New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 5 Dec. 4 
Eliphaz Continues his Speech
Call now; is there any who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you appeal? 2For resentment kills the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple. 3I have seen the foolish taking root, but suddenly I cursed his habitation. 4His children are far from safety. They are crushed in the gate. Neither is there any to deliver them, 5whose harvest the hungry eats up, and take it even out of the thorns. They snare gapes for their substance. 6For affliction doesn’t come forth from the dust, neither does trouble spring out of the ground; 7but man is born to trouble, as the arrows of the sons of Resheph fly upward. 8But as for me, I would seek God. I would commit my cause to God, 9who does great things that can’t be fathomed, marvellous things without number; 10who gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields; 11so that He sets up on high those who are low; those who mourn are exalted to safety. 12He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands can’t perform their enterprise. 13He takes the wise in their own craftiness; the counsel of the cunning is carried away headlong. 14They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope at noonday as in the night. 15But He saves from the sword of their mouth, even the needy from the hand of the mighty. 16So the poor has hope, and injustice shuts her mouth. 17Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects! Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. 18For He wounds, and binds up. He injures, and His hands make whole. 19He will deliver you in six troubles; yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. 20In famine He will redeem you from death; in war, from the power of the sword. 21You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes. 22At destruction and famine you shall laugh, neither shall you be afraid of the animals of the earth. 23For you shall be allied with the stones of the field. The animals of the field shall be at peace with you. 24You shall know that your tent is in peace. You shall visit your fold, and shall miss nothing. 25You shall know also that your seed shall be great, your offspring as the grass of the earth. 26You shall come to your grave in a full age, like a sheaf of grain comes in its season. 27Look this, we have examined it, so it is. Hear it, and know it for your good.


5:4 His children are far from safety- The friends often allude to Job’s situation in describing the fate of the wicked. They assumed that because Job’s children had been killed, therefore he was wicked. This kind of indirect hitting on a person is very hurtful; when we experience it, we can think of Job.
5:7 The sons of Resheph- 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. Eliphaz here blames Job’s troubles upon the “sons of Resheph”; Bildad speaks of how Job’s troubles are to be associated with “the king of terrors” (18:14); but Job’s response is that the source of the evil in his life is ultimately from God and not any such being. Resheph was known as "the lord of the arrow" and the Ugaritic tablets associate him with archery. Job's response is that "The arrows of the Almighty are in me" (6:4), and he laments that God is an archer using him as His target for practice (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.
5:12,13 The New Testament references to Job suggest that he was seen as a symbol of the Jewish system of reliance on human status, self righteousness and works, which all has to be humbled and no longer trusted if we accept God’s grace. Thus Paul quotes these verses in 1 Cor. 1:19: "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent". Eliphaz is explaining why he thinks Job and his view of life have been brought to nothing. Thus Paul read Job as a type of those who were influenced by the pseudo-wisdom 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. "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" he concludes, maybe thinking of the humbled Job. Job was the greatest of the men of the east (1:3), people who were renowned in the ancient world for their wisdom (Mt.2:1; 1 Kings 4:30). Thus Job would have been full of worldly wisdom, and this is maybe behind Paul's words of 1 Cor.3:18,19: "If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written [quoting Job 5:13, which is Eliphaz speaking about Job], He takes the wise in their own craftiness". 
5:14 Darkness at noon was understood as Divine judgment; hence when this happened at Christ’s death, we are invited to understand His death as being the judgment of this world (Jn. 12:31). To come before Christ on the cross is to come before our judgment; hence the connection between self-examination at the breaking of bread and at the last day. There are also links between Job and Deuteronomy 28, as if Job was the personification of Israel suffering for their sins (see on 3:23). Yet he was personally spotless to God (1:1,2). Thus he was a type of Christ, who although personally sinless was totally identified with sinful humanity. Suffering darkness at noon and groping in the daytime as in the night = Dt. 28:29; Job’s fits of blindness (22:10,11) = Dt. 29:29; boils from head to foot (2:7) = Dt. 28:35; made an astonishment (= Dt. 28:37) and a byword (17:6; 30:9) = Dt. 28:37; wishing for night in the morning and for the morning at night (7:4) = Dt. 28:67; Job’s of children and cattle = Dt. 28:41,51.