Job 5:26
You shall come to your grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn comes in in his season.
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(26) Thou shalt come to thy grave.—There is not improbably a contrast implied here between going into the grave and going up (see the margin) to the barn. The grave in such a case is not the melancholy end of life, but rather the passage to a higher life for which one is already ripe. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,” &c. (2Timothy 4:8).

Job 5:26. Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age: &c. — Heath translates it, In old age shalt thou come to the sepulchre, as the corn is heaped upon the thrashing-floor in its season. Thou shalt die in a mature and old, though vigorous age, as the word implies. It is a great blessing to live to a full age, and not to have the number of our years cut short: much more to be willing to die; to come cheerfully to the grave; and to die seasonably; in the best time, when our souls are just ripe for God.5:17-27 Eliphaz gives to Job a word of caution and exhortation: Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Call it a chastening, which comes from the Father's love, and is for the child's good; and notice it as a messenger from Heaven. Eliphaz also encourages Job to submit to his condition. A good man is happy though he be afflicted, for he has not lost his enjoyment of God, nor his title to heaven; nay, he is happy because he is afflicted. Correction mortifies his corruptions, weans his heart from the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to his Bible, brings him to his knees. Though God wounds, yet he supports his people under afflictions, and in due time delivers them. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure. Eliphaz gives Job precious promises of what God would do for him, if he humbled himself. Whatever troubles good men may be in, they shall do them no real harm. Being kept from sin, they are kept from the evil of trouble. And if the servants of Christ are not delivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, and while overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever is maliciously said against them shall not hurt them. They shall have wisdom and grace to manage their concerns. The greatest blessing, both in our employments and in our enjoyments, is to be kept from sin. They shall finish their course with joy and honour. That man lives long enough who has done his work, and is fit for another world. It is a mercy to die seasonably, as the corn is cut and housed when fully ripe; not till then, but then not suffered to stand any longer. Our times are in God's hands; it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect great wealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will be ordered for the best. And remark from Job's history, that steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour! how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of faith, in such moments!Thou shalt come to thy grave in full age - That is, thou shalt have long life; thou shalt not be cut down prematurely, nor by any sudden calamity. It is to be remembered that long life was regarded as an eminent blessing in ancient times; see the notes at Isaiah 65:22.

Like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season - Margin, "ascendeth." As a sheaf of grain is harvested when it is fully ripe. This is a beautiful comparison, and the meaning is obvious. He would not be cut off before his plans were fully matured; before the fruits of righteousness had ripened in his life. He would be taken away when he was ripe for heaven - as the yellow grain is for the harvest. Grain is not cut down when it is green; and the meaning of Eliphaz is, that it is as desirable that man should live to a good old age before he is gathered to his fathers, as it is that grain should be suffered to stand until it is fully ripe.

26. in a full age—So "full of days" (Job 42:17; Ge 35:29). Not mere length of years, but ripeness for death, one's inward and outward full development not being prematurely cut short, is denoted (Isa 65:22).

Thou shalt come—not literally, but expressing willingness to die. Eliphaz speaks from the Old Testament point of view, which made full years a reward of the righteous (Ps 91:16; Ex 20:12), and premature death the lot of the wicked (Ps 55:23). The righteous are immortal till their work is done. To keep them longer would be to render them less fit to die. God takes them at their best (Isa 57:1). The good are compared to wheat (Mt 13:30).

cometh in—literally, "ascends." The corn is lifted up off the earth and carried home; so the good man "is raised into the heap of sheaves" [Umbreit].

In a full age; in a mature and old, but vigorous, age, as the word implies. Thou shalt not be cut off by a hand of violence before thy time, as thy sons and other wicked men have been; but shalt die in a good old age, as did Abraham, Genesis 25:8, and Moses, Deu 34:7.

As a shock of corn cometh in; as a heap or stack of corn is brought in, to wit, to the barn. Heb. ascendeth, or riseth; which word is very proper and usual in this case; for a stack of corn is said to rise, when by the addition of new heaps and handfuls it is raised to a higher pitch. Or, is cut off, as this same word is used, Psalm 102:24. Cut me not off, &c., Heb. Make me not to ascend; and thus it is fitly used both of the corn, which when it is cut up ascends, or is lifted up from the earth, on which it lay, and is advanced into stacks and high heaps, either in the barn or in the field; and of man, who when he dies his spirit goeth upward to heaven, as is implied even there where in the person of an epicure it is questioned, Ecclesiastes 3:21.

In his season; in harvest, when the corn is ripe. Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age,.... Or, "go into thy grave" (o), which is represented as a house to enter into and dwell in; and so the wise man calls it man's long home, and Job his house, and which is appointed for all living, Ecclesiastes 12:5; for all men must die, and so come to the grave, good men as well as bad, the righteous and the wicked: this is not to be understood literally, for the dead cannot go or come to their graves, but are carried thither, as Stephen was, and all are; but it denotes their willingness to die, who choose to be absent from the body, that they may be present with the Lord, and are desirous to depart this world, and be with him, as the Apostle Paul was; and therefore cheerfully give up the ghost, and resign their souls into the hands of Christ, desiring him to receive them; and rejoice when they observe the grave is near, and ready for them; while others have their souls demanded and required of them, and are forced to death and the grave against their wills, and are driven away in their wickedness: now this, with respect to good men, is said to be "in a full age", not "in abundance", as the Vulgate Latin version, in an abundance or fulness of wealth and honour, and with great pomp and splendour, which is not the case of all good men, but of very few; nor in the full time which God has determined and appointed men should live, which may be called "the fulness of time"; for in this every man comes to the grave, good and bad, young and old; no man dies before or lives beyond it, see Job 14:5 but in the full age of men or the common term of man's life; the highest which he usually attains unto, which is threescore years and ten, and at most fourscore, Psalm 90:10; and such who die before this are said to die before their time, the usual term of life; who die before the midst of this, are said not to live out half their days, Ecclesiastes 7:17; but he that arrives to this dies in a good old age, and has filled up his days, which men, at most, ordinarily live: Mr. Broughton renders it, "in lusty old age", enjoying great health, strength, and vigour; and so Nachmanides takes the word to be compounded of "as", and "moist", lively, strong, and lusty; as if the sense was, that Job should die indeed in old age, but, when old, be as hearty as a young man in his full strength, and whose bones are moistened with marrow; as was the case of Moses, whose eyes were not dim, nor his natural force or radical moisture abated, Deuteronomy 34:7; but the word denotes extreme decrepit old age (p), coming from the root in the Arabic language, which signifies to be of an austere, rugged, wrinkled, contracted countenance (q), which is usually the case of old men: now this is to be understood, not as if every good than arrives to such an age, or that none but good men do; for certain it is, that some good persons, as Abijah, die in their youth, and many wicked men live to a great age, see Ecclesiastes 7:15; but Eliphaz here speaks suitably to the legal dispensation under which he was, in which temporal blessings were promised to good men, as shadows of spiritual things, and this of long life was a principal one, see Psalm 91:16; this is illustrated by the following simile:

like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season; there is a very great resemblance between ripe corn and old age; corn, when it is in its full ear, and ripe, its ears will hang down; the stalks, being dry and withered, are weak, and not able to bear the weight of them; so old men stoop, their knees bend, the strong men bow themselves, being unable to bear the weight of the body; fields of corn, ripe for the harvest, look white, and so the hairs of a man's head in old age; the almond tree flourishes, which, when in full bloom, is a lively emblem of the hoary head: and there is a great likeness between ripe corn, and shocks and sheaves of it, and a good old man; a good man is comparable to a corn of wheat that falls into the ground, to which Christ compares himself, John 12:24; and to wheat the compares his saints, Matthew 13:30; for their choiceness, excellency, purity, and solidity; and these, like a corn of wheat, grow up gradually in grace, in spiritual light, knowledge, faith, and experience, and at length come to maturity; the good work is performed and perfected in them, and they come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; and then they are cut down with the scythe or sickle of death, which is the proper time, like corn "in his season"; which, if cut before it is ripe, would not be fit for use, and, if it stood longer, would shed and come to nothing: and then, as corn, when cut down and reaped, is put up in shocks and sheaves, which are lifted up from the earth, and made to "ascend", as the word (r) signifies, and are laid in carts and wagons, and carried home with expressions of joy, (hence we read of the joy of harvest,) and are laid up in the barn or granary; so the saints are carried by angels, the reapers, into Abraham's bosom, as Lazarus was, into heaven, and as all the elect will be gathered by the angels at the harvest, the end of the world; attended with their shouts and acclamations, and with expressions of joy from Gospel ministers, who now go forth bearing the precious seed of the word, and sow it in tears, but then shall return with joy, bringing their sheaves with them, see Matthew 13:30.

(o) "ingredieris in sepulchrum", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius, Michaelis; "intrabis ad tumulum", Schultens. (p) "in summa senectute", Michaelis; "in decrepita senectue", Schultens. (q) p. 232. "austero et tetrico (corrugato) vultu fuit", Golius, col. 2057. Castell. col. 1733. So Hinckelman. Praefat. ad Alcoran. p. 29. Hottinger. Smegina Oriental. l. 1. c. 7. p. 162. Thesaur. Philolog. l. 2. c. 1. p. 507, 508. (r) "sicut ascendere", Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt, Michaelis; "sicut ascendit", Pagninus, Mercerus.

Thou shalt come to thy grave in {y} a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.

(y) Though the children of God have not always carried out this promise, yet God recompenses it otherwise to their advantage.

26. And finally he shall receive the crowning blessing of man on earth, to live long and die old and full of years; cf. Psalm 102:24; Isaiah 38:10; Numbers 23:10. The Speaker’s Comm. quotes the following from Milton,

So mayest thou live, till, like ripe fruits, thou drop

Into thy mother’s lap; or be with ease

Gathered, not harshly plucked; for death mature.

The speech of Eliphaz is one of the masterpieces of the Book. The surprising literary skill of the Author is hardly anywhere so conspicuous. (See remark at the end of ch. 4)

Nevertheless, if we follow the clue which the Author himself puts into our hand in the reply which he causes Job to make, we must infer that Eliphaz erred in two particulars. If his religious tone was not too lofty, it was at least too cold, and too little tempered with compassion for the sufferings of men. The moral impropriety of Job’s murmurs and despair so engrosses his mind that he forgets the unbearable misery of the sufferer before him, and the just claims of sentient life not to be put to the torture. The consequence is that he will have to hear from Job language still more shocking to his religious feeling (ch. Job 7:17 seq.). This error was due to another, his theory of suffering (see preliminary remarks to ch. 4–14). This theory gave a full explanation to his mind of Job’s afflictions and compelled him to take the tone towards him which he did. However true his theory might be as a general principle of moral government, it was not universal and did not include Job’s case. Job’s conscience told him this. Hence the admonitions of Eliphaz fell wide of the mark, and he only aggravated the evil which he sought to heal.Verse 26. - Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age (comp. Genesis 15:15; Genesis 25:8; Genesis 35:29). Professor Lee translates, 'Thou shalt come to thy grave in honour." But, on the whole, the rendering of the Authorized Version may well stand. The expression used occurs only here and in Job 30:2. Like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season; literally, is lifted up. The shocks of corn were lifted up, and placed on a cart, for transfer to the barn or the threshing-floor. The emphasis, however, is on the closing words, "in his season." Eliphaz promises Job that he will reach a good ripe old age, and not die untimely. (For the result, see Job 42:17.) 17 Behold, happy is the man whom Eloah correcteth;

So despise not the chastening of the Almighty!

18 For He woundeth, and He also bindeth up;

He bruiseth, and His hands make whole.

19 In six troubles He will rescue thee,

And in seven no evil shall touch thee.

20 In famine He will redeem thee from death,

And in war from the stroke of the sword.

21 When the tongue scourgeth, thou shalt be hidden;

And thou shalt not fear destruction when it cometh.

The speech of Eliphaz now becomes persuasive as it turns towards the conclusion. Since God humbles him who exalts himself, and since He humbles in order to exalt, it is a happy thing when He corrects (הוכיח) us by afflictive dispensations; and His chastisement (מוּסר) is to be received not with a turbulent spirit, but resignedly, yea joyously: the same thought as Proverbs 3:11-13; Psalm 94:12, in both passages borrowed from this; whereas Job 5:18 here, like Hosea 6:1; Lamentations 3:31., refers to Deuteronomy 32:39. רפא, to heal, is here conjugated like a הל verb (Ges. 75, rem. 21). Job 5:19 is formed after the manner of the so-called number-proverbs (Proverbs 6:16; Proverbs 30:15, Proverbs 30:18), as also the roll of the judgment of the nations in Amos 1-2: in six troubles, yea in still more than six. רע is the extremity that is perhaps to be feared. In Job 5:20, the praet. is a kind of prophetic praet. The scourge of the tongue recalls the similar promise, Psalm 31:21, where, instead of scourge, it is: the disputes of the tongue. שׁוד, from שׁדד violence, disaster, is allied in sound with שׁוט. Isaiah has this passage of the book of Job in his memory when he writes Job 28:15. The promises of Eliphaz now continue to rise higher, and sound more delightful and more glorious.

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