If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?
Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.
Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.
Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?
Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?
Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.
The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.
The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion's whelps are scattered abroad.
Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.
In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
 

4:7 righteous cut off. Many people have believed that the book of Job was written to answer the question as to why the righteous suffer. Eliphaz here proposes his solution: the righteous don’t suffer. Therefore, Job must have committed some grievous sin, and is being punished for it. He and the other two friends keep repeating this simplistic solution throughout the entire dialogue. God eventually pronounced it to be all wrong (Job 42:7).

4:15 a spirit. This was an evil spirit—perhaps Satan himself—diabolically implanting an accusation against Job in the mind of Eliphaz, which would be used later with telling effect to try to undermine Job’s faith. The spirit stressed God’s wrathful righteousness and man’s sinful worthlessness, with no hint at all of God’s love and saving grace. This would be translated by Eliphaz into the conviction that Job must be, despite outward appearances, a sinner suffering God’s judgment.

4:18 his angels. The Satanic spirit here expresses his bitterness over the fate of those fallen angels who invaded the bodies of human women in the antediluvian world (Genesis 6:1-4), and were banished to the lowest hell (Greek tartarus) to await final judgment (II Peter 2:4; Jude 6).

4:19 in the dust. The resentment of Satan and his angels against those created in God’s image is evident here in the spirit’s scornful reference to the formation of man’s body out of the dust of the earth and his soon return thereto (Genesis 2:7; 3:19).


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