Job 4:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
'Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them? They die, yet without wisdom.'

King James Bible
Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

Darby Bible Translation
Is not their tent-cord torn away in them? they die, and without wisdom.

World English Bible
Isn't their tent cord plucked up within them? They die, and that without wisdom.'

Young's Literal Translation
Hath not their excellency been removed with them? They die, and not in wisdom!

Job 4:21 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Doth not their excellency ... - Dr. Good renders this, "Their fluttering round is over with them," by a very forced construction of the passage. Translators and expositors have been very much divided in opinion as to its meaning; but the sense seems to be, that whatever is excellent in people is torn away or removed. Their excellence does not keep them from death, and they are taken off before they are truly wise. The word "excellency" here refers not only to moral excellency or virtue, but everything in which they excel others. Whatever there is in them of strength, or virtue, or influence, is removed. The word used here יתר yether means, literally, something hanging over or redundant (from יתר yâthar, to hang over, be redundant, or to remain), and hence, it means abundance or remainder, and then that which exceeds or abounds. It is thus applied to any distinguished virtue or excellency, as that which exceeds the ordinary limits or bounds. Men perish; and however eminent they may have been, they are soon cut off, and vanish away. The object here is to show how weak, and frail, and unworthy of confidence are people even in their most elevated condition.

They die, even without wisdom - That is, before they become truly wise. The object is to show, that people are so short-lived compared with angels, that they have no opportunity to become distinguished for wisdom. Their days are few; and however careful may be their observation, before they have had time to become truly wise they are hurried away. They are, therefore, wholly disqualified to sit in judgment on the doings of God, and to arraign, as Job had done, the divine wisdom.

Here closes the oracle which was addressed to Eliphaz. It is a description of unrivaled sublimity. In the sentiments that were addressed to Eliphaz, there is nothing that is contradictory to the other communications which God has made to people, or to what is taught by reason. Every reader of this passage must feel that the thoughts are singularly sublime, and that they are such as are adapted to make a deep impression on the mind. The error in Eliphaz consisted in the application which he makes of them to Job, and in the inference which he draws, that he must have been a hypocrite. This inference is drawn in the following chapter. As the oracle stands here, it is pertinent to the argument which Eliphaz had commenced, and just fitted to furnish a reproof to Job for the irreverent manner in which he had spoken, and the complaints which he had brought Job 3 against the dealings of God. Let us learn from the oracle:

(1) That man cannot be more just than God; and let this be an abiding principle of our lives;

(2) Not to complain at his dispensations, but to confide in his superior wisdom and goodness;

(3) That our opportunities of observation, and our rank in existence, are as nothing compared with those of the angels, who are yet so inferior to God as to be charged with folly;

(4) That our foundation is in the dust, and that the most insignificant object may sweep us away; and

(5) That in these circumstances humility becomes us.

Our proper situation is in the dust; and whatever calamities may befall us, we should confide in God, and feel that he is qualified to direct our affairs, and the affairs of the universe.

Job 4:21 Parallel Commentaries

Whether Human Nature was More Assumable by the Son of God than any Other Nature?
Objection 1: It would seem that human nature is not more capable of being assumed by the Son of God than any other nature. For Augustine says (Ep. ad Volusianum cxxxvii): "In deeds wrought miraculously the whole reason of the deed is the power of the doer." Now the power of God Who wrought the Incarnation, which is a most miraculous work, is not limited to one nature, since the power of God is infinite. Therefore human nature is not more capable of being assumed than any other creature. Objection
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Christ Received Knowledge from the Angels?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ received knowledge from the angels. For it is written (Lk. 22:43) that "there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him." But we are strengthened by the comforting words of a teacher, according to Job 4:3,4: "Behold thou hast taught many and hast strengthened the weary hand. Thy words have confirmed them that were staggering." Therefore Christ was taught by angels. Objection 2: Further, Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv): "For I see that even Jesus---the
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

On the Animals
The birds are the saints, because they fly to the higher heart; in the gospel: and he made great branches that the birds of the air might live in their shade. [Mark 4:32] Flying is the death of the saints in God or the knowledge of the Scriptures; in the psalm: I shall fly and I shall be at rest. [Ps. 54(55):7 Vulgate] The wings are the two testaments; in Ezekiel: your body will fly with two wings of its own. [Ez. 1:23] The feathers are the Scriptures; in the psalm: the wings of the silver dove.
St. Eucherius of Lyons—The Formulae of St. Eucherius of Lyons

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit as Revealed in his Names.
At least twenty-five different names are used in the Old and New Testaments in speaking of the Holy Spirit. There is the deepest significance in these names. By the careful study of them, we find a wonderful revelation of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. I. The Spirit. The simplest name by which the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Bible is that which stands at the head of this paragraph--"The Spirit." This name is also used as the basis of other names, so we begin our study with this.
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

Cross References
Job 8:22
"Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tent of the wicked will be no longer."

Job 18:21
"Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, And this is the place of him who does not know God."

Job 36:12
"But if they do not hear, they shall perish by the sword And they will die without knowledge.

Proverbs 5:23
He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

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