Eliphaz: Third Discourse
Eliphaz lists the deeds and the end of the wicked, and then accuses Job of sin. Job responds by saying that he well knows the deeds and the end of the wicked, and has therefore kept himself from sin.
Eliphaz asks: What is a man that God is mindful of him? He then goes on to accuse Job of wickedness and encourages him to repent.
Job 22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, 22:2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? 22:3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? 22:4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?
One form of wickedness is to fail to help the needy. Eliphaz accuses Job of caring nothing for the poor while respecting the great.
22:5 Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite? 22:6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing. 22:7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
Job is accused of respecting the mighty and rejecting the poor.
22:8 But as for the mighty man, he had [possesses] the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it. 22:9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms [strength of the orphans] of the fatherless have been broken.
Respecters of persons will be corrected by God.
22:10 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee; 22:11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.
How can sin be hid from the awesome God?
22:12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are! 22:13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud? 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
Eliphaz reminds Job of the pre-flood world, and how the wicked were blessed until God destroyed them with the great flood.
22:15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? 22:16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood: 22:17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them? 22:18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me [Eliphaz].
The righteous are glad that wickedness is destroyed; because the sorrows that wickedness brings are also destroyed.
22:19 The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.
The wicked will be consumed in the fire, but the righteous shall remain forever
22:20 Whereas our substance [of the righteous] is not cut down, but the remnant of them [the wicked] the fire consumeth.
22:21 Acquaint now thyself with him [repent and reconcile with God], and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. 22:22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.
22:23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. 22:24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. 22:25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. 22:26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.
22:27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows [our baptismal marriage vow to obey all that comes out of the mouth of our Husband, Jesus Christ; who instructs us to live by every Word of God] .
22:28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. 22:29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is [also a] lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
The innocent [of failing to live by every Word of God] will be delivered; even if they are standing alone as an island of godliness in a sea of wickedness.
22:30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.
Like all godly people, Job complains of the false judgment of men and longs for the righteous judgment of God.
Job 23:1 Then Job answered and said, 23:2 Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him [God] ! that I might come even to his seat! 23:4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
Job seeks understanding from God concerning his condition and its cause.
23:5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
Job asks that God will cause him to understand.
23:6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
Job is repentant and wants God to reveal to him his faults and to explain how he may be reconciled to God.
23:7 There the righteous might dispute [reason] with him [God]; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge [from those that judge falsely].
Job seeks God and deliverance.
23:8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: 23:9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
Job knows that God is TESTING him and refining him. Job has been absolutely faithful and loyal to God in spite of all his TESTING.
23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 23:11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
God is able to do whatever God wills, and God performs his will towards men for a good purpose.
23:13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 23:14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
People should fear the greatness and power of God.
23:15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.
God softens the hardness of men’s hearts through his mighty deeds, bringing men to sincere repentance so that God may give the gift of a soft teachable heart through his Spirit, by which God may write all of his Word on a heart of flesh and not of stone (Ezek 36:26, Jer 31).
23:16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth [humbles] me:
Because God allowed Job to live through those dark days, and afflicted Job with this dark sorrow; Job’s heart has cleaved to God even more.
23:17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.
Since God knows all things, why do men seek to hide sin?
Job 24:1 Why, seeing times [events] are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days? [walk in his light]
The deeds of the wicked are seen by God; and their end in God’s righteous judgment is sure destruction. I know this, says Job [even as we also know it]; therefore I have not sinned before God.
24:2 Some remove the landmarks [like modern Judah Hos 5:10]; they violently take away flocks, and feed [eat them] up thereof. 24:3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow’s ox for a pledge. 24:4 They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.
24:5 Behold, as [like] wild asses in the desert, go they [the wicked go] forth to their work; rising betimes for [to seek out] a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children. 24:6 They reap every one his corn [grain] in the field: and they gather the vintage [advantages] of the wicked.
24:7 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold. 24:8 They [the poor, victims of the wicked] are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want [lack of] of a shelter.
24:9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast [take away the sustenance of the widow and the fatherless], and take a pledge of the poor. 24:10 They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf [of grain, food] from the hungry; 24:11 Which [the poor] make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and [have it taken from them] suffer thirst.
24:12 [Innocent] Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.
24:13 They are of those that rebel against the light [Word of God]; they know not the ways [of God] thereof, nor abide in the paths [of God] thereof.
24:14 The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and [goes out into] in the night is as a thief. 24:15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.
24:16 In the dark they dig through [burgle] houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light [God].
The wicked fear the exposure of the light, therefore they seek to keep all their doings secret and are furious when their evil deeds are exposed.
24:17 For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.
There is nothing hidden to God and he will ultimately expose all the wicked with all their unrepentant sins. In his own good time God will judge and repay the wicked for all their evil deeds.
24:18 He [God] is swift as the waters [a rushing stream]; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards. 24:19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned.
24:20 The womb shall forget [the unrepentant wicked shall ultimately be forgotten by their own mothers] him; the worm [maggot] shall feed sweetly on him [in death]; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.
24:21 He [the wicked] evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.
24:22 He draweth [deceives and entices] also the mighty with his [evil] power: he [the wicked] riseth up, and no man is sure of life [all fear for their possessions and lives].
Even though the wicked live prosperously and safely for a time, the eyes of God are upon them, watching and judging them.
24:23 Though it be given him [the wicked] to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his [God’s] eyes are upon their ways [the deeds of the wicked] .
24:24 They [the wicked] are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn [grain, the wicked are cut off from the harvest into God’s gift of eternal life].
Job insists that this is the truth. He answers his friend by saying that he knows that this is the truth and that knowing this, Job has been faithful to God and not done wickedly.
24:25 And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?
Job 25-28 is about the wisdom and power of God.
Bildad’s Third Discourse
Bildad continues his argument that Job has sinned, by asking Job if he can resist God.
Job 25:1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, 25:2 Dominion and fear are with him [God], he [God] maketh peace in his high places.
25:3 Is there any number of his [any limit to God’s strength?] armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise? 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 25:5 Behold even to [God established the course of the moon from full to darkness] the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
25:6 How much less [a man is so much less than God] man, that is a worm [maggot]? and the son of man, which is a worm [maggot]?