And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle [shall be] in peace,
&c.] Not a place of religious worship, though the Targum renders it an house of doctrine or instruction; for we read not of any such but the tabernacle of Moses, erected in the wilderness, and which was indeed about, or little after, the times of Job; but it cannot be reasonably thought he did or could attend there; nor the tabernacle of his body, now in great pain and anguish, in which there were no rest nor soundness, being filled with sore boils and burning ulcers; but his dwelling house, which was built as a tent or tabernacle: such were the houses of the eastern people, made to move from place to place, for the sake of pasturage for their flocks and herds, in which their wealth consisted; so Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, dwelt in tabernacles; and hence in later times more firm, fixed, and stable dwellings, were so called; David calls his palace the tabernacle of his house, ( Psalms 132:3 ) ; though this also includes all that dwelt in his house, his family; and the meaning is, that should he behave aright under the afflicting hand of God, his family should live in concord, harmony, and love; there should be no discord, animosity, and contention among them, but they should be at peace and in unity among themselves; as indeed Job's children were while he had them, and before this calamity came upon him; and that also they should be secure from enemies, and dwell unmolested by them; and be in the utmost safety, enjoying all kind of prosperity, inward and outward, temporal and spiritual; which the word peace includes, as used in eastern countries, whose common salutation was, "peace be with thee"; thereby wishing all kind of happiness: or the words may be rendered, "peace [shall be] thy tabernacle" F9 as is a good man's tabernacle: he dwells in God, who is all love, all peace, in whom there is no wrath or fury; he dwells by faith in Christ, who is his peace, his peace maker, and peace giver; and in whom he has peace amidst all the tribulation he meets with in the world; the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps and guards him in Christ, as in a garrison, safe and secure; and he enjoys much peace, as the fruit of the Spirit, arising from a view of interest in the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; and when he dies he enters into peace, and dwells and abides in it as his everlasting mansion, ( Isaiah 57:2 ) ; now all this, Eliphaz says, Job, behaving well, should know; that is, have an experience of it; should really enjoy it, and find it in fact true what he asserted:
and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin;
meaning not his wife, as some interpreters, Jewish and Christian, understand it; and so in the Talmud F11, the word being rendered "she that tarried at home", ( Psalms 68:12 ) ; which is a description of a good housewife, that keeps at home and minds the affairs of her family; but rather it designs the same as his tabernacle in the preceding clause, his dwelling house, and signifies a fine, fair, and beautiful one; a spacious and goodly building, and well stored with rich household goods; and including his family also: and to "visit" this is to take care of his family, rule and govern them well, protect and defend them, and provide all things necessary for them; as well as to inspect into the affairs of his house, inquire, examine, and see how things are managed; to know the state, condition, and circumstances it is in; which is looking well to the ways of his household: and this he should do, and "not sin"; not that a man, even a good man, can so conduct himself always in his family as not to be guilty of any sin at all, but not of sin in common, or continually; at least not any gross and notorious ones: the sense is, that he should not sin himself, while making such a visit and inquiry, by an undue heat, excessive anger, by rash and passionate expressions, things not being entirely to his mind; or be the cause of sin in others, by provoking his children to wrath, by threatening and menacing his servants in a severe, boisterous, and blustering manner; but reproving both, as there may be occasion, in a mild and gentle way; or else not sin by conniving at it and not correcting for it, which was the fault of Eli: Ben Gersom thinks Eliphaz tacitly suggests, and strikes at, Job's indulgence to his children; and so Sephorno: the word used having the signification of wandering and straying, some take the sense to be this; that he should have a sure and certain dwelling place to come into, and abide in, and should not wander about F12, or be as a stroller and vagabond in the earth: though this has sometimes been the case of good men; as of the godly in the times of the Maccabees, who wandered in deserts and mountains, in caves and dens of the earth; and even of the disciples of Christ, who had no certain dwelling place; yea, of Christ himself, who had not where to lay his head: rather, since the word signifies to miss the mark, and so be disappointed; in which sense it is used in ( Judges 20:16 ) ; the sense may be, that when he visited his habitation he should find nothing amiss or wanting, but everything should answer his expectations and wishes, so Aben Ezra; and Mr. Broughton renders it, "shalt not misprosper"; and others, "shalt no be frustrated" F13; balked, disappointed of thine ends and views, designs, hopes, and wishes.
F9 (Klha Mwlv yk) "quod pax tentorium tuum", Montanus, Bolducius; so Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens.
F11 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 34. 1. Yebamot, fol. 62. 2. & 63. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 76. 2.
F12 (ajxt al) "non errabis, i.e. non eris erro et palans", Codurcus; "non aberrabis", Beza, Piscator, Cocceius.
F13 "Nec votis frustrabere", Schultens.