Job 5:14
They meet with darkness in the day time, 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. 6 For evil cometh not forth from the dust,

And sorrow sprouteth not from the earth;

7 For man is born to sorrow,

As the sparks fly upward.

8 On the contrary, I would earnestly approach unto God,

And commit my cause to the Godhead;

9 To Him who doeth great things and unsearchable;

Marvellous things till there is no number:

10 Who giveth rain over the earth,

And causeth water to flow over the fields:

11 To set the low in high places;

And those that mourn are exalted to prosperity.

As the oracle above, so Eliphaz says here, that a sorrowful life is allotted to man,

(Note: Fries explains יוּלּד as part., and refers to Geiger's Lehrb. zur Sprache der Mischna, S. 41f., according to which מקטּל signifies killed, and קטּל ( equals Rabb. מתקטּל) being killed (which, however, rests purely on imagination): not the matter from which mankind originates brings evil with it, but it is man who inclines towards the evil. Bttch. would read יולד: man is the parent of misery, though he may rise high in anger.)


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