Summary: A study of the book of Job 5: 1 – 27

Job 5: 1 – 27

Hey, Watch Your Mouth

1“Call out now; is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? 2For wrath kills a foolish man, and envy slays a simple one. 3I have seen the foolish taking root, but suddenly I cursed his dwelling place. 4His sons are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate, and there is no deliverer. 5Because the hungry eat up his harvest, taking it even from the thorns, and a snare snatches their substance. 6For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground; 7Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward. 8“But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause—9Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number. 10He gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields. 11He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. 12He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot carry out their plans. 13He catches the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them. 14They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noontime as in the night. 15But He saves the needy from the sword, from the mouth of the mighty, and from their hand. 16So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts her mouth. 17“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. 18For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. 19He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. 20In famine He shall redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. 21You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. 22You shall laugh at destruction and famine, and you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth. 23For you shall have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. 24You shall know that your tent is in peace; You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss. 25You shall also know that your descendants shall be many, and your offspring like the grass of the earth. 26You shall come to the grave at a full age, as a sheaf of grain ripens in its season. 27Behold, this we have searched out; It is true. Hear it, and know for yourself.”

In Philly we have a vocabulary that is unique. For example consider these two sayings, ‘You see what I’m saying’ or ‘Hey, watch your mouth’. Now, I am sure that you are thinking how can anyone see what a person is saying or for that matter be able to watch their own mouth, unless you are staring at a mirror. So, let me translate for you these sayings. The first statement means – do you understand what I am telling you? And the other quote means – you need to know what is true before you speak.

1“Call out now; is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn?

The Philly statement, ‘Hey, watch your mouth!’ fits perfectly with the first of Job’s so called friends. Having produced what he believes to be irrefutable evidence against Job, Eliphaz challenges Job, “Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?” (5:1). Eliphaz is turning this into a trial with Job as the defendant in the court room. Smugly Eliphaz implies that heaven has already pronounced the verdict, but, just to prove the case, he suggests Job call on heaven. The Hebrew for ‘saints’ is ‘qâdôsh’ meaning sacred and applies to God, angels or saints. Eliphaz is challenging Job to produce a witness to counter his, i.e. an angelic visitation. Eliphaz is confident that no holy being, either a prophet or an angel will advocate on Job's behalf. The case is opened and closed, Job is guilty.

Eliphaz continues his diatribe with a bunch of religious talk:

1. Who is even going to listen to you (5:1)?

2. Wrath and envy bring the judgment of death (5:2).

3. Fools and their children suffer death and trouble (5:3-5).

4. We make our own trouble (5:6-7).

5. You had better take your case to God (5:8).

6. God is powerful (5:9-10).

7. God elevates the lowly but reproves the wicked (5:11-16).

8. God reproves and then blesses (5:17-18).

9. Then God will bring incredible blessings (5:19-26).

Eliphaz concludes with the assurance that “we” (the other men who are with him), have investigated the matter, and these are the conclusions (5:27). So, how can this have happened? It is possible that they appear to have discussed Job's case prior to their arrival: or perhaps they have gone aside to discuss everything, or it is also conceivable that this guy is taking it for granted that the others agree with him. In any case, he presents his thoughts as a well considered corporate opinion.

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