1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2 "Should a wise man utter vain knowledge and fill his belly with the east wind?
3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, or with speeches with which he can do no good?
4 You even cast off fear and restrain prayer before God.
5 For your mouth utters your iniquity, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I. Your own lips even testify against you.
7 Are you the first man who was born? Or were you made before the hills?
8 Have you heard the secret of God? And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand which is not in us?
10 With us are both the gray headed and very aged men, much older than your father.
11 Are the consolations of God small with you? Is there any secret thing with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away? And what do your eyes wink at,
13 That you turn your spirit against God and let such words go out of your mouth?
14 What is man that he should be clean, and he who is born of a woman that he should be righteous?
15 Behold, he puts no trust in his saints. The heavens are not even clean in his sight.
16 How much more abominable and filthy is man who drinks iniquity like water?
17 I will show you. Hear me. And that which I have seen, I will declare
18 (Which wise men have told from their fathers and have not hid it,
19 To whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them).
20 The wicked man travails with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.
21 A dreadful sound is in his ears. In prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.
22 He does not believe that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for by the sword.
23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, 'Where is it?' He knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid. They shall prevail against him, as a king ready for the battle.
25 For he stretches out his hand against God and strengthens himself against the Almighty.
26 He runs upon him with a stiff neck, with the thick bosses of his bucklers,
27 Because he covers his face with his fatness and makes collops of fat on his loins.
28 And he dwells in desolate cities and in houses which no man inhabits, which are ready to become heaps.
29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong its perfection upon the earth.
30 He shall not depart out of darkness. The flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth he shall go away.
31 Do not let him who is deceived trust in vanity, for vanity shall be his recompense.
32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.
33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine and cast off his flower as the olive.
34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepares deceit."
John Gill's 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 endeavors 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; indeed, 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 (verses 1-6); he charges him with arrogance and a high conceit of himself, as if he was the first man that was made, no, 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 (verses 7-10); and also with slighting the consolations of God; upon which he warmly expostulates with him (verses 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 (verses 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 (verses 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 (verses 25-27); notwithstanding all, their estates, riches, and wealth, will come to nothing (verses 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 (verses 31-35).
[v.4] - "restrain prayer" - Or, "hinder devotion."
[v.8] - "the secret of God" - That is, the secret counsel of God.
[v.15] - "his saints" - Or, "his holy ones." This is referring to the angels.
[v.19] - "the earth" - That is, the land.
[v.25] - "strengthens himself" - Or, "behaves himself proudly."
[v.26] - "He runs upon him with a stiff neck" - From the Pulpit commentary: "It is not God who runs upon the wicked man... but the wicked man who rushes furiously against God."
[v.30] - "by the breath of his mouth he shall go away" - That is, by the breath of God's mouth. Reference, Job 4:9.