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Bible Commentaries

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Job 15

 

 

Verse 1

"Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge and fill himself with the east wind?" Eliphaz had been insulted by Job"s long speeches, which he calls windy defenses, or like a hot east wind, the dreaded desert sirocco, "Job"s words blew hard but were useless" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 736). Basically he is accusing Job of being a windbag and full of hot air.


Verse 3

He claims that Job"s lengthy arguments have been useless, they have failed to convince or convict. In the next chapter Job himself will accuse his friends of being the ones with windy words (16:3).


Verse 4

Next he charges Job with being irreverent in his speech. "Rather than fostering a reverent attitude toward God, Job, according to Eliphaz, did away with (literally, diminished or undermined) reverence, piety, or the fear of God, and actually hindered meditation, that is devotion" (Zuck p. 69). He contends that Job"s words, if taken seriously, would destroy his religion, and hinder or upset the faith of others.


Verse 5

"For your guilt teaches your mouth, and you choose the language of the crafty": The accusation here is that Job"s rebellion, for which God is supposedly punishing him, is now breaking out in his speech. "Your sin causes you to speak irreverently against God. Your very words of boastful self-defense testify to the presence of inner sin" (Zuck p. 69). In addition, Job is speaking like the "crafty", the same Hebrew word is used of the serpent in Genesis 3:1.


Verse 6

"Your own mouth condemns you": Eliphaz argues that Job"s self-defense is sufficient to condemn him before God; his own protestation of innocence is enough to declare him guilty, compare with 9:20. "The elder of the trio sought to free himself from hurling accusations at Job by observing that Job"s own words condemned him" (Zuck p. 70). "And not I": And yet after saying this, he will continue to hurl accusations at Job.


Verse 7

"Were you the first man to be born, or were you brought forth before the hills?" This is like our modern expression, "older than the hills". "Eliphaz suggests that the patriarch is egotistical by implying that he believed that his wisdom was greater than that of antiquity" (Jackson p. 47). "Who does Job think he is, the oldest man on the earth, and therefore the wisest?"


Verse 8

"Does he think he, like wisdom, existed before the creation of the long-enduring mountains (Proverbs 8:25)? Does he suppose he has access to God"s secret counsels? Does he think only he is wise?" (Zuck p. 70). Does Job have some kind of inside track to God"s council chambers? Actually, this is an unfair accusation, for Job had not claimed that he was wiser than his friends, but simply their equal (12:3; 13:2).


Verse 9

"Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us, older than your father": "Job, though a mature man, should have respect for the wisdom of his elders. From Eliphaz"s vantage point, Job"s contesting of their theology was an inexcusable act of disrespect for the elderly" (Zuck p. 70). "Eliphaz takes personal offense at Job"s contention that he is not inferior to him in knowledge and wisdom. His position and prestige are threatened" (McKenna p. 120). Here is the assumption that being older will naturally mean that one is wiser, yet see Psalm 119:100).


Verse 11

"Are the consolations of God too small for you, even the word spoken gently with you?" Here the claim is that Job ought to be content with the fact that God is consoling Job would Eliphaz"s gentle speech, yet his speech is far from gentle at times. Job will later dismiss these friends as being miserable comforters (16:2).


Verse 12

Job is rebuked for his uncontrolled passion that has displayed itself in his spirited speeches. The claim is that Job has been angrily attacking God.


Verse 14

"Sensing that Job did not assimilate what Eliphaz had said about man in his first talk, he repeated himself. Weak man is impure; and born of woman; he is unrighteous (4:17). God does not trust His angels, and the heavens are not pure, so how can man be trusted by God or stand in moral purity before Him" (Zuck p. 71). All of this is a response to Job"s claim of innocence (9:21; 12:4).


Verse 16

The word "detestable" means repulsive and the term "corrupt", means to sour like milk. "The clear implication is that Job is impure, unrighteous, detestable, and corrupt, and that he guzzles sin as naturally and intensely as if it were water" (Zuck p. 71).


Verse 17

"I will tell you, listen to me; and what I have seen I will also declare": Here is the man of "experience" speaking and to his own lifelong observations; he will add the collected wisdom of the ancient (15:18). "Eliphaz was about to tell Job something wise men had told-traditions from their fathers, traditions that had not been hidden, but had been passed on" (Zuck p. 71).


Verse 19

"To whom alone the land was given, and no alien passed among them": This was wisdom that was pure before the land had been infested by alien and foreign teachings.


Verse 20

This verse begins another section on the fate of the wicked. Eliphaz argues that the wicked spend all their days writhing or tossing about in pain and anxiety. The term "ruthless" means "terror-striking", "giving the idea that Job was a tyrant who struck fear into other people" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 737).


Verse 21

"One who strikes terror in others is himself terrified. Possibly this refers to imaginary sounds haunting his stricken conscience" (Zuck p. 72). "While at peace the destroyer comes upon him": Eliphaz insinuates that this is exactly what had happened to Job (1:13-19).


Verse 22

"The meaning is that the sinner is tormented by his guilty conscience; he is always fearing that he may not awake from his sleep, or he is always dreading misfortune" (Zuck p. 72). In addition, he is destined for the sword, that is, destined to suffer a violent death because he himself was violent against others.


Verse 23

"Fearful that he may become impoverished, the unrighteous man seeks to hunt and hoard food, anticipating his need for hiding because of his wrong-doing. For such a person, darkness stalks in the daytime" (Zuck p. 73).


Verse 24

Job had said that God had terrified him (9:34; 13:21), now Eliphaz argues that it is actually a man"s own guilty conscience that terrifies him.


Verse 25

Here is what happens to the man who conducts himself arrogantly against God, these are the agonizing tortures and pain that he will experience. Eliphaz is basically trying to scare Job into repentance. "The outstretched hand is a gesture of defiance (shakes his fist)" (Zuck p. 73).


Verse 26

Job is here pictured as going on the offensive against God and attacking Him. Yet there actually are sinners who do exactly this, and seek to take God head-on.


Verse 27

The inference is that Job has become guilty of self-indulgence, that is, the fattened face and bulging midline. "The image is one of gluttonous fatness, the characteristic of spiritual insensibility (Psalm 73:7). This wicked insensitive person sits around and gets fatter. The Hebrew pimah means "blubber" or a superabundance of fat on the man"s loins" (Strauss p. 149).


Verse 28

Yet the wealthy wicked come to ruin, forced to live in ghost towns, abandoned houses, and crumbling residences.


Verse 29

Such a person will lose all their wealth (another attack upon Job). "In fact, his wheat will not be heavy with grain and thus will not droop to the ground" (Zuck p. 74).


Verse 30

Darkness will overtake him, fire will destroy his crops, and he will be blown away by the anger of God"s breath. Their prosperity will vanish, "like flames that reduce a forest to ashes" (Strauss p. 149).


Verse 31

The evil man who trusts in worthless possessions will receive nothing of value.


Verse 32

"Like a vine without grapes, and a dying olive tree, a reprobate dies prematurely" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 738). The theory here is that God always repays the wicked before they depart from this life, that God never allows evil men to die prosperous.


Verse 34

"Tents of the corrupt": This seems to infer that Job had gained his wealth through underhanded means.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 15:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-15.html. 1999-2014.

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