Job 5:8
I would seek to God, and to God would I commit my cause:
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Job 5:8. I would seek unto God, &c. — If I were in thy condition, instead of accusing the dispensations of Divine Providence, and repining under them, I would apply to God, by a full and free confession of those sins which have drawn this sad calamity upon me, and by sincere repentance, humiliation, and submission to his will: to God, who is able to do wonders, (as he presently adds,) and who can and will restore thee to thy former happy state, if he sees that thou art penitent for thy past transgressions, and hast reformed thy conduct. For this is the whole purport of the following part of his speech, namely, to give him hopes of a happy turn to his condition, if he would do what he thought was absolutely necessary to be done in this case; make a frank confession of those crimes which had brought down this severe chastisement upon him. See Peters and Dodd. And unto God would I commit my cause — Would resign myself and all my concerns to him, and humbly hope for relief from him. And let my cause be what it would, and my own opinion of it ever so favourable, I would commit it wholly to him, and leave him to judge and determine it.5:6-16 Eliphaz reminds Job, that no affliction comes by chance, nor is to be placed to second causes. The difference between prosperity and adversity is not so exactly observed, as that between day and night, summer and winter; but it is according to the will and counsel of God. We must not attribute our afflictions to fortune, for they are from God; nor our sins to fate, for they are from ourselves. Man is born in sin, and therefore born to trouble. There is nothing in this world we are born to, and can truly call our own, but sin and trouble. Actual transgressions are sparks that fly out of the furnace of original corruption. Such is the frailty of our bodies, and the vanity of all our enjoyments, that our troubles arise thence as the sparks fly upward; so many are they, and so fast does one follow another. Eliphaz reproves Job for not seeking God, instead of quarrelling with him. Is any afflicted? let him pray. It is heart's ease, a salve for every sore. Eliphaz speaks of rain, which we are apt to look upon as a little thing; but if we consider how it is produced, and what is produced by it, we shall see it to be a great work of power and goodness. Too often the great Author of all our comforts, and the manner in which they are conveyed to us, are not noticed, because they are received as things of course. In the ways of Providence, 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. And daring sinners are confounded, and forced to acknowledge the justice of God's proceedings.I would seek unto God - Our translators have omitted here the adversative particle אוּלם 'ûlâm but, yet, nevertheless, and have thus marred the connection. The meaning of Eliphaz, I take to be, "that since affliction is ordered by an intelligent Being, and does not spring out of the ground, therefore he would commit his cause to God, and look to him." Jerome has well expressed it, Quam ob rem ego deprecabor Dominum. Some have understood this as meaning that Eliphaz himself was in the habit of committing his cause to God, and that he exhorted Job to imitate his example. But the correct sense is that which regards it as counsel given to Job to look to God because afflictions are the result of intelligent design, and because God had shown himself to be worthy of the confidence of people. The latter point Eliphaz proceeds to argue in the following verses. 8. Therefore (as affliction is ordered by God, on account of sin), "I would" have you to "seek unto God" (Isa 8:19; Am 5:8; Jer 5:24). If I were in thy condition; and therefore I would advise thee to the same course.

Seek unto God, to wit, by prayer, and humiliation, and submission, imploring his pardon, and favour, and help, and not repine at him, and accuse his providence, as thou dost.

Would I commit my cause, i.e. commend my afflicted condition to him by fervent prayer, and resign myself and all my concerns to him, and humbly hope for relief from him. Or, propound my matters, i.e. make known my afflictions and requests to him; or, put or dispose my words, i.e. pray to him, and pour out my complaints before him. I would seek unto God,.... Or "truly" (e), "certainly, doubtless, I do seek unto God", verily I do so; for so the words are introduced in the original text, and express what Eliphaz had done when under afflictions himself; for he was not without them, though he had not them to such a degree as Job had; and when he was under them, this was the course he took; he sought unto God by prayer to support him under them, to sanctify them to him, and to deliver him out of them; and this he proposes for Job's imitation, and suggests, that if he was in his case, this would be the first step he should take; and good advice this is, nothing more proper for a man, especially a saint, than, when afflicted of God, to seek unto him, to seek his face and his favour, to entreat his gracious presence, and the discoveries of his love, that he may see that it is not in wrath, but in love, he afflicts him; to submit unto him, humble himself before him, acknowledge his sins, and implore his pardoning grace and mercy; to entreat him to help him, in this time of need, to exercise the graces of faith and patience, and every other; to desire counsel and advice how to behave under the present trial, and to be made acquainted with the reasons, ends, and uses of the dispensation, as well as to beg for strength to bear up under it, and in his own time to grant deliverance from it:

and unto God would I commit my cause; or "direct my word or speech" (f) to him; that is, in prayer, as Sephorno adds; I would, as if he should say, make known my case to him, tell him the whole of it, and pour out my soul before him; and then I would leave it with him, and not wrangle, quarrel, and contend with him, but say, "here am I, let him do what seemeth good unto him": some render the words, "truly", or "indeed I shall discourse concerning God, and order my speech about Deity" (g); I shall no longer insist on this subject, but drop it, and hereafter treat of God, his nature, being, and perfections, and particularly his works; though these are rather observed in the following verses, as so many arguments to engage Job to seek the Lord, and leave his case and cause to him.

(e) "profecto", Junius & Tremellius; "enimvero", Piscator, Cocceius, Schultens; "certe", Mercerus, Vatablus, Beza; "verum, enimvero", Schmidt, Michaelis; so Broughton. (f) "ponam eloquium meum", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "deponerem verba mea, i.e. dirigerem", Vatablus; "dirigerem sermonem meum", Beza, Michaelis; "dispose my talk unto God", Broughton. (g) "Enucleatius disseram de Deo, et de Numine instruam sermocinationem meam", Schultens.

I would seek unto {k} God, and unto God would I commit my cause:

(k) If I suffered as you do, I would seek God.

8. I would seek unto God] Rather, But I would seek; i. e. in humility, and for help and light.

8–27. Eliphaz, in Job’s place, would seek unto God, all whose ways are marked by one purpose, to do good, and whose chastisements, therefore, but open the way to a richer blessing

The passage attaches itself to the picture of man’s evil nature just given, and suggests where man should find refuge from himself, even in God. Eliphaz in Job’s place would seek unto God for help—God who is so great in power, and wonderful in His ways (Job 5:8-9). His ways are not only surpassingly wonderful, but one purpose of goodness runs through them, for even the thirsty wilderness where no man dwells He satisfies with rain, and sets the humble on high (Job 5:10-11). So on the other hand He disappoints the devices of the crafty and delivers the poor from their hand, and the end is reached towards which all His working tends: the poor hath hope, and evil, ashamed, shuts her mouth (Job 5:12-16).

And under this general purpose of universal goodness fall even the chastisements of God, and in this light happy should Job consider himself in being afflicted, for God afflicts only that He may be able the more richly to bless (Job 5:17-18). And, anticipating that his afflictions will “yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness,” Eliphaz draws a brilliant picture of Job’s restoration and happy future,—the divine protection (Job 5:18-19), the plenty and security (Job 5:20-23), the peaceful homestead (Job 5:24), the offspring numerous as the grass (Job 5:25), and the ripe and peaceful end of all (Job 5:26).

The passage like the preceding section has two divisions, Job 5:8-16 describing the purpose of goodness running through all God’s ways; and Job 5:17-26 applying this to Job’s calamities and painting his restoration; to which is added a concluding verse, in which Eliphaz beseeches Job to ponder his words (Job 5:27).Verse 8. - I would seek unto God; rather, as in the Revised Version; but as for me, I would seek etc.; i.e. if the case were mine, if I were afflicted as thou art, I would not betake myself to any of the angels (see ver. 1), but would cast myself wholly upon God. It is necessarily implied that Job had not done so. And unto God would I commit my cause (comp. Psalm 37:5; Proverbs 16:3). 1 Call now, - is there any one who will answer thee?

And to whom of the holy ones wilt thou turn?

2 For he is a fool who is destroyed by complaining,

And envy slays the simple one.

3 I, even I, have seen a fool taking root:

Then I had to curse his habitation suddenly.

4 His children were far from help,

And were crushed in the gate, without a rescuer;

5 While the hungry ate his harvest,

And even from among thorns they took it away,

And the intriguer snatched after his wealth.

The chief thought of the oracle was that God is the absolutely just One, and infinitely exalted above men and angels. Resuming his speech from this point, Eliphaz tells Job that no cry for help can avail him unless he submits to the all-just One as being himself unrighteous; nor can any cry addressed to the angels avail. This thought, although it is rejected, certainly shows that the writer of the book, as of the prologue, is impressed with the fundamental intuition, that good, like evil, spirits are implicated in the affairs of men; for the "holy ones," as in Psalm 89, are the angels. כּי supports the negation implied in Job 5:1 : If God does not help thee, no creature can help thee; for he who complains and chafes at his lot brings down upon himself the extremest destruction, since he excites the anger of God still more. Such a surly murmurer against God is here called אויל. ל is the Aramaic sign of the object, having the force of quod attinet ad, quoad (Ew. 310, a).

Eliphaz justifies what he has said (Job 5:2) by an example. He had seen such a complainer in increasing prosperity; then he cursed his habitation suddenly, i.e., not: he uttered forthwith a prophetic curse over it, which, though פּתאם might have this meaning (not subito, but illico; cf. Numbers 12:4), the following futt., equivalent to imperff., do not allow, but: I had then, since his discontent had brought on his destruction, suddenly to mark and abhor his habitation as one overtaken by a curse: the cursing is a recognition of the divine curse, as the echo of which it is intended. This curse of God manifests itself also on his children and his property (Job 5:4.). שׁער is the gate of the city as a court of justice: the phrase, to oppress in the gate, is like Proverbs 22:22; and the form Hithpa. is according to the rule given in Ges. 54, 2, b. The relative אשׁר, Job 5:5, is here conj. relativa, according to Ges. 155, 1, c. In the connection אל־מצּנּים, אל is equivalent to עד, adeo e spinis, the hungry fall so eagerly upon what the father of those now orphans has reaped, that even the thorny fence does not hold them back. צנּים, as Proverbs 22:5 : the double praepos. אל־מן is also found elsewhere, but with another meaning. עמּים has only the appearance of being plur.: it is sing. after the form צדּיק, from the verb צמם, nectere, and signifies, Job 18:9, a snare; here, however, not judicii laqueus (Bttch.), but what, besides the form, comes still nearer - the snaremaker, intriguer. The Targ. translates לסטיסין, i.e., λησταί. Most modern critics (Rosenm. to Ebr.) translate: the thirsty (needy), as do all the old translations, except the Targ.; this, however, is not possible without changing the form. The meaning is, that intriguing persons catch up (שׁאף, as Amos 2:7) their wealth.

Eliphaz now tells why it thus befell this fool in his own person and his children.

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