Job 15

Eliphaz

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Would a wise person answer with empty notions or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
3 Would they argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value?
4 But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God.
5 Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you.
7 “Are you the first man ever born? Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
9 What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?
12 Why has your heart carried you away, and why do your eyes flash,
13 so that you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth?
14 “What are mortals, that they could be pure, or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt, who drink up evil like water!
17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you; let me tell you what I have seen,
18 what the wise have declared, hiding nothing received from their ancestors
19 (to whom alone the land was given when no foreigners moved among them):
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment, the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears; when all seems well, marauders attack him.
22 He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness; he is marked for the sword.
23 He wanders about for food like a vulture; he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror; troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
25 because he shakes his fist at God and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him with a thick, strong shield.
27 “Though his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh,
28 he will inhabit ruined towns and houses where no one lives, houses crumbling to rubble.
29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness; a flame will wither his shoots, and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.
31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.
32 Before his time he will wither, and his branches will not flourish.
33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes, like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless will be barren, and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; their womb fashions 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 71

  • 1. S Job 4:1
  • 2. S Genesis 41:6; Job 6:26
  • 3. S Nehemiah 4:2-3; S Job 6:26
  • 4. Job 25:6
  • 5. Job 11:6; Job 22:5
  • 6. Proverbs 16:23
  • 7. S Job 5:13
  • 8. S Job 9:15; Job 18:7; Psalms 10:2; S Matthew 12:37; Luke 19:22
  • 9. Job 38:21
  • 10. S 1 Samuel 2:8; Psalms 90:2; Proverbs 8:25
  • 11. Job 29:4; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 40:13; Isaiah 41:28; Jeremiah 23:18; Romans 11:34; 1 Corinthians 2:11
  • 12. S Job 12:2
  • 13. S Job 12:3; Job 13:2
  • 14. S Job 12:12; Job 32:6-7
  • 15. S 2 Chronicles 10:6
  • 16. S Genesis 37:35; S Job 6:10; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • 17. Zechariah 1:13
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 8:3; S Deuteronomy 32:39; S Job 5:17; Job 22:22; Job 23:12; Job 36:16; Psalms 119:11,72; Jeremiah 15:16
  • 19. Job 11:13; Job 36:13
  • 20. Proverbs 29:11; Daniel 11:30
  • 21. Psalms 94:4
  • 22. S Job 11:8; Job 22:5; Job 32:3
  • 23. S Job 14:1; Job 14:4; Job 25:4
  • 24. S 2 Chronicles 6:36; S Job 4:17; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20
  • 25. S Job 5:1
  • 26. S Job 4:18; Job 25:5
  • 27. S Leviticus 5:2; S Job 4:19; Psalms 14:1
  • 28. Job 20:12
  • 29. Job 12:4; Job 34:7; Proverbs 19:28
  • 30. S Job 4:8
  • 31. S Deuteronomy 32:7; Job 8:8
  • 32. Genesis 12:1; Job 22:8
  • 33. ver 24; Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 50:11; Isaiah 66:24
  • 34. Job 24:1; Job 27:13-23; Isaiah 2:12; Jeremiah 46:10; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7
  • 35. ver 24; S 1 Samuel 3:11; Job 18:11; Job 20:25; Jeremiah 6:25; Jeremiah 20:3
  • 36. Job 22:10; Job 27:20; Isaiah 13:3; Jer 51:25,53,56; 1 Thessalonians 5:3
  • 37. ver 23; S Job 5:14; Job 24:17; Job 38:15; Psalms 91:5; Song of Songs 3:8
  • 38. Job 16:13; Job 18:19; Job 19:29; Job 20:24; Job 27:14; Job 33:18; Job 36:12; Proverbs 7:23; Isaiah 1:20; Jeremiah 44:27; Hosea 9:13; Amos 5:19
  • 39. Psalms 59:15; Psalms 109:10
  • 40. Proverbs 30:17; Ezekiel 39:17; Matthew 24:28; Luke 17:37
  • 41. S ver 22
  • 42. Job 18:12
  • 43. Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 9:1
  • 44. S ver 20
  • 45. Job 18:14
  • 46. Psalms 44:16; Isaiah 10:32; Isaiah 37:23
  • 47. S Job 11:8; Job 35:12; Job 36:9; Job 40:8; Psalms 2:2-3; Psalms 73:9; Psalms 75:5; Proverbs 21:30; Isaiah 3:16; Isaiah 45:9
  • 48. Jeremiah 44:16
  • 49. S Judges 3:17; Psalms 17:10
  • 50. Isaiah 5:9
  • 51. S Job 3:14
  • 52. S Job 3:15; S Job 7:8; Job 27:16-17
  • 53. Isaiah 5:8
  • 54. S Job 5:14
  • 55. ver 34; Job 16:7; Job 20:26; Job 22:20; Job 31:12
  • 56. ver 32; Job 8:19; Job 18:16; Job 29:19; Hosea 9:1-16; Malachi 4:1
  • 57. S Exodus 15:10; Job 4:9
  • 58. Isaiah 40:23-24
  • 59. Job 31:5; Proverbs 1:16; Proverbs 6:18; Isaiah 44:20; Isaiah 59:7; Micah 2:11; S Mark 13:5; James 1:16
  • 60. Isaiah 30:12; Isaiah 47:10; Isaiah 59:4; Jeremiah 7:4,8; S Matthew 6:19
  • 61. Job 20:7; Job 22:13; Job 27:9; Job 35:13; Proverbs 15:29; Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 11:11; Micah 3:4
  • 62. Ecclesiastes 7:17
  • 63. Job 22:16; Job 36:14; Psalms 55:23; Psalms 109:8; Proverbs 10:27
  • 64. S ver 30; Job 18:16
  • 65. Habakkuk 3:17
  • 66. S Job 4:20
  • 67. S Job 8:13
  • 68. S ver 30; Hebrews 10:27
  • 69. S Exodus 23:8; S 1 Samuel 8:3; Job 8:22
  • 70. S Job 5:7
  • 71. S Job 4:8; S Isaiah 29:20; Galatians 6:7; James 1:15; Psalms 7:14; Isaiah 59:4; Hosea 10:13

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 15

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