Job 15

1 Eliphaz of Teman spoke a second time:
2 "If you were truly wise, would you sound so much like a windbag, belching hot air?
3 Would you talk nonsense in the middle of a serious argument, babbling baloney?
4 Look at you! You trivialize religion, turn spiritual conversation into empty gossip.
5 It's your sin that taught you to talk this way. You chose an education in fraud.
6 Your own words have exposed your guilt. It's nothing I've said - you've incriminated yourself!
7 Do you think you're the first person to have to deal with these things? Have you been around as long as the hills?
8 Were you listening in when God planned all this? Do you think you're the only one who knows anything?
9 What do you know that we don't know? What insights do you have that we've missed?
10 Gray beards and white hair back us up - old folks who've been around a lot longer than you.
11 Are God's promises not enough for you, spoken so gently and tenderly?
12 Why do you let your emotions take over, lashing out and spitting fire,
13 Pitting your whole being against God by letting words like this come out of your mouth?
14 Do you think it's possible for any mere mortal to be sinless in God's sight, for anyone born of a human mother to get it all together?
15 Why, God can't even trust his holy angels. He sees the flaws in the very heavens themselves,
16 So how much less we humans, smelly and foul, who lap up evil like water?
17 "I've a thing or two to tell you, so listen up! I'm letting you in on my views;
18 It's what wise men and women have always taught, holding nothing back from what they were taught
19 By their parents, back in the days when they had this land all to themselves:
20 Those who live by their own rules, not God's, can expect nothing but trouble, and the longer they live, the worse it gets.
21 Every little sound terrifies them. Just when they think they have it made, disaster strikes.
22 They despair of things ever getting better - they're on the list of people for whom things always turn out for the worst.
23 They wander here and there, never knowing where the next meal is coming from - every day is doomsday!
24 They live in constant terror, always with their backs up against the wall
25 Because they insist on shaking their fists at God, defying God Almighty to his face,
26 Always and ever at odds with God, always on the defensive.
27 "Even if they're the picture of health, trim and fit and youthful,
28 They'll end up living in a ghost town sleeping in a hovel not fit for a dog, a ramshackle shack.
29 They'll never get ahead, never amount to a hill of beans.
30 And then death - don't think they'll escape that! They'll end up shriveled weeds, brought down by a puff of God's breath.
31 There's a lesson here: Whoever invests in lies, gets lies for interest,
32 Paid in full before the due date. Some investment!
33 They'll be like fruit frost-killed before it ripens, like buds sheared off before they bloom.
34 The godless are fruitless - a barren crew; a life built on bribes goes up in smoke.
35 They have sex with sin and give birth to evil. Their lives are wombs for breeding 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?

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

Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.