Job 15:12
Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,
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(12) What do thy eyes wink at?—Or, Why do they wink? as though it was only thou who perceivedst it.

Job 15:12-13. Why doth thy heart carry thee away? — Why dost thou suffer thyself to be transported by the pride of thy heart, to use such unworthy and unbecoming expressions, both concerning us and concerning God and his providence? And what do thine eyes wink at? — Why dost thou look with such an angry, supercilious, and disdainful look? But Buxtorf translates the words, Quid collimant oculi tui? What are thine eyes taking aim at? Or, Quid innuunt? Quorsum spectant? What do they intimate? Or, Whither, what way, or toward what, do they look? The Hebrew, ירזמון, jirzmun, properly signifies to wink with one eye, as those that aim at a mark. That thou turnest thy spirit against God? — Opposest thyself to him, and art become his enemy. He thought Job’s spirit was soured against God, and exasperated at his dealings with him, and so was turned from what it had been: and that this was evident from his letting such words go out of his mouth as reflected on God, and his justice and goodness. But Eliphaz wanted candour and charity, otherwise he would not have put such a harsh construction on the speeches of one that had such a settled reputation for piety, and was now sorely assaulted with temptation. This was, in effect, to give the cause on Satan’s side, and to own that Job had done as Satan said he would, curse God to his face.

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?Why doth thine heart carry thee away? - Why do you allow your feelings to control you in spite of the decisions of the understanding? Eliphaz means to represent him as wholly under the influence of passion, instead of looking calmly and cooly at things as they were, and listening to the results of past experience and observation.

And what do thy eyes wink at - This expression has given considerable perplexity to commentators. Rosenmuller (and after him Noyes) remarks that the expression indicates pride, haughtiness, and arrogance. In Psalm 35:19, it is an indication of joyfulness or triumph over a prostrate foe:

Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me;

Neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

In Proverbs 6:13, it is an indication of a haughty, froward, self-confident person:

A haughty person, a wicked man,

Walketh with a froward mouth;

He winketh with his eyes,

He speaketh with his feet,

He teacheth with his fingers.

The Hebrew word (רזם râzam) occurs nowhere else, and it is therefore difficult to determine its true signification. The most probable meaning is, to wink with the eyes as a gesture of pride and insolence; compare the notes at Isaiah 3:16. The Vulgate renders it, attonitos habes oculos? - "Why, as though meditating great things, hast thou eyes of astonishment?" Septuagint, "Why are thine eyes elevated?" Schultens renders it, "Why do thine eyes roll fury?" - Quid fremitum volvunt oculi tui? Luther, "Why art thou so proud? There can be no reasonable doubt that the word conveys the idea of pride and haughtiness manifested in some way by the eyes.

12. wink—that is, why do thy eyes evince pride? (Pr 6:13; Ps 35:19). Why dost thou suffer thyself to be transported by the pride and lusts of thy heart to use such unworthy and unbecoming expressions, both concerning us, and concerning God and his providence.

What do thine eyes wink at, i.e. what dost thou aim at? What benefit dost thou expect from such words and carriages? So it is a metaphor from archers, who wink when they take their aim at a mark. Or, why do thine eyes wink, i.e. why dost thou look with such an angry, supercilious, and disdainful look, expressing both thy contempt of us, and thy rage against God? The eye is observed both by God and men, as the great discoverer of the heart; and winking with the eye is a note of a malicious mind, Psalm 35:9 Proverbs 6:13 10:10.

Why doth thine heart carry thee away?.... To such conceit of thyself, and contempt of others, and even to slight the consolations of God; the heart, being deceitful and wicked, sometimes carries away good men to say and do those things which are unbecoming; and if, in any instance, this was Job's case, it was owing to his own heart, which carried him beyond due bounds; for whenever any man is "tempted" to do evil, "he is drawn away of his own lust", and enticed, James 1:14;

and what do thine eyes wink at; conniving at and shutting his eyes against his own sins and iniquities, unwilling to see them, and be convinced of them, and own them; or shutting them against the charges and reproofs of his friends, and all the light and evidence with which they came; or rather as carelessly attending to them, and scoffing and sneering at them: some render it, "what do thine eyes aim at" (c)? as men, when they take an aim at a mark, wink with or shut one eye; what are thy designs? what hast thou in view? what wouldest thou be at, talking and behaving in such a manner as thou dost?

(c) "collimant", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; so Broughton.

Why doth thine heart {h} carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,

(h) Why do you stand in your own conceit?

12. what do thine eyes wink at] Rather, wherefore do thine eyes wink? i. e., flash or roll, sign of violent passion. In the first clause “heart” is the excited mind under strong feeling.

12–16. Turning from Job’s arrogant claims to superior wisdom Eliphaz must rebuke his violent and irreverent behaviour towards God: What is man that he should be clean?

Verse 12. - Why doth thine heart carry thee away? or, Whither doth thine heart carry thee away? i.e. to what a pitch of presumption and audacity do thy proud thoughts carry thee? And what do thy eyes wink at? or, Wherefore do thy eyes roll? The verb used occurs only in this place. Its meaning is very doubtful. Job 15:1211 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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