Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Job
Book: Job
Chapter: 5

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

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.

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.

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!