Job 5:10
Who gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields:
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Job 5:10. Who giveth rain upon the earth — He begins with this ordinary work of God, in which he implies that there is something wonderful, as indeed there is, in the rise of it from the earth, in the strange hanging of that heavy body in the air, and in the distribution of it as God sees fit; and how much more in the hidden paths of Divine Providence! And sendeth waters upon the fields — When the scorching heat of the sun is so strong and intense as to dry up and consume almost every herb of the field, every green thing upon the face of the earth, God, in great compassion, opens the windows of heaven, and pours down a gracious, refreshing, and long- wished-for rain; by which wonderful supply the springs and rivers, which were much exhausted, and, in a manner, had quite disappeared, do now rise and swell to their usual height; nay, are not only full, but overflow, so as to reach several distant places which waited, as it were, for refreshment from those superabundant treasures.5:6-16 Eliphaz reminds Job, that no affliction comes by chance, nor is to be placed to second causes. The difference between prosperity and adversity is not so exactly observed, as that between day and night, summer and winter; but it is according to the will and counsel of God. We must not attribute our afflictions to fortune, for they are from God; nor our sins to fate, for they are from ourselves. Man is born in sin, and therefore born to trouble. There is nothing in this world we are born to, and can truly call our own, but sin and trouble. Actual transgressions are sparks that fly out of the furnace of original corruption. Such is the frailty of our bodies, and the vanity of all our enjoyments, that our troubles arise thence as the sparks fly upward; so many are they, and so fast does one follow another. Eliphaz reproves Job for not seeking God, instead of quarrelling with him. Is any afflicted? let him pray. It is heart's ease, a salve for every sore. Eliphaz speaks of rain, which we are apt to look upon as a little thing; but if we consider how it is produced, and what is produced by it, we shall see it to be a great work of power and goodness. Too often the great Author of all our comforts, and the manner in which they are conveyed to us, are not noticed, because they are received as things of course. In the ways of Providence, the experiences of some are encouragements to others, to hope the best in the worst of times; for it is the glory of God to send help to the helpless, and hope to the hopeless. And daring sinners are confounded, and forced to acknowledge the justice of God's proceedings.Who giveth rain upon the earth - In the previous verse, Eliphaz had said, in general, that God did wonderful things - things which are fitted to lead us to put our trust in him. In this and the succeeding verses, he descends to particulars, and specifies those things which show that God is worthy to be confided in. This enunciation continues to Job 5:16, and the general scope is, that the agency of God is seen everywhere; and that his providential dealings are adapted to impress man with elevated ideas of his justice and goodness. Eliphaz begins with the rain, and says that the fact that God sends it upon the earth was fitted to lead man to confide in him. He means, that while the sun, and moon, and seasons have stated times, and are governed by settled laws, the rain seems to be sent directly by God, and is imparted at such times as are best. It is wholly under his control, and furnishes a constant evidence of his benevolence. Without it, every vegetable would dry up, and every animal on the earth would soon die. The word earth here refers probably to the cultivated part of the earth - the fields that are under tillage. Thus, Eichhorn renders it, Angebauten Feldern. On the interest which the phenomena of rain excited among the ancient sages of Idumea, and the laws by which it is produced, see Job 37:6, note; Job 37:15-16, note; Job 38:22-28, note.

And sendeth waters - That is, showers.

Upon the fields - Margin, "out-places." Hebrew חוצוּת chûtsôt - out of doors, outside, abroad, meaning the fields out of cities and towns. Eichhorn renders it, "the pastures," auf Triften. The meaning is, that the whole country is watered; and the fact that God gives rain in this manner, is a reason why we should put confidence in him. It shows that he is a benevolent Being, since it contributes so essentially to human life and happiness, and since no other being but God can cause it.

8. Therefore (as affliction is ordered by God, on account of sin), "I would" have you to "seek unto God" (Isa 8:19; Am 5:8; Jer 5:24). He beginneth with this ordinary and obvious work of God, in which he implies that there is something unsearchable and wonderful, as indeed there is in the rise of it from the earth, in the strange hanging of that heavy body in the air, and in the distribution of it as God sees fit, Amos 4:7; and how much more in the secret counsels and hidden paths of Divine Providence, which Job took the liberty to censure!

Waters; either fountains and rivers, which is another great and wonderful work of God; or rather, rain water, as the following words imply; the same thing being repeated in other words, after the manner.

Upon the fields, or, upon all places abroad, i.e. which have no covering to keep out the rain. Who giveth rain upon the earth,.... Not upon the land of Israel only, as the Targum and Jarchi, see Deuteronomy 11:11; but upon the whole earth; this is particularly mentioned as being of God, and which none of the vanities of the Gentiles can give; and it is a free gift of his, which tarries not for the desert of men, and is bestowed on the godly and ungodly; and is a great blessing of goodness, which enriches the earth, makes it fruitful, and through it, it produces plenty of good things for man and beast:

and sendeth water upon the fields; or "out places" (i); places outside of cities and towns, such as gardens, fields, and deserts, where showers of rain are sent of God to water them, many of which are not under the care of man, but are under the providence of God; the Targum and Jarchi interpret this of Gentile lands, as distinct from the land of Israel, to whom God "gives" rain, and to the other "sends" it; some render it, "upon the streets" (k), that is, upon persons that lie in the streets, and have no houses to dwell in, and to whom rain in hot and dry countries was welcome.

(i) "in geuere significat loca quae sunt foris", Piscator; "exteriora", Mercerus; "open fields", Broughton; "faciem viarum", Beza. (k) "Super faciem platearum", Pagninus, Mercerus, Boldueius, Cocceius, Schultens; "super facies platearum", Montanus, Schmidt; "super plateas", Vatablus, Michaelis.

Who {m} giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields:

(m) He shows by particular examples what the works of God are.

10. upon the earth] lit. upon the face of the earth; and so next clause, upon the face of the fields. He watereth the earth when it is thirsty, with a universal goodness.Verse 10. - Who giveth rain upon the earth. To the dweller in the parched regions of South-Western Asia rain is the greatest of all blessings, and seems the greatest, of all marvels. When for months and months together the sun has blazed all day long out of a cloudless sky, when the heaven that is over his head has been brass, and the earth that is under him iron (Deuteronomy 28:33), a great despair comes upon him, and that it should ever rain again seems almost an impossibility. Where is the rain to come from? From that cruel, glaring sky, which has pursued him with its hostility week after week, and month after month? Or from that parched earth in which, as it seems, no atom of moisture is left? When God at length gives rain, he scarcely believes his eyes. What? The blessed moisture is once more descending from the sky, and watering the earth, and quickening what seemed dead, and turning the desert into a garden! All Eastern poetry is full of the praises of rain, of its blessedness, of its marvellousness, and of its quickening power. Very naturally Eliphaz, in speaking of God's marvellous works of mercy, mentions rain first, as, within his experience, one of the chief. And sendeth waters upon the fields. This is either the usual pleonastic repetition of the second hemistich, or (perhaps) a reference to the fountains and rills of water, which spring into being as a consequence of the rain. 1 Call now, - is there any one who will answer thee?

And to whom of the holy ones wilt thou turn?

2 For he is a fool who is destroyed by complaining,

And envy slays the simple one.

3 I, even I, have seen a fool taking root:

Then I had to curse his habitation suddenly.

4 His children were far from help,

And were crushed in the gate, without a rescuer;

5 While the hungry ate his harvest,

And even from among thorns they took it away,

And the intriguer snatched after his wealth.

The chief thought of the oracle was that God is the absolutely just One, and infinitely exalted above men and angels. Resuming his speech from this point, Eliphaz tells Job that no cry for help can avail him unless he submits to the all-just One as being himself unrighteous; nor can any cry addressed to the angels avail. This thought, although it is rejected, certainly shows that the writer of the book, as of the prologue, is impressed with the fundamental intuition, that good, like evil, spirits are implicated in the affairs of men; for the "holy ones," as in Psalm 89, are the angels. כּי supports the negation implied in Job 5:1 : If God does not help thee, no creature can help thee; for he who complains and chafes at his lot brings down upon himself the extremest destruction, since he excites the anger of God still more. Such a surly murmurer against God is here called אויל. ל is the Aramaic sign of the object, having the force of quod attinet ad, quoad (Ew. 310, a).

Eliphaz justifies what he has said (Job 5:2) by an example. He had seen such a complainer in increasing prosperity; then he cursed his habitation suddenly, i.e., not: he uttered forthwith a prophetic curse over it, which, though פּתאם might have this meaning (not subito, but illico; cf. Numbers 12:4), the following futt., equivalent to imperff., do not allow, but: I had then, since his discontent had brought on his destruction, suddenly to mark and abhor his habitation as one overtaken by a curse: the cursing is a recognition of the divine curse, as the echo of which it is intended. This curse of God manifests itself also on his children and his property (Job 5:4.). שׁער is the gate of the city as a court of justice: the phrase, to oppress in the gate, is like Proverbs 22:22; and the form Hithpa. is according to the rule given in Ges. 54, 2, b. The relative אשׁר, Job 5:5, is here conj. relativa, according to Ges. 155, 1, c. In the connection אל־מצּנּים, אל is equivalent to עד, adeo e spinis, the hungry fall so eagerly upon what the father of those now orphans has reaped, that even the thorny fence does not hold them back. צנּים, as Proverbs 22:5 : the double praepos. אל־מן is also found elsewhere, but with another meaning. עמּים has only the appearance of being plur.: it is sing. after the form צדּיק, from the verb צמם, nectere, and signifies, Job 18:9, a snare; here, however, not judicii laqueus (Bttch.), but what, besides the form, comes still nearer - the snaremaker, intriguer. The Targ. translates לסטיסין, i.e., λησταί. Most modern critics (Rosenm. to Ebr.) translate: the thirsty (needy), as do all the old translations, except the Targ.; this, however, is not possible without changing the form. The meaning is, that intriguing persons catch up (שׁאף, as Amos 2:7) their wealth.

Eliphaz now tells why it thus befell this fool in his own person and his children.

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