Job 15


19. Eliphaz speaks like a genuine Arab when he boasts that his ancestors had ever possessed the land unmixed with foreigners [UMBREIT]. His words are intended to oppose Job's ( Job 9:24 ); "the earth" in their case was not "given into the hand of the wicked." He refers to the division of the earth by divine appointment ( Genesis 10:5 , 25:32 ). Also he may insinuate that Job's sentiments had been corrupted from original purity by his vicinity to the Sabeans and Chaldeans [ROSENMULLER].

20. travaileth--rather, "trembleth of himself," though there is no real danger [UMBREIT].
and the number of his years, &c.--This gives the reason why the wicked man trembles continually; namely, because he knows not the moment when his life must end.

21. An evil conscience conceives alarm at every sudden sound, though it be in a time of peace ("prosperity"), when there is no real danger ( Leviticus 26:36 , Proverbs 28:1 , 2 Kings 7:6 ).

22. darkness--namely, danger or calamity. Glancing at Job, who despaired of restoration: in contrast to good men when in darkness ( Micah 7:8 Micah 7:9 ).
waited for of--that is, He is destined for the sword [GESENIUS]. Rather (in the night of danger), "he looks anxiously towards the sword," as if every sword was drawn against him [UMBREIT].

23. Wandereth in anxious search for bread. Famine in Old Testament depicts sore need ( Isaiah 5:13 ). Contrast the pious man's lot ( Job 5:20-22 ).
knoweth--has the firm conviction. Contrast the same word applied to the pious ( Job 5:24 Job 5:25 ).
ready at his hand--an Arabic phrase to denote a thing's complete readiness and full presence, as if in the hand.

24. prevail--break upon him suddenly and terribly, as a king, &c. ( Proverbs 6:11 ).

25. stretcheth . . . hand--wielding the spear, as a bold rebel against God ( Job 9:4 , Isaiah 27:4 ).

26. on his neck--rather, "with outstretched neck," namely, that of the rebel [UMBREIT] ( Psalms 75:5 ).
upon . . . bucklers--rather, "with--his (the rebel's, not God's) bucklers." The rebel and his fellows are depicted as joining shields together, to form a compact covering over their heads against the weapons hurled on them from a fortress [UMBREIT and GESENIUS].

27. The well-nourished body of the rebel is the sign of his prosperity.
collops--masses of fat. He pampers and fattens himself with sensual indulgences; hence his rebellion against God ( Deuteronomy 32:15 , 1 Samuel 2:29 ).

28. The class of wicked here described is that of robbers who plunder "cities," and seize on the houses of the banished citizens ( Isaiah 13:20 ). Eliphaz chooses this class because Job had chosen the same ( Job 12:6 ).
heaps--of ruins.

29. Rather, he shall not increase his riches; he has reached his highest point; his prosperity shall not continue.
perfection--rather, "His acquired wealth--what he possesses--shall not be extended," &c.

30. depart--that is, escape ( Job 15:22 Job 15:23 ).
branches--namely, his offspring ( Job 1:18 Job 1:19 , Psalms 37:35 ).
dry up--The "flame" is the sultry wind in the East by which plants most full of sap are suddenly shrivelled.
his mouth--that is, God's wrath ( Isaiah 11:4 ).

31. Rather, "let him not trust in vanity or he will be deceived," &c.
vanity--that which is unsubstantial. Sin is its own punishment ( Proverbs 1:31 , Jeremiah 2:19 ).

32. Literally, "it (the tree to which he is compared, Job 15:30 , or else his life) shall not be filled up in its time"; that is, "he shall be ended before his time."
shall not be green--image from a withered tree; the childless extinction of the wicked.

33. Images of incompleteness. The loss of the unripe grapes is poetically made the vine tree's own act, in order to express more pointedly that the sinner's ruin is the fruit of his own conduct ( Isaiah 3:11 , Jeremiah 6:19 ).

34. Rather, The binding together of the hypocrites (wicked) shall be fruitless [UMBREIT].
tabernacles of bribery--namely, dwellings of unjust judges, often reprobated in the Old Testament ( Isaiah 1:23 ). The "fire of God" that consumed Job's possessions ( Job 1:16 ) Eliphaz insinuates may have been on account of Job's bribery as an Arab sheik or emir.

35. Bitter irony, illustrating the "unfruitfulness" ( Job 15:34 ) of the wicked. Their conceptions and birthgivings consist solely in mischief, &c. ( Isaiah 33:11 ).

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