But as for the mighty man, he had the earth - זרוע איש ish zeroa, the man of arm. Finger, hand, and arm, are all emblems of strength and power. The man of arm is not only the strong man, but the man of power and influence, the man of rapine and plunder.
The honorable man - Literally, the man whose face is accepted, the respectable man, the man of wealth. Thou wert an enemy to the poor and needy, but thou didst favor and flatter the rich and great.
But as for the mighty man - Hebrew as in the margin, “man of arm.” The “arm,” in the Scriptures, is the symbol of power; Psalm 10:15, “Break thou the arm of the wicked;” Ezekiel 30:21. “I have broken the arm of Pharaoh;” Psalm 89:13, “Thou hast a mighty arm;” Psalm 97:1, “His holy arm hath gotten him the victory.” The reason of this is, that the sword and spear were principally used in war, and success depended on the force with which they were wielded by the arm. There can be no doubt that this is intended to be applied to Job, and that the meaning is, that he had driven the poor from their possessions, and he had taken forcible occupancy of what belonged to them. The idea is, that he had done this by power, not by “right.”
Had the earth - Took possession of the land, and drove off from it those to whom it belonged, or who had an equal right to it with him.
And the honorable man - Margin, “eminent,” or “accepted of countenance.” Hebrew: “Lifted up of countenance;” that is, the man whose countenance was elevated either by honor or pride. It may be used to describe either; but, perhaps, there is more force in the former, in saying that it was the great man, the man of rank and office, who had got possession. There is, thus, some sarcasm in the severe charge: “The great man the man of rank, and wealth, and office, has got possession, while the humble and poor are banished.” Job had had great possessions; but this charge as to the manner in which he had acquired them seems to be wholly gratuitous. Eliphaz takes it for granted, since he was so severely punished, that it “must have been” in some such way.