Job 22:18
Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Yet he filled their houses.—The bitterness of his irony now reaches its climax in that he adopts the very formula of repudiation Job had himself used (Job 14:16).

Job 22:18. Yet he filled their houses with good things — Yet it is true, that for a time God did prosper them, but, at last, cut them off in a tremendous manner. But the counsel of the wicked, &c. — He repeats Job’s words, (Job 21:16,) not without reflection: thou didst say so, but against thy own principle, that God carries himself indifferently toward good and bad; but I, who have observed God’s terrible judgments upon wicked men, have much more reason to abhor their counsels.

22:15-20 Eliphaz would have Job mark the old way that wicked men have trodden, and see what the end of their way was. It is good for us to mark it, that we may not walk therein. But if others are consumed, and we are not, instead of blaming them, and lifting up ourselves, as Eliphaz does here, we ought to be thankful to God, and take it for a warning.Yet he filled their houses with good things - This is undoubtedly a biting sarcasm. Job had maintained that such people were prosperous. "Yes," says Eliphaz, "their houses were well filled! They were signally blessed and prospered!"

But the counsel of the wicked is far from me - This is the very language of Job, Job 21:16. It is used here sarcastically. "Far from me," you say, "be the counsel of the wicked. Thus you defend them, and attempt to show that they are the favorites of heaven! You attempt to prove that God must and will bless them! Far from me, say I, be the counsel of the wicked! With them I have no part, no lot. I will not defend them ... I will not be their advocate!" The object is, to show that, notwithstanding all that Job had said, he was secretly the advocate of the wicked, and stood up as their friend.

18. "Yet" you say (see on [515]Job 21:16) that it is "He who filled their houses with good"—"their good is not in their hand," but comes from God.

but the counsel … is—rather, "may the counsel be," &c. Eliphaz sarcastically quotes in continuation Job's words (Job 21:16). Yet, after uttering this godless sentiment, thou dost hypocritically add, "May the counsel," &c.

Yet it is true that for a time God did prosper them, as he did thee; which also was the aggravation of their sin, and that which hastened their ruin: but at last, and in due time, God cut them off in a tremendous and exemplary manner; as he will also do thee, if thou dost not repent.

But the counsel of the wicked is far from me; he repeats Job’s words, Job 21:16, not without reflection and some kind of derision. Thou didst say so, but without sufficient reason, and against thy own principle, that God carries himself indifferently towards good and bad; but I, who have observed God’s terrible judgments upon wicked men, have much more reason to abhor their counsels which had so sad an issue.

Yet he filled their houses with good things,.... With temporal good things, with this world's good, with plenty of providential goodness; earthly enjoyments are good things in themselves, and in their effects, when rightly used, and these wicked men have their share of; this is their portion, they have their good things in this life, and a large abundance of them oftentimes; their hearts are filled with food, and should be with gladness and thankfulness; their bellies are filled with hidden treasures; their barns with corn and wheat, and such like fruits of the earth; their shops with all manner of goods; their dwelling houses with gold and silver, with rich furniture, and all precious substance; and all this is from God, every good gift comes from him; the earth is full of his goodness; though these men say, "what can the Almighty do for them?" Job 22:17; this shows, that what they have they are not deserving of; and what is bestowed upon them is not from any merit in them, but according to the sovereign will and pleasure of God; find this is an aggravation of their wickedness, that notwithstanding he has loaded them with his benefits, and indulged them with such a plenty of good things, yet they spurn at him, rebel against him, and bid him depart from them; which conduct of theirs Eliphaz expresses his abhorrence of:

but the counsel of the wicked is far from me; such impious reasonings, and wicked practices, he was far from justifying; he had them in the utmost detestation, and could not but abhor such vile ingratitude; he makes use of Job's words, Job 21:16; which he thought he could do to better purpose, and with greater sincerity.

Yet he {m} filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

(m) He answers to that which Job had said, Job 21:7 that the wicked have prosperity in this world; desiring that he might not be a partaker of the like.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. Eliphaz expresses his abhorrence of the ingratitude and evil principles of such men, repeating the words employed by Job, ch. Job 21:16 (far be from me the counsel of the wicked); but while Job referred to the worldly prosperity of such persons, in spite of their ungodliness, Eliphaz lays stress upon their sure destruction, and how the righteous see in their downfall an illustration of God’s righteous rule of the world (Job 22:19-20).

Verse 18. - Yet he filled their houses with good things. The "he" is emphatic (הוּא). Translate, Yet it was he that filled their houses with good things; and comp. Job 21:16, where the prosperity of the wicked is said not to have proceeded from themselves. But the counsel of the wicked is far from me; or, but let the counsel of the wicked be far from me. Again, Job's words in Job 21:16 are echoed, perhaps that Eliphaz may show himself to be at least as pious as Job. Job 22:1815 Wilt thou observe the way of the ancient world,

Which evil men have trodden,

16 Who were withered up before their time,

Their foundation was poured out as a stream,

17 Who said unto God: Depart from us!

And what can the Almighty do to them?

18 And notwithstanding He had filled their houses with good-

The counsel of the wicked be far from me!

While in Psalm 139:24 דרך עולם prospectively signifies a way of eternal duration (comp. Ezekiel 26:20, עם עולם, of the people who sleep the interminably long sleep of the grave), ארח עולם signifies here retrospectively the way of the ancient world, but not, as in Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 18:15, the way of thinking and acting of the pious forefathers which put their posterity to shame, but of a godless race of the ancient world which stands out as a terrible example to posterity. Eliphaz asks if Job will observe, i.e., keep (שׁמר as in Psalm 18:22), this way trodden by people (מתי, comp. אנשׁי, Job 34:36) of wickedness. Those worthless ones were withered up, i.e., forcibly seized and crushed, ולא־עת, when it was not yet time (ולא after the manner of a circumstantial clause: quum nondum, as Psalm 139:16), i.e., when according to God's creative order their time was not yet come. On קמּטוּ,

(Note: This קמטו, according to the Masora, is the middle word of the book of Job (חצי הספר).)

vid., on Job 16:8; lxx correctly, συνελήφθησαν ἄωροι, nevertheless συλλαμβάνειν is too feeble as a translation of קמט; for as Arab. qbṣ signifies to take with the tip of the finer, whereas Arab. qbḍ signifies to take with the whole bent hand, so קמט, in conformity to the dull, emphatic final consonant, signifies "to bind firmly together." In Job 22:16 יוּצק is not perf. Pual for יצּק (Ew. 83, b), for this exchange, contrary to the law of vowels, of the sharp form with the lengthened form is without example; it must at least have been written יוּצּק (comp. Judges 18:29). It is fut. Hoph., which, according to Job 11:15, might be יצּק; here, however, it is with a resolving, not assimilation, of the Jod, as in Leviticus 21:10. The fut. has the signification of the imperfect which it acquires in an historic connection. It is not to be translated: their place became a stream which has flowed away (Hirz.), for the היה which would be required by such an interpretation could not be omitted; also not: flumen effusum est in fundamentum eorum (Rosenm., Hahn, and others), which would be ליסודם, and would still be very liable to be misunderstood; also not: whose foundation was a poured-out stream (Umbr., Olsh.), for then there would be one attributive clause inserted in the other; but: their solid ground became fluid like a stream (Ew., Hlgst., Schlottm.), so that נהר, after the analogy of the verbs with two accusative, Ges. 139, 2, is a so-called second acc. of the obj. which by the passive becomes a nominative (comp. Job 28:2), although it might also be an apposition of the following subj. placed first: a stream (as such, like such a one) their solid ground was brought into a river; the ground on which they and their habitations stood was placed under water and floated away: without doubt the flood is intended; reference to this perfectly accords with the patriarchal pre-and extra-Israelitish standpoint of the book of Job; and the generation of the time of the flood (דור המבול) is accounted in the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament as a paragon of godlessness, the contemporaries of Noah are the απειθοῦντες, סוררים, κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν (comp. 1 Peter 3:20 with Psalm 68:19).

Accordingly they are now here also further described (Job 22:17) as those who said to God, "Depart from us," and what could the Almighty do to them (למו instead of לנוּ, which was to be expected, since, as in Job 19:28, there is a change from the oratio directa to obliqua)! Olshausen explains with Hahn: "with respect to what thou sayest: and what then does the Almighty do to them (for it)? He fills their houses with prosperity, while the counsel of the wicked is far from me (notwithstanding I am unfortunate)." But this explanation is as forced (since ומה without a אמרת or תאמר standing with it is taken as the word of Job) as it is contrary to the syntax (since the circumstantial clause with והוא is not recognised, and on the other hand ועצת וגו, instead of which it ought at least to have been וּממּנּי וגו, is regarded as such an one). No indeed, just this is an exceedingly powerful effect, that Eliphaz describes those godless ones who dismiss God with סור ממנו, to whom, according to Job's assertion, Job 21:13., undimmed prosperity is portioned out, by referring to a memorable fact as that which has fallen under the strict judgment of God; and that with the very same words with which Job, Job 21:16, declines communion with such prosperous evil-doers: "the counsel of the wicked be far from me," he will have nothing more to do, not with the wicked alone, but, with a side glance at Job, even with those who place themselves on a level with them by a denial of the just government of God in the world. פּעל ל, as the following circumstantial clause shows, is intended like Psalm 68:29, comp. Job 31:20; Isaiah 26:12 : how can the Almighty then help or profit them? Thus they asked, while He had filled their houses with wealth - Eliphaz will have nothing to do with this contemptible misconstruction of the God who proves himself so kind to those who dwell below on the earth, but who, though He is rewarded with ingratitude, is so just. The truly godly are not terrified like Job 17:8, that retributive justice is not to be found in God's government of the world; on the contrary, they rejoice over its actual manifestation in their own case, which makes them free, and therefore so joyous.

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