Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 5:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty - All these sayings refer to God's particular providence, by which he is ever working for the good, and counterworking the plots of the wicked. And as various as are the contingent, capricious, and malevolent acts of men, so varied are his providential interferences; disappointing the devices, snares, and plots of the crafty, so that their plans being confounded, and their machinery broken in pieces, their hands cannot perform their enterprises.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty - He foils them in their schemes, or makes their plans vain. This too was the result of close observation on the part of Eliphaz. He had seen instances where the plans of crafty, designing, and artful people had been defeated, and where the straightforward had been prospered and honored. Such cases led him to believe that God was the friend of virtue, and was worthy of entire confidence.

So that their hands - So that they. The hands are the instruments by which we accomplish our plans.

Their enterprise - Margin, Or, “anything.” Hebrew תשׁיה tûshı̂yâh This word properly means uprightness from ישׁע yâsha‛ then help, deliverance, Job 6:13; then purpose, undertaking, enterprise, that is, what one wishes to set up or establish. Gesenius. This is its meaning here. Vulgate, “Their hands cannot finish (implere) what they had begun.” Septuagint, “Their hands cannot perform that which is true” - ὰληθές alēthes The Chaldee Paraphrase refers this to the defeat of the purposes of the Egyptians: “Who made vain the thoughts of the Egyptians, who acted wisely (or cunningly - דחכימו ) that they might do evil to Israel, but their hands did not perform the work of their wisdom Job 5:13, who took the wise men of Pharaoh in their own wisdom, and the counsel of their perverse astrologers he made to return upon them.” The general sense is, that artful and designing men - people who work in the dark, and who form secret purposes of evil, are disappointed and foiled. Eliphaz probably had seen instances of this, and he now attributes it to God as rendering him worthy of the confidence of people. It is still true. The crafty and the designing are often foiled in such a manner as to show that it is wholly of God. He exposes their designs in this way, and shows that he is the friend of the sincere and the honest; and in doing this, he shows that he is worthy the confidence of his people.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Eliphaz reminds Job, that no affliction comes by chance, nor is to be placed to second causes. The difference between prosperity and adversity is not so exactly observed, as that between day and night, summer and winter; but it is according to the will and counsel of God. We must not attribute our afflictions to fortune, for they are from God; nor our sins to fate, for they are from ourselves. Man is born in sin, and therefore born to trouble. There is nothing in this world we are born to, and can truly call our own, but sin and trouble. Actual transgressions are sparks that fly out of the furnace of original corruption. Such is the frailty of our bodies, and the vanity of all our enjoyments, that our troubles arise thence as the sparks fly upward; so many are they, and so fast does one follow another. Eliphaz reproves Job for not seeking God, instead of quarrelling with him. Is any afflicted? let him pray. It is heart's ease, a salve for every sore. Eliphaz speaks of rain, which we are apt to look upon as a little thing; but if we consider how it is produced, and what is produced by it, we shall see it to be a great work of power and goodness. Too often the great Author of all our comforts, and the manner in which they are conveyed to us, are not noticed, because they are received as things of course. In the ways of Providence, the experiences of some are encouragements to others, to hope the best in the worst of times; for it is the glory of God to send help to the helpless, and hope to the hopeless. And daring sinners are confounded, and forced to acknowledge the justice of God's proceedings.