Job 15

Listen to Job 15

Eliphaz Accuses: Job Does Not Fear God

1 Then 1Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 "Should 2a wise man answer with 3windy knowledge, and fill his 4belly with 5the east wind?
3 Should he argue in unprofitable talk, or in words with which he can do no good?
4 But you are doing away with the fear of God[a] and hindering meditation before God.
5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your 6own mouth condemns you, and not I; 7your own lips testify against you.
7 8"Are you the first man who was born? Or 9were you brought forth 10before the hills?
8 Have you listened in 11the council of God? And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 12What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 13Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us, older than your father.
11 Are the comforts of God too small for you, or the word that deals gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away, and why do your eyes flash,
13 that you turn your 14spirit against God and bring such words out of your mouth?
14 15What is man, 16that he can be pure? Or he who is 17born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
15 Behold, God[b]18puts no trust in his 19holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
16 20how much less one who is abominable and 21corrupt, a man who 22drinks injustice like water!
17 "I will show you; hear me, and what I have seen I will declare
18 (what wise men have told, without hiding it 23from their fathers,
19 to whom alone the land was given, and no 24stranger passed among them).
20 The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the 25years that are laid up for 26the ruthless.
21 27Dreadful sounds are in his ears; in 28prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
22 He does not believe that he will return out of darkness, and he is marked for the sword.
23 He 29wanders abroad for bread, saying, 'Where is it?' He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
24 distress and anguish terrify him; they 30prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God and defies the Almighty,
26 31running 32stubbornly against him with a thickly bossed shield;
27 because he has 33covered his face with his fat and gathered fat upon his waist
28 and has lived in desolate cities, in houses that none should inhabit, which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
29 he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the earth;[c]
30 he will not depart from darkness; the flame will dry up his shoots, and by 34the breath of his mouth he will depart.
31 Let him not 35trust in emptiness, deceiving himself, for emptiness will be his payment.
32 It will be paid in full 36before his time, and his branch will not be green.
33 He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine, and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
34 For 37the company of the godless is barren, and 38fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35 They 39conceive trouble and give birth to evil, and their 40womb prepares deceit."

Job 15 Commentary

Chapter 15

Eliphaz reproves Job. (1-16) The unquietness of wicked men. (17-35)

Verses 1-16 Eliphaz begins a second attack upon Job, instead of being softened by his complaints. He unjustly charges Job with casting off the fear of God, and all regard to him, and restraining prayer. See in what religion is summed up, fearing God, and praying to him; the former the most needful principle, the latter the most needful practice. Eliphaz charges Job with self-conceit. He charges him with contempt of the counsels and comforts given him by his friends. We are apt to think that which we ourselves say is important, when others, with reason, think little of it. He charges him with opposition to God. Eliphaz ought not to have put harsh constructions upon the words of one well known for piety, and now in temptation. It is plain that these disputants were deeply convinced of the doctrine of original sin, and the total depravity of human nature. Shall we not admire the patience of God in bearing with us? and still more his love to us in the redemption of Christ Jesus his beloved Son?

Verses 17-35 Eliphaz maintains that the wicked are certainly miserable: whence he would infer, that the miserable are certainly wicked, and therefore Job was so. But because many of God's people have prospered in this world, it does not therefore follow that those who are crossed and made poor, as Job, are not God's people. Eliphaz shows also that wicked people, particularly oppressors, are subject to continual terror, live very uncomfortably, and perish very miserably. Will the prosperity of presumptuous sinners end miserably as here described? Then let the mischiefs which befal others, be our warnings. Though no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. No calamity, no trouble, however heavy, however severe, can rob a follower of the Lord of his favour. What shall separate him from the love of Christ?

Cross References 40

  • 1. Job 2:11
  • 2. [Job 12:3]
  • 3. Job 16:3
  • 4. ver. 35
  • 5. Job 6:26; Job 8:2; Hosea 12:1
  • 6. Job 9:20; Luke 19:22
  • 7. 2 Samuel 1:16
  • 8. [Job 38:21]
  • 9. Proverbs 8:25
  • 10. Psalms 90:2
  • 11. Job 29:4; Jeremiah 23:18; [Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:22]
  • 12. Job 12:3; Job 13:2
  • 13. [Job 12:12; Job 32:6, 7]
  • 14. [Job 21:4]
  • 15. For ver. 14-16, see Job 25:4-6
  • 16. [Job 14:4; Psalms 14:3; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8, 10]
  • 17. See Job 14:1
  • 18. Job 4:18
  • 19. See Job 5:1
  • 20. Job 9:14
  • 21. [Psalms 14:3; Psalms 53:1]
  • 22. Job 34:7; [Proverbs 19:28; Proverbs 26:6]
  • 23. [Job 8:8]; See Psalms 44:1
  • 24. Joel 3:17
  • 25. [Job 21:19; Job 24:1]
  • 26. Job 6:23; Job 27:13
  • 27. See Job 18:11
  • 28. [1 Thessalonians 5:3]
  • 29. Psalms 59:15; Psalms 109:10
  • 30. Job 14:20
  • 31. [Job 16:14; Daniel 8:6]
  • 32. Psalms 75:5
  • 33. See Psalms 17:10
  • 34. Job 4:9
  • 35. [Isaiah 59:4]
  • 36. Job 22:16; Ecclesiastes 7:17; [Psalms 55:23; Psalms 102:24]
  • 37. Job 16:7
  • 38. [Job 20:26]
  • 39. Psalms 7:14; Isaiah 59:4; [Hosea 10:13]
  • 40. See ver. 2

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Hebrew lacks of God
  • [b]. Hebrew he
  • [c]. Or nor will his produce bend down to the earth

Chapter Summary


Job's three friends having in their turns attacked him, and he having given answer respectively to them, Eliphaz, who began the attack, first enters the debate with him again, and proceeds upon the same plan as before, and endeavours to defend his former sentiments, falling upon Job with greater vehemence and severity; he charges him with vanity, imprudence, and unprofitableness in his talk, and acting a part unbecoming his character as a wise man; yea, with impiety and a neglect of religion, or at least as a discourager of it by his words and doctrines, of which his mouth and lips were witnesses against him, Job 15:1-6; he charges him with arrogance and a high conceit of himself, as if he was the first man that was made, nay, as if he was the eternal wisdom of God, and had been in his council; and, to check his vanity, retorts his own words upon him, or however the sense of them, Job 15:7-10; and also with slighting the consolations of God; upon which he warmly expostulates with him, Job 15:11-13; and in order to convince him of his self-righteousness, which he thought he was full of, he argues from the angels, the heavens, and the general case of man, Job 15:14-16; and then he declares from his own knowledge, and from the relation of wise and ancient men in former times, who made it their observation, that wicked men are afflicted all their days, attended with terror and despair, and liable to various calamities, Job 15:17-24; the reasons of which are their insolence to God, and hostilities committed against him, which they are encouraged in by their prosperous circumstances, Job 15:25-27; notwithstanding all, their estates, riches, and wealth, will come to nothing, Job 15:28-30; and the chapter is closed with an exhortation to such, not to feed themselves up with vain hopes, or trust in uncertain riches, since their destruction would be sure, sudden, and terrible, Job 15:31-35.

Job 15 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.