Job 5:1

1 Call out if you please. Will anyone answer you? Which of the holy ones[a] will you turn to?

Job 5:1 Meaning and Commentary

Job 5:1

Call now, if there be any that will answer thee
That is, call upon God, which, if seriously, and not ironically spoken, was good advice; God is to be called upon, and especially in times of trouble; and invocation is to be made in faith, in sincerity, and with fervency, and to be accompanied with confession of sin, and repentance for it; and sooner or later God hears and answers those that call upon him; but Eliphaz suggests, that if Job did call upon him, it would be in vain, he would not hear him, he going upon the same maxim that the Jews did in Christ's time, "God heareth not sinners": ( John 9:31 ) ; or call upon him to give him an oracle from heaven, to favour him with a vision and revelation, and see if he could get anything that would confront and confute what he had delivered as coming that way; which, if it could be done by him, would appear to be a falsehood and an imposture, since one revelation from God is not contradicted by another: or else the sense is, "call" over the catalogue and list of good men that have been from the beginning of the world, and see if there be any that "answers to thee" F14, whose case, character, and behaviour, correspond with thee; if ever any of them was afflicted as thou art, or ever behaved with so much indecency, impatience, murmuring, and blasphemy against God, as thou hast done; that ever opened his mouth, and cursed the day of his birth, and reflected upon the providence and justice of God as thou hast, as if thou wert unrighteously dealt with: or rather, "call now", and summon all creatures together, angels and men, and get anyone of them to be thy patron, to defend thy cause, and plead for thee, to give a reply to what has been said, from reason, experience, and revelation: and shouldest thou obtain this, which is not likely, "lo, there is one that can answer thee" F15, as some render the words, meaning either God or himself; thus Eliphaz insults Job, and triumphs over him, as being entirely baffled and conquered by him, by what he had related as an oracle and revelation from heaven:

and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?
or "look", or "have respect" {p}, that will be of any service to thee? meaning either the Divine Persons in the Godhead, sometimes called Holy Ones, as in ( Joshua 24:19 ) ; ( Proverbs 9:10 ) ( 30:3 ) ( Hosea 11:12 ) ; the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit, who may and should be turned and looked unto; God the Father, as the God of providence and grace for all good things; Jesus Christ his Son, as the Redeemer and Saviour for righteousness and eternal life; the blessed Spirit, as a sanctifier to carry on and finish the work of grace; but it is suggested, it would be in vain for Job to turn and look to any of these, since he would be rejected by them as a wicked man, nor would any of them plead his cause: or else the holy angels, as the Septuagint express it, and who are called saints and Holy Ones, ( Deuteronomy 33:2 ) ( Daniel 8:13 ) ( Zechariah 14:5 ) ; and it is asked, which of those he could turn or look to, and could expect relief and protection from? signifying, that none of these would vouchsafe to converse with him, nor take him under their care, nor undertake to plead his cause: or rather holy men, such as are sanctified or set apart by God the Father, to whom Christ is made sanctification, and in whose hearts the Holy Spirit has wrought principles of grace and holiness, and who live holy lives and conversations; and it is insinuated, that should he turn and took to these, he would find none of them like him, nor in the same circumstances, nor of the same sentiments, or that would take his part and plead for him; but that all to a man would appear of the same mind with Eliphaz, that none but wicked men were afflicted by God as he was, and that he was such an one, and that for the reason following: the Papists very absurdly produce this passage in favour of praying to departed saints, when not dead but living ones are meant, and even turning to them is discouraged; and besides, this would contradict another tenet of the Papists, that the Old Testament saints, until the coming of Christ, were in a sort of purgatory, called Limbus Patrum, and therefore incapable of helping saints on earth that should apply unto them.


F14 (Knwe vyh) "si est correspondens tibi", Bolducius.
F15 "Ecce est qui respondeat tibi", Schultens.
F16 (hnpt) (oqh) , Sept. "obtueberis", Montanus; "respicies", Vatablus, Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis.

Job 5:1 In-Context

1 Call out if you please. Will anyone answer you? Which of the holy ones will you turn to?
2 For anger kills a fool, and jealousy slays the gullible.
3 I have seen a fool taking root, but I immediately pronounced a curse on his home.
4 His children are far from safety. They are crushed at the [city] gate, with no one to defend [them].
5 The hungry consume his harvest, even taking it out of the thorns. The thirsty pant for his children's wealth.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Jb 15:15; Ps 89:5-7; Dn 4:17
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