee.

Job 15:11. Are the consolations of God small with thee? — Are those blessings which we have pro-pounded to thee, on condition of thy repentance, small and inconsiderable in thine eyes? He takes it ill that Job did not value the comforts which he and his friends administered to him, more than, it seems, he did, and that he did not welcome every word they said as the truth of God. And he represents this as a slight put upon divine consolations in general, as if they were of small account with him; whereas, really, they were not: if Job had not highly valued them he could not have borne up as he did under his sufferings. It is true Job’s friends had said some very good things, but in their application of them to him they were miserable comforters. Is there any secret thing with thee? — Hast thou any secret and peculiar way of obtaining comfort, which is unknown to us, and to all other men? some cordial to support thee, that no body else can pretend to, or knows any thing of? Or, perhaps he means, Is there some secret sin harboured and indulged in thy bosom, which hinders thy reception of divine comforts? None disesteem divine consolations but those that secretly, if not openly, are attached to the world, and live after the flesh.

15:1-16 Eliphaz begins a second attack upon Job, instead of being softened by his complaints. He unjustly charges Job with casting off the fear of God, and all regard to him, and restraining prayer. See in what religion is summed up, fearing God, and praying to him; the former the most needful principle, the latter the most needful practice. Eliphaz charges Job with self-conceit. He charges him with contempt of the counsels and comforts given him by his friends. We are apt to think that which we ourselves say is important, when others, with reason, think little of it. He charges him with opposition to God. Eliphaz ought not to have put harsh constructions upon the words of one well known for piety, and now in temptation. It is plain that these disputants were deeply convinced of the doctrine of original sin, and the total depravity of human nature. Shall we not admire the patience of God in bearing with us? and still more his love to us in the redemption of Christ Jesus his beloved Son?Are the consolations of God small with thee? - The "consolations of God" here refer probably to those considerations which had been suggested by Eliphaz and his friends, and which he takes to be the "consolations" which God had furnished for the afflicted. He asks whether they were regarded by Job as of little value? Whether he was not willing to take such consolations as God had provided, and to allow them to sustain him instead of permitting himself to inveigh against God? The Septuagint renders this, "thou hast been chastised less than thy sins deserve. Thou hast spoken with excessive haughtiness!" But the true idea seems to be, that Eliphaz regarded the considerations adduced by him and his friends, as the gracious consolations which God had provided for people in affliction, and as the results of all former reflections on the design of God in sending trial. He now represents Job as regarding them as of no value, and maintaining sentiments directly at variance with them. "Is there any secret thing with thee?"

Noyes renders this," and words so full of kindness to thee," that is, are they of no account to you? So Dr. Good and Wemyss, "or the addresses of kindness to thyself?" Luther translates it, "but thou hast, perhaps, yet a secret portion with thee." Rosenmuller, "and words most guilty spoken toward thee." The Septuagint renders it, "and thou hast spoken proudly beyond measure" - μεγάλως ὑπερβαλλόντας λελάηκας megalōs huperballontas lelalēkas. The word which occurs in the Hebrew - לאט lâ'aṭ, when it is a single word, and used as a verb, means to wrap around, to muffle, to cover, to conceal, and then to be "secret" - whence the Greek: λάφω lathō, and λανθάνω lanthanō, and the Latin: lateo. In this sense it is understood here by our translators. But it may be also a compound word - from אט 'aṭ - a gentle sound, murmur, whisper; from where it is used adverbially - לאט le'at and לאט lâ'aṭ - gently, softly, slowly - as of the slow gait of a mourner, 1 Kings 21:27; and of water gently flowing, as the water of Siloam, Isaiah 8:6. And hence, also, it may refer to words flowing kindly or gently toward anyone; and this seems to be the meaning here. Eliphaz asks whether Job could despise or undervalue the words spoken so gently and kindly toward him? A singular illustration, to be sure, of kindness, but still showing how the friends of Job estimated their own remarks.

11. consolations—namely, the revelation which Eliphaz had stated as a consolatory reproof to Job, and which he repeats in Job 15:14.

secret—Hast thou some secret wisdom and source of consolation, which makes thee disregard those suggested by me? (Job 15:8). Rather, from a different Hebrew root, Is the word of kindness or gentleness addressed by me treated by thee as valueless? [Umbreit].

Are those comforts, which we in the name, and according to the mind, and by the direction, of God have propounded to thee, upon condition of thy true repentance, Job 11:13,14, &c., small and contemptible in thine eyes? Hast thou any secret and peculiar ground or way of comfort which is unknown to us, and to all other men, except thyself; for which, or in comparison of which, thou despisest our consolations as mean and trivial? To pretend to this is vanity and impudence; and if thou hast not this, to despise and reject our comforts is horrible pride and stubbornness.

Are the consolations of God small with thee?.... Meaning either those which Eliphaz and his friends had administered, when, upon his repentance and reformation, they promised him great and good things that should befall him and his family, and that his latter end should be greater than his beginning; which Job slighted, took no notice of, nor entertained any hope concerning it; and these they called the consolations of God, not only because great, as things excellent have the name of God added to them, to express their excellency, but because they were administered in the name of God, and were according to the word and will of God, at least as they thought: Ben Gersom renders it, "the consolations of these"; these were Bildad and Zophar; so Bar Tzemach; or, as others, "these consolations" (b) which I and my friends have suggested; but not human, rather divine consolations are meant; and this is a fresh charge against Job, that he made light of such, even the consolations of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, who are each of them comforters; saints may and should comfort one another, and ministers of the Gospel are Barnabases, sons of consolation; but God is the great Comforter, it is he only can speak and apply comfort to purpose; and his consolations are not to be accounted "small", if it be considered from whence they come, from the great God, the Creator, to creatures, dust and ashes, sinful ones, on whom they are bestowed, such as are undeserving of them, yea, deserving of the wrath of God, and the curses of his law; and also the nature of these comforts, as that they are strong consolations, and effectual through the power and grace of God, and are everlasting, the matter and foundation of them being so; and though they may be refused through unbelief, as being too great in the view of a sinful creature for himself yet they can never be accounted small, or slighted and despised by a gracious soul; nor can it be though they were by Job, since he was so distressed with the arrows of the Almighty, a sense of divine wrath, and was so desirous of the divine Presence, and even begged he might take comfort a little:

is there any secret thing with thee? any secret wisdom and knowledge which they were strangers to; or any secret way of conveying comfort to him they knew not of; or any secret sin in him, any Achan in the camp, Joshua 7:11, that hindered him from receiving comfort, or put him upon slighting what was offered to him.

(b) "consolationes istorum virorum", Vatablus; "consolationes istae", so some in Drusius.

Are the consolations of God {g} small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

(g) He accuses Job's pride and ingratitude, that will not be comforted by God, but by their counsel.

11. small with thee] Rather, are the consolations of God too small for thee? do they seem to thee beneath thy deserts and notice? Numbers 16:9; Isaiah 7:13.

is there any secret thing with thee] Rather, and a word that dealt gently with thee? The consolations or comforts of God are such as proceed from God and are authorized by Him. Eliphaz so describes his own teaching, e.g. the oracle, ch. Job 4:12 seq., which came directly from God; but also, no doubt, such consoling views of God’s providence as he shewed ch. Job 5:8 seq. In the phrase “a word that dealt gently with thee” he describes the gentle and conciliatory manner of his own first speech. He may include his friends with him in all this, but there runs throughout this discourse an under-current of references to himself.

Verse 11. - Are the consolations of God small with thee? By "the consolations of God" Eliphaz probably means the hopes which he and his friends had held out, speaking in God's Name, that if Job would humble himself, and confess his guilt, and sue to God for pardon, he would be restored to favour, recover his prosperity, and live to a good old age in tranquil happiness (see Job 5:18-27; Job 8:20-22; Job 11:13-19). He wishes to know if Job thinks lightly of all this, regards it as of small account, will make no effort to obtain the blessings held out to him. This is all reasonable enough from his standpoint, that Job is conscious of secret heinous guilt; but it can make no impression on Job, who is conscious of the reverse. Is there any secret thing with thee? rather, And is the word [of small account that dealeth] gently with thee? Eliphaz considers that his own words and those of his two companions have been soft words, dealing "gently" with Job's refractoriness, and that Job ought to have been impressed by them. Job 15:1111 Are the consolations of God too small for thee,

And a word thus tenderly spoken with thee?

12 What overpowers thy hearts?

And why do thine eyes wink,

13 That thou turnest thy snorting against God,

And sendest forth such words from thy mouth?

By the consolations of God, Eliphaz means the promises in accordance with the majesty and will of God, by which he and the other friends have sought to cheer him, of course presupposing a humble resignation to the just hand of God. By "a word (spoken) in gentleness to him," he means the gentle tone which they have maintained, while he has passionately opposed them. לאט, elsewhere לאט (e.g., Isaiah 8:6, of the softly murmuring and gently flowing Siloah), from אט (declined, אטּי), with the neutral, adverbial ל (as לבטה), signifies: with a soft step, gently, The word has no connection with לוּט, לאט, to cover over, and is not third praet. (as it is regarded by Raschi, after Chajug): which he has gently said to you, or that which has gently befallen you; in which, as in Frst's Handwrterbuch, the notions secrete (Judges 4:21, Targ. בּרז, in secret) and leniter are referred to one root. Are these divine consolations, and these so gentle addresses, too small for thee (מעט ממך, opp. 1 Kings 19:7), i.e., beneath thy dignity, and unworthy of they notice? What takes away (לקה, auferre, abripere, as frequently) thy heart (here of wounded pride), and why do thine eyes gleam, that thou turnest (השׁיב, not revertere, but vertere, as freq.) thy ill-humour towards God, and utterest מלּין (so here, not מלּים) words, which, because they are without meaning and intelligence, are nothing but words? רזם, ἅπ. γεγρ., is transposed from רמז, to wink, i.e., to make known by gestures and grimaces, - a word which does not occur in biblical, but is very common in post-biblical, Hebrew (e.g., חרשׁ רומז ונרמז, a deaf and dumb person expresses himself and is answered by a language of signs). Modern expositors arbitrarily understand a rolling of the eyes; it is more natural to think of the vibration of the eye-lashes or eye-brows. רוּח, Job 15:13, is as in Judges 8:3; Isaiah 25:4, comp. Job 13:11, and freq. used of passionate excitement, which is thus expressed because it manifests itself in πνέειν (Acts 9:1), and has its rise in the πνεῦμα (Ecclesiastes 7:9). Job ought to control this angry spirit, θυμός (Psychol. S. 198); but he allows it to burst forth, and makes even God the object on which he vents his anger in impetuous language. How much better it would be for him, if he would search within himself (Lamentations 3:39) for the reason of those sufferings which so deprive him of his self-control!

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