Job 5:14
They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night.
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(14) Darkness in the daytime.—This is possibly an allusion to the Egyptian plague of darkness “that may be felt” (Exodus 10:21), as the words used are similar. This may be a note of probable date. (Compare Isaiah 59:10, where the thoughts correspond, but the words differ.) This is one of the many passages of Job in which there seems to be an indication of some acquaintance with the events related in the Pentateuch, though the points of contact are too slight for us to be quite sure of it.

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.They meet with darkness in the day-time - Margin, "run into;" compare the notes at Isaiah 59:10. The sense is, that where there is really no obstacle to the accomplishment of an honest plan - any more than there is for a man to walk in the day-time - they become perplexed and embarrassed, as much as a man would be, should sudden darkness come around him at mid-day. The same sentiment occurs in Job 12:25. A life of honesty and uprightness will be attended with prosperity, but a man who attempts to carry his plans by trick and art, will meet with unexpected embarrassments. The sentiment in all these expressions is, that God embarrasses the cunning, the crafty, and the artful, but gives success to those who are upright; and that, therefore, he is worthy of confidence. 14. Judicial blindness often is sent upon keen men of the world (De 28:29; Isa 59:10; Joh 9:39). i.e. In plain things they run into gross mistakes and errors, and commonly choose those counsels and courses which are worst for themselves.

Darkness oft notes misery, but here ignorance or error, as it is also used Job 12:25 37:19, and elsewhere.

Grope, like blind men to find their way, not knowing what to do.

They meet with darkness in the daytime,.... Which may denote their infatuation in things the most plain and clear, and which are obvious to everyone's view, even to such as are of much meaner capacities the themselves; and so it sometimes is, that the greatest politicians, men of the greatest sagacity and penetration, capable of forming and conducting the wisest counsels, yet blunder in things plain and easy to everyone; which must be imputed to their being given up to a judicial blindness of mind by the Lord, who destroys the wisdom of the wise, and brings to nothing the understanding of the prudent; or this may signify the defeat of their counsels, when they are in the highest pitch of esteem among men, as Ahithophel's counsel was as the oracle of God; or the destruction of such persons and their schemes when they are in the meridian of their glory, who being in high and slippery places, come to desolation in a moment:

and grope in the noon day as in the night; which intends the same as before; this was threatened to the Jews in case of disobedience, and was fulfilled in them, Deuteronomy 28:29; a learned man renders it, "as the night they grope", or "feel, at noon day" (t); as the Egyptians felt darkness when it was noon, and when light was in all the dwellings of the Israelites, Exodus 10:22; this may be applied to the case of many in a land of Gospel light, who are in darkness, walk in darkness, and are darkness itself; though the light of the glorious Gospel shines all around them on others, and know no more of divine and spiritual things than the Gentiles, but grope or feel about like persons blind, and in the dark as much as they, Acts 17:27; nay, they not only have the great things of the Gospel hid from them, and Satan blinds their minds lest this light should shine into them, but "they run into darkness" (u), as the words of the first clause may be rendered; those "lucifugae", such as the Jews were, and the Deists now are run from the light of divine revelation, and love darkness, and which is the aggravation of their condemnation, John 3:19.

(t) "tanquam noctum palpant", Schultens. (u) "incurrent", V. L. "incurrunt", Vatablus, Mercerus.

They meet with {n} darkness in the daytime, and {o} grope in the noonday as in the night.

(n) In things plain and evident they show themselves fools instead of wise men.

(o) This declares that God punishes the worldly wise as he threatened in De 28:29.

14. A picture of the perplexity and bewilderment of those crafty men whose counsels God has come athwart, Job 5:13.

Verse 14. - They meet with darkness in the daytime (comp Deuteronomy 28:29 and Isaiah 59:10). The metaphor expresses the bewilderment of the crafty, when they find their schemes foiled, and all their subtlety of no avail. Suddenly their light goes out; they know not what to do, or which way to turn; "their way is hid" (Job 3:23); they are baffled, perplexed, confounded. And grope in the noonday as in the night (comp. Job 12:25). A variant form of the preceding hemistich. Job 5:1412 Who bringeth to nought the devices of the crafty,

So that their hands cannot accomplish anything;

13 Who catcheth the wise in their craftiness;

And the counsel of the cunning is thrown down.

14 By day they run into darkness,

And grope in the noon-day as in the night.

15 He rescueth from the sword, that from their mouth,

And from the hand of the strong, the needy.

16 Hope ariseth for the weak,

And folly shall close its mouth.

All these attributes are chosen designedly: God brings down all haughtiness, and takes compassion on those who need it. The noun תּוּשׁיּה, coined by the Chokma, and out of Job and Proverbs found only in Micah 6:9; Isaiah 28:29, and even there in gnomical connection, is formed from ישׁ, essentia, and signifies as it were essentialitas, realitas: it denotes, in relation to all visible things, the truly existing, the real, the objective; true wisdom (i.e., knowledge resting on an objective actual basis), true prosperity, real profiting and accomplishing. It is meant that they accomplish nothing that has actual duration and advantage. Job 5:13 cannot be better translated than by Paul, 1 Corinthians 3:19, who here deviates from the lxx. With נמהרה, God's seizure, which prevents the contemplated achievement, is to be thought of. He pours forth over the worldly wise what the prophets call the spirit of deep sleep (תּרדּמה) and of dizziness (עועים). On the other hand, He helps the poor. In מפיהם מחרב the second מן is local: from the sword which proceeds from their mouth (comp. Psalm 64:4; Psalm 57:5, and other passages). Bttch. translates: without sword, i.e., instrument of power (comp. Job 9:15; Job 21:9); but מן with חרב leads one to expect that that from which one is rescued is to be described (comp. Job 5:20). Ewald corrects מחרב, which Olsh. thinks acute: it is, however, unhebraic, according to our present knowledge of the usage of the language; for the passives of חרב are used of cities, countries, and peoples, but not of individual men. Olsh., in his hesitancy, arrives at no opinion. But the text is sound and beautiful. עלתה with pathetic unaccented ah (Ges. 80, rem. 2, f), from עולה equals עולה, as Psalm 92:16 Chethib.

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