on Job 5 :4
His children are far from safety - His posterity shall not continue in prosperity. Ill gotten, ill spent; whatever is got by wrong must have God's curse on it.
They are crushed in the gate - The Targum says, They shall be bruised in the gate of hell, in the day of the great judgment. There is reference here to a custom which I have often had occasion to notice: viz., that in the Eastern countries the court-house, or tribunal of justice, was at the Gate of the city; here the magistrates attended, and hither the plaintiff and defendant came for justice.
on Job 5 :4
His children are far from safety - That is, this is soon manifest by their being cut off or subjected to calamity. The object of Eliphaz is, to state the result of his own observation, and to show how calamity overtook the wicked though they even prospered for a time. He begins with that which a man would feel most - the calamity which comes upon his children, and says that God would punish him in them. Every word of this would go to the heart of Job; for he could not but feel that it was aimed at him, and that the design was to prove that the calamities that had come upon his children were a proof of his own wickedness and of the divine displeasure. It is remarkable that Job listens to this with the utmost patience. There is no interruption of the speaker; no breaking in upon the argument of his friend; no mark of uneasiness. Oriental politeness required that a speaker should be heard attentively through whatever he might say. See the Introduction, Section 7. Cutting and severe, therefore, as this strain of remark must have been, the sufferer sat meekly and heard it all, and waited for the appropriate time when an answer might be returned.
And they are crushed in the gate - The gate of a city in ancient times was the chief place of concourse, and was the place where public business was usually transacted, and where courts of justice were held; see Genesis 23:10; Deuteronomy 21:19; Deuteronomy 25:6-7; Ruth 4:1 ff: Psalm 127:5; Proverbs 22:22. The Greeks also held their courts in some public place of business. Hence, the forum, ἀγορά agora, was also a place for fairs. See Jahn's Archaeology, section 247. Some suppose that the meaning here is, that they were oppressed and trodden down by the concourse in the gate. But the more probable meaning is, that they found no one to advocate their cause; that they were subject to oppression and injustice in judicial decisions, and then when their parent was dead, no one would stand up to vindicate them from respect to his memory. The idea is, that though there might be temporary prosperity, yet that it would not be long before heavy calamities would come upon the children of the wicked.
on Job 5 :4