JOB’S FRIENDS grow increasingly accusatory as we go through the book. This week, we hear the final speeches of Zophar and Eliphaz, who have gone from gently reminding Job that God punishes the wicked to accusing their miserable, suffering friend of mistreating the poor, widowed, and homeless!Continue reading
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JOB FINALLY vents, declaring that he must speak freely since his effort to forget his complaint has failed. In chapter 10, Job addresses God in forceful language, accusing Him of being unjust and demanding answers for his suffering.
Then Job’s second friend, Zophar the Naamathite, responds and offers little comfort. Zophar asserts that Job is guilty and deserving of God’s punishment—in fact, probably deserving of worse than he’s already suffered.Continue reading
WE REACH the conclusion of what reads like the trial of Job by his friends as Bildad delivers a very short speech, his third, followed by Job’s eloquent and impassioned closing statement. We examine some interesting contrasts today, as Job asserts the power of Yahweh over that of other Ancient Near Eastern deities with references to Rahab (the Canaanite god Yam), Baal, and Abaddon.
Remember — we begin something new this week as we will celebrate communion at the end of this episode, so if you can, be prepared with your own version of the bread and the wine.
THE FRIENDS of Job continue to accuse him of speaking rashly and insist that he must have committed some sin to provoke Yahweh’s punishment. Zophar the Naamathite, in particular, is almost devoid of sympathy.
For his part, Job rebukes his friends, calling them “miserable comforters”, and longs for death. Yet, in his despair, Job has an understanding of the ways of God that, while not perfect, far surpasses that of his friends.
We see references to the Divine Council (shown explicitly to us in the first two chapters of Job), an understanding of the afterlife (see Dr. Michael S. Heiser’s comments of Sheol here), and possibly even a glimpse of the Messiah in Job 16:19:
Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and he who testifies for me is on high.
And Derek was right–the Egyptian records he referred to are called the Execration Texts (although they refer to the Anakim rather than the Rephaim).