Job 4:1
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 4:1. Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered — Job’s three friends reasoning on the principles of an equal providence, and supposing that affliction could happen only in the way of punishment, which necessarily inferred guilt, and thinking his complaints exceeded the bounds of decency, the eldest of them, Eliphaz, here interposes. He desires Job to recollect himself, not to give way to fruitless lamentations, but to put into practice those lessons he had often recommended to others. He reminds him of that, as he thought, infallible maxim, that those who reaped misery must have sowed iniquity, a maxim which he confirms by his own particular experience, and which he supposes was assented to by all mankind. And, in the display of this maxim, he throws in many of the particular circumstances attending Job’s calamity, intimating, that he must have been a great, though secret oppressor, and that, therefore, the breath of God had blasted him at once. He confirms also the truth of this principle by a revelation, which, he says, was made to him in a vision. He urges further, that supposing he, Job, had been guilty of no very atrocious crime; yet the common frailties of human nature were abundantly sufficient to account for any afflictions which it should please God to inflict on man; but takes care, as he proceeds, (as may be seen in the next chapter,) to let him know, they had a far worse opinion of him; representing him as wicked and foolish, and a proper object of divine wrath.4:1-6 Satan undertook to prove Job a hypocrite by afflicting him; and his friends concluded him to be one because he was so afflicted, and showed impatience. This we must keep in mind if we would understand what passed. Eliphaz speaks of Job, and his afflicted condition, with tenderness; but charges him with weakness and faint-heartedness. Men make few allowances for those who have taught others. Even pious friends will count that only a touch which we feel as a wound. Learn from hence to draw off the mind of a sufferer from brooding over the affliction, to look at the God of mercies in the affliction. And how can this be done so well as by looking to Christ Jesus, in whose unequalled sorrows every child of God soonest learns to forget his own?Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered - See the notes at Job 2:11. CHAPTER 4

Job 4:1-21. First Speech of Eliphaz.

1. Eliphaz—the mildest of Job's three accusers. The greatness of Job's calamities, his complaints against God, and the opinion that calamities are proofs of guilt, led the three to doubt Job's integrity.Eliphaz speaketh, though it will grieve Job, Job 4:1,2. Job had instructed and strengthened others in their sorrows, but now fainted himself, Job 4:3-5. Eliphaz reproacheth him with his confidence in his uprightness, which he now suspecteth; for that God’s judgments were not against the righteous, but the wicked, Job 4:6-11. His fearful visions, Job 4:12-16. The righteousness of God; the angels charged with folly; the vanity of man, Job 4:17-21.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said. When Job was done cursing his day, and had finished his doleful ditty on that subject, then Eliphaz took the opportunity of speaking, not being able to bear any longer with Job and his behaviour under his afflictions; Eliphaz was one of Job's three friends that came to visit him, Job 2:11; very probably he might be the senior man, or a man of the greatest authority and power; a most respectable person, had in great esteem and reverence among men, and by these his friends, and therefore takes upon him to speak first; or it may be it was agreed among themselves that he should begin the dispute with Job; and we find, that in the close of this controversy the Lord speaks to him by name, and to him only, Job 42:7; he "answered"; not that Job directed his discourse to him, but he took occasion, from Job's afflictions and his passionate expressions, to say what he did; and he "said" not anything by way of condolence or consolation, not pitying Job's case, nor comforting him in his afflicted circumstances, as they required both; but reproaching him as a wicked and hypocritical man, not acting like himself formerly, or according to his profession and principles, but just the reverse: this was a new trial to Job, and some think the sorest of all; it was as a sword in his bones, which was very cutting to him; as oil cast into a fiery furnace in which he now was, which increased the force and fury of it; and as to vinegar an opened and bleeding wound, which makes it smart the more. Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1–11. First, Eliphaz wonders that Job, who had comforted so many in trouble, and who was a righteous man, should fall into such despair under his afflictions, forgetting the great principle that the righteous never perish under affliction. Calamity destroys only the wicked; the affliction of the righteous is designed to have a very different issue.

12–5:7. Second,—proceeding with deeper earnestness—he must advert to Job’s murmurs against Heaven and warn him from them. For can any man have right on his side in complaining of God? Only the ungodly resent the dealing of God with them. By their impatience under affliction they bring down God’s final anger upon them, so that they perish.

Ch. Job 4:1-11. Eliphaz wonders that Job, who had comforted so many in trouble, and was a righteous man, should fall into such despair under his afflictions

Eliphaz would gladly have kept silence in the circumstances of his friend, but the tone of Job’s words constrains him to speak (Job 4:2). He wonders at the despondency of Job, one who had shewn himself so skilful in comforting other good men in affliction (Job 4:3-4), and who was himself a righteous man. He should place confidence in his righteousness, and remember that the righteous never perish under affliction. God does not send trouble upon them to destroy them, but for very different ends (Job 4:6-7). It is only the wicked whom He chastises unto death, and causes to reap the trouble which they sow (Job 4:8-9), and perish like beasts of prey (Job 4:10-11). Eliphaz’s doctrine of the meaning of suffering or evil comes out in the very forefront of his remonstrance with Job.Verse 1. - Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said (see the comment on Job 2:11). 20 Why is light given to the wretched,

And life to the sorrowful in soul?

21 Who wait for death, and he comes not,

Who dig after him more than for treasure,

22 Who rejoice with exceeding joy,

Who are enraptured, when they can find the grave?

23 To the man whose way is hidden,

And whom Eloah hath hedged round?

The descriptive partt. Job 3:21, Job 3:22, are continued in predicative clauses, which are virtually relative clauses; Job 3:21 has the fut. consec., since the sufferers are regarded as now at least dead; Job 3:22 the simple fut., since their longing for the grave is placed before the eye (on this transition from the part. to the verb. fin., vid., Ges. 134, rem. (2). Schlottm. and Hahn wrongly translate: who would dig (instead of do dig) for him more than for treasure. אלי־גיל (with poetical אלי instead of אל) might signify, accompanied by rejoicing, i.e., the cry and gesture of joy. The translation usque ad exultationem, is however, more appropriate here as well as in Hosea 9:1. With Job 3:23 Job refers to himself: he is the man whose way of suffering is mysterious and prospectless, and whom God has penned in on all sides (a fig. like Job 19:8; comp. Lamentations 3:5). סכך, sepire, above, Job 1:10, to hedge round for protection, here: forcibly straiten.

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