Job 5

1 “Call if you will, but who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn?
2 Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.
3 I myself have seen a fool taking root, but suddenly his house was cursed.
4 His children are far from safety, crushed in court without a defender.
5 The hungry consume his harvest, taking it even from among thorns, and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
6 For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground.
7 Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.
8 “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.
9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.
10 He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside.
11 The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12 He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
13 He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away.
14 Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night.
15 He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful.
16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.
17 “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.[a]
18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
19 From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you.
20 In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword.
21 You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.
22 You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals.
23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
24 You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.
25 You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth.
26 You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season.
27 “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”

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 61

  • 1. Habakkuk 1:2
  • 2. Job 15:15; Psalms 89:5,7
  • 3. Job 21:15; Job 36:13
  • 4. Proverbs 12:16; Galatians 5:26
  • 5. S Job 4:8
  • 6. Psalms 37:35; Isaiah 40:24; Jeremiah 12:2; Ezekiel 17:6
  • 7. Proverbs 6:15
  • 8. Job 24:18; Ps 37:22,35-36; Psalms 109:9-10; Proverbs 3:33
  • 9. Job 20:10; Job 27:14
  • 10. S Job 4:11
  • 11. Job 4:19; Amos 5:12
  • 12. Psalms 109:12; Isaiah 9:17; 1 John 2:1
  • 13. Leviticus 26:16; S Judges 2:15; Job 20:18; Job 31:8; Micah 6:15; Job 18:8-10
  • 14. S Job 4:8
  • 15. S Genesis 3:17; Job 10:17; Job 15:35; Psalms 51:5; Psalms 58:3; Psalms 90:10; Proverbs 22:8; Job 14:1
  • 16. Job 8:5; Job 11:13; Job 13:3,15; Job 23:4; Job 40:1; Psalms 35:23; Psalms 50:15; Jeremiah 12:1; 1 Corinthians 4:4
  • 17. Psalms 78:4; Psalms 111:2
  • 18. Deuteronomy 29:29; Job 9:4,10; Job 11:7; Job 25:2; Job 26:14; Job 33:12; Job 36:5,22,26; Job 37:5,14,16,23; Job 42:3; Psalms 40:5; Psalms 71:17; Psalms 72:18; Psalms 86:10; Psalms 131:1; Psalms 139:6,17; Psalms 145:3; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 11:33
  • 19. Psalms 71:15
  • 20. Matthew 5:45
  • 21. S Leviticus 26:4; Job 36:28; Job 37:6,13; Job 38:28,34; Psalms 135:7; Jeremiah 14:22
  • 22. S 1 Samuel 2:7-8; S Job 4:7; Psalms 75:7; Psalms 113:7-8
  • 23. Isaiah 61:2; Matthew 5:4; Romans 12:15
  • 24. S Matthew 23:12; James 4:10
  • 25. Nehemiah 4:15; Psalms 33:10; Isaiah 8:10; Isaiah 19:3; Jeremiah 19:7
  • 26. Job 12:23; Psalms 78:59; Psalms 140:8
  • 27. Job 37:24; Isaiah 29:14; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 8:8; Jeremiah 18:18; Jeremiah 51:57
  • 28. Job 15:5; Psalms 36:3; Luke 20:23; 1 Corinthians 3:19*; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 4:14
  • 29. Job 9:4; Job 18:7; Proverbs 21:30; Proverbs 29:6; Jeremiah 8:9
  • 30. Job 15:22,30; Job 18:6,18; Job 20:26; Job 22:11; Job 27:20; Isaiah 8:22; John 12:35; Job 12:25
  • 31. S Deuteronomy 28:29; S Job 18:5; Amos 8:9
  • 32. S Exodus 22:23; Job 8:6; Job 22:27; Job 33:26; Job 36:15; Psalms 35:10
  • 33. S Job 4:10; S Job 31:22
  • 34. Job 20:19; Job 31:16; Proverbs 17:5; Proverbs 22:22; Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 41:17; Isaiah 61:1
  • 35. Psalms 63:11; Psalms 107:42; Romans 3:19
  • 36. Deuteronomy 8:5; Job 33:19; Job 36:10; Zephaniah 3:7; James 1:12
  • 37. Psalms 94:12; Proverbs 3:11; Jeremiah 31:18
  • 38. S Genesis 17:1; S Job 15:11; Hebrews 12:5-11
  • 39. Psalms 147:3; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 61:1; Hosea 6:1; Isaiah 30:26
  • 40. S Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6
  • 41. Daniel 3:17; Daniel 6:16
  • 42. Psalms 34:19; Psalms 91:10; Proverbs 3:25-26; Proverbs 24:15-16
  • 43. ver 22; Psalms 33:19; Psalms 37:19
  • 44. Psalms 22:20; Psalms 91:7; Psalms 140:7; Psalms 144:10; Jeremiah 39:18
  • 45. Psalms 12:2-4; Psalms 31:20
  • 46. Psalms 23:4; Psalms 27:1; Psalms 91:5
  • 47. ver 15
  • 48. Job 8:21; Job 39:7,18,22; Job 41:29
  • 49. S ver 20
  • 50. S Leviticus 25:18; Psalms 91:13; Ezekiel 34:25; Hosea 2:18; Mark 1:13
  • 51. Isaiah 28:15; Hosea 2:18
  • 52. 2 Kings 3:19,25; Psalms 91:12; Matthew 13:8
  • 53. Job 40:20; Isaiah 11:6-9; Isaiah 65:25; Ezekiel 34:25
  • 54. Job 12:6; Job 21:9
  • 55. Job 8:6; Job 22:23
  • 56. Deuteronomy 28:4; Psalms 112:2
  • 57. Psalms 72:16; Isaiah 44:3-4; Isaiah 48:19
  • 58. S Genesis 15:15; S Deuteronomy 11:21; S Ecclesiastes 8:13
  • 59. Proverbs 3:21-26
  • 60. Job 32:10,17
  • 61. Job 8:5; Job 11:13; Job 22:27

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew "Shaddai" ; here and throughout Job

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

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