UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF JOB #3
Eliphaz's Third Response to Job
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2”Can a person's actions be of benefit to God? Can even a wise person be helpful to him? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect? 4 Is it because of your reverence for him that he accuses and judges you? 5Not at all! It is because of your wickedness! Your guilt has no limit!
[WOW….THAT IS POURING IT ON TO JOB, HE IS WICKED, HIS GUILD HAS NO BOUNDARIES - Keith Hunt]
6 "For example, you must have lent money to your friend and then kept the clothing he gave you as a pledge. Yes, you stripped him to the bone.7 You must have refused water for the thirsty and food for the hungry. 8After all, you think the land belongs to the powerful and that those who are privileged have a right to it! 9You must have sent widows away without helping them and crushed the strength of orphans. 10That is why you are surrounded by traps and sudden fears. 11that is why you cannot see in the darkness, and waves of water cover you.
[HE TELLS JOB, OR SAYS TO JOB, “I’LL BET THESE ARE SOME OF YOUR SINS…… Keith Hunt]
12"God is so great—higher than the heavens, higher than the farthest stars. 13 But you reply, 'That's why God can't see what I am doing! How can he judge through the thick darkness? 14For thick clouds swirl about him, and he cannot see us. He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.'
15"Will you continue on the old paths where evil people have walked? 16They were snatched away in the prime of life, and the foundations of their lives were washed away forever. 17For they said to God, 'Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do for us?' 18But they forgot that he had filled their homes with good things, so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.
19"Now the righteous will be happy to see the wicked destroyed, and the innocent will laugh them to scorn. 20They will say, 'Surely our enemies have been destroyed. The last of them have been consumed in the fire.'
21"Stop quarreling with God! If you agree with him, you will have peace at last, and things will go well for you. 22Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty and clean up your life, you will be restored. 24Give up your lust for money, and throw your precious gold into the river. 25Then the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver!
26"Then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and look up to God. 27You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. 28Whatever you decide to do will be accomplished, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. 29 If someone is brought low and you say, 'Help him up,' God will save the downcast. 30Then even sinners will be rescued by your pure hands."
[SO IT WAS MORE DISRESPECT FOR GOD AND JOB IS TOLD AGAIN HE IS A GROSS SINNER WHO NEEDS TO CONFESS HIS SINS AND RETURN TO GOD - Keith Hunt]
Job's Eighth Speech:
A Response to Eliphaz
Then Job spoke again: 2"My complaint today is still a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud. 3 If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his throne and talk with him there. 4 I would listen to his reply and understand what he says to me. 6Would he merely argue with me in his greatness? No, he would give me a fair hearing. 7Fair and honest people can reason with him, so I would be acquitted by my Judge.
[MOSES ONCE REASONED WITH GOD, WHEN THE LORD WANTED TO DESTROY ALL OF ISRAEL AND START AGAIN WITH MOSES AND HIS DESCENDANTS; THE LORD WAS WILLING TO LISTEN TO MOSES AND BE PERSUADED NOT TO DO WHAT HE WANTED TO DO….WOW, THAT SURE SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF GOD, THAT A SMALL INSIGNIFICANT MAN CAN SO REASON WITH GOD - Keith Hunt]
8"I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. 9 I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him. 10But he knows where I am going. And when he has tested me like gold in a fire, he will pronounce me innocent.
[JOB SAYS, WHEN I FIND GOD HE WILL KNOW I AM INNOCENT OF ALL THE SUPPOSED SINS MY FRIENDS IMAGINE I AM GUILTY OF - Keith Hunt]
11"For I have stayed in God's paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from his commands but have treasured his word in my heart. 13Nevertheless, his mind concerning me remains unchanged, and who can turn him from his purposes? Whatever he wants to do, he does. 14So he will do for me all he has planned. He controls my destiny. 15No wonder I am so terrified in his presence. When I think of it, terror grips me.16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me.17 Darkness is all around me; thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere.
[JOB KNOWS NO HUMAN CAN RESIST GOD; THE LORD CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS, WHEN HE WANTS, HOW HE WANTS, WITH WHOM HE WANTS; JOB SAYS, “YET DESPITE WHAT HE DOES TO ME, I HAVE STILL OBEYED HIS COMMANDMENTS, I HAVE STAYED ON HIS PATHS, I HAVE FOLLOWED HIS WAYS, I HAVE NOT TURNED ASIDE, I HAVE TREASURED HIS WORD IN MY HEART” WOW…..IF ONLY THAT COULD BE SAID ABOUT EACH OF GOD’S CHILDREN; BUT JOB WAS MIGHTY IN DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS, AS WE SHALL SEE FURTHER ALONG - Keith Hunt]
Job Asks Why the Wicked Are Not Punished
"Why doesn't the Almighty open the court and bring judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain? 2Evil people steal land by moving the boundary markers. They steal flocks of sheep, 3and they even take donkeys from the poor and fatherless. A poor widow must surrender her valuable ox as collateral for a loan. 4The poor are kicked aside; the needy must hide together for safety. 5Like the wild donkeys in the desert, the poor must spend all their time just getting enough to keep body and soul together. They go into the desert to search for food for their children. 6They harvest a field they do not own, and they glean in the vineyards of the wicked. 7A11 night they lie naked in the cold, without clothing or covering. 8They are soaked by mountain showers, and they huddle against the rocks for want of a home.
9The wicked snatch a widow's child from her breast; they take the baby as a pledge for a loan. 10The poor must go about naked, without any clothing. They are forced to carry food while they themselves are starving. 11They press out olive oil without being allowed to taste it, and they tread in the winepress as they suffer from thirst. 12The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the wounded cry for help, yet God does not respond to their moaning.
13"Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways. They will not stay in its paths. 14The murderer rises in the early dawn to kill the poor and needy; at night he is a thief. 15The adulterer waits for the twilight, for he says, 'No one will see me then. He masks his face so no one will know him. 16They break into houses at night and sleep in the daytime. They are not acquainted with the light. 17The black night is their morning. They ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness.
18"But they disappear from the earth as quickly as foam is swept down a river. Everything they own is cursed, so that no one enters their vineyard. 19Death consumes sinners just as drought and heat consume snow. 20Even the sinner's own mother will forget him. Worms will find him sweet to eat. No one will remember him. Wicked people are broken like a tree in the storm. 21For they have taken advantage of the childless who have no protecting sons. They refuse to help the needy widows.
22"God, in his power, drags away the rich. They may rise high, but they have no assurance in life. 23They may be allowed to live in security, but God is always watching them. 24And though they are great now, in a moment they will be gone like all others, withered like heads of grain.
[JOB CONTRASTS MANY OF THE WICKED WITH MANY OF THE POOR AND THOSE WHO ARE OFTEN UNDER THE THUMB OF THE WICKED; BUT HE SAYS THE UNRIGHTEOUS WILL COME TO AND END, THEY WILL BE GONE NEVER TO BE REMEMBERED. THE SECOND DEATH WILL DESTROY FOREVER THOSE WHO WILL NOT REPENT OF THEIR SINS AND UNRIGHTEOUS WAYS - Keith Hunt]
25 "Can anyone claim otherwise? Who can prove me wrong?"
Bildad's Third Response to job
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2"God is powerful and dreadful. He enforces peace in the heavens. 3Who is able to count his heavenly army? Does his light not shine on all the earth? 4How can a mere mortal stand before God and claim to be righteous? Who in all the earth is pure? 5God is so glorious that even the moon and stars scarcely shine compared to him. 6How much less are mere people, who are but worms in his sight?"
Job's Ninth Speech:
A Response to Bildad
Then Job spoke again:
2"How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved a person who has no strength! 3How you have enlightened my stupidity! What wise things you have said! 4Where have you gotten all these wise sayings? Whose spirit speaks through you? 5The dead tremble in their place beneath the waters. 6The underworld* is naked in God's presence. There is no cover for the place of destruction. 7God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. 8He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds do not burst with the weight. 9He shrouds his throne with his clouds. 10He created the
26:6 Hebrew Sheol [death and the grave - Keith Hunt]
horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundaries for day and night. 11The foundations of heaven tremble at his rebuke. 12By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster.* 13His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent.
14 "These are some of the minor things he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who can understand the thunder of his power?"
Job's Final Speech
Job continued speaking:
2"I make this vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who has embittered my soul. 3As long as I live, while I have breath from God, 4my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies. 5 I will never concede that you are right; until I die, I will defend my innocence. 6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live.
7"May my enemy be punished like the wicked, my adversary like evil men. 8For what hope do die godless have when God cuts them off and takes away their life? 9Will God listen to their cry when trouble comes upon them? 10Can they take delight in the Almighty? Can they call to God at any time? 11 I will teach you about God's power. I will not conceal anything that concerns the Almighty.12 But I don't need to, for you yourselves have seen all this; yet you are saying all these useless things to me.
[JOB IS HOLDING HIS INNOCENCE AND TELLS HIS FRIENDS WHAT THEY HAVE SAID IS USELESS - Keith Hunt]
13"This is what the wicked will receive from God; this is their inheritance from the Almighty.14 If they have a multitude of children, their children will die in war or starve to death. 15Those who survive will be brought down to the grave by a plague, with no one to mourn them, not even their wives. 16Evil people may have all the money in the world, and they may store away mounds of clothing. 17But the righteous will wear that clothing, and the innocent will divide all that money. 18The houses built by the wicked are as fragile as a spiderweb, as flimsy as a shelter made of branches. 19 The wicked go to bed rich but wake up to find that all their wealth is gone. 20Terror overwhelms them, and they are blown away in the storms of the night. 21The east wind carries them away, and they are gone. It sweeps them away. 22 It whirls down on them without mercy. They struggle to flee from its power. 23But everyone jeers at them and mocks them.
[WELL EVENTUALLY ALL THE WICKED WILL COME TO NOUGHT AND ALL THEIR PHYSICAL WHATEVERS ARE GONE, THE RIGHTEOUS WILL HAVE THEM. SOME HAVE IT REMOVED IN THIS LIFE AND END UP IN JAIL OR COMMIT SUICIDE; OTHERS LIVE OUT THEIR LIVES, BUT IF NEVER COMING TO REPENTANCE THEY WILL HAVE IT ALL TAKEN AWAY AS THEY ARE CONSUMED BY THE FIRE OLF THE SECOND DEATH - Keith Hunt]
Job Speaks of Wisdom and Understanding
"People know how to mine silver and refine gold. 2They know how to dig iron from the earth and smelt copper from stone. 3They know how to put light into darkness and explore the farthest, darkest regions of the earth as they search for ore. 4They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. 5Bread comes from the earth, but below the surface the earth is melted as by fire. 6People know how to find sapphires and gold dust—treasures that no bird of prey can see, no falcon's eye observe—8for they are deep within the mines. No wild animal has ever walked upon those treasures; no lion has set his paw there. 9People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. 10They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. 11They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures. 12But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 13No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living.14 'It is not here,' says the ocean. 'Nor is it here,' says the sea. 15 It cannot be bought for gold or silver.
[WISDOM….. THOUGH MAN CAN DO MANY THINGS, TRUE WISDOM CANNOT BE FOUND IN THE THINGS OF THE EARTH, OR THE SEA….THE BOOK OF PROVERBS - TELLS US WHERE WISDOM IS FOUND
26:12 Hebrew Rahab, the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature.
16 Its value is greater than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx stone or sapphires.17Wisdom is far more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. 18Coral and valuable rock crystal are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above pearls. 19 Topaz from Ethiopia* cannot be exchanged for it. Its value is greater than the purest gold.
20"But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 21 For it is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. 22But Destruction and Death say, 'We have heard a rumor of where wisdom can be found.’
23"God surely knows where it can be found, 24for he looks throughout the whole earth, under all the heavens. 25He made the winds blow and determined how much rain should fall. 26He made the laws of the rain and prepared a path for the lightning. 27Then, when he had done all this, he saw wisdom and measured it. He established it and examined it thoroughly. 28And this is what he says to all humanity: 'The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.'"
28:19 Hebrew from Cush.
[AH….. THE TRUTH ABOUT WISDOM, IT IS ALL RECORDED IN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS; WISDOM IS FROM THE VERY NATURE AND CHARACTER OF GOD - Keith Hunt]
Job Speaks of His Former Blessings
Job continued speaking:
2 “I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, 3when he lighted the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness. 4In my early years, the friendship of God was felt in my home. 5The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me. 6 In those days my cows produced milk in abundance, and my olive groves poured out streams of olive oil. 7Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. 8The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming. 9The princes stood in silence and put their hands over their mouths. 10The highest officials of the city stood quietly, holding their tongues in respect.
11"All who heard of me praised me. All who saw me spoke well of me. 12For I helped the poor in their need and the orphans who had no one to help them. 13 I helped those who had lost hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows' hearts to sing for joy. 14All I did was just and honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban. 15 I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor and made sure that even strangers received a fair trial. 17 I broke the jaws of godless oppressors and made them release their victims. 18 I thought, 'Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life. 19For I am like a tree whose roots reach the water, whose branches are refreshed with the dew. 20New honors are constantly bestowed on me, and my strength is continually renewed.'
21"Everyone listened to me and valued my advice. They were silent as they waited for me to speak. 22And after I spoke, they had nothing to add, for my counsel satisfied them. 23They longed for me to speak as they longed for rain. They waited eagerly, for my words were as refreshing as the spring rain. 24When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them. 25 I told them what they should do and presided over them as their chief. I lived as a king among his troops and as one who comforts those who mourn.
[NOW WE BEGIN TO SEE THE SPECIFICS OF JOB’S RIGHTEOUSNESS - HOW DO WE STACK UP SO FAR AGAINST JOB’S RIGHTEOUSNESS? Keith Hunt]
Job Speaks of His Anguish
"But now I am mocked by those who are younger than I, by young men whose fathers are not worthy to run with my sheepdogs. 2A lot of good they are to me—those worn-out wretches! 3They are gaunt with hunger and flee to the deserts and the wastelands, desolate and gloomy. 4They eat coarse leaves, and they burn the roots of shrubs for heat. 5They are driven from civilization, and people shout after them as if they were thieves. 6 So now they live in frightening ravines and in caves and among the rocks. 7They sound like animals as they howl among the bushes; they huddle together for shelter beneath the nettles. 8They are nameless fools, outcasts of civilization. 9And now their sons mock me with their vulgar song! They taunt me! 10They despise me and won't come near me, except to spit in my face. 11For God has cut the cords of my tent. He has humbled me, so they have thrown off all restraint. 12These outcasts oppose me to my face. They send me sprawling; they lay traps in my path. 13They block my road and do everything they can to hasten my calamity, knowing full well that I have no one to help me. 14They come at me from all directions. They rush upon me when I am down. 15 I live in terror now. They hold me in contempt, and my prosperity has vanished as a cloud before a strong wind.
16"And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. 17My weary nights are filled with pain as though something were relentlessly gnawing at my bones. 18With a strong hand, God grabs my garment. He grips me by the collar of my tunic. 19He has thrown me into the mud. I have become as dust and ashes.
20"I cry to you, O God, but you don't answer me. I stand before you, and you don't bother to look. 21You have become cruel toward me. You persecute me with your great power. 22You throw me into the whirlwind and destroy me in the storm. 23And I know that you are sending me to my death—the destination of all who live.
24"Surely no one would turn against the needy when they cry for help. 25Did I not weep for those in trouble? Was I not deeply grieved for the needy? 26So I looked for good, but evil came instead. I waited for the light, but darkness fell. 27My heart is troubled and restless. Days of affliction have come upon me. 28 I walk in gloom, without sunlight. I stand in the public square and cry for help. 29But instead, I am considered a brother to jackals and a companion to ostriches. 30My skin has turned dark, and my bones burn with fever. 31My harp plays sad music, and my flute accompanies those who weep.
[IT’S HARD TO PUT YOURSELF IN JOB’S SHOES, THE PAINFUL AGONY BLOWS MY MIND; THEN ALSO ADD THE MENTAL ANGUISH AS ONES HE KNEW FORSAKE UP - Keith Hunt]
Job's Final Protest of Innocence
"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.
[ EVEN IN SEXUALITY JOB WAS A CHAMPION - Keith Hunt]
2What has God above chosen for us? What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high? 3It is calamity for the wicked, misfortune for those who do evil. 4He sees everything I do and every step I take.
5"Have I lied to anyone or deceived anyone? 6Let God judge me on the scales of justice, for he knows my integrity. 7If I have strayed from his pathway, or if my heart has lusted for what my eyes have seen, or if I am guilty of any other sin, 8then let someone else harvest the crops I have planted, and let all that I have planted be uprooted.
9"If my heart has been seduced by a woman, or if I have lusted for my neighbor's wife, 10then may my wife belong to another man; may other men sleep with her. 11For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished.12 It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.
13"If I have been unfair to my male or female servants, if I have refused to hear their complaints, 14how could I face God? What could I say when he questioned me about it? 15For God created both me and my servants. He created us both.
16"Have I refused to help the poor, or crushed the hopes of widows who looked to me for help? 17Have I been stingy with my food and refused to share it with hungry orphans? 18No, from childhood I have cared for orphans, and all my life I have cared for widows. 19Whenever I saw someone who was homeless and without clothes, 20did they not praise me for providing wool clothing to keep them warm?
21 If my arm has abused an orphan because I thought I could get away with it, 22then let my shoulder be wrenched out of place! Let my arm be torn from its socket! 23That would be better than facing the judgment sent by God. For if the majesty of God opposes me, what hope is there?
24Have I put my trust in money or felt secure because of my gold? 25Does my happiness depend on my wealth and all that I own? 26Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies, or the moon walking down its silver pathway, 27and been secretly enticed in my heart to worship them? 28 If so, I should be punished by the judges, for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.
29Have I ever rejoiced when my enemies came to ruin or become excited when harm came their way? 30No, I have never cursed anyone or asked for revenge.
31My servants have never let others go hungry. 32 I have never turned away a stranger but have opened my doors to everyone. 33Have I tried to hide my sins as people normally do, hiding my guilt in a closet? 34Have I feared the crowd and its contempt, so that I refused to acknowledge my sin and would not go outside?
35 If only I had someone who would listen to me and try to see my side! Look, I will sign my name to my defense. Let the Almighty show me that I am wrong. Let my accuser write out the charges against me. 36 I would face the accusation proudly. I would treasure it like a crown. 37For I would tell him exactly what I have done. I would come before him like a prince. 38If my land accuses me and all its furrows weep together, 39or if I have stolen its crops or murdered its owners, 40then let thistles grow on that land instead of wheat and weeds instead of barley."
[IT IS TRULY FROM A HUMAN POINT, ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE DIALOGUES OF SOMEONE SHOWING HOW RIGHTEOUS THEY WERE, EVEN TO CHALLENGING GOD TO FIND THEIR SIN; JOB WAS AN UNBELIEVABLE MAN IN INTEGRITY AND HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH EVIL, JUST AS THE LORD TOLD SATAN IN THE FIRST CHAPTER - Keith Hunt]
Job's words are ended.
Elihu Responds to Job’s friends
Job’s three friends refuse to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence
Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. 3He was also angry with Job's three friends because they had condemned God* by their inability to answer Job's arguments.
4 Elihu had waited for the others to speak because they were older than he. 5But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily.
6Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said, "I am young and you are old, so I held back and did not dare to tell you what I think. 7 I thought, 'Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.' 8Surely it is God's Spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent. 9 But sometimes the elders are not wise. Sometimes the aged do not understand justice. 10So listen to me and let me express my opinion.
[IT IS NOT THE BREATH OF GOD AS WHEN HE MADE ADAM AND BREATHED INTO HIM; THIS IS THE “SPIRIT OF MAN” PUT INSIDE HIM FROM THE LORD; IT IS THAT MIRACULOUS SOMETHING THAT GOD IMPARTS TO THE HUMAN MIND, TO MAKE HUMANS FAR ABOVE ANIMALS; IT IS THIS “SPIRIT” OF MAN THAT GOES BACK TO GOD AT DEATH - ECC. 12:9 - SAFELY KEPT UNTO THE RESURRECTION DAY. THE SPIRIT IN MAN IS THE CASSETTE TAPE THAT RECORDS OUR CHARACTER WITHOUT SINS. I HAVE A FULL STUDY ON “THE SPIRIT IN MAN” ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
11"I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments, listening to you grope for words. 12 I have listened, but not one of you has refuted Job or answered his argument. 13And don't tell me, 'He is too wise for us. Only God can convince him.' 14 If Job had been arguing with me, I would not answer with that kind of logic! 15You sit there baffled, with no further response. 16Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent? Must I also remain silent? 17No, I will say my piece. I will speak my mind. I surely will. 18 For I am pent up and full of words, and the spirit within me urges me on. 19 I am like a wine cask without a vent. My words are ready to burst out! 20 I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers.21 I won't play favorites or try to flatter anyone. 22And if I tried, my Creator would soon do away with me.
32:3 As in ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; the Masoretic Text makes no reference to God.
TO BE CONTINUED