on Job 5 :27
Lo this, we have searched it - What I have told thee is the sum of our wisdom and experience on these important points. These are established maxims, which universal experience supports.
Know - understand, and reduce them to practice for thy good. Thus ends Eliphaz, the Temanite, "full of wise saws and ancient instances;" but he miserably perverted them in his application of them to Job's case and character. They contain, however, many wholesome truths, of which the wise in heart may make a very advantageous practical use.
The predatory excursions referred to in Job 5:23 were not unfrequent among our own barbarous ancestors. An affecting picture of this kind is drawn by Shakespeare, from Holinshed's Chronicles, of the case of Macduff, whose castle was attacked in his absence by Macbeth and his wife and all his children murdered. A similar incident was the ground of the old heroic ballad of Hardicanute. When the veteran heard that a host of Norwegians had landed to pillage the country, he armed, and posted to the field to meet the invading foe. He slew the chief in battle, and routed his pillaging banditti. While this was taking place, another party took the advantage of his absence, attacked his castle, and carried off or murdered his lovely wife and family; which, being perceived on his return by the war and age-worn chief, is thus affectingly described by the unknown poet: -
Loud and chill blew the westlin wind,Sair beat the heavy shower,
Mirk grew the nicht eir HardyknuteWan neir his stately tower:
His tower that us'd with torches bleiseTo shine sae far at night,
Seim'd now as black as mourning weid,Nae marvel, sair he sich'd.
"Thair's nae light in my lady's bowir,Thair's nae light in my hall;
Nae blink shynes round my Fairly fair,Nor ward stands on my wall.
"What bodes it, Thomas! Robert! say?"Nae answer - speaks their dreid;
"Stand back, my sons, I'll be your gyde;"But bye they pass'd with speid.
"As fast I haif sped owr Scotland's foes"There ceis'd his brag of weir.
Sair schamt to mind ocht but his dame,And maiden Fairly fair.
Black feir he felt; but what to feirHe wist not yet with dreid;
on Job 5 :27
Lo this - All this that I have said; the truth of all the remarks which I have made.
We have searched it - We have by careful observation of the course of events come to these conclusions. These are our views of the providence of God, and of the principles of his government, as far as we have had the opportunity of observing, and they are well worthy of your attention. The sentiments in these two chapters indicate close and accurate observation; and if we think that the observation was not always wholly accurate, or that the principles were carried further than facts would warrant, or that Eliphaz applied them with somewhat undue severity to the case of Job, we are to remember that this was in the infancy of the world, that they had few historical records, and that they had no written revelation. If they were favored with occasional revelations, as Eliphaz claimed (Job 4:12 ff), yet they were few in number, and at distant intervals, and the divine communications pertained to but few points.
Though it may without impropriety be maintained that some of the views of Eliphaz and his friends were not wholly accurate, yet we may safely ask, Where among the Greek and Roman sages can views of the divine government be found that equal these in correctness, or that are expressed with equal force and beauty? For profound and accurate observation, for beauty of thought and sublimity of expression, the sage of Teman will not fall behind the sages of Athens; and not the least interesting thing in the contemplation of the book of Job, is the comparison which we are almost of necessity compelled to make between the observations on the course of events which were made in Arabia, and those which were made by the philosophers of the ancient pagan world. Is it improper to suppose that one design of this book was to show how far the human mind could go, with the aid of occasional revelations on a few points, in ascertaining the principles of the divine administration, and to demonstrate that, after all, the mind needed a fuller revelation to enable man to comprehend the truths pertaining to the kingdom of God? "Hear it for thy good." Margin, as in Hebrew "thyself." These principles are such that they are of importance for you to understand and to apply.
on Job 5 :27
5:27 Searched - This is no rash or hasty conceit, but what both I and my brethren have learned by deep consideration, long experience, and diligent observation. Know thou - Know it for thyself; (So the word is) with application to thy own case. That which we thus hear and know for ourselves, we hear and know for our good.