King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 15

Eliphaz reproves Job. (1-16) The unquietness of wicked men. (17-35)

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Eliphaz reproves Job

1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, 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 wherewith he can do no good?

4 Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.

5 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.

6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.

7 Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?

8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?

9 What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?

10 With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.

11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,

13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?

14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

The unquietness of wicked men

17 I will shew thee, 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 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.

20 The wicked man travaileth 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 believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.

23 He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth 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 to the battle.

25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty.

26 He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:

27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.

28 And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.

29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof 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 shall he go away.

31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.

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 shall 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 prepareth deceit.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Heat. Heb. “east wind,” (H.) or give vent to passion. H. — Eliphaz now rebukes Job without any reserve. C. — He was perhaps displeased at the comparison used by the latter. C. xiii. 4. Baldad had also hinted that Job’s discourse was nothing but wind. C. viii. 2. H. — Being unable to answer his arguments, he reviles him as an enemy of God. W.

Ver. 3. Equal. God, who is far above thee. Heb. “Will he (the wise) argue with less words, or with speeches which are nothing to the purpose?” C.

Ver. 4. God. Another, after thy example, will assert his own innocence under affliction, and will not fear, nor have recourse to God by humble prayer. Behold the dangerous consequences of thy principle. C.

Ver. 5. Blasphemers. Heb. “of the crafty,” which is sometimes taken in a good sense. Sept. “thou hast not distinguished the speeches of the princes.” Thou hast not shewn respect to our admonitions, (C.) or understood our meaning. H. — Thou rather choosest to imitate those false sages, who strive to deceive the world. Abuse could hardly be carried to greater lengths than it is by this man; who before spoke with some moderation. C. iv. C.

Ver. 7. First. Is thy experience so great, (M.) or art thou the most excellent of men? To hear thee we are but novices. C. xiii. 5. C.

Ver. 8. His. Heb. “dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? Sept. “or has wisdom come to thee?” H.

Ver. 10. Fathers. Heb. and Sept. “father.” H. — Eliphaz always speaks first, and hints that he was as old, perhaps older, than Job; who had rather found fault with the youth of Sophar. C. xii. 12. He also boasts that they, or their country, furnished master of great wisdom and experience than even Job’s father. C.

Ver. 11. Thee. This would not be difficult, (T.) if thy presumption did not prove an obstacle. Thou makest small account of those comforts or of our advice, trusting in thy own justice. C. — Sept. “Thou hast been chastised little, considering thy sins. Thou hast spoken with excessive insolence.”

Ver. 12. Why. Sept. “What has thy heart dared, or what have thine eyes brought thee?” Heb. “what do thy eyes wink at?” (H.) through pride and disdain. Ps. xxxiv. 19. Prov. vi. 13. C. — We need not wonder that Eliphaz should misunderstand the looks of Job, (H.) since he gives such a false notion of his speeches. C.

Ver. 14. Just. Few are free from all spot; but venial sins do not hinder a man from being styled truly virtuous. W.

Ver. 15. Unchangeable, of his own nature, and during this life. C. — Heb. and Sept. “is not trusted by him,” till they have been tried, (H. C. iv. 17. None is good but God alone. Mar. x. 18.) in comparison. T.

Ver. 16. Water, with the utmost avidity and unconcern. Prov. x. 23. and xxvi. 6.

Ver. 17. Seen. He had before given himself out for a prophet. Perhaps he may only mean to deliver what he had been taught, or had learned by experience, v. 18. His observations are in themselves just; but the application to Job is no less insulting. C.

Ver. 18. Wise. Prot. “which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it.“ C. viii. 8. The authority of tradition was then very great; and why should it now be despised? H.

Ver. 19. Them. Their antiquity, courage, and purity of morals must consequently be greater, as they have preserved themselves from the inroads of strangers. C.

Ver. 20. Proud; uncertain. Heb. “in pain.” H. — Sept. “numbered,” or few. Gen. xxxiv. 30. These are the maxims which Eliphaz had received in a vision, or from the ancients, v. 17. The description of a tyrant’s life was admirably verified in Dionysius, of Syracuse, (C.) and in our Cromwell, (H.)—

“—–pale and trembling in the dead of night.” Pope.

—who rarely lodged two night in one chamber. Clarendon. — Such live in dread, (H.) and seldom die a natural death.

Ad generum Cereris sine cæde et vulnere pauci

Descendunt reges et siccâ morte Tyranni. Juv. x. 113.

Nocte dieque suum gestare in pectore testem. Juv. xiii.

They bear always about the witness, “conscience.” H. — They distrust every one, and are hated by all.

Districtus ensis cui super impia

Cervice pendet, &c. Hor. iii. Ode 1.

— These miseries are incident to the wicked, but are improperly addressed to Job. W.

Ver. 26. And is. Heb. “even upon the thick bosses of his buckler.” H. — God thus seizes his antagonist, who, like Pharao, swells with pride. C. Deut. xxxii. 15.

Ver. 28. Heaps, by his ambition and fury, (C.) and exactions, (Cajet. M.) till the king chooses to rebuild the cities. Vatab.

Ver. 31. That he. Heb. and Sept. “for vanity shall be his reward.” H. — If he would repent, he might still be safe. M.

Ver. 32. Hands; strength and prosperity. C. — Sept. “his branch shall not grow thick.” H.

Ver. 33. First. Heb. “unripe.” H. — He shall derive no aid or comfort from his young family.

Ver. 34. Congregation, or family. — Bribes. Lit. “presents,” which H. frequently were not given freely, but extorted as a real tribute. C. — Sept. “for the death of the wicked is a martyrdom,” or proof of his impiety. “But fire shall consume the houses of the present (or bribe) receivers.”

Ver. 35. Sorrow. Heb. “mischief.” H. See Ps. vii. 15. Isai. xlix. 4. — The tree is known by its fruit. Eliphaz sufficiently insinuates, that he is speaking of Job. C. — His, or “its,” the congregation’s womb, v. 34. Prot. “their belly.” H.