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JOB - Chapters 15-21


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ELIPHAZ (ch. 15)

  1. (15:1-6)
    1. Not only are your words utterly meaningless, but they attack the very concept of godliness.
    2. Your sin (the reason for your suffering) is the source of your words, so your words demonstrate your guilt.
  2. (15:7-13)
    1. Are you wiser than the wisest of men (who all agree with us)? Do you claim to have direct revelation from God himself?
    2. Why do you refuse to accept godly counsel? (Your words are an expression of anger against God.)
  3. (15:14-16) How could ANY man be as pure as you claim to be [so that you wouldn't deserve this]? Even heavenly beings are impure. How much worse is man, who by nature is corrupt!!
  4. (15:17-26)
    1. Let me tell you the truth about this matter (what all the wisest of men have said):
    2. The wicked man has a horrible existence - full of despair, and anticipating judgment (because of his defiance against God).
  5. (15:27-35) No matter how much he may seem to prosper, he will be destroyed in judgment. This will occur, no matter how much he may deceive himself [thinking that he may benefit from wickedness].
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JOB'S REPLY TO ELIPHAZ (ch. 16 - 17)

  1. (16:1-5)
    1. Your trite speeches only produce misery. (Are you also sick?)
    2. If you were in my place, I could also speak...but what would come out of my mouth would result in comfort.
  2. (16:6-14)
    1. I am going to continue my complaint. (It does me no good to be silent.)
    2. God has devastated me. My very body testifies to that fact (and appears to testify against me). God is like a brutal enemy attacking me.
    3. He has even let men (the 3 "friends") join in the attack.
    4. Once all was well; now I am destroyed by God: attacked and mortally wounded.
  3. (16:15-17) All this has happened - pain and humiliation - in spite of my innocence and purity!
  4. (16:18-21)
    1. May my innocent blood and my tears NEVER stop crying for justice, until I am acquitted of any wrongdoings
    2. [Two interpretations ]
      • VIEW 1 (confidence that the very agony he experiences testifies before God about his innocence): Even now, my immortal blood is a witness in heaven.
      • VIEW 2 (confidence that someone in heaven must be defending him - perhaps an angel or God himself): Even now, there is a witness defending me in heaven.
    3. [V. 20 - Two Interpretations of the Hebrew: Is the "friend" mentioned here a "defender" (= the witness, mentioned above) or a "scorner" (= his accusers)?]
      • VIEW 1 ("defender"): [This witness (mentioned above)] ...defends me as a friend.
      • VIEW 2 ("scorner"): ["This witness [in heaven] defends me" (mentioned above)] ...even though my friends [on earth] treat me with scorn.
    4. As a friend, he/it pleads with God, as do my tears.
  5. (16:22, 17:1-2) I will soon die. All my resources are gone. And as I wait for my grave, I have to tolerate mockers!
  6. (17:3-5)
    1. Defend me, God! No one else will!
    2. These people are blind, unable to exalt you (OR: unable to triumph in the argument).
    3. They may expect a reward...what they will get is judgment.
  7. (17:6-9)
    1. God has turned me into an object of ridicule. I am physically wasting away.
    2. Upright men are appalled at what has happened, angered by the injustice of it all...yet in spite of what they see, they will desire to remain upright in all their ways.
  8. (17:10-16)
    1. You people have not demonstrated wisdom. TRY AGAIN!
    2. I'm devastated and dying, yet you claim: "There is hope! Things will soon be better!"
    3. If all I can expect is death and decomposition, where is my hope? Will it go along with me - hand in hand - to the grave? [Of course not!]
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BILDAD (ch. 18)

  1. (18:1-4)
    1. How long will you continue to blurt out such words? Come to your senses, so we can communicate!
    2. You act as though we are dumb animals. Yet you are the one is acting like an animal: you are your own enemy, being angry rather than repentant
    3. Do you expect God to change the very order of creation [and morality] just because you demand it?
  2. (18:5-21) The wicked, those who refuse to follow God, WILL be destroyed. Their horrible ending is inescapable: it CANNOT be different (not even for you).
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  1. (19:1-6)
    1. Why do you continue to torture me with your words, as you have these ten times? [Figurative language for "many times."]
    2. It is not your job to hunt for hidden sins in my life. [You should be comforting me!]
    3. If you are trying to make yourself look good by knocking me down, then know this: I haven't done any wrong. Rather, God has wronged me. [See the NOTE in Section B (19:7-12).]
  2. (19:7-12)2)
    1. I protest and cry for help, but none comes.
    2. Instead, God surrounds me and violently attacks me; he humiliates and destroys me.
    3. NOTE: Job says these things NOT because he is angry with God, but because he is perplexed and hurt by the apparent abandonment of him by God.
  3. (19:13-20)0)
    1. All mankind has forsaken me.
    2. All that's left is my deteriorating body.
  4. (19:21-22)
    1. So, please be merciful and show pity!
    2. Admit that God is doing this!
    3. Don't join God in the attack (by pressuring me to confess wrongs that I haven't committed, etc.).
  5. (19:23-27) Sooner or later I will be vindicated.
    1. I wish that an eternal monument were engraved with my words (so that all may forever know my claim of innocence, until I am vindicated).
    2. In fact, I am convinced that there is someone - alive at this very moment - who will defend/redeem me.

      NOTE: When will this person (defender/redeemer) do it?

      • VIEW 1: while Job is alive;
      • VIEW 2: after he dies (and perhaps has been resurrected).
      The different ways these two views interpret v. 25b-26 will be shown in the sections below:
    3. (25b) There will come a time that he himself (the defender) will stand in my defense "on the dust."
      • VIEW 1: on the ground ("dust") in front of Job
      • VIEW 2: on Job's grave (after Job has turned to "dust")
    4. (26a) Even though my skin is "destroyed"...
      • VIEW 1: it has become utterly wasted away by the disease
      • VIEW 2: Job has died
    5. (26b) ...Yet "from my flesh"...
      • VIEW 1: looking out "from" his dead/dying flesh (still alive)
      • VIEW 2: looking "apart from" his flesh (i.e. as a "spirit") OR looking out "from" the flesh of a resurrected body
    6. (26c) ...I will see him (contextually: the defender-redeemer) - GOD HIMSELF!!

      [NOTE: Regardless of whether one interprets vs. 25-26 as happening before or after Job's death, both views agree on this: Job was convinced that God (if he was truly God) had to sooner or later acknowledge Job's innocence...and in a manner that all would know!]

    7. I myself will see him when he does this! [Whether in the flesh or not.].]
    8. My longing for this to happen consumes all my remaining energy!
  6. (19:28-29) So, if you people continue to hound me and to accuse me, you had better start to fear. God will bring fearful judgment upon you at that time.
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ZOPHAR (ch. 20)

  1. (20:1-3) OUCH! you have greatly insulted me! But I'm wise enough to give a proper response.
  2. (20:4-11)
    1. Everyone knows that the joy of the wicked is only temporary.
    2. No matter how exalted he may become, he is destined to perish - forgotten by man.
    3. His family will be left destitute.
  3. (20:12-19) The very things he enjoyed [i.e., evil] will be his downfall.
  4. (20:20-29)
    1. He will never be satisfied, but will be consumed in judgment, one way or another.
    2. In fact, all creation will oppose him.
    3. God has decreed his fate.
    4. [The implication is that all this has happened to Job.]
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  1. (21:1-3) Show compassion by listening to me, then mock on!
  2. (21:4-16)
    1. I am complaining to God, who is responsible for this. [It didn't happen due to sins in my life.]
    2. I have a right to be impatient (waiting for an answer)... just look at what he has done to me!
    3. The very thought of this terrifies me! [Referring to: A) what he has just said, OR: B) to what he is about to say.]
    4. WHY do the wicked continue to prosper? This happens even though they despise God!
    5. (I am not like them: I still chose to remain faithful to God - the one who is in charge of their prosperity.)
  3. (21:17-21)
    1. But how often does the wicked person experience judgment?
    2. Often his children experience it instead!
    3. Shouldn't the man himself be punished? He could care less about the fate of his children!
  4. (21:22-26) Yet God does things his way, not ours.
    1. No one is superior to God - thus capable of teaching him a better way to do things.
    2. And this is the way God has chosen to deal with men: Even though two people may have totally opposite experiences in life, they both die equal.
    3. [Therefore what Job's friends are saying CANNOT be true.]
  5. (21:27-33)
    1. I am fully aware of the scheming arguments you have planned against me. You claim that my loss of property [and health] indicates that I am wicked.
    2. But evidence everywhere proves you wrong! The WICKED live long and die honored!
  6. (21:34) This proves that your advise is worthless.
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Dennis Hinks © 1989