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. 12 Is not Eloah high as the heavens?

See but the head of the stars, how exalted!

13 So then thou thinkest: "What doth God know?

Can He judge through the thick cloud?

14 Clouds veil Him that He seeth not,

And in the vault of heaven He walketh at His pleasure."

Because Job has denied the distribution of worldly fortune, of outward prosperity and adversity, according to the law of the justice that recompenses like for like, Eliphaz charges him with that unbelief often mentioned in the Psalms (Psalm 73:11; Psalm 94:7; comp. Isaiah 29:15; Ezekiel 8:12), which denies to the God in heaven, as Epicurus did to the gods who lead a blessed life in the spaces between the worlds, a knowledge of earthly things, and therefore the preliminary condition for a right comprehension of them. The mode of expression here is altogether peculiar. גּבהּ שׁמים is not acc. loci, as the like accusatives in combination with the verb שׁכן, Isaiah 57:15, may be taken: the substantival clause would lead one to expect בּגבהּ, or better בּגבהי (Job 11:8); it is rather (similar to Job 11:8) nomin. praedicati: Eloah is the height of the heavens equals heaven-high, as high as the heavens, therefore certainly highly, and indeed very highly, exalted above this earth. In this sense it is continued with Waw explic.: and behold ( equals behold then) the head of the stars, that, or how (כּי as in Genesis 49:15; 1 Samuel 14:29, quod equals quam) exalted they are. וּראה has Asla (Kadma) in correct texts, and רמו is written רמּוּ (râmmu) with a so-called Dag. affectuosum (Olsh. 83, b). It may be received as certain that ראשׁ, the head (vertex), beside ראה (not ספר), does not signify the sum (Aben-Ezra). But it is questionable whether the genitive that follows ראשׁ is gen. partitivus: the highest among the stars (Ew., Hirz., Schlottm.), or gen. epexegeticus: the head, i.e., (in relation to the rest of the universe) the height, which is formed by the stars, or even which they occupy (Ges. coelum stellatum); the partitive rendering is to be preferred, for the Semitic perception recognises, as the plural שׁמים implies, nearer and more distant celestial spheres. The expression "head of the stars" is therefore somewhat like fastigium coeli (the extreme height, i.e., the middle of the vault of heaven), or culmen aereum (of the aether separating the strata of air above); the summit of the stars rising up into the extremest spheres is intended (we should say: the fixed stars, or to use a still more modern expression, the milky way), as also the רמו naturally refers to ראשׁ כוכבים as one notion (summitas astrorum equals summa astra).

The connection of what follows with Waw is not adversative (Hirz., Ew., and others: and yet thou speakest), it is rather consecutive (Hahn: and since thou speakest; better: and in consequence of this thou speakest; or: thus speakest thou, thinkest thou then). The undeniable truth that God is exalted, and indeed absolute in His exaltation, is misapplied by Job to the false conclusion: what does God know, or (since the perf. in interrogative sentences frequently corresponds to the Latin conjunctive, vid., on Psalm 11:3) how should God know, or take knowledge, i.e., of anything that happens on earth? In Job 22:13 the potential takes the place of this modal perfect: can He rule judicially behind the dark clouds, i.e., over the world below from which He is shut out? בּעד (of like verbal origin with the Arab. b‛da, post, prop. distance, separation, succession, but of wider use) signifies here, as in Job 1:10; Job 9:7, behind, pone, with the secondary notion of being encompassed or covered by that which shuts off. Far from having an unlimited view of everything earthly from His absolute height, it is veiled from His by the clouds, so that He sees not what occurs here below, and unconcerned about it He walks the circle of the heavens (that which vaults the earth, the inhabitants of which seem to Him, according to Isaiah 40:22, as grasshoppers); התלּך is here, after the analogy of Kal, joined with the accus. of the way over which He walks at His pleasure: orbem coelum obambulat. By such unworthy views of the Deity, Job puts himself on a par with the godless race that was swept away by the flood in ancient days, without allowing himself to be warned by this example of punishment.

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