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The Job debate;- Eliphaz and Job

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posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 05:01 PM
On the face of it, the book of Job is about the troubles of one man.
Of course we understand him as a representative. We regard the story as a debate about the origins of human troubles.
Strictly speaking, why bad things happen to good people instead of being limited to bad people.
I believe the original question may have been why God’s people Israel were allowed to suffer at the hands of the Babylonians.

The troubles of Job were described in the first two chapters.
Job feels a sense of grievance, arising out of these troubles, which will develop into what amounts to a lawsuit against God.
Like any other lawsuit, this case begins with a plaintiff’s complaint (ch3).
Since God is not offering an immediate response, the “comforters” who are sitting with Job begin putting forward their own counter-arguments.

Eliphaz, first speech

Eliphaz is responding to Job’s emotions, rather than his words (ch4)
He assumes that the state of grief is coming from a sense of being unjustly punished, and he argues accordingly.
He observes that Job has encouraged people in the past, when they were in trouble;
“Your words have upheld him who was stumbling” (v4).
Yet when he finds himself in the same situation, he does not follow his own good advice;
“But now it has come to you, and you are impatient”(v5).
You are convinced that your fear of God and your integrity should be enough to preserve you from trouble (v6).

Job has not said this, but Eliphaz sets out to refute it anyway.
He claims that the innocent and the upright never perish, while those who work with iniquity and cause trouble only bring trouble upon themselves. God is able to consume even the strongest of them, “the young lions”.
These axioms are supposed to be based on observation (vv7-11).

Then he reports a message which he received in a terrible vision, “when deep sleep falls upon men… A spirit glided past my face, the hair of my flesh stood up… but I could not discern its appearance” (vv12-16).
This resembles the setting of Abram’s vision in Genesis ch15, and the point is evidently that the message comes direct from God.
The message is that NO man can be truly innocent (and therefore immune from punishment);
“Can mortal man be righteous before God?
Can a man be pure before his maker?” (v17)
Fragile humanity has no chance, since even the spirits cannot be without fault.
Therefore there is no help to be found from powers below God (ch5 v1).

Observation confirms the message from the experience of “the fool”; that is, the man who ignores or rejects God, and finds himself suddenly cursed.
“His sons are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate” (v4).
Not the most tactful image, when talking to a man with Job’s experiences.

The problem is that affliction does not come into our lives accidentally, from outside. It does not “sprout from the ground”.
Rather, it is attracted into our lives by our own (sinful) nature. We are born into it, and it comes as naturally as “the sparks fly upwards” (vv6-7).

Therefore Eliphaz is content to trust in God entirely, and commit his cause to God (v8).
He lists the good things that God does.
He provides rain and other necessary things for the world.
He “lifts up” the lowly and those who mourn.
He frustrates the crafty (and so protects their victims).
Thus he saves the fatherless and the poor.
Even his chastening is beneficial;
“He wounds, but he binds up” (v18).
He will protect you from famine, from the sword, and even from the scourge of the tongue.
Your descendants will be many, and you shall come to your grave at a ripe old age, as a natural event.
What more could a man want?

Job’s response

Job begins by re-stating his grief, which Eliphaz has not been taking seriously.
“O that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances” (ch6 v1).
They would find it “heavier than the sands of the sea”.
“The terrors of God are arrayed against me” (v4).
Do they really think he would be complaining about nothing?
“Does the wild ass bray when it has grass?” (v5)

He also re-states his original conclusion, that in the circumstances he would prefer death.
“O that I might have my request… that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off… This would be my consolation”.
He would accept this result while maintaining his consciousness of innocence; “I have not denied the words of the Holy One” (vv8-10).
He simply does not have enough strength for the alternative, which would be “waiting patiently”.

Then he complains about the reaction he’s received.
His friends have “withheld their kindness”.
He was hoping to be refreshed by them, as travellers look to an expected stream, but their support has “dried up” like a stream in the hot season.
They are appalled and useless In the face of such disaster, even though he has asked for no material help (vv14-23).

“Teach me and I will be silent” (v24).
He challenges them to specify what was wrong with his remarks.
And he demands that they pay close attention to what he is about to say, observing the truth in his face (“Be pleased to look at me”).
He will tell them the truth, because “my vindication is at stake” (v29).
There is no fault in his tongue, because it can truly recognise the “taste” of calamity.

His case is the case of men in general;
“Has not man a hard service upon the earth, and are not his days like the days of a hireling?” (ch7 v1)
His nights are full of misery, waiting for the dawn.
“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and come to their end without hope” (v6).

He turns back to addressing God directly.
He reminds God that his own life is short – “My life is a breath”.
He may disappear in an instant, “as the cloud fades and vanishes”.
Once he has gone, he will never return;
“He who goes down to Sheol does not come up, he returns no more to his home” (vv7-10).
Consequently, he has nothing to lose from speaking his mind;
“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit” (v11).

The main thrust of his complaint is that God is giving him too much attention.
The implication is that all his troubles are the product of God’s attention, and they would stop coming if God could only be persuaded to lose interest.
“Am I the sea, or a sea-monster, that thou settest a guard over me?” (v17)
The sea is the source of evil, symbolically, a remnant of the “great abyss”. Job does not think his own contribution to evil is quite that important. “Let me alone, for my days are a breath”.
He adds an ironic version of the wondering question in Psalm 8;
“What is man, that thou dost make so much of him, and that thou dost set thy mind upon him?” (v17)
For he sees no good coming from this close observation.
It means being terrified with dreams and visions.
It means being “visited” every morning.
Worst of all, it means being “tested” every moment.

People tell Job that he is being punished for his guilt.
For the sake of argument, he lays aside his claim of innocence, and puts forward a more radical proposition.
Granting, for the moment, that he is guilty, why must there be a connection between guilt and affliction?
Why not break that link, by NOT punishing guilt?
“If I sin, what do I do to thee, thou watcher of men?...
Why dost thou not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity?” (vv20-21)
God could afford to do that, because, as Job repeats, his life is not going to last very long anyway.
That cutting of the Gordian knot would surely solve the problem.

posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 05:02 PM
Which side of the debate seems to be making the better case?


Job’s complaint

Ch3) I curse the day I was born.
Because it did not cut my life short and so protect me from the troubles of life.
Why did I not die at birth? (vv10-11)
Why is life given (or why does life continue to be given) to the man in misery who longs for death? (vv20-21)

posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 05:24 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Interesting. I have only read the book of Job once and that was a very long time ago (and in connection with reading another text, one of an occult nature).
I had never given it much consideration and, with only a very basic grasp of it, felt that it really just highlighted to me how much of a jackass the god of the Christian bible actually is. In short, I immediately came down on Job's side; here's a righteous man who tried his best yet was punished by a supposedly loving, compassionate and all powerful being. He demands worship and respect and, when he gets it, he visits horrific cruelty upon him anyway.


However, as I read the above, and with many years and a great deal many more experiences under my belt, I felt quite differently about it.

Now i see it from the point of view that, really, there is no debate here. They are both entirely correct and entirely justified in their points of view. Each man is speaking from his own perspective, based upon his own perception of reality. The fact is, there are always two sides to every coin. Which is the 'true' side or the 'better' side? Always there are many truths, many sides, none more correct than the other. It is simply a choice, and to arrive at a decision one must ask oneself the question "which is the optimum way of being/seeing". Frequently, when we ask this question, the choice really becomes no choice at all, the way becomes clear.

Job is justified in his despair, frustration and sadness. Equally, Eliphaz is justified in his 'optimism', faith and acceptance.

The question for me is not who is right, but who's perception leads to the optimal way of being.

I'm sorry if I misunderstood the question or the point you were making but this is what came to mind as I read your OP

edit on 6-10-2017 by Indrasweb because: Terrible spelling and autocorrect

posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 05:33 PM
a reply to: Indrasweb
No, you haven't misunderstood the question. I should add that this is one of a series which will be covering the whole debate between Job and his interlocutors (including God), so the question is really an invitation to assess the current "state of play" as the debate goes on.
So thank you for participating. And you are right, there are no easy answers.

posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 05:38 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Great! I'll look forward to reading the rest

posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 07:29 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

The entire narrative along with every other book about God or anything else are scripts of the failures of God itself.

GOD or GODS who cares...they are vermin scum of the highest level and will be destroyed.

The accused Creation is better than the Creator.

Time to remove the disease.

posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 09:47 AM
a reply to: ParasuvO
That was not the topic of the thread.

posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 02:10 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Know that originally Elihu (ch 32) is the one who penned all the words of Job and his three friends. That original was lost and it was inspired of God to Moses who wrote it it was the sixth book Moses wrote however the story goes back before Israels release from Egypt.

posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 02:19 PM
a reply to: ChesterJohn
You have evidence for that claim?
(If God could give the words direct to Moses, the work of Elihu would seem to have been redundant)
However, I would certainly see Elihu as God's voice in human form- but that question is for a later thread.

edit on 7-10-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 07:22 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Well we do have Elihu as the writer in Chap 32 just by the way it is written.

All books/recordings of Genesis before Moses were lost, but God is the author and inspiration of his words inspired them to Moses after he brought Israel out of Egypt. Those forty years were not just useless wanderings in the wilderness, but also for the recording of the words, precepts, statutes, judgements, laws, testimonies, and commandments of God.

The first fact is that not until the calling out of Israel from Egypt no one knew the name LORD/JEHOVAH, everyone up until then called Him the God Almighty.

Ex 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
Moses was the one to set the president to use the LORD in place of God's name so it would not be misused/used in vain. When the Priest later got to that point in the word of God and they came upon LORD (not JEHOVAH/Jehovah) they would say the Hebrew word for LORD.

Job is a prime example of an contemporary of Abram where the book is inspired of God to Moses and God inserts LORD where it once would have read God Almighty. The Midianite, Jethro the father in law of Moses, did not know God by either name, they all knew their god as Baal. Moses records the name LORD in the first part of Exodus Chap 18.

But you will notice that when Jethro makes a sacrifice it is not unto the LORD but made sacrifices to God Ex18:12, and as he speaks to Moses to judge the people of Israel (vv13-27) Moses records exactly what name Jethro knew God by, and in every instance it is God. Not once from 13-27 is the term JHVH/LORD ever used by Jethro.

It is historically known that Job next to most of Genesis is the oldest recording of a man from the east of the land of UZ (a son of BUZ Gen 22) who knew the LORD God and certain pre-Israel gatherings of the sons of God, which could have gone back before the Flood.

Not just immediate context but each book contexts the others books in the Bible as a whole. I am 17 years in just reading and studying ONLY the preserved word of God and no other translation or version or commentaries of men. And I am just scratching the surface of what The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ has for us in his preserved words from the past unto the future.

The best commentary on the preserved words of God as found in the AV is the preserved words of God as found in the AV. No other set of literature can, has or will do that.

From Everlasting to Everlasting the LORD God Almighty, our Saviour Jesus Christ is to be praised, glorified and honored. AMEN!

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 01:46 AM
a reply to: ChesterJohn
Your argument is based on the assumption that this book was written in the time of Job, like a diary. If we drop that assumption, the involved explanation becomes unnecessary. Walter Scott wrote about the life and conversations of Ivanhoe, but he was not living in the time of Ivanhoe.
In the first chapter, Job's family is attacked by the Chaldeans. I have offered the supposition that the book was actually written at a time when the Chaldeans existed as a known threat (e.g. the time of Nebuchadnezzar) and only set in the earlier period.

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 12:18 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I am not arguing, more like debating. I dislike using arguing because arguing to day involves yelling, screaming and other emotions that do not exist in our debate.

My assumptions are based on bible facts i.e. bible words and verses. The LORD was there, and in his word he has preserved all his words and actions concerning mankind and correct doctrine. Psalm 12:6,7 tells God will preserve his words to every generation forever.

For example which is very important the sons of God in Gen 5 is mentioned in Job one and two, and that there was a day they came and presented themselves before the LORD. In Job 38:7 the sons of God are in connection with the creation of the heaven and Earth, a time before the the first flood in Genesis 1:2. (The sons of God in Job 37 are not in connection with Genesis 1:3-31 or the second flood of Noah).

Verse six of Job 1 speaks of the sons of God (that included the Devil) and there is a direct connection to pre-flood Genesis via these words. Now remember it is the Holy Ghost that teacheth by comparison of spiritual things with spiritual 1Cor 2. These two uses connect and should be compared and by association show us when Job's plight took place. Also, in the first few verses where Job is acting as the patriarchal priest he only uses the name God up unto verse 5. Afterwards Moses by inspiration of God gives us the correct words that Elihu originally penned and placed LORD/JHVH.

Chaldeans is not just a nation after the time of David, they were a tribe that was in existence since the time of Noah's sons multiplying on the earth. The Chaldeans is first mentioned first in Isaiah as a world power, but they were known in the book of Genesis as the Chaldees (Chaldees is an area as well as a people), and very well could still be called Chaldeans in Job without it necessarily being after David's time. The same Hebrew word is used for Chaldees and Chaldean (I know how you all like to go to the Hebrew and Greek original language even though we don't have any originals in our possession).

That fact would make Job a very strange writing indeed for all of the roots and system of Job's sacrifice and religious practices are pre-Israel (Gen 1:5), from the Patriarchal Era of which Abram. This is a very important fact, because sacrifices to God were only accepted and done in Jerusalem and done only by the sons of Aaron the priests. Job does just as Abram does when it had done sacrifices to God Almighty. You make Job an Israelite which he wasn't, he was a Uzite, of the lineage of Shem (Gen 10:23).

So by that comparison of Scriptures of Abraham's sacrifices and that of Job also put this book shortly after the flood of Noah and not during the time of Isaiah.

This is why we are instructed of Paul to rightly divide the word of truth when we study, so we don't mix up times and doctrines. The interpreters of the preserved word of God into English, the AV, were in three groups, and prayerfully interpreted and transliterated the words of God as God wanted them preserved to us in this English speaking world today. There is no way Job could have happened during the time of Isaiah the prophet of God.

I agree Job's situation could be seen as any man's situation today short of one thing, God does not deal with us today as he did with Job or Abraham. He deals with us through the Blood of Jesus Christ using his preserved words for us to day.

p.s. a supposition is a written or spoken assumption. Literally a supposition is an uncertain belief or a hypothesis.

edit on 8-10-2017 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 12:30 PM

originally posted by: ParasuvO
a reply to: DISRAELI
The accused Creation is better than the Creator. . .
the bold is mine for point accuracy.

God's words then by your witness are true

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 01:23 PM

originally posted by: ChesterJohn
I am not arguing, more like debating. I dislike using arguing because arguing to day involves yelling, screaming and other emotions that do not exist in our debate.

"Argument" is a legitimate word to use for written debate, which does not involve yelling or screaming. It refers to the reasons being offered for the case that is being put.
"That to the height of this great argument,
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men"- Paradise Lost, Book 1 ll24-26, John Milton

You make Job an Israelite which he wasn't,

Rather, I make him an allegorical figure representing the nation as a whole.

There is no way Job could have happened during the time of Isaiah the prophet of God.

The whole point of my theory is that the book is not a history, so the question of "when it happened" does not arise. It is an extended parable, and I have suggested that one of the factors in the author's mind was the problem of explaining why the Babylonians were allowed to destroy Jerusalem and the nation.

p.s. a supposition is a written or spoken assumption. Literally a supposition is an uncertain belief or a hypothesis.
Yes, I know. That's exactly how I was using the word.

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 02:00 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Men have been making God's word a parable, allegorical and a supposition for the last two hundred years in America, to make it such where there is no parable, or allegory in the text to support suppositions as true teaching, is known as false teaching.

The words, verses, phrases, sections, chapters, books and volume of the preserved word of God can teach itself with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Figures of speech are identified by the context and grammar. To make Job a parable and or an allegory is to ignore the context not just of the Book of Job but of the whole Bible. Job was a real person who historically lived at a certain time, identified by the scriptures as during the time we call the patriarchal time or era or dispensation, where the oldest male was the priest of each family, we see this also with Abraham, Issac and Jacob.

Paradise lost is not the Bible nor a commentary of the Bible, it is a doctrinal poem/story to promote certain sects belief over the Bible's truth. Using outside sources to support your supposition shows your unbelief in scriptures alone as a means to teach and support itself.

I have used nothing but Bible and believe your supposition is in error based on improper study and failure of allow the Holy Ghost to teach you comparing scripture (spiritual things) with scripture (spiritual). There is no Babylonian anywhere in the book of Job. As stated above Chaldees/Chaldeans were around at the time of Abraham and do not necessarily mean it was the one in power a thousand years or so later.

The book of Job is both not a parable or allegorical, to make it such is an very bold error and shows you lack faith in God to preserve his words as he has said he would.

edit on 8-10-2017 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 02:20 PM

originally posted by: ChesterJohn
Paradise lost is not the Bible nor a commentary of the Bible, it is a doctrinal poem/story to promote certain sects belief over the Bible's truth. Using outside sources to support your supposition shows your unbelief in scriptures alone as a means to teach and support itself.

No, I was using Paradise Lost to support my use of the word "argument", as meaning a reasoned case. Look at that paragraph again.

posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 09:50 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I understand, I guess I misunderstood.

I am one who now likes to use only the preserved word of God, the AV, comparing scriptures with scriptures, as the Holy Ghost teaches.

Noting the words used by Job, Moses, Jethro, terms like sons of God, and seeing the patriarchal system of worship by the eldest male all points to a time before and just after the Flood of Noah. But once Israel is delivered from Egypt and does their wilderness trek and come into the land of promise, sacrifices were no longer accepted unless done in the prescribed way, in Jerusalem and by the sons of Aaron.

The Chaldeans could just be the Chaldees they are the same people, just translated differently by the translators but does not historically place Job at the time of Isaiah.

edit on 8-10-2017 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 11:07 AM
a reply to: ChesterJohn

The Chaldeans could just be the Chaldees they are the same people, just translated differently by the translators but does not historically place Job at the time of Isaiah.

Greetings my friend. May Jesus always guide your mind.

In some circles of scholars the name Chaldees or Chaldeans are associated with the Assyrian's or moon god associates.

In trying to somewhat date Job I have this to offer. The KJV bible tells us that the sons of a man named Job [Genesis 46:13] were among those of which Joseph invited to come to Egypt with Joseph’s father Israel. We are not told that this Job is the same Job of our discussion but I assume that it is the same Job of this discussion.

I also assume that these sons of Job who accompanied Jacob must have been long after Job’s first sons were all killed [Job 1:18]- We are not told how many sons of Job trekked to Egypt but we can assume that at the time of exodus Job must be dead or at the most must be disjointed from his sons. Being disjointed would seem very unlikely because tribal families most generally stayed together.

By this of the exodus, I assume that Job’s trial and life has long ended and that these sons were grown and had been raised as children of Israel or his household. Using the Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia I place the Exodus at 1313 B.C. which by this time Joseph and Israel are all dead.

Isaiah started his ministry in 619 B.C. which would be at least 700 to 800 years after Job. I won't contest the dates because most all groups use different dates. I try to be consistent in using one source for dating so that it doesn't clog my understanding.

The thing that I do not fully understand is that some scholars place the biblical Job as being the son of Zerah who is the son of Reuel who in turn is the son of Esau. If this is true then Jobs sons who were Edomites became the servants of Jacob.

Do you have any info on any of this?

posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 02:57 PM
a reply to: Seede

May the blessings of God's preserved word be yours forever.

That is interesting. In reading Job especially the last chapter. Note he has ten sons and three daughters no names of any of them given, it was after all the sons of Job's birthday's, that Job makes the sacrifice in case they had cursed God in their hearts, which tells us he never knew of them cursing God outward or verbally.

The last chapter we are not told anything about his wife conceiving or baring any children. Remember she might have well cursed her self by telling Job to curse God and die. In those days we have only the length of life given to Abraham, Issac and Jacob, and all of them around 200 years old. Jacob dies in Egypt this we know but is buried in the land of Promise in the same grave as Abraham.

Now about that last chapter no mention of the wife being there or conception. At this point God's word is silent on these children but they meet the exact number of Children he had when this ordeal started. An idea arises that not most if any address and that being, God is God and rather than a broken heart of Job for his original sons and daughters, God raise or resurrects them from the dead, and restores them just as he did all that he lost plus more. In this case of the children we are told his three daughter are the fairest in the land and their names.

If Job is a picture of Israel, then this is a picture of them in the tribulation, the time of Jacob's troubles, at the end of the tribulation Israel is resurrected and restored.

I found and interesting fact that the Hebrew spelling of Job in Genesis 46:13 is not the same of that of Job 1:1, though the English words are translated the same but they could be the same person. I would think that the land from which Job of Job1:1 is from is Uz, which is believed along the Euphrates River most believe the same area where Abram is from. Uz was from the line of Shem. Lands and Cities are named after the men who founded them and if the Bible can be trusted to be chronological then Job was alive at the time of the calling of Abram from Ur, in the today's Iraq, which was northeast of Uz which is today's Jordan, Job quite possible was a great great uncle of Job and they lived to longer lives than most. I also believe that Shem was Melchizedek, the king of Salem in the tents of Canaan, that Abram gave tithe to him.

Peace and blessings be your my brother.

edit on 13-10-2017 by ChesterJohn because: corrected locations of Job and Abram

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