Matthew Henry's Commentary
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
22:1-4 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.
Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?
Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?
Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?
22:5-14 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.
For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it.
Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;
Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.
Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?
Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?
22:15-20 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.
Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:
Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?
Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.
Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.
Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
22:21-30 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.
Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.
If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.
Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.
For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.
Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.
Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.