on Job 5 :1
Call now, if there be any - This appears to be a strong irony. From whom among those whose foundations are in the dust, and who are crushed before the moth, canst thou expect succor?
To which of the saints wilt thou turn? - To whom among the holy ones, (קדשים kedoshim), or among those who are equally dependent on Divine support with thyself, and can do no good but as influenced and directed by God, canst thou turn for help? Neither angel nor saint can help any man unless sent especially from God; and all prayers to them must be foolish and absurd, not to say impious. Can the channel afford me water, if the fountain cease to emit it?
on Job 5 :1
Call now - The expressions used here, as Noyes has well observed, seem to be derived from the law, where the word "call" denotes the language of the complainant, and answer that of the defendant. According to this, the meaning of the words "call now" is, in jus voca: that is, call the Deity to account, or bring an action against him: or more properly, enter into an argument or litigation, as before a tribunal; see the notes at Isaiah 41:1, where similar language occurs.
If there be any that will answer thee - If there is anyone who will respond to thee in such a trial. Noyes renders this, "See if He will answer thee;" that is, "See if the Deity will condescend to enter into a judicial conroversy with thee, and give an account of his dealings toward thee." Dr. Good renders it, "Which of these can come forward to thee; that is, "Which of these weakly, ephemeral, perishing insects - which of these nothings can render thee any assistance?" The meaning is probably, "Go to trial, if you can find any respondent; if there is any one willing to engage in such a debate; and let the matter be fairly adjudicated and determined. Let an argument be entered into before a competent tribunal, and the considerations pro and con be urged on the point now under consideration." The desire of Eliphaz was, that there should be a fair investigation, where all that could be said on one side or the other of the question would be urged, and where there would be a decision of the important point in dispute. He evidently felt that Job would be foiled in the argument before whomsoever it should be conducted, and whoever might take up the opposite side; and hence, he says that he could get no one of "the saints" to assist him in the argument. In the expression, "if there be any that will answer thee," he may mean to intimate that he would find no one who would be willing even to go into an investigation of the subject. The case was so plain, the views of Job were so obviously wrong, the arguments for the opinion of Eliphaz were so obvious, that he doubted whether anyone could be found who would be willing to make it the occasion of a set and formal trial, as if there could be any doubt about it.
And to which of the saints wilt thou turn? - Margin, as in Hebrew "look." That is, to which of them wilt thou look to be an advocate for such sentiments, or which of them would be willing to go into an argument on so plain a subject? Grotins supposes that Eliphaz, having boasted that he had produced a divine revelation in his favor Job 4, now calls upon Job to produce, if he can, something of the same kind in his defense, or to see if there were any of the heavenly spirits who would give a similar revelation in his favor. The word here rendered "saints" (קדשׁים qôdeshı̂ym) means properly those who are sanctified or holy; and it may be either applied to holy men, or to angels. It is generally supposed that it here refers to angels. So Schultens, Rosenmuller, Noyes, Good, and others, understand it. The word is often used in this sense in the Scriptures. So the Septuagint understands it here - ἤ εἴτινα ἀγγέλων ἁγίων ὄψῃ ē eitina angelōn hagiōn opsē. Such is probably its meaning; and the sense of the passage is, "Call now upon anyone, and you will find none willing to be the advocate of such sentiments as you have urged. No holy beings - human beings or angels - would defend them." By this, probably, Eliphaz designed to show Job that he differed from all holy being, and that his views were not those of a truly pious man. If he could find no one, either among holy angels or pious men, to be the advocate of his opinions, it followed that he must be in error.
on Job 5 :1
5:1 Call - Call them all as it were by their names: will not every good man confirm what I say? If - Try if there be any one saint that will defend thee in these bold expostulations with God. Thou mayst find fools or wicked men, to do it: but not one of the children of God.