The Trial of Job

Chapter 5

Eliphaz shows that the end of the wicked is misery, 1-5; that man is born to trouble, 6, 7; that God is to be regarded in affliction, 8-16; the happy end of God's correction, 17-27.

"Call now, if there is any who will answer you./
And to which of the saints will you turn?

For wrath kills the foolish man,/
and envy slays the silly one.

I have seen the foolish taking root,/
but suddenly I cursed his habitation.

His children are far from safety./
They are crushed in the gate,/
neither is there anyone to deliver them.

The hungry eat up his harvest/
and take it even out of the thorns,/
and the robber swallows up their substance.

Although affliction does not come forth from the dust,/
neither does trouble spring out of the ground,

Yet man is born to trouble,/
as the sparks fly upward.

I would seek God,/
and to God I would commit my cause,

Who does great and unsearchable things,/
wonderful things without number.

10 He gives rain upon the earth/
and sends waters upon the fields,

11 To set on high those who are low/
so that those who mourn may be exalted to safety.

12 He disappoints the devices of the crafty/
so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

13 He takes the wise in their own craftiness,/
and the counsel of the cunning is carried headlong.

14 They meet with darkness in the day-time/
and grope in the noon-day as in the night.

15 But he saves the poor from the sword, from their mouth,/
and from the hand of the mighty.

16 So the poor has hope,/
and iniquity stops her mouth.

17 Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;/
therefore, do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.

18 For he makes sore and binds up./
He wounds and his hands make whole.

19 He will deliver you in six troubles,/
even in seven no evil shall touch you.

20 In famine he will redeem you from death,/
and in war from the power of the sword.

21 You shall be hid from the scourge of the tongue,/
neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes.

22 At destruction and famine you shall laugh,/
neither shall you be afraid of the beasts of the earth.

23 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,/
and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.

24 And you shall know that your tabernacle will be in peace,/
and you shall visit your habitation and miss nothing.

25 You shall also know that your posterity will be great/
and your offspring as the grass of the earth.

26 You shall come to your grave in a full age,/
as a stack of grain comes in its season.

27 Behold this, we have searched it, and it is so./
Hear it, and know it for your good."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Job, Chapter 5[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

In this chapter Eliphaz goes on to prove, and further confirm and establish, what he had before asserted, that not good men, but wicked men only, are afflicted of God, at least greatly, so as to have their substance wholly destroyed and perish, which was Job's case; and this partly from the case, state, and sentiments of all the saints (verses 1-2); and from his own observation and experience (verses 3-5); and then he proceeds to give some advice; and seeing afflictions do not come by chance, but are of God, it is right in such circumstances for a man to seek to the Lord for pardon and salvation, and commit his cause to him (verses 6-8); who does many great things in a providential way to the good of man in general, and to the disappointment of wicked crafty men, and to the serving of the poor in particular (verses 9-16); so that it is best patiently to bear the afflicting hand of God, and it is a happiness to be corrected by him, since he delivers such out of all their troubles, and preserves them from many evils, and bestows many good things on them; which would be Job's case particularly, if he behaved according to the advice given, and which is left with him to consider of (verses 17-27).

[v.3] - From John Calvin's Sermons on Job: "For those who meddle so hastily with the judging of their neighbors, forget themselves, and God will not spare them though they flatter themselves. They must be willing to come before their judge, who will handle them rigorously, because they over slipped themselves so much in their own faults. Let us note then, that our mind must not go about here and there to seek out the evil that is in our neighbors. But every man must enter into himself, and examine his own state and life. And when we find any fault in ourselves, we must condemn it… And therefore it is not for us to be judges; for it were too great a rashness, if we should take so much preeminence upon us as to say, 'O, that man shall make an evil end,' or, 'Such a man shall come to shame.' A man must not presume so far, but it belongs to God only to curse or bless."

[v.4] - "in the gate" - From John Calvin's Sermons on Job: "They shall fall, not in a forest among thieves, but by open justice. For in the Scripture the word, gate, signifies judgment, because men's cases were known to be debated there, and it was the place where common assemblies were made, and finally it was the seat of justice. And this is that which is meant in the Psalm where it is said, that the children of good men and of such as are blessed of God, shall be maintained in the gate, and put their enemies to confusion (Psalm 127:5)."

[v.7] - "Such is the frailty of our bodies, and the vanity of our enjoyments, that our troubles arise as naturally as the sparks fly upward." —Matthew Henry

[v.8-9] - From John Calvin's Sermons on Job: "When we think of God, it must be done with all reverence to know him as he is, and not as we falsely surmise him to be. True it is that God shows himself to us by his word; but yet nevertheless, we are inexcusable, if we consider him not in his works also, inasmuch as he has not left himself without witness there, as the Apostle Paul says in Acts, ch. 14, where he speaks of the order of nature, which is as it were a glass for us to behold God in (Acts 14:17)."

[v.9a] - "For our true wisdom is to be ignorant in the things that God will have hidden from us." —John Calvin

[v.9b] - Reference, Job 9:10, 11:7-9, 26:5-14, 37:5; Psalm 40:5, 72:18, 86:10, 139:17-18; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 11:33.

[v.11] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "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." Reference, Isaiah 33:16; Matthew 5:3-12; Luke 6:20-23.

[v.13] - Quoted in 1st Corinthians 3:19.

[v.17] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "We must never think it a thing below us to come under [God's] discipline, but reckon, on the contrary, that God really magnifies man when he thus visits and tries him (Job 7:17-18)... Correction is an evidence of [a man's] sonship and a means of his sanctification; it mortifies his corruptions, weans his heart from the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to his Bible, brings him to his knees, and so is working for him, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory... When God makes sores by the rebukes of his providence he binds up by the consolations of his Spirit."

[v.18] - From John Calvin's Sermons on Job: "Let us learn, that until God has touched us with his Holy Spirit, it is impossible that his chastisements should serve to bring us back to repentance, but rather they shall make us to grow worse and worse."

[v.19-22] - From John Calvin's Sermons on Job: "When we are afflicted on one side, God will on the other side make us feel that we are helped. When we are locked up so as there seems no way for us to escape, God will find one for us, even after his own fashion."

[v.24a] - "visit" - That is, to review, inspect, examine, or make an account of.

[v.24b] - "and shall miss nothing" - In other words, "and shall find nothing missing." Everything will be present and accounted for.

[v.24c] - "Peace is the house in which those dwell who dwell in God, and are at home in him." —Matthew Henry

[v.24d] - "Family piety crowns family peace and prosperity." —Matthew Henry

[v.25] - "It is a comfort to parents to see the prosperity, especially the spiritual prosperity, of their children; if they are truly good, they are truly great, however small a figure they may make in the world." —Matthew Henry

[v.26] - "If the providence of God does not give us long life, yet if the grace of God gives us to be satisfied with the time allotted us, we may be said to come to a full age. Our times are in God's hand; it is well they are so, for he will take care that those who are his shall die in the best time: however their death may seem to us untimely, it will be found not unseasonable." —Matthew Henry