Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 5:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Behold, happy is the man - הנח hinneh, behold, is wanting in five of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., and also in the Syriac, Vulgate, and Arabic. We have had fathers of our flesh, who corrected us for their pleasure, or according to their caprices, and we were subject to them: how much more should we be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? for he corrects that we may be partakers of his holiness, in order that we may be rendered fit for his glory. See Hebrews 12:5; James 1:12; and Proverbs 3:12.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth - This verse commences a new argument, designed to show that afflictions are followed by so important advantages as to make it proper that we should submit to them without a complaint. The sentiment in this verse, if not expressly quoted, is probably alluded to by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 12:5. The same thought frequently occurs in the Bible: see James 1:12; Proverbs 3:11-12. The sense is plain, that God confers a favor on us when he recalls us from our sins by the corrections of his paternal hand - as a father confers a favor on a child whom he restrains from sin by suitable correction. The way in which this is done, Eliphaz proceeds to state at length. He does it in most beautiful language, and in a manner entirely in accordance with the sentiments which occur elsewhere in the Bible. The word rendered “correcteth” (יכח yâkach ) means to argue, convince, reprove, punish, and to judge.

It here refers to any of the modes by which God calls people from their sins, and leads them to walk in the paths of virtue. The word “happy” here, means that the condition of such an one is blessed (אשׁרי 'ēshrēy ); Greek μακάριος makarios - not that there is happiness in the suffering. The sense is, that it is a favor when God recalls his friends from their wanderings, and from the error of their ways, rather than to suffer them to go on to ruin. He does me a kindness who shows me a precipice down which I am in danger of falling; he lays me under obligation to him who even with violence saves me from flames which would devour me. Eliphaz undoubtedly means to be understood as implying that Job had been guilty of transgression, and that God had taken this method to recall him from the error of his ways. That he had sinned, and that these calamities had come as a consequence, he seems never once to doubt; yet he supposes that the affliction was meant in kindness, and proceeds to state that if Job would receive it in a proper manner, it might be attended still with important benefits.

Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty - “Do not regret (תמאס tı̂m'ās ). Septuagint, μή ἀπανάινου mē apanainou - the means which God is using to admonish you.” There is direct allusion here undoubtedly to the feelings which Job had manifested Job 3; and the object of Eliphaz is, to show him that there were important benefits to be derived from affliction which should make him willing to bear it without complaining. Job had exhibited, as Eliphaz thought, a disposition to reject the lessons which afflictions were designed to teach him, and to spurn the admonitions of the Almighty. From that state of mind he would recall him, and would impress on him the truth that there were such advantages to be derived from those afflictions as should make him willing to endure all that was laid upon him without a complaint.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Eliphaz gives to Job a word of caution and exhortation: Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Call it a chastening, which comes from the Father's love, and is for the child's good; and notice it as a messenger from Heaven. Eliphaz also encourages Job to submit to his condition. A good man is happy though he be afflicted, for he has not lost his enjoyment of God, nor his title to heaven; nay, he is happy because he is afflicted. Correction mortifies his corruptions, weans his heart from the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to his Bible, brings him to his knees. Though God wounds, yet he supports his people under afflictions, and in due time delivers them. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure. Eliphaz gives Job precious promises of what God would do for him, if he humbled himself. Whatever troubles good men may be in, they shall do them no real harm. Being kept from sin, they are kept from the evil of trouble. And if the servants of Christ are not delivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, and while overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever is maliciously said against them shall not hurt them. They shall have wisdom and grace to manage their concerns. The greatest blessing, both in our employments and in our enjoyments, is to be kept from sin. They shall finish their course with joy and honour. That man lives long enough who has done his work, and is fit for another world. It is a mercy to die seasonably, as the corn is cut and housed when fully ripe; not till then, but then not suffered to stand any longer. Our times are in God's hands; it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect great wealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will be ordered for the best. And remark from Job's history, that steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour! how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of faith, in such moments!
Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 240.1

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Job 5:17. AG 240.1

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 265.1

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. Job 5:17, 18. HP 265.1

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 349.8

“Happy is the man whom God correcteth.... He maketh sore, and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands make whole.” ... To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened by precious revealings of His presence.—The Signs of the Times, February 5, 1902. RC 349.8

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 364.1

Happy is the man whom God correcteth.... He maketh sore, and bindeth up: he wounded, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. Job 5:17-19. RC 364.1

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