Job 5:15
But he saves the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.
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(15) From the sword, from their mouth.—It is merely a matter of grammatical nicety whether we regard the sword as coming forth from their mouth, or as identical with what comes forth from it, or as the first of three things from which the poor are delivered. It is worthy of special note that the Lord is thus conceived of and represented, as the Saviour, and the Saviour of them who have no saviour. Is not this an idea confined to the circle of the sacred writings? At all events, it so abounds and predominates in them as to be pre-eminently, if not exclusively, characteristic of them.

Job 5:15. But he saveth the poor, &c. — According to the order in which the words stand in the Hebrew, the translation is, But he saveth from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty, the poor. Schultens thinks it should be interpreted, from the sword which proceedeth out of their mouth, meaning, their cutting and killing reproaches. A sense this which is approved by Buxtorf, and which receives no small confirmation from divers passages of Scripture, in which reproachful language is stigmatized by the name of a sword. See Psalm 57:4; Psalm 64:3. Dr. Waterland’s translation of the verse is to the same purpose. But he saveth the poor from destruction by their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. The general sense undoubtedly is, that God saveth such as, being poor, are defenceless, and therefore flee to him for refuge, from the censures, slanders, threatenings, and deceitful insinuations of their enemies; from the false swearing of witnesses, and the unrighteous sentences of corrupt judges, by which things their characters, or estates, or lives, may be exposed to great hazards.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.But he saveth the poor from the sword - He shows himself to be the friend and protector of the defenseless. The phrase "from the sword, from their mouth," has been variously interpreted. Dr. Good renders it,

So he saveth the persecutors from their mouth,

And the helpless from the hand of the violent."


So he saveth the persecuted from their mouth,

The oppressed from the hand of the mighty."

This rendering is obtained by changing the points in the word מחרב mēchereb, "from the sword," to מחרב māchĕrāb, making it the Hophal participle from חרב chârab, to make desolate. This was proposed by Capellus, and has been adopted by Durell, Michaelis, Dathe, Doederlein, and others. Rosenmuller pronounces it wholly unauthorized. Jerome renders it, a gladio otis eorum - "from the sword of their mouth." It seems to me that the whole verse may be literally rendered, "he saveth from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the strong, the poor." According to this version, the phrase "from their mouth" may either mean from the mouth, i. e. the edge of the sword, using the plural for the singular, or from the mouth of oppressors, using it to represent their violence, and their disposition to devour the poor. The latter is more probably the true interpretation, and there is no need of a ehange in the points in the Hebrew. Thus, interpreted, the sense is, that God preserves the poor from oppression; or, in other words, that he befriends them, and is therefore worthy of confidence. This sentiment accords with what is found everywhere in the Bible.

15. "From the sword" which proceedeth "from their mouth" (Ps 59:7; 57:4). The poor, or helpless; who therefore flee to God for refuge.

From their mouth, or,

from the sword which cometh out of their mouth, i.e. from all their censures, slanders, threatenings, deceitful insinuations, false swearings of witnesses, unrighteous sentences of corrupt judges, whereby their good names, or estates, or lives may be exposed to the utmost hazards. And this is fitly opposed to the sword of the hand, implied in the next branch of the verse. Or, from the sword by their mouths, i.e. by those wicked men’s own words against the godly, which God wonderfully overruleth to the working out of their deliverance. But he saveth the poor,.... Who are so in a literal sense, and whom the Lord saves with a temporal salvation; these being the butt of the crafty, wise, and cunning, on whom their eyes are, for whom they lay snares, and lie in wait to draw them in; and these being helpless and without friends, God takes notice of them, appears for them, and arises for their help, and saves them:

from the sword; of their enemies, drawn against them and ready to be sheathed in them:

from their mouth; from their reproaches, calumnies, detraction, and evil speaking; or "from the sword, their mouth" (w), as some; or "from the sword of their mouth" (x), as others; or which comes out of it; whose mouths and tongues are as sharp swords, which destroy their credit and reputation, and threaten them with ruin; the Targum is,"from the slaughter of their mouth:"

and from the hand of the mighty; their mighty enemies, that, are mightier than they; the Targum is,"from the hand of a mighty king;''such an one as Pharaoh, which the same paraphrase makes mention of in Job 5:14, and from whom the poor Israelites were delivered: this may be applied to the poor in a spiritual sense, who are poor in spirit, and are sensible of their spiritual poverty, whom the Lord looks unto, has a regard for, and saves them from "the sword" of avenging justice; that being awaked against the man, his fellow, and so warded off from them, and from the mouth of a cursing and condemning law, and from Satan the accuser of the brethren; and of wicked men, whose tongue rising up in judgment against them, he condemns; and from the "hand" of Satan the strong man armed, and who is stronger than they; and of all their spiritual enemies.

(w) So some in Michaelis. (x) "A gladio oris eorum", V. L. "a gladio qui ex ore eorum", De Dieu, Schultens.

But he saveth the {p} poor from the sword, from their {q} mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.

(p) That is, he who humbles himself before God.

(q) He compares the slander of the wicked to sharp swords.

15. but He saveth] Rather, so He saveth. The salvation of the poor is the consequence of defeating the devices of the crafty, as it is the object in view.

from the sword, from their mouth] It is evident that this verse wants the usual balance of clauses, and probably there is some corruption in it. Some mss omit from before mouth, “from the sword of their mouth.” The omission wants support, but the sense is probably that of the words as they stand: from the sword (which cometh) from their mouth; or the two expressions may be in apposition: from the sword even from their mouth. Others have proposed to point the word from-the-sword differently, making it to mean the desolate. This restores balance to the verse: thus he saveth the desolate from their mouth, and the poor from the hand of the mighty. The word “desolate” occurs Ezekiel 29:12, said of cities, and the verb is often applied to lands, mountains, &c., but does not seem used of persons.Verse 15. - But he sayeth the poor from the sword, from their mouth; rather, from the sword of their mouth; i.e. from their cruel and destructive words (Psalm 57:4; Psalm 64:3; Proverbs 12:18), which cut "like a sharp razor" (Psalm 52:2). By calumny, innuendoes, lies, fraudulent representations, and the like, the ungodly work, perhaps, more injury than by their actions. And from the hand of the mighty. God delivers the poor both from their words and from their deeds. 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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