Thou hast taken a pledge - Thou hast been vexatious in all thy doings, and hast exacted where nothing was due, so that through thee the poor have been unable to procure their necessary clothing.
For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought - The only evidence which Eliphaz seems to have had of this was, that this was a heinous sin, and that as Job seemed to be severely punished, it was to be “inferred” that he must have committed some such sin as this. No way of treating an unfortunate and a suffering man could be more unkind. A “pledge” is that which is given by a debtor to a creditor, for security for the payment of a debt, and would be, of course, that which was regardcd as of value. Garments, which constituted a considerable part of the wealth of the Orientals, would usually be the pledge which would be given. With us, in such cases, watches, jewelry, notes, mortgages, are given as collateral security, or as pledges. The law of Moses required, that when a man took the garment of his neighbor for a pledge, it should be restored by the time the sun went down, Exodus 22:26-27. The crime here charged on Job was, that he had exacted a pledge from another where there was no just claim to it; that is, where no debt had been contracted, where a debt; had been paid, or where the security was far beyond the value of the debt. The injustice of such a course would be obvious. It would deprive the man of the use of the property which was pledged, and it gave him to whom it was pledged an opportunity of doing wrong, as he might retain it, or dispose of it, and the real owner see it no more.
And stripped the naked of their clothing - Margin, “clothes of the naked.” That is, of those who were poorly clad, or who were nearly destitute of clothes. The word naked is often used in this sense in the Scriptures; see the notes at John 21:7. The meaning here is, that Job had taken away by oppression even the garments of the poor in order to enrich himself.