New American Standard Bible
"Can a vigorous man be of use to God, Or a wise man be useful to himself?
King James Bible
Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
Darby Bible Translation
Can a man be profitable to �God? surely it is unto himself that the wise man is profitable.
World English Bible
"Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Young's Literal Translation
To God is a man profitable, Because a wise man to himself is profitable?
Job 22:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Can a man be profitable unto God? - Can a man confer any favor on God, so as to lay him under obligation? Eliphaz supposes that Job sets up a "claim" to the favor of God, because he was of service to him, or because God had something to fear if he was cut off. He maintains, therefore, that a man can confer no favor on God, so as to lay him under obligation. God is independent and supreme. He has nothing to gain if man is righteous - he has nothing to apprehend if he is punished. He is not dependent at all on man.
As he that is wise - Margin, or, "if he may be profitable, doth his goodness depend thereon." The meaning of the passage is, a wise man may promote his own advantage, but he cannot be of advantage to God. All the result of his wisdom must terminate on himself, and not on God; compare Psalm 16:2. Of the correctness of this sentiment there can be no doubt. It accords with reason, and with all that is said in the Scriptures. God is too great to be benefited by man. He is infinite in all his perfections; he is the original fountain of blessedness; he is supremely wise; he has all resources in himself, and he cannot be dependent on his creatures. He cannot, therefore, be deterred from punishing them by any dread which he has of losing their favor - he cannot be induced to bless them because they have laid him under obligation. Eliphaz meant this as a reply to what Job had said. He had maintained, that God did "not" treat people according to their character in this life, but that, in fact, the wicked were often prospered, and suffered to live long. Eliphaz at once "infers," that if this were so, it must be because they could render themselves "serviceable" to God, or because he must have something to dread by punishing them. In the general sentiment, he was right; in the "inference" he was wrong - since Job had not affirmed that they are spared from any such cause, and since many other "reasons" may be assigned.
LibraryWhat Life May be Made
'For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. 27. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto Him, and He shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. 28. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. 29. When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, ... lifting up; and He shall save the humble person.'--JOB xxii. 26-29. These words are a fragment of one of the speeches of Job's friends, in which …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Whether Everything is Subject to the Providence of God?
"So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'"
nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
"What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him,
Then Eliphaz the Temanite responded,
"Is there any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous, Or profit if you make your ways perfect?
"If you are righteous, what do you give to Him, Or what does He receive from your hand?
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
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