Fr Jude Ferreira.
9th Nov 2008
a. Job is a highly literary work in the Bible.
b. It is one of the greatest works in the world of literature. Most of it is in poetry.
c. This is a story of Job’s innocence Vs God’s punishment.
d. It is the most difficult text in the OT. Here there Are over 100 words that only appear once in the Bible (hepax legomena) standing for Greek rare words.
e. It seems to come from a culture far different from us. The author lives in a un cluttered world where it is possible to think deeply, feel intensely & draw closer to God. ( You will find depth here.)
f. The book has 2 parts
i. Prologue: Prose narrative 1:1 – 2:13
Epilogue 42:7-17 If you join both these parts you will find one perfect story
Perhaps there are 2 authors.
ii. In the formation of the book, it is put in poetry section, this stretches from
3 – 31; 32 – 37; 38 – 41; 42: 1-6.
g. Different people are involved. There are 3 sets of dialogues between Job & friends
à 1:1 – 2:13 Prologue à 3-31. Job & his 3 friends are
/ having a debate.
à 3 – 31; 32 – 37; 38 – 41; 42: 1- 6 < àElihu speaks, mouthing the same
à 42; 7-17 Epilogue. à Epilogue.
h. Poetry is the most important & the outstanding section.
It reveals a man who has suffered deeply gone in to intensive pain & suffering. This is put into poetic form, there are a lamentation, soliloquies (self talk), prayers, vituperations (abusive language). Because of pain, protests, invectives (violent attack in words) & shouts of pain.
The poets compels us to come to grips with an existential problems, the problems of innocent suffering. (why do innocent people suffer)
The book of Job is an attack on the traditional wisdom equation of goodness & prosperity, ie good begets good, evil begets evil. Friends of Job will argue this.
2. AUTHORSHIP : who wrote the Book of Job.
The Israelites liked to link their religious teachings with a historical person. Is Job a historical person. Ez 14:;14 & 20. Job is mentioned here , he is linked with Noah & Daniel.
Daniel is a legendary king, Daniel is not as the same from the book of Daniel, but a legendary Canaanite king of the 14 cen BC. These 3 figures are portrayed as Israelites of great antiquity, symbols of righteousness & mediators of salvation for others in times of crises. Job is set as a historical figure in the mould of Noah & Adam.
The identity of the Author remaining completely unknown. The hero seems to belong to a distant premosaic world, to give credibility , pseudomity.
3. Date: Based on the language, modern scholars tend to date the actual writing of the book in the exilic or early post exilic literature 587 – 539 BC.
4. Extra Biblical Parallels.
Suffering is universal & writings which deals with suffering are found in many literatures.
In the OT Psalms & Job has certain similarities. The book of Job in the Bible is closer to OT then to other literatures. Jer 20:14-18 is ///ar to Job 3:2 – 19.
External Literature. 3 Mesopotamian are ///ar to Job
a. I will praise the Lord of wisdom (it is not a dialogue) It is the story of high ranking Babylonian official, who is struck down with illness, he describes it in great details.
The poem is in thanksgiving for deliverance.
b Babylonian Theodicy. It is acrostic ( 27 alphabets each stanza with 11 lines each). It is a dialogue. From a person who is suffering, He tells his fried that he is an orphan & the powerful people are oppressing him & he gets no protection from God.
c. Sumerian Job. Written around 2000 BC. It is not a dialogue. An anonymous man is afflicted with misfortune, for no apparent reason. He does not protest, he asks for deliverance. He admits that no human being is free from sin.
5. Literary Form:
The literary technique employed bt the author are diverse & complex the poet adapts a rich variety of materials, complaints, hymns, axioms (sayings), taunts sarcastic pleas to focus on the intense alienation between Job’s understanding of himself as a mortal & the character of God as an oppressive celestial spy, oaths, curses (based on justice, why God has done this to me) pronouncements, parable, traditional sayings, disputations.
There were 2 forms of writings
1. Dispute form. Used between Job & his friends, debates used between them.
2. The law suite form. To take to court. Job is taking God to court. (God & Job. To make him to give him justice, & to want damages.). Job’s witnesses are natural
Ch 13; 16; 19; 23.
Ch 9. What are the problems to such a trial. Does God not have an answer to your charges.
Elihu Ch 32-37
God à Job 38:1-42:6.
7. Meaning & Message of Job.
1. In the book of Job there is a conflict between Job & God.
Doctrine of retributionà You do good, you will be blessed, You do bad you will be punished.
God is breaking his own rules.
2. There are serious doubts about Gods integrity, God is vulnerable to the incitement by the Satan & succumbs to his (Satan’s) wagers (betting) twice. He afflicts Job without cause or provocation by Job. It is assumed that there is a moral order in the world where retribution & justice is the norm. Job probes & challenges these principals in the light of his own situation.
3. Retribution justice is challenged in another angel by the Satan 1:9-10. Mortals only worship God out of self interest. They are righteous because they expect to be rewarded.
Do human beings serve God for nothing (OR do we always want something, can we arm twist God & mother Mary. OR do we serve God simply because we love him OR do we always have a motive.
4. Job & his friends explore numerous realities of their world including the ground of knowledge, the nature of the wicked, the human conditions, the role of friends, the analogy of nature the rule of God & the moral order.
For Job, God is devious (cunning), fashioning mortals with an ulterior motive, to discover their weakness & harass them until they die 10:8-17. To live as an human being on earth is to be oppressed by a heavenly task master 7:1-8.
5. The friends of Job support the integrity of truth, as an axiomatic truth, & challenge Jobs integrity. (God is good, You are bad). God as a cosmic ruler acts righteously in all things & upholds the laws of Justice within the social & the natural order. The eternal law & the law of retribution is guaranteed by his righteous character. You may pretend to be innocent but your speech betrays you.
They have misunderstood Job.
Message & Meaning of Job. The crises of Job is not only the problem of unjustified suffering, also the question of the meaning of life. Where there is no future no justice, no relief no purpose. Job is completely separated & alienated from God & the community. The hero stands alone in his misery 19:6-20. Yet death with all its terrors is ultimately more appealing, the suffering thro life with no goal or hope. Job however refuses to commit suicide
a. Prologue. Who is Job. Job is a person 1:1-5. Man from Uz Gen 36:28 Name of the territories. Lamentation 4:21. Land of Edomà Esau. Uz is a part of Edom to the south & the East of Palestine.
4 virtues of Job are expressed.
Job 1:1. There was once a man of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless & upright, one who feared God & turned away from evil.
c. feared God
d. turned away from evil
Vs. 2 There were born to him seven sons ( 7= complete #) and three (divine fullness) daughters.
Job had a perfect family of 10 children.
Vs 3 He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.
1. 7000 sheep = 7*1000. (7=complete, 10 is fullness. Multiplication of fullness) These sheep are used for their wool, meat, milk
2. 3000 Camel, ship of the desert. Used for their milk, meat also. (divine & multiple fullness)
3. 500 yoke of Oxen. 5 Pentateuch & its multiplicity.
4. 500 (she) donkeys. Multiplicity. Also milk
5. great many servants.
Job lives a lifestyle of a chieftain / monarch. He is very, very rich. He has a perfect family, perfect possessions & a perfect life.& he was the greatest of all the people in the east.
Vs 4 His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another’s houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5And when the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt-offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.’ This is what Job always did.
Job offered burnt offerings so that he could put the relationship right between his family & God.
1. Ist. Heavenly scene. 1:6-12.
Job falls into the darkness of tragedy. This story is not to be taken factually, its fictional, dramatic & with repetitions
6 One day the heavenly beings* came to present themselves before the Lord, and (THE) Satan* also came among them.
Vs 6. In the heavenly court, we have YHWH servants among them is The Satan.
Sons of God are inferior beings
The Satan is like a public prosecutor, an adversary, an opponent, inquisitor, its an office held in YHWHs court
7The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan* answered the Lord, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’
The Satan is looking up for trouble.
8The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.’
Repetition of the earlier virtues.
9Then Satan* answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?
The Satan instigating God
10Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
11But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’
The Satan instigating God / take everything away from Job
12The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!’ So Satan* went out from the presence of the Lord.
The Lord permits the Satan to ruin him but only not kill him.
2. Job losses all his possessions: 1:13-19.
13 One day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house, 14a messenger came to Job and said, ‘The oxen were ploughing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.’(Earthly blow) 16While he was still speaking, another came and said, ‘The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you.(heavenly Blow)’ 17While he was still speaking, another came and said, ‘The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you. (earthly Blow)’ 18While he was still speaking, another came and said, ‘Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, 19and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.’(heavenly blow)
Job experiences 2 heavenly & earthly blows & is totally finished. & devastated.
Vs 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped.
Tore his robe in mourning & blasphemy, shaved his head in mourning.
Vs 21 He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’
Naked he was born from his mothers womb, naked he will return, when he is dead back to mother earth.
Vs 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.
3. 2nd. Heavenly scene. 2:1-7a.
2:1. One day the heavenly beings* came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan* also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan* answered the Lord, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’
Repetition. Satan looking up for trouble.
3The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.’
Another God’s repetition & Satan’s incitement
4Then Satan* answered the Lord, ‘Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.* 5But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.’ 6The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.’
Satan says to give Job a chill in his bones & afflict his skin., but do not kill him.
7 So Satan* went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
4. The Afflictions of Job person. 2:7b-10.
2: 8 Job* took a potsherd (broken pottery)with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.
Ashes has a therapeutic / antiseptic value, when put on wounds.
9 Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse* God, and die.’
Either you curse God & he kills you, or you are killed because of the infected skin disease.
10 But he said to her, ‘You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Does God only give good & not bad.
The book of Job does not get us an answer to suffering, but our attitude for suffering.
Jobs friends 2:11-13.
2: 11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. 12When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. 13They sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
Jobs friends are serious learned men, they come to ease Job’s suffering. They are wise men, but their wisdom principals are grown old / fossilized, out dated. Old baggage of human wisdom.
In divine retribution, if the wisdom principals are used in wrong set of consequences & circumstances, wisdom becomes folly
They did not empathize with Job. They gave all the right answers to the wrong questions.
a. Eliphaz the Temanite, Eliphaz came from Teman, this was a territory of Edom.. Teman was known for its wisdom. Jer 49:7. Eliphaz was dignified Gen 34:4, 15.
b. Bildad the Shuhite. à Shuah. Son of Abraham & wife Keturan Gen 25:6.
Shuah is the land in the East.
c. Zophar the Naamathite à Naamah (female). Cain – sister Tubal – Cain Gen 4:22.
They come from diverse geographic origins, each comes with his own brand of wisdom.
Ch 3. Jobs sololoques
Job’s complaint has 4 parts:
a. Job curses the day of his conception & the day of his birth.
Vs 1 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2Job said: 3‘Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, “A man-child is conceived.” ( Job curses before he was born & conceived) 4Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, or light shine on it. 5Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds settle upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. 6That night—let thick darkness seize it! let it not rejoice among the days of the year; let it not come into the number of the months.7Yes, let that night be barren; let no joyful cry be heard* in it. 8Let those curse it who curse the Sea,* those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan. 9Let the stars of its dawn be dark; let it hope for light, but have none; may it not see the eyelids of the morning 10because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb, and hide trouble from my eyes.
b. He wishes that he had died at birth. 3:11-15.
11‘Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? 12Why were there knees to receive me or breasts for me to suck? 13Now I would be lying down and quiet; I would be asleep; then I would be at rest 14with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuild ruins for themselves,
15or with princes who have gold, who fill their houses with silver.
c. He raises questions about suffering vis-à-vis connected with death – sheol 3:16-23.
16 Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child, like an infant that never sees the light? 17There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.
18There the prisoners are at ease together; they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.19The small and the great are there, and the slaves are free from their masters. 20‘Why is light given to one in misery, and life to the bitter in soul, 21who long for death, but it does not come, and dig for it more than for hidden treasures; 22who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad when they find the grave? 23Why is light given to one who cannot see the way, whom God has fenced in?
d. He gives the description of his present anguish. 3:24-26.
24For my sighing comes like* my bread, and my groaning are poured out like water. 25Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. 26I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest; but trouble comes.’
It is better to die now or suffer a slow death.
A description of Jobs illness:
7: 4-5. 4When I lie down I say, “When shall I rise?” But the night is long, and I am full of tossing until dawn. 5My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out again.
7:13-15. 13When I say, “My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint”, 14then you scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions, 15so that I would choose strangling and death rather than this body
19:20. 20My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
30:17. 17The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
30:30 30My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat.
16th Nov 2008.
The argument centers around the doctrine of Retribution
The 3 friends defend God, without empathizing with Job, ie without getting into his shoes.
The Book of Job teaches us of miss applied wisdom is folly
What is the grouse of the three friends à They feel that since Job has sinned he should repent.
What are the teachings they use. They begin to portray wicked people.
This is done in 3 ways
a. Veiled Insinuation (to instigate / hint)
b. Open accusation.
c. Practical advice.
Job maintains his identity, throughout the debate
I. .Veiled Insinuation (Eliphaz).
Job’s friends use their wisdom in the wrong situation.
Job 5:2-7. Vs2 Surely vexation (annoyance / disturbance) kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple.
3I have seen fools taking root, but suddenly I cursed their dwelling.
4Their children are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate, and there is no one to deliver them.
5The hungry eat their harvest, and they take it even out of the thorns;* and the thirsty* pant after their wealth. 6For misery does not come from the earth, nor does trouble sprout from the ground;
7but human beings are born to trouble just as sparks* fly upward.
Eliphaz paints the picture of a fool.
Vs4. Job has lost everything even his children, There is no one to represent him (Job) to the Gate.
The gate is a place where the tribal business & legal matters were discussed.
The fools suffer even their children suffer.
Vs 7. The trouble does not come out of the ground just like that, You have asked for that
Trouble & pain are avoided by the morally good.
Ruth 4:1 No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin,* of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, ‘Come over, friend; sit down here.’ And he went over and sat down.
Job. (Eliphaz) 15:17-35. Vs 17‘I will show you; listen to me; what I have seen I will declare—
18what sages have told, and their ancestors have not hidden,
19to whom alone the land was given, and no stranger passed among them.
20The wicked writhe in pain all their days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
21Terrifying sounds are in their ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.
22They despair of returning from darkness, and they are destined for the sword.
23They wander abroad for bread, saying, “Where is it?” They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;
24distress and anguish terrify them; they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.
25Because they stretched out their hands against God, and bid defiance to the Almighty,*
26running stubbornly against him with a thick-bossed shield;
27because they have covered their faces with their fat, and gathered fat upon their loins,
28they will live in desolate cities, in houses that no one should inhabit, houses destined to become heaps of ruins;
29they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure, nor will they strike root in the earth;*
30they will not escape from darkness; the flame will dry up their shoots, and their blossom* will be swept away* by the wind.
31Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves; for emptiness will be their recompense.
32It will be paid in full before their time, and their branch will not be green.
33They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine, and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.
34For the company of the godless is barren, and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35They conceive mischief and bring forth evil and their heart prepares deceit.’
Elipaz paint the picture of what will happen to all sinners.
Vs 27. faces that are fat = ill gotten gains, cheating money got at the cost of others. Hinting at Job where did you get all your money from.
Vs 30. Nature will burn all your vegetation.
Vs 32. You will loose all your success before you are successful
Vs 33. There will be no fruit
Vs 34. Fire will consume the tent ( body / habitation ), bribery = wicked.
Job suffers with his whole body burning.
Job. (Bildad) 18:5:21
Vs5‘Surely the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of their fire does not shine.
6The light is dark in their tent, and the lamp above them is put out.
7Their strong steps are shortened, and their own schemes throw them down.
8For they are thrust into a net by their own feet, and they walk into a pitfall.
9A trap seizes them by the heel; a snare lays hold of them.
10A rope is hid for them in the ground, a trap for them in the path.
11Terrors frighten them on every side, and chase them at their heels.
12Their strength is consumed by hunger,* and calamity is ready for their stumbling.
13By disease their skin is consumed,* the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs.
14They are torn from the tent in which they trusted, and are brought to the king of terrors.
15In their tents nothing remains; sulphur is scattered upon their habitations.
16Their roots dry up beneath, and their branches wither above.
17Their memory perishes from the earth, and they have no name in the street.
18They are thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world.
19They have no offspring or descendant among their people, and no survivor where they used to live.
20They of the west are appalled at their fate, and horror seizes those of the east.
21Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, such is the place of those who do not know God.’
Vs 8-10. Bildad is telling Job that he is asking for big trouble.
Vs 13. Your skin will wither because of you wickedness; first born of death = skin disease / leprosy, you will linger & die.
Wicked people die of skin disease, therefore Bildad refers Job as wicked.
Vs 14. tent = body; à afraid of death.; king of terror = death / God.
Vs 17. Immortality was taken away, he will not succeeded if he (Job) does not repent.
Job. 20:4-29. (Zophar) Vs4Do you not know this from of old, ever since mortals were placed on earth,
5that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless is but for a moment?
6Even though they mount up high as the heavens, and their head reaches to the clouds,
7they will perish for ever like their own dung; those who have seen them will say, “Where are they?”
8They will fly away like a dream, and not be found; they will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9The eye that saw them will see them no more, nor will their place behold them any longer.
10Their children will seek the favour of the poor, and their hands will give back their wealth.
11Their bodies, once full of youth, will lie down in the dust with them.
12‘Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth, though they hide it under their tongues,
13though they are loath to let it go, and hold it in their mouths,
14yet their food is turned in their stomachs; it is the venom of asps within them.
15They swallow down riches and vomit them up again; God casts them out of their bellies.
16They will suck the poison of asps; the tongue of a viper will kill them.
17They will not look on the rivers, the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18They will give back the fruit of their toil, and will not swallow it down from the profit of their trading they will get no enjoyment.
19For they have crushed and abandoned the poor, they have seized a house that they did not build.
20‘They knew no quiet in their bellies; in their greed they let nothing escape.
21There was nothing left after they had eaten; therefore their prosperity will not endure.
22In full sufficiency they will be in distress; all the force of misery will come upon them.
23To fill their belly to the full God* will send his fierce anger into them, and rain it upon them as their food.*
24They will flee from an iron weapon; a bronze arrow will strike them through.
25It is drawn forth and comes out of their body, and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
terrors come upon them.
26Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures; a fire fanned by no one will devour them;
what is left in their tent will be consumed.
27The heavens will reveal their iniquity, and the earth will rise up against them.
28The possessions of their house will be carried away, dragged off on the day of God’s* wrath.
29This is the portion of the wicked from God, the heritage decreed for them by God.’
Vs 4. Do you know the ancient principles?
Vs 6. Their head in the skies
Vs 7 they will perish like their dung, as the dung disintegrates.
Vs 11. Their bodies once young, will age, & disintegrate.
Vs 14-15. They will have poison in their stomachs, their ill gotten gains will disappear.
Vs 22. Even if you have much you will be distressed.
Vs 26. Your body will deteriorate & meet death.
Vs 28. Their body’s will disintegrate & their possessions will be carried away.
Prosperity of the wicked men will be short lived, punishment will come to the wicked.
II. Open Accusation:
Eliphaz 4:3-6. Eliphaz accuses Job of double standards.
Vs 3 See, you have instructed many; you have strengthened the weak hands.
4Your words have supported those who were stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees.
5But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed.
6Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?
Vs 3. See what has happened to you , you used to give everyone advice.
Vs 6. Do you no longer fear the Lord.
Job 11:2-12.(Zophar) Vs 2‘Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and should one full of talk be vindicated?
3Should your babble put others to silence, and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
4For you say, “My conduct* is pure, and I am clean in God’s* sight.”
5But O that God would speak, and open his lips to you,
6and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For wisdom is many-sided.*
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7‘Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?*
8It is higher than heaven*—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
9Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
10If he passes through, and imprisons, and assembles for judgment, who can hinder him?
11For he knows those who are worthless; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12But a stupid person will get understanding, when a wild ass is born human.*
Vs 3. Zophar is mocking him.
Vs 6. Zophar is declaring Job guilty.
Vs 12. Zophar declares that Job has no understanding & he will have it only when an ass is born to a human.
Zophar condemns Job as a great sinner, & He extols the greatness of God & power.
a. Job is concerned about understanding suffering. His friends are accusing him of unconscious blindness
b. Caused by Jobs conscious stubbornness
c. God gives the right suffering to the right people. Therefore God is Just.
Job is not bothered about this suffering. Why.?
Ch 15: 2-6.(Eliphaz) Vs 2‘Should the wise answer with windy knowledge, and fill themselves with the east wind?
3Should they argue in unprofitable talk, or in words with which they can do no good?
4But you are doing away with the fear of God, and hindering meditation before God.
5For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
6Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you.
Vs 2. windy knowledge = East wind comes from the desert, dusty hot, harmful winds. What ever Job says is hurtful & harmful.
Vs 3. Jobs speech is the result of a guilty conscious. Speaking out loudly. It comes from guilt or intense pain.
Vs 4. Job seems to be challenging God.
Vs 5. Tongue is crafty & blasphemous.
Ch 15:1. (Eliphaz)‘Vs1. Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?
Eliphaz challenges Job.
In the North Eastern country it was believed that each person had a God, who would plead your case
Job wants an answer to this meaningless life
Friends think that Job wants to know that he is right.
III Practical Advice:
Job 5:8-16 (Eliphaz). Vs 8‘As for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause.
9He does great things and unsearchable, marvellous things without number.
10He gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields;
11he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
13He takes the wise in their own craftiness; and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
14They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noonday as in the night.
15But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth, from the hand of the mighty.
16So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.
Vs 8. Jobs friends say that if they were in his shoes, they would have committed their cause. (but could they ever be in Jobs shoes.). Eliphaz makes a mistake for not emphasizing with Job.
Vs 10-12. Eliphaz extols the virtues of God & tells Job that God will frustrate all Jobs crafty ideas.
Eliphaz gives Job little advice
Vs 15-16. Eliphaz appeals to God that he reverses this whole thing.
Job 5:17-18 (Eliphaz). Vs 17‘How happy is the one whom God reproves; therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.* 18For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands heal.
Vs 17-18. Suffering is a discipline / chastisement. ( God chastises us so that we learn from this chastisement.) God is purifying / teaching you. Chastisement not = punishment.
Humans need chastisement from time to time. Therefore Job must take / accept their discipline. Chastisement from God.
Job 8:5-7 (Bildad). Vs5If you will seek God and make supplication to the Almighty,*
6if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore to you your rightful place. 7 Though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.
Job if you repent, God will restore your fortune.
Good behavior get good rewards; Bad behavior gets evil from God.
Vs 7. misfortune / suffering may go away.
Job 8:20-22 (Bildad). Vs 20‘See, God will not reject a blameless person, nor take the hand of evildoers.
21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy.
22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.
Vs 21. He will bring Joy / laughter if you repent.
Job doesn’t believe in hypocrisy. It is better to cry then laugh with false hood.
Job 11:13-20.(Zophar) Vs13‘If you direct your heart rightly, you will stretch out your hands towards him. 14If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness reside in your tents.
15Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear.
16You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.
18And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected* and take your rest in safety. 19You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid; many will entreat your favour.
20But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them,
and their hope is to breathe their last.’
Vs 14 iniquity = misery; tent = body.
Vs 16-17. If you repent you will forget your misery; if you don’t your misery will remain with you.
Zophar think that he knows Gods ways thoroughly & his ways. ( The ways of God are hidden.)
Zophar also thinks he knows how sin & punishment are matched by God
Job 22:21-30.(Eliphaz) Vs21‘Agree with God,* and be at peace; in this way good will come to you.
22Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.
23If you return to the Almighty,* you will be restored, if you remove unrighteousness from your tents,
24if you treat gold like dust, and gold of Ophir like the stones of the torrent-bed,
25and if the Almighty* is your gold and your precious silver,
26then you will delight in the Almighty,* and lift up your face to God.
27You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows.
28You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways.
29When others are humiliated, you say it is pride; for he saves the humble.
30He will deliver even those who are guilty; they will escape because of the cleanness of your hands.’*
Eliphaz extols the virtues of God. If you repent you will prosper
Piety * + prosperity * will go to gather. Therefore you are a sinner.
How does Job reply to his friends. He does 3 things.
a. He refutes his friends.
b. He defends himself.
c. He complains to God.
d. He gropes for solution
A. He refutes his friends:
à Job 12:1-12. Vs 1. Then Job answered:
2‘No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you.
3But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these? 4I am a laughing-stock to my friends; I, who called upon God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, I am a laughing-stock.
5Those at ease have contempt for misfortune,* but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.
6The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hands.*
7‘But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8ask the plants of the earth,* and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.
11Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food?
12Is wisdom with the aged, and understanding in length of days?
Vs 2. You think you have a lot of Wisdom. But wisdom will die with you.
Vs 6. Tent of robbers are the robbers themselves.
Job states that his wisdom matches that with his friends. Both Good & bad comes from God, but not always. It is not always connected with sinful behavior.
Vs 11. traditional Wisdom is tested by experience.
à Ch Job. 13:4-12. 4As for you, you whitewash with lies; all of you are worthless physicians.
5If you would only keep silent, that would be your wisdom!
6Hear now my reasoning, and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
7Will you speak falsely for God, and speak deceitfully for him?
8Will you show partiality towards him, will you plead the case for God?
9Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another? 10He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality.
11Will not his majesty terrify you and the dread of him fall upon you?
12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defences are defences of clay
Vs 4. White wash = worthless physicians.
Vs 5. silence = wisdom
The way you are extolling such a God, you would not be talking about him.
à Job 7:11. 11‘Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say what I want to say, I will speak from the anguish of my spirit.
B. He defends himself.
à Job 13:13-16. Vs 13‘Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may.
14I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand.*
15See, he will kill me; I have no hope;* but I will defend my ways to his face.
16This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him.
He defends himself that he is upright, He is sure he is innocent.
Vs 14. I take total responsibility. He will argue his case in front of God & survive, even though he knew that sinners cannot live in the presence of God. Job has complete faith i9n God & god will set him free
à Job 9:21-23. Vs 21 I am blameless; I do not know myself; I loathe my life.
22It is all one; therefore I say, he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
23When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity* of the innocent.
God you destroy the blameless / innocent. Why do you do so.
C. Job complains.
à Job 10:8-12. Vs 8Your hands fashioned and made me; and now you turn and destroy me.*
9Remember that you fashioned me like clay; and will you turn me to dust again?
10Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese?
11You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.
Job complains to God.. God is a potter, God fashions mortals & kills them
Vs 10. Single cell multiplying. God is a cheese maker, he works with curds.
Vs 11. God is a tailor, he sews clothes for me
He creates human beings to show his loving care. Are you making human beings to kill them.
Vs 12. steadfast love = Hesed Hb tender love.
à 19:5-22.Vs 5If indeed you magnify yourselves against me, and make my humiliation an argument against me, 6know then that God has put me in the wrong, and closed his net around me.
7Even when I cry out, “Violence!” I am not answered; I call aloud, but there is no justice.
8He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths.
9He has stripped my glory from me, and taken the crown from my head.
10He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone, he has uprooted my hope like a tree.
11He has kindled his wrath against me and counts me as his adversary.
12His troops come on together; they have thrown up siege-works* against me, and encamp around my tent. 13‘He has put my family far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
14My relatives and my close friends have failed me;
15 the guests in my house have forgotten me; my serving-girls count me as a stranger;
I have become an alien in their eyes.
16I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must myself plead with him.
17My breath is repulsive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family.
18Even young children despise me; when I rise, they talk against me.
19All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me!
22Why do you, like God, pursue me, never satisfied with my flesh?
Job complains to God that he has trapped him (cornered him) there is no Justice.
Vs 13. He is an out cast à people are hostile towards him.
Vs 14. Because he has disease
Vs 20. I am not yet dead.
Vs 21. All people have pity on me
Vs 22. you = friends.
Those who I love are the ones who have let me down. All relations have abandoned him
He has no existence. He complains to God.
à Ch 16:6-17 Vs 6‘ If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
7Surely now God has worn me out; he has* made desolate all my company.
8And he has* shrivelled me up, which is a witness against me; my leanness has risen up against me,
and it testifies to my face. 9He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me. 10They have gaped at me with their mouths; they have struck me insolently on the cheek; they mass themselves together against me.
11God gives me up to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12I was at ease, and he broke me in two; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target; 13 his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy; he pours out my gall on the ground. 14He bursts upon me again and again; he rushes at me like a warrior.15I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and have laid my strength in the dust.
16My face is red with weeping, and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17though there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure.
Vs 6. assuaged = become less
Vs 10. Their words are hurtful, they beings struck, a description of suffering
à Job 7:12-21. 12Am I the Sea, or the Dragon, that you set a guard over me?
13When I say, “My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint”,
14then you scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
15so that I would choose strangling and death rather than this body.
16I loathe my life; I would not live for ever. Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
17What are human beings, that you make so much of them, that you set your mind on them,
18visit them every morning, test them every moment?
19Will you not look away from me for a while, let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
20If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity? Why have you made me your target?
Why have I become a burden to you?
21Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be.’
à Job 7:1-6. ‘Do not human beings have a hard service on earth, and are not their days like the days of a labourer? 2Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like labourers who look for their wages,
3so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
4When I lie down I say, “When shall I rise?” But the night is long, and I am full of tossing until dawn.
5My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out again.
6My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and come to their end without hope.*
D. Job gropes for solution:
à 9:11.Vs 11Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
It looks like God has disappeared from the scene.
à9:33Vs 33There is no umpire* between us, who might lay his hand on us both.
He has a case against God & there is no empire
à 14:13-17. Vs 13O that you would hide me in Sheol,that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14If mortals die, will they live again? All the days of my service I would wait until my release should come.
15You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands.
16For then you would not* number my steps, you would not keep watch over my sin;
17my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity.
Job contemplates to meet God after death.
How does God answer to Jobs sufferings: He answers in 2 ways.
à God answers in silence, this is also Gods ways of answering.
This is Gods preparation to give the right answer at the right time for a more fuller meaning
When is the right time for God to speak, when Job had exhausted all his human power to find a solution & failing in this process, God waits for a breakdown of reason & a moment on the part of the mortal to surrender in faith.
à In speech.
Dr Kubler Ross.
1. Denial . It is not me, go to another doctor.
2. Anger. Why Me.
3. Bargain Lets make a deal
5. Surrender. à God is waiting
Deep Faith à knowledge of God. à surrender. (all interlocked)
God answers with counter questions
The challenger becomes the challenged.
Tell me why I am suffering.
Gods Question à The counter Qs center round the structure & function of the universe, which God has created .
God answers is through à
Ist speech. God speaks thro natural phenomena.
Ch 38. Whirlwind was a mode of communication vehicle of Gods communication.
38Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: 2‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
4‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
5Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
6On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone
7when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings* shouted for joy?
8‘Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?—
9when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors,
11and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped”?
12‘Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place,
13so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14It is changed like clay under the seal, and it is dyed* like a garment.
15Light is withheld from the wicked, and their uplifted arm is broken.
16‘Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.
19‘Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness,
20that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!
22‘Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?
24What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? 25‘Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain, and a way for the thunderbolt,
26to bring rain on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life,
27to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass?
28‘Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29From whose womb did the ice come forth and who has given birth to the hoar-frost of heaven?
30The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
31‘Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion?
32Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34‘Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you?
35Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, “Here we are”?
36Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,* or given understanding to the mind?*
37Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together?
39‘Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert?
41Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God,
and wander about for lack of food?
Vs 3 Get ready for confrontation / battle
Vs 4-11. Gods creation of the world.
Vs 12-21 Deals with the wonders of heaven
Vs 22-38. Metrological features, snow fall, hail, light, wind, rain, thunderbolts.
Job Ch 38:39-39:30. Wild animals. Lion, raven, deer, wild ass, swift ass
40:15-24. Behemoth = Hippopotamus; Ex of Gods creation.
= primordial chaos
Primordial chaos at the beginning of Gods creation. They are under Gods control.
Leviatham 41:1-6. Description fits a crocodile.
You cannot control these
Is 27:1 On that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.( A serpant struck down by the sword of YHWH)
Ps: 74; 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food* for the creatures of the wilderness (Serpent head shattered by YHWH)
Ps 104: 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it. (Large fish)
Leviathan is a monstrous being identified by the mythological monsters of Chaos.
ANET 138. Speaks of Leviathan, speaks of Lothan the serpent of 7 heads slain by Baal.
Gods II speech:
This is a challenge to Job, Job has dared to claim that Gods rule of the world is unjustified . So god invites him to take control & see if he can run it better.
YHWH does not crush Job with divine power but speaks to him of YHWHs creative freedom & tells him of the respect that YHWH has for human freedom.
Job calls for justice is legitimate but if justice is to be understood in its full meaning & scope it must be set in context of Gods overall plan for human history for it is there that God grants self revelation.
The plan of God unfolds to me at various stages it expects the reader to come, to surrender in faith & meet God & experience God.
What is the Gods plan for me, what ever it is I surrender.
The revelation of Gods plan when received with good judgment will show Job that the doctrine of retribution is not the key to understand the universe.
This doctrine can give rise to a common place relationship with God & others.
What is the answer that Job gives to God
42:1-6. repent not= change of mind.
What realy matters is that he has experienced god / met God
8. burnt offering à their sins
10. Restoration twice as much.
42: 14 He named the first Jemimah,(dove) the second Keziah(popular perfume), and the third Keren-happuch.(mascara)
Inheritance to the daughters.
God is angry with his friends because.
1. They have not spoken about him rightly, as Job has done. He asks them to make restitution, by making a burnt offering.
2. Jobs prosperity is restored, he lives to see his great grand children & dies as a righteous man ( should be as good as old age.
3. The restitutions of Jobs fortune is not a reward for his good behavior. It is a restoration of Jobs faith which is complete
4. Once Job met God face to face he declared himself satisfied even though he found no answers concerning his justice to his bad treatment, & the righteousness of Gods government of the world.