Job 5:1

(1) Call now.--The speaker now becomes more personal and direct in his tone and bearing. He insinuates that Job is "unwise" and "silly," and promises swift destruction for all such.

Verses 1-27. - Eliphaz, having narrated his vision, and rehearsed the words which the spirit spoke in his ear, continues in his own person, first (vers. 1-7) covertly reproaching Job, and then (vers. 8-27) seeking to comfort him by the suggestion that, if he will place himself unreservedly in the hands of God, it is still possible that God may relent, remove his chastening hand, deliver him from his troubles, and even give him back all his former prosperity. The anticipation is in remarkable accordance with the ultimate event (Job 42:10-17), and shows that Eliphaz, if not a prophet in the higher sense, is at least a sagacious interpreter of God's ways with men, and can very happily forecast the future. Verse 1. - Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; rather, call now; is there any that will answer thee? What aid, that is, wilt thou invoke, if thou turnest away from God, and reproachest him? Thinkest thou to find any one in heaven or earth to answer to the call and come to thy assistance? Utterly vain is any such hope. And to which of the saints wilt thou turn? By "the saints" are meant in this place "the holy angels" (comp. Job 15:15; Psalm 89:7; Zechariah 14:5). The question, "To which wilt thou turn?" seems to imply that there was already in Job's time some knowledge of individual members of the angelic host, such as Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, etc., though we have no mention of any names of angels in Scripture until the time of Daniel (Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21). That invocation of angels was an actual practice in Job's age is, however, scarcely proved by this passage.

5:1-5 Eliphaz here calls upon Job to answer his arguments. Were any of the saints or servants of God visited with such Divine judgments as Job, or did they ever behave like him under their sufferings? The term, saints, holy, or more strictly, consecrated ones, seems in all ages to have been applied to the people of God, through the Sacrifice slain in the covenant of their reconciliation. Eliphaz doubts not that the sin of sinners directly tends to their ruin. They kill themselves by some lust or other; therefore, no doubt, Job has done some foolish thing, by which he has brought himself into this condition. The allusion was plain to Job's former prosperity; but there was no evidence of Job's wickedness, and the application to him was unfair and severe.Call now, if there be any that will answer thee,.... That is, call upon God, which, if seriously, and not ironically spoken, was good advice; God is to be called upon, and especially in times of trouble; and invocation is to be made in faith, in sincerity, and with fervency, and to be accompanied with confession of sin, and repentance for it; and sooner or later God hears and answers those that call upon him; but Eliphaz suggests, that if Job did call upon him, it would be in vain, he would not hear him, he going upon the same maxim that the Jews did in Christ's time, "God heareth not sinners": John 9:31; or call upon him to give him an oracle from heaven, to favour him with a vision and revelation, and see if he could get anything that would confront and confute what he had delivered as coming that way; which, if it could be done by him, would appear to be a falsehood and an imposture, since one revelation from God is not contradicted by another: or else the sense is, "call" over the catalogue and list of good men that have been from the beginning of the world, and see if there be any that "answers to thee" (n), whose case, character, and behaviour, correspond with thee; if ever any of them was afflicted as thou art, or ever behaved with so much indecency, impatience, murmuring, and blasphemy against God, as thou hast done; that ever opened his mouth, and cursed the day of his birth, and reflected upon the providence and justice of God as thou hast, as if thou wert unrighteously dealt with: or rather, "call now", and summon all creatures together, angels and men, and get anyone of them to be thy patron, to defend thy cause, and plead for thee, to give a reply to what has been said, from reason, experience, and revelation: and shouldest thou obtain this, which is not likely, "lo, there is one that can answer thee" (o), as some render the words, meaning either God or himself; thus Eliphaz insults Job, and triumphs over him, as being entirely baffled and conquered by him, by what he had related as an oracle and revelation from heaven:

and to which of the saints wilt thou turn? or "look", or "have respect" (p), that will be of any service to thee? meaning either the Divine Persons in the Godhead, sometimes called Holy Ones, as in Joshua 24:19; Proverbs 9:10; the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit, who may and should be turned and looked unto; God the Father, as the God of providence and grace for all good things; Jesus Christ his Son, as the Redeemer and Saviour for righteousness and eternal life; the blessed Spirit, as a sanctifier to carry on and finish the work of grace; but it is suggested, it would be in vain for Job to turn and look to any of these, since he would be rejected by them as a wicked man, nor would any of them plead his cause: or else the holy angels, as the Septuagint express it, and who are called saints and Holy Ones, Deuteronomy 33:2; and it is asked, which of those he could turn or look to, and could expect relief and protection from? signifying, that none of these would vouchsafe to converse with him, nor take him under their care, nor undertake to plead his cause: or rather holy men, such as are sanctified or set apart by God the Father, to whom Christ is made sanctification, and in whose hearts the Holy Spirit has wrought principles of grace and holiness, and who live holy lives and conversations; and it is insinuated, that should he turn and took to these, he would find none of them like him, nor in the same circumstances, nor of the same sentiments, or that would take his part and plead for him; but that all to a man would appear of the same mind with Eliphaz, that none but wicked men were afflicted by God as he was, and that he was such an one, and that for the reason following: the Papists very absurdly produce this passage in favour of praying to departed saints, when not dead but living ones are meant, and even turning to them is discouraged; and besides, this would contradict another tenet of the Papists, that the Old Testament saints, until the coming of Christ, were in a sort of purgatory, called Limbus Patrum, and therefore incapable of helping saints on earth that should apply unto them.

(n) "si est correspondens tibi", Bolducius. (o) "Ecce est qui respondeat tibi", Schultens. (p) Sept. "obtueberis", Montanus; "respicies", Vatablus, Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis.

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