New American Standard Bible
"Indeed, you do away with reverence And hinder meditation before God.
King James Bible
Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.
Darby Bible Translation
Yea, thou makest piety of none effect, and restrainest meditation before �God.
World English Bible
Yes, you do away with fear, and hinder devotion before God.
Young's Literal Translation
Yea, thou dost make reverence void, And dost diminish meditation before God.
Job 15:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Yea, thou castest off fear - Margin, Makest void. Fear here means the fear or reverence of God; and the idea is, that Job had not maintained a proper veneration or respect for his Maker in his argument. He had defended principles and made assertions which implied great disrespect for the Deity. If those doctrines were true; if he was right in his views about God, then he was not a being who could be reverenced. No confidence could be placed in his government; no worship of such a being could be maintained. Eliphaz does not refer here so much to what was personal with Job, as to his principles. He does not mean so much to affirm that he himself had lost all reverence for God, as that his arguments led to that. Job had maintained that God did not in this life reward and punish people strictly according to their deserts. If this was so, Eliphaz says, then it would be impossible to honor him, and religion and worship would be at an end.
The Hebrew word rendered "castest off" - more accurately rendered in the margin "makest void" (תפר tāpēr) - implies this. "And restrainest prayer before God." Margin, "speech." The Hebrew word שׂיחה śı̂ychâh means properly "meditation" - and particularly meditation about divine things: Psalm 119:97. Then it means "devotion" - as to meditate on divine things is a part of devotion. It may be applied to any part of devotion, and seems to be not improperly rendered "prayer." It is that devotion which finds utterance in the language of prayer. The word rendered "restrainest" - תגרע tı̂gâra‛ - means to shave off - like the beard; then to cut off, to take away, detract, withhold; and the idea here is, that the views which Job maintained were such as "to sap the very foundations of religion." If God treated the righteous and the wicked alike, the one would have nothing to hope and the other nothing to fear.
There could be no ground of encouragement, to pray to him. How could the righteous pray to him, unless there was evidence that he was the friend of virtue? How could they hope for his special blessing, if he were disposed to treat the good and the bad alike? Why was it not just as well to live in sin as to be holy? And how could such a being be the object of confidence or prayer? Eliphaz mistook the meaning of Job, and pressed his positions further than he intended; and Job was not entirely able to vindicate his position, or to show how the consequences stated by Eliphaz could be avoided. "They both wanted the complete and full view of the future state of retribution revealed in the gospel, and that would have removed the whole difficulty." But I see not how the considerations here urged by this ancient sage of the tendency of Job's doctrine can be avoided, if it be applied to the views of those who hold that all people will be saved at death. If that be the truth, then who can fail to see that the tendency must be to make people cast off the fear of God and to undermine all devotion and prayer? Why should people pray, if all are to be treated alike at death? How can people worship and honor a Being who will treat the good and the bad alike? How can we have confidence in a being who makes no distinction in regard to character? And what inducement can there be to be pious, when all people shall be made as happy as they can be forever whether they are pious or not? We are not to wonder, therefore, that the system tends every where to sap the foundations of virtue and religion; that it makes no man better; and that where it prevails, it banishes religion and prayer from the world.
LibraryOf Meditation Upon the Hidden Judgments of God, that we May not be Lifted up Because of Our Well-Doing
Thou sendest forth Thy judgments against me, O Lord, and shakest all my bones with fear and trembling, and my soul trembleth exceedingly. I stand astonished, and remember that the heavens are not clean in thy sight.(1) If Thou chargest Thine angels with folly, and didst spare them not, how shall it be unto me? Stars have fallen from heaven, and what shall I dare who am but dust? They whose works seemed to be praiseworthy, fell into the lowest depths, and they who did eat Angels' food, them have …
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ
Meditations to Stir us up to Morning Prayer.
The Hebrew Sages and their Proverbs
Man's Inability to Keep the Moral Law
"For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
"Should he argue with useless talk, Or with words which are not profitable?
"For your guilt teaches your mouth, And you choose the language of the crafty.
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