Job 5

Listen to Job 5
1 "Call now; is there anyone who will answer you? To which of 1the holy ones will you turn?
2 Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple.
3 2I have seen the fool taking root, but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.
4 His children are 3far from safety; they are crushed in 4the gate, and there is no one to deliver them.
5 The hungry eat his harvest, and he takes it even out of thorns,[a] and the thirsty pant[b] after his[c] wealth.
6 For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
7 but man is 5born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
8 "As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause,
9 who 6does great things and 7unsearchable, 8marvelous things without number:
10 he gives 9rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields;
11 he 10sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12 He 11frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
13 He 12catches the wise in their own craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
14 They meet with darkness in the daytime and 13grope at noonday as in the night.
15 But he 14saves the needy from the sword of their mouth and from the hand of the mighty.
16 So the poor have hope, and 15injustice shuts her mouth.
17 "Behold, 16blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore 17despise not the discipline of the 18Almighty.
18 For he wounds, but he 19binds up; he 20shatters, but his hands heal.
19 He will 21deliver you from six troubles; in seven no 22evil[d] shall touch you.
20 23In famine he will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword.
21 You shall be 24hidden from the lash of the tongue, and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
22 At destruction and famine you shall laugh, and shall not fear 25the beasts of the earth.
23 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.
24 You shall know that your 26tent is at peace, and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
25 You shall know also that your 27offspring shall be many, and your descendants as 28the grass of the earth.
26 You shall come to your grave in 29ripe old age, like a sheaf gathered up in its season.
27 Behold, this we have 30searched out; it is true. Hear, and know it for your good."[e]

Job 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

Eliphaz urges that the sin of sinners in their ruin. (1-5) God is to be regarded in affliction. (6-16) The happy end of God's correction. (17-27)

Verses 1-5 Eliphaz here calls upon Job to answer his arguments. Were any of the saints or servants of God visited with such Divine judgments as Job, or did they ever behave like him under their sufferings? The term, "saints," holy, or more strictly, consecrated ones, seems in all ages to have been applied to the people of God, through the Sacrifice slain in the covenant of their reconciliation. Eliphaz doubts not that the sin of sinners directly tends to their ruin. They kill themselves by some lust or other; therefore, no doubt, Job has done some foolish thing, by which he has brought himself into this condition. The allusion was plain to Job's former prosperity; but there was no evidence of Job's wickedness, and the application to him was unfair and severe.

Verses 6-16 Eliphaz reminds Job, that no affliction comes by chance, nor is to be placed to second causes. The difference between prosperity and adversity is not so exactly observed, as that between day and night, summer and winter; but it is according to the will and counsel of God. We must not attribute our afflictions to fortune, for they are from God; nor our sins to fate, for they are from ourselves. Man is born in sin, and therefore born to trouble. There is nothing in this world we are born to, and can truly call our own, but sin and trouble. Actual transgressions are sparks that fly out of the furnace of original corruption. Such is the frailty of our bodies, and the vanity of all our enjoyments, that our troubles arise thence as the sparks fly upward; so many are they, and so fast does one follow another. Eliphaz reproves Job for not seeking God, instead of quarrelling with him. Is any afflicted? let him pray. It is heart's ease, a salve for every sore. Eliphaz speaks of rain, which we are apt to look upon as a little thing; but if we consider how it is produced, and what is produced by it, we shall see it to be a great work of power and goodness. Too often the great Author of all our comforts, and the manner in which they are conveyed to us, are not noticed, because they are received as things of course. In the ways of Providence, the experiences of some are encouragements to others, to hope the best in the worst of times; for it is the glory of God to send help to the helpless, and hope to the hopeless. And daring sinners are confounded, and forced to acknowledge the justice of God's proceedings.

Verses 17-27 Eliphaz gives to Job a word of caution and exhortation: Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Call it a chastening, which comes from the Father's love, and is for the child's good; and notice it as a messenger from Heaven. Eliphaz also encourages Job to submit to his condition. A good man is happy though he be afflicted, for he has not lost his enjoyment of God, nor his title to heaven; nay, he is happy because he is afflicted. Correction mortifies his corruptions, weans his heart from the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to his Bible, brings him to his knees. Though God wounds, yet he supports his people under afflictions, and in due time delivers them. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure. Eliphaz gives Job precious promises of what God would do for him, if he humbled himself. Whatever troubles good men may be in, they shall do them no real harm. Being kept from sin, they are kept from the evil of trouble. And if the servants of Christ are not delivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, and while overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever is maliciously said against them shall not hurt them. They shall have wisdom and grace to manage their concerns. The greatest blessing, both in our employments and in our enjoyments, is to be kept from sin. They shall finish their course with joy and honour. That man lives long enough who has done his work, and is fit for another world. It is a mercy to die seasonably, as the corn is cut and housed when fully ripe; not till then, but then not suffered to stand any longer. Our times are in God's hands; it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect great wealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will be ordered for the best. And remark from Job's history, that steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour! how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of faith, in such moments!

Cross References 30

  • 1. Job 15:15; Psalms 89:5, 7; Zechariah 14:5
  • 2. Jeremiah 12:2, 3; [Psalms 37:35, 36; Psalms 73:18-20]
  • 3. [Psalms 119:155]
  • 4. Job 29:7; Psalms 127:5; Proverbs 22:22; [Joshua 20:4; Amos 5:12]; See Ruth 4:1
  • 5. Job 14:1; Genesis 3:17-19; Ecclesiastes 2:23
  • 6. Job 9:10; [Job 37:5; Psalms 40:5; Psalms 72:18; Romans 11:33; Revelation 15:3]
  • 7. Job 9:10; Job 11:7; Job 34:24
  • 8. [Job 10:16]
  • 9. Psalms 65:9, 10; Psalms 147:8; Jeremiah 5:24; Jeremiah 14:22; Acts 14:17; [Psalms 104:10, 13; Matthew 5:45]
  • 10. 1 Samuel 2:7; [Psalms 113:7]
  • 11. [Nehemiah 4:15; Psalms 33:10; Isaiah 8:10]
  • 12. Cited 1 Corinthians 3:19; [Psalms 9:15, 16]
  • 13. Job 12:25; Deuteronomy 28:29; [Isaiah 59:10]
  • 14. Psalms 35:10
  • 15. Psalms 107:42; [Psalms 63:11]
  • 16. Psalms 94:12; [James 1:12]
  • 17. Proverbs 3:11; Hebrews 12:5; Revelation 3:19
  • 18. Genesis 17:1
  • 19. Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 61:1; Hosea 6:1
  • 20. [Deuteronomy 32:39]
  • 21. Psalms 34:19; Psalms 91:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • 22. Psalms 91:10
  • 23. Psalms 33:19; Psalms 37:19
  • 24. [Psalms 31:20]
  • 25. [Isaiah 11:8, 9; Isaiah 35:9; Isaiah 65:25; Ezekiel 34:25; Hosea 2:18]
  • 26. [Job 21:9]
  • 27. Job 21:8; Psalms 112:2
  • 28. Psalms 72:16
  • 29. [Genesis 15:15; Genesis 25:8; Genesis 35:29; Proverbs 9:11; Proverbs 10:27]
  • 30. [Psalms 111:2]

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  • [b]. Aquila, Symmachus, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew could be read as and the snare pants
  • [c]. Hebrew their
  • [d]. Or disaster
  • [e]. Hebrew for yourself

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Eliphaz goes on to prove, and further confirm and establish, what he had before asserted, that not good men, but wicked men only, are afflicted of God, at least greatly, so as to have their substance wholly destroyed and perish, which was Job's case; and this partly from the case, state, and sentiments of all the saints, Job 5:1,2; and from his own observation and experience, Job 5:3-5; and then he proceeds to give some advice; and seeing afflictions do not come by chance, but are of God, it is right in such circumstances for a man to seek to the Lord for pardon and salvation, and commit his cause unto him, Job 5:6-8; who does many great things in a providential way to the good of man in general, and to the disappointment of wicked crafty men, and to the serving of the poor in particular, Job 5:9-16; so that it is best patiently to bear the afflicting hand of God, and it is an happiness to be corrected by him, since he delivers such out of all their troubles, and preserves them from many evils, and bestows many good things on them; which would be Job's case particularly, if he behaved according to the advice given, and which is left with him to consider of, Job 5:17-27.

Job 5 Commentaries