on Job 15 :19
Unto whom alone the earth was given - He very likely refers to the Israelites, who got possession of the promised land from God himself; no stranger being permitted to dwell in it, as the old inhabitants were to be exterminated. Some think that Noah and his sons may be intended; as it is certain that the whole earth was given to them, when there were no strangers - no other family of mankind - in being. But, system apart, the words seem to apply more clearly to the Israelites.
on Job 15 :19
Unto whom alone the earth was given - The land; the land or country where they dwelt. He refers to the period before they became intermingled with other nations, and before they imbibed any sentiments or opinions from strangers. The meaning is, "I will give you the result of the observations of the golden age of the world when our fathers dwelt alone, and it could not be pretended that they had been corrupted by foreign philosophy; and when in morals and in sentiment they were pure." Probably all nations look back to such times of primeval simplicity, and freedom from corruption, when the sentiments on morals and religion were comparatively pure, and before the people became corrupt by the importation of foreign opinions. It is a pleasing delusion to look back to such times - to some innocent Arcadia, or to a golden age - but usually all such retrospections are the mere work of fancy. The world really grows wiser as it grows older; and in the progress of society it is a rare thing when the present is not more pure and happy than its early stages. The comforts, privileges, and intelligence of the patriarchal age were not to be compared with those which we enjoy - any more than the condition of the wandering Arab is to be preferred to the quiet, peace, intelligence, and order of a calm, Christian home.
No stranger passed among them - No foreigner came to corrupt their sentiments by an admixture of strange doctrines. "Eliphaz here speaks like a genuine Arab, whose pride is in his tongue, his sword, and his pure blood." Umbreit. It is possible, as Rosenmuller suggests, that Eliphaz means to insinuate that Job had been corrupted by the sentiments of the Chaldeans and Sabeans, and had departed from the pure doctrines of earlier times.
on Job 15 :19
15:19 To whom - By the gracious gift of God: this he alleges to make their testimony more considerable, because these were no obscure men, but the most worthy and famous men in their ages; and to confute what Job had said, chap.9:24, that the earth was given into the hand of the wicked. By the earth he means the dominion and possession of it. Stranger - No person of a strange nation and disposition, or religion. Passed - Through their land, so as to disturb, or spoil them, as the Sabeans and Chaldeans did thee. God watched over those holy men so, that no enemy could invade them; and so he would have done over thee, if thou hadst been such an one.