The Great Debate: First Cycle Of Speeches (4-14) OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION 1) To examine the counsel of Job's friends, what their observations were, and upon what they based their conclusions regarding Job's suffering 2) To consider Job's response to his friends, how he took their "advice", and how he continued to vent his complaint over his suffering SUMMARY Following Job's outburst in which he cursed the day of his birth and wondered why those who long for death continue to live, his three friends begin offering their counsel. Eliphaz the Temanite starts with expressing his view that the innocent don't suffer, the wicked do. As support for his position, he refers to a vision that he had. Chastening Job, Eliphaz then directs Job to seek God's forgiveness, reminding him of the blessings that would come if Job repented (4:1-5:22). Job defends his rash words as being prompted by his grief, and again expresses his desire for death. Reproaching his friends as being a "deceitful brook", he challenges them to show him where he has sinned. He then resumes his complaint, asking God a multitude of questions (6:1-7:21). Bildad the Shuhite now steps in and rebukes Job for his strong words. Maintaining that God is just, he implies that Job's sons died because of their own transgressions, and if Job were only pure and upright he would be blessed by God. Appealing to wisdom of the ancients, he contends the wicked are without support, and that God will not cast away the blameless. If Job would only repent, God would fill him once again with laughter and rejoicing (8:1-22). Job basically agrees, but wonders who can really be righteous in God's sight in view of His wisdom and strength. He then complains of God's inaccessibility, and maintains his own integrity while concluding that God destroys the blameless along with the wicked. Feeling hopeless, Job bemoans the lack of a mediator between him and God. Once again, he gives free course to his complaint as he lashes out with more questions directed toward God (9:1-10:22). Finally, Zophar the Naamathite enters the dialogue with his own rebuke of Job for his rash words. Indicating that Job has actually received less suffering than he deserves, he reproaches Job trying to search out the deep things of God. Instead, Job should be putting away iniquity and wickedness, for then he would abide in brightness, security and hope (11:1-20). In response, Job chides his friends for their attempt to impart wisdom but succeeding only in mocking him. Affirming the wisdom of God, Job says the advice of his friends has been of little help. He calls them "forgers of lies" and "worthless physicians" who have only given him "proverbs of ashes" and "defenses of clay". Confident of his own integrity, Job again expresses his desire to speak with God to ask Him what he has done to deserve such suffering. Once again despairing of hope, he longs for death (12:1-14:22). OUTLINE I. ELIPHAZ SPEAKS AND JOB RESPONDS (4:1-7:21) A. THE COUNSEL OF ELIPHAZ (4:1-5:27) 1. Introductory remarks (4:1-6) a. Though he does not wish to weary Job, he cannot refrain from speaking b. Job has strengthened others in the past, now he needs strengthening c. Is Job not trusting in his own confidence and integrity? 2. Eliphaz's view: The innocent don't suffer, the wicked do (4:7-11) a. When have the innocent ever perished? b. But I have seen the wicked perish by the blast of God, just like the lions 3. In support of his view: Eliphaz appeals to a vision (4:12-21) a. A terrifying vision, in which he heard a voice b. A revelation that man cannot be more righteous than God c. If angels can be charged with error, how much more so men of clay? d. Note: Eliphaz is appealing to "subjective revelation" 1) His example shows the error of appealing to such to determine truth 2) "Nothing is more essential than testing experience by an objective standard of reality. When God has spoken concerning a matter, that is decisive for all the issues involved. His word must be the court of appeal for all thoughts, impressions, and views." (Newton Wray) 4. Eliphaz warns Job (5:1-7) a. There is danger in the anger of a foolish man b. Such a one will see his sons crushed and his harvest depleted c. Affliction comes because man is born to trouble 5. Eliphaz directs Job (5:8-16) a. Seek God and commit your cause to Him b. For God does great things, catching the wise in their own craftiness, saving the needy and giving hope to the poor 6. Job reminded of God's blessings on those who accept His chastening (5:17-26) a. Happy is the man God corrects; don't despise His chastening b. God will make him whole, and protect him in times of trouble c. God will give him peace, many descendants, and long life -- Eliphaz's conclusion: "This we have searched out; it is true. Hear it and know for yourself." (5:27) B. JOB'S REPLY (6:1-7:21) 1. He justifies his rash words (6:1-7) a. They are prompted by his heavy grief b. He is experiencing the poisonous arrows and terrors of the Almighty c. Animals don't complain when well fed; but food has become loathsome to him 2. He longs for death, while his integrity is still intact (6:8-13) a. He wishes that God would go ahead and crush him b. Then he would have some comfort in knowing that he had not concealed (or denied) the words of God c. How long can he hope to endure? 3. Job reproaches his friends (6:14-23) a. They should have shown proper kindness b. They have been like a deceitful brook, that disappoints those who come to it c. They have been afraid of what they have seen d. He had not asked for their assistance 4. He challenges them to show him where he has sinned (6:24-30) a. Show him his error and he will be quiet b. Reproving him with no proof is of no benefit, it is like overwhelming the fatherless and undermining one's friend c. Look at him again and treat him justly, there is no injustice in him 5. Job now resumes his complaint (7:1-10) a. His life is one of hard servitude, with months of futility and wearisome nights b. The condition of his flesh makes him toss all night c. His days swiftly go by with no hope of ever seeing good again d. He expects to descend to the grave and soon forgotten 6. Job speaks out in the anguish of his soul (7:11-21) a. Why does God terrify him with dreams and visions, so that he longs for death? b. Why is God testing him every moment? How long will this go on? c. Why can't God just leave him alone? d. How has he sinned? What has he done to become a target for God? e. If he has sinned, why doesn't God pardon his transgression? f. As it is, he will just go ahead and die, and then God won't have to bother with him anymore (the sort of foolish statement for which Job later repents, 42:3,6) II. BILDAD SPEAKS AND JOB RESPONDS (8:1-10:22) A. THE COUNSEL OF BILDAD (8:1-22) 1. Introductory remarks (1-7) a. He rebukes Job for his words b. He maintains that God deals justly c. If Job's sons sinned, they were killed for their transgression d. Restoration would occur if Job would only seek God and repent 2. Bildad appeals to the wisdom of the ancients (8-18) a. Heed what others have already learned, for our time is short b. The wicked are like the papyrus with no support, for they soon wither c. God will not cast away the blameless, nor will He uphold the evildoers (the implication is "Job, you are not blameless") d. God will yet restore Job (assuming he repents) B. JOB'S REPLY (9:1-10:22) 1. He agrees with Bildad, but who can truly be righteous before God? (9:1-13) a. No one can contend with God, He is too wise and strong b. Job provides numerous examples of God's power 2. Because of such power, Job's complains of God's inaccessibility (9:14-20) a. Even if he were righteous (perfect?), Job would be unable to answer God b. For even now God multiplies his wounds without cause c. His own mouth would condemn him under the weight of God's strength 3. Maintaining his claim to innocence, he concludes that God destroys the blameless along with the wicked (9:21-24) a. Job professes to be blameless, but has lost his will to live b. He knows of no other conclusion but that God looks lightly at the plight of the innocent 4. Feeling hopeless, Job bemoans the lack of a mediator (9:25-35) a. His days go by, with no good to be seen b. Why even try, if God has chosen to condemn him? c. He knows there is no way to reason with God, and there is no one to mediate between them d. If God would only take His rod from him, but such is not the case 5. In pain, Job gives free course to his complaint (10:1-22) a. God, why do You condemn Me? Tell me why! b. Does it seem good for You to despise the work of Your hands? c. Are You having to search for my iniquity, like a mortal man? d. Have You made me, just to destroy me? e. Whether I am wicked or righteous, Your indignation increases toward me! f. Why then did You let me be born? How I wish I had died at birth! g. Can't You leave me alone so I can have a little comfort before I die and enter the "land of darkness"? III. ZOPHAR SPEAKS AND JOB RESPONDS (11:1-14:22) A. THE COUNSEL OF ZOPHAR (11:1-20) 1. Affirms that Job has received less than he deserves (11:1-6) a. The multitude of Job's words call for refutation b. Job claims innocence; if only God would speak and show his true guilt c. God has exacted less from Job than he deserves 2. Reproaches Job for desiring to search out God's hidden ways (11:7-12) a. Can Job find that which is beyond his ability to know? b. God cannot be hindered, and considers the wickedness of man c. A not-so-subtle rebuke of Job as a foolish empty-headed man 3. Promises restoration upon repentance and confession of sin (11:13-20) a. Seek the Lord and put away sin if you wish to be pure and steadfast b. You would forget your misery and abide in brightness, security and hope c. But the wicked will not escape, and their only hope is loss of life B. JOB'S REPLY (12:1-14:22) 1. He chides his accusers (12:1-12) a. Mocking their wisdom, he also has wisdom b. Though just and blameless, he has been mocked; meanwhile the wicked prosper c. Wisdom is not limited to Job's friends; all nature testifies of wisdom and it comes with age 2. He affirms God's own wisdom and strength (12:13-25) a. God can do what He wants, and none can stop Him b. He can overpower the wise and mighty, even the nations 3. The advice of his friends has been no help (13:1-12) a. He already knows what they know; he desires to reason with God b. They claim to speak for God, but they are worthless physicians and forgers of lies c. Their platitudes and defenses are worthless 4. Confident of his own integrity, Job again wishes to speak with God (13:13-19) a. Let him speak, for he is willing to take what comes b. Even if God slays him, he will continue to trust Him c. He desires to defend himself before God, he cannot remain silent 5. Job appeals to God for an audience (13:20-28) a. Upon the conditions of removing His hand and not overwhelming him with dread, Job would speak with God b. He desires to know where he has sinned, and why God regards him as an enemy c. Why has God so punished him? 6. He expresses hopelessness in this life (14:1-12) a. Life is brief and troublesome, his days are numbered b. Cut down a tree, and it will sprout again; but when man dies, he is no longer here as long as the heavens last 7. He longs for death (14:13-22) a. That God would so hide him from His wrath until it is past b. Man's hope is slowly eroded as he goes through life, until he knows no more of this life REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION 1) Which of his three friends first responded to Job? (4:1) - Eliphaz the Temanite 2) What was his main argument? (4:7-8) - Who ever perished being innocent? - Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same 3) To what did he appeal in support of his argument? (4:12-13) - A dream or vision 4) What does he encourage Job to do? (5:8) - To seek God and commit his cause to Him 5) What does he encourage Job not to do? (5:17) - Despise the chastening of the Almighty 6) How does Job justify his rash words? (6:2-3) - They were prompted by his troubles and heavy grief 7) For what does Job long? (6:8-9) - That God would go ahead and crush him (i.e., he longed for death) 8) How does Job describe his friends? (6:14-15) - Like a deceitful brook 9) What challenge does Job give his friends? (6:24) - Show him his error and he will be quiet 10) As Job resumes his complaint, what does he say has been given to him? (7:3,5) - Months of futility and wearisome nights - Flesh caked with worms and dust, skin which cracks and breaks afresh 11) How does he describe his days? (7:6) - Swifter than a weaver's shuttle, spent without hope 12) In such anguish, what does Job say he will do? (7:11) - Complain in the bitterness of his soul 13) What does he ask of God? (7:20-21) - Have I sinned? What have I done to You? - If so, why don't you pardon my transgression? 14) Who is the second person to respond to Job? (8:1) - Bildad the Shuhite 15) For what does he rebuke Job? (8:2) - His strong words 16) What does he counsel Job to do? (8:5-7) - Earnestly seek God and be pure if he desires restoration 17) To what did he appeal in support of his argument? (8:8-10) - Things discovered by their ancestors (i.e., the wisdom of the ancients) 18) What does Bildad conclude concerning God? (8:20) - God will not cast away the blameless, nor uphold the evildoers 19) How does Job initially respond to Bildad? (9:2) - He basically agrees, but how can one be righteous before God? 20) What does Job bemoan? (9:32-33) - The lack of a mediator between him and God 21) As Job gives continues his complaint, what does he ask of God? (10:1-2,18,20) - Show him why He contends with him - Why did God bring him out of the womb? - Why can't God just leave him alone and let him die? 22) Who is the third person to respond to Job? (11:1) - Zophar the Naamathite 23) What does he affirm concerning Job? (11:6) - He had received less than his iniquity deserved 24) For what does he reproach Job? (11:7) - Trying to search out the deep things of God 25) What does Zophar say would be true of Job if he repented? (11:13-16) - He would be pure, steadfast, free of fear and misery 26) How does Job mock his friends? (12:2) - By saying that wisdom will die with them 27) How did Job feel he was being treated by his friends? (12:4) - That they were mocking him 28) How does Job describe his friends? (13:4) - As forger of lies and worthless physicians 29) How does Job describe their speeches? (13:12) - As proverbs of ashes, and defenses of clay 30) What two things does Job request if God should grant him an audience? (13:20-21) - For God to withdraw His hand far from him - For God not to make him afraid 31) What does Job wish God would reveal to him? (13:23-24) - How many are his iniquities and sins - Why God hides His face and regards Job as an enemy 32) How does Job view the life of man? (14:1-2) - Of few days and full of trouble - Like a flower that soon fades away, as a fleeting shadow that is quickly gone 33) From his earthly perspective, how does Job compare himself with a tree? (14:7-12) - There is more hope for a tree, for a tree cut down will rise again 34) What request does Job make again? (14:13) - That God would go ahead and allow him to die
Eliphaz: Job has sinned
[Job 4:1-21 NASB] 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, 2 "If one ventures a word with you, will you become impatient? But who can refrain from speaking?
3 "Behold you have admonished many, And you have strengthened weak hands.
4 "Your words have helped the tottering to stand, And you have strengthened feeble knees.
5 "But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; It touches you, and you are dismayed.
6 "Is not your fear [of God] your confidence, And the integrity of your ways your hope?
7 "Remember now, who [ever] perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed?
8 "According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it.
9 "By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end.
10 "The roaring of the lion and the voice of the [fierce] lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken.
11 "The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the whelps of the lioness are scattered.
12 "Now a word was brought to me stealthily, And my ear received a whisper of it.
13 "Amid disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men,
14 Dread came upon me, and trembling, And made all my bones shake.
15 "Then a spirit passed by my face; The hair of my flesh bristled up.
16 "It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form [was] before my eyes; [There was] silence, then I heard a voice:
17 'Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?
18 'He puts no trust even in His servants; And against His angels He charges error.
19 'How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before the moth!
20 'Between morning and evening they are broken in pieces; Unobserved, they perish forever.
21 'Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them? They die, yet without wisdom.'