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Job 5:1 Call now; is there any who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you appeal?- Eliphaz appears to believe that there are Angels or holy ones around God, but Job cannot get sympathy from any of them. This indicates that the idea of a 'court of heaven', with Angels watching events upon earth, was appreciated by these people. See on Job 1:6.

At that moment, there was indeed nobody who would answer Job nor hear his appeal. Job's desire for these things, for real spiritual friendship and an advocate in Heaven, grew so intense that he comes to visualize an ideal friend, who would not only appreciate his every grief, but who would offer more than commiseration. He came to long for one who would reconcile him with the righteousness of God. Naturally, he would have had in mind Abraham's promised seed. His mind was therefore being prepared to desire the coming of Messiah; in prospect, he was developing a personal understanding and appreciation of the Lord Jesus. In all this, Job is our glorious example. There can be very few who have not experienced the terror of complete spiritual isolation, longing for understanding and true appreciation, but finding none within the ecclesia whom they can turn to. As we look back from our traumas to the glorious reality of Christ's existence, so Job looked forward to it.

Job 5:2 For resentment kills the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple-
"Resentment" is AV "fury"; and the Hebrew translated "jealousy" is also translated "zeal". The idea could be that it is God's fury and jealousy which slays the fool, as happened in the judgment of Judah and her enemies (s.w. Is. 42:13; 59:17; Ez. 5:13; 16:38). Eliphaz sees the "fire of God" which struck Job's family as a sign that they were spiritually foolish. And he continues his allusions to Job's family in :3 and :4.

Job 5:3 I have seen the foolish taking root, but suddenly I cursed his habitation-
"The foolish" refers obliquely to Job, spreading out as a tree in his prosperity, and then having his "habitation" cursed. It was God through the Satan figure who apparently cursed or judged Job's habitation; but here Eliphaz says that he personally had done so. This continues to strengthen the hints that the friends were connected with the Satan and their forces may have been those which attacked his family.

Job 5:4 His children are far from safety. They are crushed in the gate. Neither is there any to deliver them-
Job prayed God would forgive his children in case they sinned. The friends mocked this in Job 5:4; 8:4; 17:5 and 20:10, saying that the children of the foolish die for their own sins, whereas, by implication, Job had figured that his prayers and sacrifices could gain them forgiveness. Yet in the end, Yahweh stated that Job had understood Him and His principles right, whereas the friends hadn’t. "Safety" is literally 'salvation', and Eliphaz taunts Job that those who truly seek God (:8) will indeed be saved (s.w. :11). There was none to "deliver" Job, so far as Eliphaz could see by his naked eye; but he was sure that such "deliverance" would be given to those who sought God (:19 s.w.). The exiles sought such 'salvation' or "deliverance" (s.w. Neh. 9:28), but there was "not any to deliver them" (Is. 42:22 s.w.). Job represents them; but as the story unfolds, we see that if they like Job were to resign their own righteousness, confess their sins and throw themselves upon God's grace- amazing restoration would come from the result of the "Chaldeans" who had devastated them as they had Job. The exiles too would be "delivered" (Jer. 20:13; Ez. 34:12 s.w.).


Job 5:5 whose harvest the hungry eats up, and take it even out of the thorns. They snare gapes for their substance-
Here again Eliphaz wanders in his logic, assuming that Job's children had not shared their harvest with the hungry, nor allowed the poor to live by picking up stray grapes from their vineyards (as later required by the law of Moses). He assumes these sins must have happened, and likes to imagine that the invaders of Job's lands were disgruntled, hungry people. And many similar false suppositions are made by people today as they grapple with the problem of evil and personal suffering.



Job 5:6 For affliction doesn’t come forth from the dust, neither does trouble spring out of the ground-
The idea is that affliction doesn't come about as part of natural process, like plants spring out of the dust / ground. "Dust", humanity, isn't naturally born to the kind of affliction Job had experienced- according to Eliphaz. Whereas the Genesis record appears to teach the opposite; that we live in a fallen world where indeed affliction does arise as part of natural process. Eliphaz struggled to accept this, as many do today, assuming that all suffering must be the direct result of personal sin. That is simply not true to observable fact and basic human experience.

Job 5:7 but man is born to trouble, as the arrows of the sons of Resheph fly upward-
Significantly, it is the friends who make allusion to the ‘Satan’ figures and gods as if they are real, whereas Job in his responses always denies their reality and sees God as the direct source of His sufferings. Bildad speaks of how Job’s troubles are to be associated with “the king of terrors” (Job 18:14); Eliphaz blames them upon the “sons of Resheph” (Job 5:7); but Job’s response is that the source of the evil in his life is ultimately from God and not any such being. Eliphaz there speaks of how man’s trouble comes “as the sons of Resheph fly upwards”. Resheph was known as “the lord of the arrow” and the Ugaritic tablets associate him with archery (William J. Fulco, The Canaanite God Resep (New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society, 1976)). We would therefore be justified in reading in an ellipsis here: man’s trouble comes “as the [arrows of] the sons of Resheph fly upwards”. Job’s response is that “The arrows of the Almighty are in me” (Job 6:4), and he lament that God is an archer using him as his target for practice (Job 7:20; 16:12,13). Job refuses to accept Eliphaz’s explanation that Job is a victim of Resheph’s arrows. For Job, if God is “the Almighty” then there is no space left for Resheph. Each blow he received, each arrow strike, was from God and not Resheph.


Or we can read: "Man is born unto trouble, as the sons of the burning coal lift up to fly" (AVmg.). This would be using Angel-Cherubim language to say that it is inevitable that our Angels will bring trials into our lives.


Job 5:8 But as for me, I would seek God. I would commit my cause to God-
Job did indeed seek God. But the friends assume that they can infer from the reality of Job's sufferings that therefore he didn't really seek God. This is to become a major theme in the book, so relevant to those Jews in exile who struggled with the problem of evil. Experience of suffering is not to say that therefore we have specifically personally sinned, and the sufferings of the suffering servant, who was Job and ultimately the Lord Jesus, are proof enough of that.

Job 5:9 who does great things that can’t be fathomed, marvellous things without number-
Job was one of the earliest books of the Bible, and these words are alluded to or even quoted with affirmation by other believers (Ps. 40:5; 72:18; 77:14; 136:4). There was some truth in the words of the friends, therefore, although the problem was that they mixed aspects of truth with much wrong interpretation. But the parts which are true are shown to be so by the way the book is used in later scripture. 

Job 5:10 who gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields-
The way that God is essentially a giver, as witnessed throughout His creation, is a reason to turn to Him. That is a truth, but Eliphaz is wrong to reason that Job has not thus turned to God because Job is suffering. See on :9.

Job 5:11 so that He sets up on high those who are low; those who mourn are exalted to safety-
 The idea of setting the low up on high is definitely applied to the exiles who would repent in Is. 57:15. Those who mourned for Zion would be delivered / 'saved'. All this came true in the experience of Job, and it could have done so for the exiles had they humbled themselves as Job did.

This is also quoted in Prov. 3:11, which is a prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prov. 3:13-15 describes our Lord's successful finding of wisdom in the language of Job's unsuccessful search for it in Job 28:16-19, implying He found what Job and the friends did not (cp. Rom. 9:31,32). As explained on :9, the 'true' elements in the friends' speeches are confirmed as true by their usage in later scripture.

Job 5:12 He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands can’t perform their enterprise-
Eliphaz clearly understands Job as "the crafty", as stated explicitly in Job 15:5 (s.w.). As explained on :9, the true elements in the speeches of the friends are quoted in later scripture, although the friends misuse the 'truths' they held to condemn Job. This therefore is quoted with approval in 1 Cor. 1:19. Eliphaz is explaining why he thinks Job and  his view of life have been brought to nothing, and Paul uses these words about the bringing down of legalism and the Judaists. Thus Paul read Job as representative of those who were influenced by the legalism of the Judaizers. Paul continues: "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world?" (1 Cor. 1:20). Job's constant desire to dispute with God and the friends, and the claims both he and they made to possessing wisdom, show Job was clearly in Paul's mind. "Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" he concludes, maybe thinking of the humbled Job and his friends.

Job 5:13 He takes the wise in their own craftiness; the counsel of the cunning is carried away headlong-
This too is quoted in 1 Cor. 3:19; see on :12. We note that Paul here quotes the Hebrew text and not the LXX, even though most of his quotations from the Old Testament seem to prefer the LXX over the Hebrew (Masoretic) text. It wasn't that Paul personally picked and chose which version fitted his line of thought; he was a Divinely inspired writer, and God chose to interpret His word as He knew most appropriate.


Job 5:14 They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope at noonday as in the night-
Eliphaz considers that Job was experiencing darkness at noon. And indeed he was. But in this Job looked ahead to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus on the cross. He like the Lord suffered as a sinner without having personally sinned. Job was representative of sinful Israel under judgment, for to "grope at noonday" was their punishment for breaking the covenant (s.w. Dt. 28:29).


Job 5:15 But He saves from the sword of their mouth, even the needy from the hand of the mighty-
This again is directly relevant to the exiles in Babylon; if they accepted the new covenant and repented as Job did, they too would be saved "from the hand of the mighty" (s.w. Jer. 31:11).

Job 5:16 So the poor has hope, and injustice shuts her mouth-
Again this was true for the exiles, "the poor", who had "the hope of Israel"- restoration and deliverance from those who had abused them as Job had been abused. Only then, in that final experience of deliverance at the restoration of the Kingdom, would injustice finally be answered. Everyone in the drama of Job, as in the world today, wanted an immediate answer and resolution of injustice. But that was not to be; it was only in the final realization of the hope of Israel that injustice would be silenced.

Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects! Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty-
As noted on :9, the true parts of the friends' words are confirmed in later scripture. These ideas are alluded to in Prov. 3:12; Heb. 12:5; James 1:12. But again, whilst the friends have some truth, they misuse it; for Eliphaz wrongly assumes that Job is despising God's hand, and ought to be "happy" if he were a true believer. But the nature of suffering is not like that, and the picture is not so simple. The 'happiness' of God's people is only at the end, in the Kingdom, when all things are resolved (s.w. Dt. 33:29; Dan. 12:12). Or in the restoration context, when Babylon fell and God's people were restored from exile (s.w. Ps. 137:8), after they had repented- for the positive effect of "chastening" is only experienced upon repentance (Job 36:10 s.w.). Judah in exile didn't repent, and so they were left with the problem of having been 'chastened' apparently in vain. The friends also fail to realize that "chastening" may not necessarily be for our own personal sins; the suffering servant was 'chastened' not for his own sins, but to achieve our peace with God (Is. 53:5 s.w.).



Job 5:18 For He wounds, and binds up. He injures, and His hands make whole-
LXX "for he causes a man to be in pain, and restores him again: he smites, and his hands heal". This is relevant to the restoration of Judah which was possible at the restoration. Judah were like Job, covered in sores, but they refused to be 'bound up' by God (Is. 1:6 s.w.). At the restoration, through the promised suffering servant, this binding up was envisaged (Is. 61:1; Ez. 34:16 s.w.)- if they "returned to the Lord" (s.w. Hos. 6:1). This is why the book of Job is really a call to repentance, and his very name is a form of the Arabic word for 'repentance'. God's ability to "make whole" and heal therefore depended upon human acceptance of it. Judah's refusal to repent precluded all this. "Make whole" is the word for "physician", and Job came to realize that his friends, his fellow worshippers, were in fact physicians of no value who could not make him whole (s.w. Job 13:4). His disillusion with the members of his religion, his brethren, led him to seek the more earnestly to God as the only one whose hands could "make whole" (s.w. "physician").

Although elsewhere Eliphaz reveals his belief in cosmic, supernatural evil, he is driven here by his own logic to accept that the source of both injury and healing is God.

Job 5:19 He will deliver you in six troubles; yes, in seven no evil shall touch you-
"Touch" is the word used by the satan in Job 1:11, again suggesting that Eliphaz and the friends were connected with the Satan, or were in fact the Satan. Ps. 91:10 seems to look back to this passage in Job 5:19: "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling". Ps. 91 is Moses' encouragement to Joshua that the destroying Angel in the wilderness would not harm him, but he would be protected by the Angels who would "keep thee in all thy ways" (Ps. 91:11). Thus Moses may have seen Job 5:19 to be talking about evil brought by Angels of evil (Ps. 78:49 shows his appreciation of these)- i.e. Job's satan Angel who brought the trials.

Job 5:20 In famine He will redeem you from death; in war, from the power of the sword-
Job's calamities may well have driven him to literal famine or lack of food. And again there appears to be an oblique reference back to the "war" upon Job's home encampment. Eliphaz therefore wrongly concludes that Job has not turned to God, or else he would be redeemed from the death that surrounded him. The phrase "redeem from death" is only used elsewhere in Hos. 13:14, where again we have the hope of redemption which was placed before a suffering Judah if they repented. Although Job had not personally sinned, he was representative of his suffering, sinful people. All his struggles with the injustice of it all were because he failed to realize that; and thus the representative nature of the work of the Lord Jesus is one of the major teachings of the book.  

Job 5:21 You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes-
As noted on :9, the true elements in the speeches of the friends are alluded to in later scripture, in this case in Ps. 31:20. But as with many today, the friends misused what truth they held in their mistreatment and judgmental attitude towards Job. We can observe that the calamities listed by Eliphaz in :21-23 include many of the judgments which the prophets threaten upon Judah, and which were fulfilled at the Babylonian invasion (famine, war, devastation, wild animals). Job is presented as Judah's representative, and his repentance and restoration could have been theirs.  

Job 5:22 At destruction and famine you shall laugh, neither shall you be afraid of the animals of the earth-
LXX "wild beasts", as in :23. These are symbols of the enemies of Judah who devoured her (Ez. 14:15). The repentant daughter of Zion could have laughed at them (Ps. 2); but she failed to follow Job's path.


Job 5:23 For you shall be allied with the stones of the field. The animals of the field shall be at peace with you-
The reference may be to how invaders, the wild beasts, spoiled the land by dropping stones throughout it. The idea is of peace with the natural creation as well as the invaders. This was the ultimate prophetic picture for Judah in their restored kingdom- if they repented.

Job 5:24 You shall know that your tent is in peace. You shall visit your fold, and shall miss nothing-
LXX "and the provision for thy tabernacle shall not fail", perhaps connecting with how there was no provision for the temple services until the restoration under Ezra and Nehemiah. In the immediate context, Eliphaz has in view how the tents of Job were afflicted and the animals of his fold were stolen.

Job 5:25 You shall know also that your seed shall be great, your offspring as the grass of the earth-
The way Eliphaz speaks of how Job’s seed or offspring could be many or “great… as the grass of the earth” suggests the people of Job’s time were familiar with the promises made to Abraham, and the concept of their being applicable to them too. Eliphaz therefore suggests that Abraham is not in fact a true seed of Abraham because the promises were not having fulfilment in him; see on :26. But those promises have their ultimate fulfilment in the future Kingdom; whereas the friends, like many today, thought that the promised Divine blessings have to be fulfilled immediately, in this life. And if they aren't, then we must have sinned. But the promised blessings were all of grace, of faith and not works; and would be fulfilled in the future.


Job 5:26 You shall come to your grave in a full age, like a sheaf of grain comes in its season-
This and :25 did come ultimately true for Job, and Eliphaz lived to see it, and to realize he had been wrong in his judgment of Job. The allusion is clearly to Abraham, whose seed Job was (Gen. 15:15; 25:8). See on :25, where Eliphaz has implied Job is not the seed of Abraham.

Job 5:27 Look this, we have examined it, so it is. Hear it, and know it for your good
- LXX "but do thou reflect with thyself, if thou hast done anything wrong". The friends speak as if they are the final court – Eliphaz speaks of how the judges and elders of their day, the “holy ones”, had concluded Job was guilty, and that they, the friends, were right: “To which of the holy ones will you appeal [legal language]?... we have [legally] examined this, and it [Job’s guilt] is true” (Job 5:1,27). But we learn by the end of the book that it is God's judgment in the court of heaven which is the only judgment worth paying attention to. This is of great comfort to those who feel misjudged by man – above them in Heaven the ultimate Heavenly court is considering our case, and that is all that matters. Job appeals for ‘witnesses’ (Job 9:33–35; 16:18–22; 19:20–27), an advocate in Heaven (Job 9:33), denies his guilt and demands a legal list of his sins (Job 13:19), he wishes for God to come to trial (Job 9:3), and thus Job is described as a man who has taken out a ‘case’ with God (Job 23:4; 40:2). Job 29–31 is effectively Job’s declaration of legal innocence and an appeal to God to hear his case more sympathetically (Job 31:35). And of course God pronounces a final legal verdict at the very end (Job 42:7), in response to Job’s earlier plea: “Sleeplessly I wait for His reply” (Job 16:22). It’s as if the whole experience of Job was [at least partly] in order to test out the Canaanite theories of ‘Satan’, suffering and evil in the court of Heaven; and also the various theories which arose to explain Judah's captivity in Babylon. The friends represent the traditional views of evil, and often make reference to the myths of their day about ‘Satan’ figures.