Job 42:7
And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
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(7) And it was so.—The verdict that is spoken against the friends of Job is based rather on the tone and spirit of what they have said than on any of their actual words, for many of these are conspicuous for their wisdom, truth, and beauty. But throughout they had been on the wrong side, and seemed to think that the cause of God had need to be upheld at all risks, and that it might even be required to tell lies for God (Job 13:7); and it was this that provoked the Divine indignation.

Job 42:7. After the Lord had spoken these words unto Job — Jehovah, having confounded all the false reasonings of Job, and sufficiently humbled his pride, now proceeds to the condemnation of the principle upon which his three friends had proceeded in all their speeches, which principle he declares not to be right. The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite — God addresses him, because he was the eldest of the three, had spoken first, and by his example had led the rest into the same mistake which he himself had committed; My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends — Elihu is not hre reproved, because he had dealt more mercifully with Job than these three had done, and had not condemned his person, but only rebuked his sinful expressions; for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right — Because they had laid it down as a certain maxim, that all (without exception) who were afflicted with such grievous calamities as Job was, must needs be under the wrath of God, as being guilty of some notorious crime; and that all who passed through life in prosperity must needs be accounted as righteous in the sight of God: whereas God wills that we should know he does not judge of men according to their condition in this life, but according to their spirit and conduct; and should always be assured that he is averse to the wicked, however prosperous they may be, and always approves of and regards the righteous, whatever afflictions they may suffer; because the divine wisdom and goodness often see most wise reasons, which we cannot comprehend, why the righteous should struggle with adversities even all their life long, and the wicked have every outward and temporal good through the whole course of their lives. As my servant Job hath — What Job said may be reduced to three principal heads: 1st, He maintained that he was innocent, that is, that he was guilty of no flagrant crime, which should be the cause of his being afflicted more grievously than others; and this was nothing more than the truth. 2d, He maintained that though God often inflicted exemplary punishment on the wicked, and remarkably prospered the righteous; yet sometimes he suffered the righteous to be in affliction and trouble, and the wicked to flourish; which cannot be denied to be often the case. 3d, We find Job, notwithstanding his great afflictions, still holding fast and professing his confidence in the divine goodness. These, then, being the assertions which Job had made, and these not being repugnant to, but according with, the ways of divine providence, God approved of them rather than of what his friends had advanced, who were in an error as to their notions of God’s counsels and dispensations. However, we are not to conclude from this expression that God approved of all that Job had said; for, without doubt, being too sensibly affected with the severity of his afflictions, particularly when the false and uncharitable surmises of his friends were added to them, he sometimes had spoken less reverently of God than he ought to have done, and for this the Lord had severely reproved him.

42:7-9 After the Lord had convinced and humbled Job, and brought him to repentance, he owned him, comforted him, and put honour upon him. The devil had undertaken to prove Job a hypocrite, and his three friends had condemned him as a wicked man; but if God say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, it is of little consequence who says otherwise. Job's friends had wronged God, by making prosperity a mark of the true church, and affliction a certain proof of God's wrath. Job had referred things to the future judgment and the future state, more than his friends, therefore he spake of God that which was right, better than his friends had done. And as Job prayed and offered sacrifice for those that had grieved and wounded his spirit, so Christ prayed for his persecutors, and ever lives, making intercession for the transgressors. Job's friends were good men, and belonged to God, and He would not let them be in their mistake any more than Job; but having humbled him by a discourse out of the whirlwind, he takes another way to humble them. They are not to argue the matter again, but they must agree in a sacrifice and a prayer, and that must reconcile them, Those who differ in judgment about lesser things, yet are one in Christ the great Sacrifice, and ought therefore to love and bear with one another. When God was angry with Job's friends, he put them in a way to make peace with him. Our quarrels with God always begin on our part, but the making peace begins on his. Peace with God is to be had only in his own way, and upon his own terms. These will never seem hard to those who know how to value this blessing: they will be glad of it, like Job's friends, upon any terms, though ever so humbling. Job did not insult over his friends, but God being graciously reconciled to him, he was easily reconciled to them. In all our prayers and services we should aim to be accepted of the Lord; not to have praise of men, but to please God.And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job - Had the matter been left according to the record in Job 42:6, a wholly erroneous impression would have been made. Job was overwhelmed with the conviction of his guilt, and had nothing been said to his friends, the impression would have been that he was wholly in the wrong. It was important, therefore, and was indeed essential to the plan of the book, that the divine judgment should be pronounced on the conduct of his three friends.

The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite - Eliphaz had been uniformly first in the argument with Job, and hence, he is particularly addressed here. He seems to have been the most aged and respectable of the three friends, and in fact the speeches of the others are often a mere echo of his.

My wrath is kindled - Wrath, or anger, is often represented as enkindled, or burning.

For ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath - This must be understood comparatively. God did not approve of all that Job had said, but the meaning is, that his general views of his government were just. The main position which he had defended in contradistinction from his friends was correct, for his arguments tended to vindicate the divine character, and to uphold the divine government. It is to be remembered, also, as Bouiller has remarked, that there was a great difference in the circumstances of Job and the three friends - circumstances modifying the degrees of blameworthiness chargeable to each. Job uttered indeed, some improper sentiments about God and his government; he expressed himself with irreverence and impatience; he used a language of boldness and complaint wholly improper, but this was done in the agony of mental and bodily suffering, and when provoked by the severe and improper charges of hypocrisy brought by his friends. What "they" said, on the contrary, was unprovoked. It was when they were free from suffering, and when they were urged to it by no severity of trial. It was, moreover, when every consideration required them to express the language of condolence, and to comfort a suffering friend.

Job 42:7-17. Epilogue, in prose.

7. to Eliphaz—because he was the foremost of the three friends; their speeches were but the echo of his.

right—literally, "well-grounded," sure and true. Their spirit towards Job was unkindly, and to justify themselves in their unkindliness they used false arguments (Job 13:7); (namely, that calamities always prove peculiar guilt); therefore, though it was "for God" they spake thus falsely, God "reproves" them, as Job said He would (Job 13:10).

as … Job hath—Job had spoken rightly in relation to them and their argument, denying their theory, and the fact which they alleged, that he was peculiarly guilty and a hypocrite; but wrongly in relation to God, when he fell into the opposite extreme of almost denying all guilt. This extreme he has now repented of, and therefore God speaks of him as now altogether "right."

To Eliphaz the Temanite; as the eldest of the three, and because he spoke first, and by his evil example led the rest into the same mistakes and miscarriages.

Thy two friends, to wit, Bildad and Zophar, who are not excused, but severely reproved, although they, were drawn into the sin by Eliphaz’s authority and influence. Elihu is not here reproved, because he dealt more justly and mercifully with Job, and did not condemn his person, but only rebuke his sinful expressions.

As my servant Job hath; either,

1. As Job hath now spoken: you have not acknowledged your errors as he hath done. Or rather,

2. As Job did in his discourses with you; which is not to be understood simply and absolutely, (as is manifest from God’s censure upon Job for his hard and evil speeches of him,) but comparatively, because Job was not so much to be blamed as they; partly, because his opinion concerning the methods of God’s providence, and the indifferency and promiscuousness of its dispensations towards good and bad men, was truer than theirs, which was that God did generally reward good men and punish sinners in this life; partly, because their misbelief of God’s counsels and dealings with men was attended with horrid uncharitableness and cruelty towards Job, whom they wounded with bitter and injurious speeches, and condemned as a hypocrite, not only without sufficient evidence, as not being able to search his heart, but upon false and frivolous grounds, to wit, his sore afflictions, and against many evidences of piety which Job had given; and partly, because Job’s heavy pressures might easily cloud and darken his mind, and draw forth his impatience and passionate speeches; which although it did not wholly excuse Job, yet did certainly much extenuate his offences; whereas they were under no such temptations or provocations, either from God or from Job, but voluntarily broke forth into their hard, and severe, and untrue expressions concerning God’s counsels and Job’s conditions, thereby adding affliction to him whom God did sorely afflict, which was most unfriendly and inhuman.

And it was so,.... What follows came to pass:

that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job; which he spake to him out of the whirlwind, and after he had heard Job's confession, and the declaration he made of his humiliation and repentance:

the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite; who with his two friends were still present and heard the speeches of the Lord to Job, and the acknowledgment he had made of sin; though some (o) think that, when the dispute ended between Job and them, they returned to their own country, where Eliphaz is now supposed to be, and was bid with his two friends to go to Job again, which they did, as is concluded from the following verses: but no doubt they stayed and heard what Elihu had to say; and the voice of the Lord out of the whirlwind would command their attention and stay; and very desirous they must be to know how the cause would go, for or against Job; the latter of which they might expect from the appearance of things. Now the Lord directs his speech to Eliphaz, he being perhaps the principal man, on account of his age, wisdom and wealth, and being the man that led the dispute, began it, and formed the plan to go upon, and was the most severe on Job of any of them; wherefore the Lord said to him,

my wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends; who were Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; who gave into the same sentiments with Eliphaz, and went upon the same plan, speaking wrong things of God, charging Job falsely, and condemning him; which provoked the Lord, and caused his wrath to be kindled like fire against them, of which there were some appearances and breakings forth in his words and conduct towards them;

for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath; they had said many right things of God, and Job had said many wrong ones of him, and yet upon the whole Job had said more corrcet things of God than they; their notion, and which they had expressed, was, that God deals with men in this life according to their outward behaviour; that God did not afflict good men, at least not sorely, nor long; and that wicked men were always punished now: from whence they drew this inference, that Job, being so long and so greatly afflicted, must be a bad man, or God would never have dealt with him after this manner. Job, on the other hand, affirmed, that wicked men enjoyed great prosperity, which good men did not; and therefore the love and hatred of God were not known by these things; and men's characters were not to be judged of by these outward things; in which he was doubtless right: some render the words "have not spoken unto me" (p), before him, in his presence; for they were all before God, and to him they all appealed, and he heard and observed all that was said, and now passed judgment. No notice is taken of Elihu, nor blame laid on him; he acting as a moderator, taking neither the part of Job, nor of his friends, but blaming both: nor did he pretend to charge Job with any sins of his former life as the cause of his calamities; only takes up some indecent, unguarded, and extravagant expressions of his in the heat of this controversy, and rebukes him for them; and throughout the whole vindicates the justice of God in his dealings with him.

(o) Vid. Spanhem. Hist. Jobi, c. 8. s. 1, 2.((p) "ad me", Mercerus, Drusius, Cocceius; "coram me", V. L. "apud me", Tigurine version.

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is {f} right, as my servant {g} Job hath.

(f) You took in hand an evil cause, in that you condemned him by his outward afflictions, and not comforted him with my mercies.

(g) Who had a good cause, but handled it evil.

7. the thing which is right] The Lord blames the three friends for not speaking that which was right concerning Him, not concerning Job; He also commends Job for speaking what was right concerning Him. It is obvious that the three friends spoke many just and profound things concerning God, and that Job on the other hand said many things that were both blameworthy and false, things for which he was both rebuked by the Almighty, and expressed his penitence. The reference cannot be to such things as these. Neither can the charge made against the friends here be merely that brought against them by Job, that they did not speak in honesty and sincerity (ch. Job 6:25, Job 13:7), though this may be included. Rather, the friends are blamed for speaking in regard to God that which was not right, or true, in itself; and the reference must be to the theories they put forth in regard to God’s providence and the meaning of afflictions. On this point the friends spoke in regard to God what was not right, while Job spoke that which was right (ch. Job 21:23-24). The Author puts the Divine imprimatur on his own theory of the meaning of suffering, or at least on Job’s attacks on the theories advocated by the three friends.

The three friends “had really inculpated the providence of God by their professed defence of it. By disingenuously covering up and ignoring its enigmas and seeming contradictions, they had cast more discredit upon it than Job by honestly holding them up to the light. Their denial of its apparent inequalities was more untrue and more dishonouring to the divine administration, as it is in fact conducted, than Job’s bold affirmation of them. Even his most startling utterances wrung from him in his bewilderment and sore perplexity were less reprehensible than their false statements and false inferences” (Green, Book of Job, p. 219).

Ch. Job 42:7-17. Job, having humbled himself before God, is restored to a prosperity two-fold that which he enjoyed before

7–9. Job is commanded to intercede for his three friends lest Jehovah should visit their folly upon them, because they spoke not that which was right concerning Him.

Verse 7. - And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job. The "words" intended seem to be those of ch. 38-41, not any words in the earlier portion of this chapter. God heard Job's confession in silence, and, without further speech to him, addressed Eliphaz and his "friends." The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends. The superior position of Eliphaz is here very strongly recognized - he alone is mentioned by name, he alone addressed directly. The precedence thus given to him accords with that which he holds, both in the earlier historical narrative (Job 2:11) and in the dialogue (Job 4:1; Job 15:1; Job 22:1). For ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Job had, on the whole, spoken what was right and true of God, and is acknowledged by God as his true servant. The "comforters," consciously or unconsciously, had spoken what was false. Even if they said what they believed, they ought to have known better. Job 42:7Job's confession and tone of penitence are now perfected. He acknowledges the divine omnipotence which acts according to a wisely-devised scheme, in opposition to his total ignorance and feebleness. A world of divine wisdom, of wondrous thoughts of God, now lies before him, concerning which he knows nothing of himself, but would gladly learn a vast amount by the medium of divine instruction. To these mysteries his affliction also belongs. He perceives it now to be a wise decree of God, beneath which he adoringly bows, but it is nevertheless a mystery to him. Sitting in dust and ashes, he feels a deep contrition for the violence with which he has roughly handled and shaken the mystery, - now will it continue, that he bows beneath the enshrouded mystery? No, the final teaching of the book is not that God's rule demands faith before everything else; the final teaching is, that sufferings are for the righteous man the way to glory, and that his faith is the way to sight. The most craving desire, for the attainment of which Job hopes where his faith breaks forth from under the ashes, is this, that he will once more behold God, even if he should succumb to his affliction. This desire is granted him ere he yields. For he who hitherto has only heard of Jehovah, can now say: עתה עיני ראתך; his perception of God has entered upon an entirely new stage. But first of all God has only borne witness of Himself to him, to call him to repentance. Now, however, since the rust of pollution is purged away from Job's pure soul, He can also appear as his Vindicator and Redeemer. After all that was sinful in his speeches is blotted out by repentance, there remains only the truth of his innocence, which God Himself testifies to him, and the truth of his holding fast to God in the hot battle of temptation, by which, without his knowing it, he has frustrated the design of Satan.

7 And it came to pass, after Jehovah had spoken these words to Job, that Jehovah said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee and thy two friends: for ye have not spoken what is correct in reference to Me, as My servant Job.

In order that they may only maintain the justice of God, they have condemned Job against their better knowledge and conscience; therefore they have abandoned truth in favour of the justice of God, - a defence which, as Job has told the friends, God abhors. Nevertheless He is willing to be gracious.

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