You shall be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shall you be afraid of destruction when it comes.
All Commentaries on Job 5:21 Go To Job 5
Gregory The Dialogist
45. ‘The scourge of the tongue’ is the taunting of insults offered. They strike the righteous ‘with the scourge of the tongue,’ who pursue their deeds with mockery. For oftentimes the tongue, while it utters jibes, recalls from a good deed, and puts itself out like a scourge, in that it cuts the back of the cowardly soul. Which ‘scourge of the tongue,’ the Prophet had seen plotting against the elect soul, when He said, promising the aid that is above, Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter, and from the rough word. [Ps. 91, 3. Vulg.] For ‘hunters’ seek nothing else than flesh, but we are ‘delivered from the snare of the hunters and from the rough word,’ when we overcome both the snare of carnal persons, and the reproaches of sneers, by setting them at nought. For their words are ‘rough,’ which are arrayed against our righteous ways. And to ‘escape the roughness of words,’ is to trample down the mockings of calumniators by shutting our eyes to them, the holy soul then is hidden from ‘the scourge of tongues,’ in that whilst in this world it never seeks the honour of applause, neither does it feel the insults of calumny. But there be some that already set at nought the words of the scornful, already care nothing for their jeers, yet they still stand in dread of the pains and tortures of the body. For our old adversary, in order to withdraw us from a right bent of mind, assaults us in diverse modes, and prosecutes the tempting of us one while by a famine of the word, another while by the conflict of the flesh, now by the scourge of talk, now by the distress of persecution. But because every perfect person, when once he has overcome the evil habits in himself, straightway goes on to brace his mind to meet the inflictions of suffering, it is properly subjoined,
Neither shalt thou be afraid of calamity when it cometh.
46. For holy men, for that they see that they are engaged with an adversary of manifold form, equip themselves variously in their conflict. For against a famine, they have the sustenance of God's word; against the sword of war, they have the shield of continency; against the scourge of the tongue, the defence of patience; against the hurt of outward misfortune, they have the aid of inward love. Hence in a marvellous method it is brought to pass, that the more manifold the temptations which the craft of the enemy brings upon them, so much the richer in virtues are the wary soldiers of God rendered. And forasmuch as all the Elect severally, whilst they bear with courageous hearts the conflicts of the present life, are providing for themselves security under the terrors of the future Judgment.