1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, and said,
2 Can a man be profitable vnto God? as hee that is wise may be profitable vnto himselfe.
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gaine to him, that thou makest thy waies perfite?
4 Will hee reproue thee for feare of thee? will he enter with thee into iudgment?
5 Is not thy wickednesse great? and thine iniquities infinite?
6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 Thou hast not giuen water to the wearie to drinke, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
8 But as for the mightie man, hee had the earth, and the honourable man dwelt in it.
9 Thou hast sent widowes away emptie, and the armes of the fatherlesse haue bene broken.
10 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden feare troubleth thee,
11 Or darkenes that thou canst not see, and abundance of waters couer thee.
12 Is not God in the height of heauen? and behold the height of the starres how high they are.
13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he iudge through the darke cloude?
14 Thicke cloudes are a couering to him that he seeth not, and hee walketh in the circuit of heauen.
15 Hast thou marked the olde way which wicked men haue troden?
16 Which were cut downe out of time, whose foundation was ouerflowen with a flood.
17 Which said vnto God, Depart from vs, and what can the Almightie doe for them?
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsell of the wicked is farre from me.
19 The righteous see it, and are glad, and the innocent laugh them to scorne.
20 Whereas our substance is not cut downe, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.
21 Acquaint now thy selfe with him, and be at peace: thereby good shal come vnto thee.
22 Receiue, I pray thee, the Lawe from his mouth, and lay vp his words in thine heart.
23 If thou returne to the Almightie, thou shalt be built vp, thou shalt put away iniquitie farre from thy tabernacles.
24 Then shalt thou lay vp golde as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brookes.
25 Yea the Almightie shall bee thy defence, and thou shalt haue plenty of siluer.
26 For then shalt thou haue thy delight in the Almightie, and shalt lift vp thy face vnto God.
27 Thou shalt make thy prayer vnto him, and he shall heare thee, and thou shalt pay thy vowes.
28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shal be established vnto thee: and the light shall shine vpon thy wayes.
29 When men are cast downe, then thou shalt say, There is lifting vp: and he shall saue the humble person.
30 He shall deliuer the Iland of the innocent: and it is deliuered by the purenesse of thine hands.
Eliphaz shows that a man's goodness profits not God. (1-4) Job accused of oppression. (5-14) The world before the flood. (15-20) Eliphaz exhorts Job to repentance. (21-30)1-4 Eliphaz considers that, because Job complained so much of his afflictions, he thought God was unjust in afflicting him; but Job was far from thinking so. What Eliphaz says, is unjustly applied to Job, but it is very true, that when God does us good it is not because he is indebted to us. Man's piety is no profit to God, no gain. The gains of religion to men are infinitely greater than the losses of it. God is a Sovereign, who gives no account of his conduct; but he is perfectly wise, just, faithful, good, and merciful. He approves the likeness of his own holiness, and delights in the fruits of his Spirit; he accepts the thankful services of the humble believer, while he rejects the proud claim of the self-confident.
5-14 Eliphaz brought heavy charges against Job, without reason for his accusations, except that Job was visited as he supposed God always visited every wicked man. He charges him with oppression, and that he did harm with his wealth and power in the time of his prosperity.
15-20 Eliphaz would have Job mark the old way that wicked men have trodden, and see what the end of their way was. It is good for us to mark it, that we may not walk therein. But if others are consumed, and we are not, instead of blaming them, and lifting up ourselves, as Eliphaz does here, we ought to be thankful to God, and take it for a warning.
21-30 The answer of Eliphaz wrongly implied that Job had hitherto not known God, and that prosperity in this life would follow his sincere conversion. The counsel Eliphaz here gives is good, though, as to Job, it was built upon a false supposition that he was a stranger and enemy to God. Let us beware of slandering our brethren; and if it be our lot to suffer in this manner, let us remember how Job was treated; yea, how Jesus was reviled, that we may be patient. Let us examine whether there may not be some colour for the slander, and walk watchfully, so as to be clear of all appearances of evil.
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.