Job 15:9
What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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?What knowest thou that we know not? - What pretensions or claims to wisdom have you which we have not? We have had, at least, equal advantages, and may be presumed to know as much as you. 9. in us—or, "with us," Hebraism for "we are aware of." He retorts upon Job his own expressions, Job 12:3 13:2.

What knowest thou that we know not?.... Which are pretty near the words of Job to his friends, Job 12:3; and to the same sense is what follows:

what understandest thou which is not in us? in our hearts, minds, and understanding; or among us, which one or other, or all of us, have not: yet all men have not knowledge alike; some that profess themselves to be wise, and to have a large share of knowledge, are fools; and such who think they know something extraordinary, and more than others, know nothing as they ought to know; and such who have gifts of real knowledge have them different one from another; even of the things known there is not a like degree of knowledge, and particularly in spiritual things; some are little children in understanding, some are young men and know more, and some are fathers, and know most of all; an equality in knowledge belongs to another state, to the latter day glory, when the watchmen shall see eye to eye, and all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest, and especially to the ultimate glory, when saints will know as they are known.

What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. Abandoning irony Eliphaz comes to the facts, which hardly bear out Job’s pretensions. His words recall those of Job, ch. Job 12:3, Job 13:2.

Verse 9. - What knowest thou, that we know not? So far as worldly wisdom went, this was probably quite true. Job was not more advanced in knowledge than Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. But he had a keener spiritual insight. He was wiser in the "wisdom which is from above." Perplexed and confused as were his thoughts concerning the Divine government of the universe, they were nearer the truth, more worthy of the Divine nature, than those of his adversaries. In his reply, without claiming any special wisdom, he pours contempt on their pretensions to spiritual understanding (Job 17:4, 10). What understandest thou, which is not in us? A mere repetition of the first member of the verse in different words. Job 15:9 7 Wast thou as the first one born as a man,

And hast thou been brought forth before the hills?

8 Hast thou attended to the counsel of Eloah,

And hast thou kept wisdom to thyself?

9 What dost thou know that we have not known?

Doest thou understand what we have not been acquainted with?

10 Both grey-haired and aged are among us,

Older in days than thy father.

The question in Job 15:7 assumes that the first created man, because coming direct from the hand of God, had the most direct and profoundest insight into the mysteries of the world which came into existence at the same time as himself. Schlottman calls to mind an ironical proverbial expression of the Hindus: "Yea, indeed, he is the first man; no wonder that he is so wise" (Roberts, Orient. Illustr. p. 276). It is not to be translated: wast thou born as the first man, which is as inadmissible as the translation of אחת מעט, Haggai 2:6, by "a little" (vid., Khler in loc.); rather ראישׁון (i.e., ראישׁון, as Joshua 21:10, formed from ראשׁ, like the Arabic raı̂s, from ras, if it is not perhaps a mere incorrect amalgamation of the forms ראשׁון and רשׁון, Job 8:8) is in apposition with the subject, and אדם is to be regarded as predicate, according to Ges. 139, 2. Raschi's translation is also impossible: wast thou born before Adam? for this Greek form of expression, πρῶτος μον, John 1:15, John 1:30; John 15:18 (comp. Odyss. xi. 481f., σεῖο μακάρτατος), is strange to the Hebrew. In the parallel question, Job 15:7, Umbr., Schlottm., and Renan (following Ewald) see a play upon Proverbs 8:24.: art thou the demiurgic Wisdom itself? But the introductory proverbs (Proverbs 1-9) are more recent than the book of Job (vid., supra, p. 24), and indeed probably, as we shall show elsewhere, belong to the time of Jehoshaphat. Consequently the more probable relation is that the writer of Proverbs 8:24. has adopted words from the book of Job in describing the pre-existence of the Chokma. Was Job, a higher spirit-nature, brought forth, i.e., as it were amidst the pangs of travail (חוללת, Pulal from חול, חיל), before the hills? for the angels, according to Scripture, were created before man, and even before the visible universe (vid., Job 38:4.). Hirz., Ew., Schlottm., and others erroneously translate the futt. in the questions, Job 15:8, as praes. All the verbs in Job 15:7, Job 15:8, are under the control of the retrospective character which is given to the verses by ראישׁון; comp. Job 10:10., where זכר־נא has the same influence, and also Job 3:3, where the historical sense of אוּלד depends not upon the syntax, but upon logical necessity. Translate therefore: didst thou attend in the secret council (סוד, like Jeremiah 23:18, comp. Psalm 89:8) of Eloah (according to the correct form of writing in Codd. and in Kimchi, Michlol 54a, הבסוד, like Job 15:11 המעט and Job 22:13 הבעד, with Beth raph. and without Gaja),

(Note: As a rule, the interrogative He, when pointed with Pathach, has Gaja against the Pathach 2 Samuel 7:5; this, however, falls away (among other instances) when the syllable immediately following the He has the tone, as in the two examples given above (comp. also האל, Job 8:3; הלאל, Job 13:7), or the usual Gaja (Metheg) which stands in the antepenultima (Br, Metheg-Setzung, 23)

and didst then acquire for thyself (גרע, here attrahere, like the Arabic, sorbere, to suck in) wisdom? by which one is reminded of Prometheus' fire stolen from heaven. Nay, Job can boast of no extraordinary wisdom. The friends - as Eliphaz, Job 15:9, says in their name - are his contemporaries; and if he desires to appeal to the teaching of his father, and of his ancestors generally, let them know that there are hoary-headed men among themselves, whose discernment is deeper by reason of their more advanced age. גּם is inverted, like Job 2:10 (which see); and at the same time, since it is sued twice, it is correlative: etiam inter nos et cani et senes. Most modern expositors think that Eliphaz, "in modestly concealed language" (Ewald), refers to himself. But the reference would be obvious enough; and wherefore this modest concealing, which is so little suited to the character of Eliphaz? Moreover, Job 15:10 does not sound as if speaking merely of one, and in Job 15:10 Eliphaz would make himself older than he appears to be, for it is nowhere implied that Job is a young man in comparison with him. We therefore with Umbreit explain בּנוּ: in our generation. Thus it sounds more like the Arabic, both in words (kebı̂r Arab., usual in the signif. grandaevus) and in substance. Eliphaz appeals to the source of reliable tradition, since they have even among their races and districts mature old men, and since, indeed, according to Job's own admission (Job 12:12), there is "wisdom among the ancient ones."

Links
Job 15:9 Interlinear
Job 15:9 Parallel Texts


Job 15:9 NIV
Job 15:9 NLT
Job 15:9 ESV
Job 15:9 NASB
Job 15:9 KJV

Job 15:9 Bible Apps
Job 15:9 Parallel
Job 15:9 Biblia Paralela
Job 15:9 Chinese Bible
Job 15:9 French Bible
Job 15:9 German Bible

Bible Hub






Job 15:8
Top of Page
Top of Page