Job 22

Eliphaz Speaks

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 Can a man be of [any] use to God? Can even a wise man be of use to Him?
3 Does it delight the Almighty if you are righteous? Does He profit if you perfect your behavior?[a]
4 Does He correct you and take you to court because of your piety?[b]
5 Isn't your wickedness abundant and aren't your iniquities endless?
6 For you took collateral from your brothers without cause, stripping off their clothes and leaving them naked.[c]
7 You gave no water to the thirsty and withheld food from the famished,[d]
8 while the land belonged to a powerful man and an influential man lived on it.
9 You sent widows away empty-handed, and the strength of the fatherless was[e] crushed.[f]
10 Therefore snares surround you, and sudden dread terrifies you,[g]
11 or darkness, so you cannot see, and a flood of water covers you.[h]
12 Isn't God as high as the heavens? And look at the highest stars-how lofty they are![i]
13 Yet you say: "What does God know? Can He judge through thick darkness?[j]
14 Clouds veil Him[k] so that He cannot see, as He walks on the circle of the sky."
15 Will you continue on the ancient path that wicked men have walked?
16 They were snatched away before their time, and their foundations were washed away by a river.
17 They were the ones who said to God, "Leave us alone!" and "What can the Almighty do to us?"[l][m]
18 But it was He who filled their houses with good things. The counsel of the wicked is far from me![n]
19 The righteous see [this] and rejoice; the innocent mock them, [saying],[o]
20 "Surely our opponents are destroyed, and fire has consumed what they left behind."
21 Come to terms with God and be at peace;[p] in this way[q] good will come to you.
22 Receive instruction from His mouth, and place His sayings in your heart.[r]
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be renewed. If you banish injustice from your tent[s]
24 and consign your gold to the dust, [the gold of] Ophir[t] to the stones in the wadis,[u]
25 the Almighty will be your gold and your finest silver.
26 Then you will delight in[v] the Almighty and lift up your face to God.[w]
27 You will pray to Him, and He will hear you,[x] and you will fulfill your vows.
28 When you make a decision, it will be carried out,[y] and light will shine on your ways.[z]
29 When others are humiliated and you say, "Lift [them] up," God will save the humble.[aa][ab]
30 He will [even] rescue the guilty one, who will be rescued by the purity of your hands.

Job 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Eliphaz shows that a man's goodness profits not God. (1-4) Job accused of oppression. (5-14) The world before the flood. (15-20) Eliphaz exhorts Job to repentance. (21-30)

Verses 1-4 Eliphaz considers that, because Job complained so much of his afflictions, he thought God was unjust in afflicting him; but Job was far from thinking so. What Eliphaz says, is unjustly applied to Job, but it is very true, that when God does us good it is not because he is indebted to us. Man's piety is no profit to God, no gain. The gains of religion to men are infinitely greater than the losses of it. God is a Sovereign, who gives no account of his conduct; but he is perfectly wise, just, faithful, good, and merciful. He approves the likeness of his own holiness, and delights in the fruits of his Spirit; he accepts the thankful services of the humble believer, while he rejects the proud claim of the self-confident.

Verses 5-14 Eliphaz brought heavy charges against Job, without reason for his accusations, except that Job was visited as he supposed God always visited every wicked man. He charges him with oppression, and that he did harm with his wealth and power in the time of his prosperity.

Verses 15-20 Eliphaz would have Job mark the old way that wicked men have trodden, and see what the end of their way was. It is good for us to mark it, that we may not walk therein. But if others are consumed, and we are not, instead of blaming them, and lifting up ourselves, as Eliphaz does here, we ought to be thankful to God, and take it for a warning.

Verses 21-30 The answer of Eliphaz wrongly implied that Job had hitherto not known God, and that prosperity in this life would follow his sincere conversion. The counsel Eliphaz here gives is good, though, as to Job, it was built upon a false supposition that he was a stranger and enemy to God. Let us beware of slandering our brethren; and if it be our lot to suffer in this manner, let us remember how Job was treated; yea, how Jesus was reviled, that we may be patient. Let us examine whether there may not be some colour for the slander, and walk watchfully, so as to be clear of all appearances of evil.

Footnotes 28

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains the third and last reply of Eliphaz to Job, in which he charges him with having too high an opinion of himself, of his holiness and righteousness, as if God was profited by it, and laid thereby under obligation to him, whereas he was not, Job 22:1-3; and as if he reproved and chastised him, because of his fear of him, whereas it was because of his sins, Job 22:4,5; an enumeration of which he gives, as of injustice, oppression, cruelty to the poor, and even of atheism and infidelity, for which snares and fears were around him, and various calamities, Job 22:6-14; and compares his way and course of life to that of the men of the old world, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, and suggests that his end would be like theirs, unless he repented, Job 22:15-20; and then concludes with an exhortation to him to return to God by repentance, and to reform, when he should see happy times again, and enjoy much outward and inward prosperity, and be an instrument of doing much good to many, Job 22:21-30.

Job 22 Commentaries

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