Job 22:7
You have not given water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
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22:5-14 Eliphaz brought heavy charges against Job, without reason for his accusations, except that Job was visited as he supposed God always visited every wicked man. He charges him with oppression, and that he did harm with his wealth and power in the time of his prosperity.Thou hast not given water to the weary - That is, thou hast withheld the rites of hospitality - one of the most grievous offences which could be charged on an Arabian; compare the notes at Isaiah 21:14. In all the Oriental world, hospitality was regarded, and is still, as a duty of the highest obligation. 7. Hospitality to the weary traveller is regarded in the East as a primary duty (Isa 21:14). Surely thou hast been so hard-hearted as to deny a cup of cold water to those that needed and desired it. Water was ofttimes scarce and precious in those hot countries, and was appropriated to particular persons, without whose leave other persons might not take it.

To the weary, i.e. to him who by reason of hard labour or travel is weary and thirsty. So this word is used Proverbs 25:25.

From the hungry, to whom it was due by God’s law, Proverbs 3:27, which also was known to Job by the light of nature. Hereby he intimates the greatness of this sin of uncharitableness, by ranking it with heinous crimes; whereas Job (as he thought) esteemed it but a small fault, if any. Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink,.... To a weary thirsty traveller, to whom in those hot countries cold water was very refreshing, and which in desert places was not to be had in common, or any where; rich men were possessed of their wells and fountains, and were kept for their own use, and it was a kindness and favour to obtain water of them; and yet a cup of cold water is one of the least favours to be given to a poor man, and to deny it him in distress was very inhuman, and was very far from Job's character:

and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry: bread, which strengthens man's heart, and is the staff of life, without which he cannot support; and this is not to be withheld from, but given even to an enemy when hungry; and to deny it to a poor neighbour in such circumstances is very cruel; the charge is, that Job would not give a poor hungry man a morsel of bread to eat; which must be false, being directly contrary to what he strongly asserts, Job 31:17.

Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
7. Compare Job’s answer, ch. Job 31:16-17.Verse 7. - Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink. To give water to the thirsty was regarded in the East as one of the most elementary duties of man to man. The self-justification of the dead in the Egyptian Hades contained the following passage: "I gave my bread to the hungry, and drink to him that was athirst; I clothed the naked with garments; I sheltered the wanderer" ('Ritual of the Dead,' ch. CXXV. § 38). The same claim appears continually on Egyptian tombs. "All men respected me," we read on one; "I gave water to the thirsty; I set the wanderer in his path; I took away the oppressor, and put a stop to violence" ('Non-Biblical Systems of Religion,' p. 46). In the proverbs assigned to Solomon, "which the men of Hezekiah copied out" (Proverbs 25:1), the duty was declared to be one owed even to enemies (see Proverbs 25:21, "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink"). Isaiah notices it as praiseworthy in the Temanites (Eliphaz's people), that they "brought water to him that was thirsty and prevented with their bread him that fled" (Isaiah 21:14). Jael is praised for going further than this: He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish" (Judges 5:25). And thou hast withholden bread from the hungry. Later on Job absolutely denies this, as well as many of the other charges. "If I have withheld," he says, "the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof," then let mine arm fall from my shoulder-blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone" (Job 31:16-22). 1 Then began Eliphaz the Temanite, and said:

2 Is a man profitable unto God?

No, indeed! the intelligent man is profitable to himself.

3 Hath the Almighty any profit if thou art righteous,

Or gain if thou strivest to walk uprightly?

4 Will He reprove thee for thy fear of God,

Will He go with thee into judgment?

5 Is not thy wickedness great,

Thine iniquities infinite?

The verb סכן, in the signification to be profitable, is peculiar to the book of Job (although also סכן and סכנת elsewhere, according to its primary signification, does not differ from מועיל, מועילה, by which it is explained by Kimchi); the correct development of the notion of this verb is to be perceived from the Hiph., which occurs in Job 21:21 in this speech of Eliphaz (vid., Ges. Thes.): it signifies originally, like שׁכן, Arab. skn, to rest, dwell, especially to dwell beside one another, then to become accustomed to one another (comp. שׁכן, a neighbour, and Arab. sakanun, a friend, confidant), and to assist one another, to be serviceable, to be profitable; we can say both סכנתּי, I have profit, Job 34:9, and סכן, it is profitable, Job 15:3; Job 35:3, here twice with a personal subj., and first followed by ל, then with the על usual also elsewhere in later prose (e.g., טוב על, 1 Chronicles 13:2, comp. supra, Job 10:3, to be pleasant) and poetry, which gladly adopts Aramaisms (as here and Psalm 16:6, שׁפר על, well-pleased), instead of ל, whence here עלימו, as Job 20:23, pathetic for עליו. The question, which is intended as a negative, is followed by the negative answer (which establishes its negative meaning) with כּי; משׂכּיל is, like Psalm 14:2, the intelligent, who wills and does what is good, with an insight into the nature of the extremes in morality, as in Proverbs 1:3 independent morality which rests not merely on blind custom is called מוסר השׂכל. היה חפץ ל, it is to the interest of any one (different from 1 Samuel 15:22, vid., on Job 21:21), and היה בצע ל, it is to the gain of any one (prop. the act of cutting, cutting off, i.e., what one tears in pieces), follow as synonyms of סכן. On the Aramaizing doubling of the first radical in the Hiph. תתּם (instead of תתם), vid., Ges. 67, rem. 8, comp. 3. It is translated an lucrum (ei) si integras facias vias tuas. The meaning of the whole strophe is mainly determined according to the rendering of המיּראתך (like המבינתך, Job 39:26, with Dech, and as an exception with Munach, not removed to the place of the Metheg; vid., Psalter, ii. 491, Anm. 1). If the suff. is taken objectively (from fear of thee), e.g., Hirz., we have the following line of thought: God is neither benefited by human virtue nor injured by human sin, so that when He corrects the sinner He is turning danger from himself; He neither rewards the godly because He is benefited by his piety, nor punishes the sinner because by his sinning he threatens Him with injury. Since, therefore, if God chastises a man, the reason of it is not to be found in any selfish purpose of God, it must be in the sin of the man, which is on its own account worthy of punishment. But the logical relation in which Job 22:5 stands to Job 22:4 does not suit this: perhaps from fear of thee ... ? no, rather because of thy many and great sins! Hahn is more just to this relation when he explains: "God has no personal profit to expect from man, so that, somewhat from fear, to prevent him from being injurious, He should have any occasion to torment him with sufferings unjustly." But if the personal profit, which is denied, is one that grows out of the piety of the man, the personal harm, which is denied as one which God by punishment will keep far from Himself, is to be thought of as growing out of the sin of the man; and the logical relation of Job 22:5 to Job 22:4 is not suited to this, for. Job 22:5 assigns the reason of the chastisement to the sin, and denies, as it runs, not merely any motive whatever in connection with the sin, but that the reason can lie in the opposite of sin, as it appears according to Job's assertion that, although guiltless, he is still suffering from the wrath of God.

Thus, then, the suff. of המיראתך is to be taken subjectively: on account of thy fear of God, as Eliphaz has used יראתך twice already, Job 4:6; Job 15:4. By this subjective rendering Job 22:4 and Job 22:5 form a true antithesis: Does God perhaps punish thee on account of thy fear of God? Does He go (on that account) with thee into judgment? No (it would be absurd to suppose that); therefore thy wickedness must be great (in proportion to the greatness of thy suffering), and thy misdeeds infinitely many. If we now look at what precedes, we shall have to put aside the thought drawn into Job 22:2 and Job 22:3 by Ewald (and also by Hahn): whether God, perhaps with the purpose of gaining greater advantage from piety, seeks to raise it by unjustly decreed suffering; for this thought has nothing to indicate it, and is indeed certainly false, but on account of the force of truth which lies in it (there is a decreeing of suffering for the godly to raise their piety) is only perplexing.

First of all, we must inquire how it is that Eliphaz begins his speech thus. All the exhortations to penitence in which the three exhaust themselves, rebound from Job without affecting him. Even Eliphaz, the oldest among them, full of a lofty, almost prophetic consciousness, has with the utmost solicitude allured and terrified him, but in vain. And it is the cause of God which he brings against him, or rather his own well-being that he seeks, without making an impression upon him. Then he reminds him that God is in Himself the all-sufficient One; that no advantage accrues to Him from human uprightness, since His nature, existing before and transcending all created things, can suffer neither diminution nor increase from the creature; that Job therefore, since he remains inaccessible to that well-meant call to penitent humiliation, has refused not to benefit Him, but himself; or, what is the reverse side of this thought (which is not, however, expressed), that he does no injury to Him, only to himself. And yet in what except in Job's sin should this decree of suffering have its ground? If it is a self-contradiction that God should chastise a man because he fears Him, there must be sin on the side of Job; and indeed, since the nature of the sin is to be measured according to the nature of the suffering, great and measureless sin. This logical necessity Eliphaz now regards as real, without further investigation, by opening out this bundle of sins in the next strophe, and reproaching Job directly with that which Zophar, Job 20:19-21, aiming at Job, has said of the רשׁע. In the next strophe he continues, with כי explic.:

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