Book of Job

by

Anonymous

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Book of Job: Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Eliphaz continues speaking, saying that distress and envy kill a person. The children of fools are crushed, with nobody to deliver them. Misery and trouble aren’t grown from the earth, but “human beings are born to trouble / just as sparks fly upward.” Because of all this, Eliphaz advises Job to seek God. God sends rain on the earth and takes care of the suffering; God thwarts the schemes of those who try to deceive others. However, God spares the poor and needy from injustice.
Eliphaz encourages Job to turn away from his wrongdoing (whatever it might be) and seek God; if he does, then God will reverse Job’s fortunes. Eliphaz continues to argue as though good things always happen to good people (and vice versa), as naturally as God sends rain on the land—put another way, it’s just how things work. This is also reflected in his proverb-like statement that trouble doesn’t just spring up from the ground, but develops after a person is born. Presumably, if trouble befalls a person, they’ve done something to bring it about.
Themes
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
The person who’s disciplined by God should be happy. Whenever God wounds a person, he also heals them. He redeems people from famine, war, and even wild animals. He blesses them with many descendants and grants them old age. These things are true; Eliphaz encourages Job to believe them for himself.
Eliphaz wraps up his first speech by arguing that suffering is a good thing—it shows that God is punishing a person for their wrongdoing, which means they can learn from it and accordingly change their ways. It’s part of the way God “redeems” people and thereafter blesses the redeemed with good things. If only Job himself will believe this, Eliphaz insists, then Job will enjoy the same blessing.
Themes
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
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