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The Job debate;- Third round speeches

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posted on Nov, 17 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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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.

The troubles of Job were described in the first two chapters.
Job feels a sense of grievance, arising out of them, which develops 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
We now reach the last of their contributions.

Eliphaz, third speech

Job has just challenged the central plank of their argument, “the downfall of the wicked”.
In response, Eliphaz challenges Job’s claim to blamelessness, the central plank of his own argument.
How could Job be blameless enough to have any claim on the Almighty?
God would not have been moved to reprove Job and enter into judgement with him, if Job had any true “fear” (ch22 vv1-4).

“Is not your wickedness great? There is no end to your iniquities” (v5).
Although this charge is developed in great detail, the details are imaginary.
Eliphaz is arguing backwards from his conclusion; Job is evidently being punished by God, therefore he must have been doing the kind of thing which deserves punishment.
“You have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing…
You have given no water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry…”
This is the reason why Job’s light has been “darkened”, and a great flood has come upon him (vv6-11).

Job has made the same mistake as the wicked, who assume that God is too far away, enveloped by clouds and darkness, to know what is happening on the earth.
They do say to God “Depart from us”, but in consequence they are “snatched away before their time” (vv12-20).

So Eliphaz recommends, once again, that Job “agree with God and be at peace…
Return to the Almighty and humble yourself” (vv21-23).
Job should put his trust in God instead of in gold and silver.
Then God will hear his prayers and grant his requests.
God may abase the proud, but he saves the lowly and the innocent man (vv24-30).

Job’s response

Job turns away from this fruitless argument, and takes up again the question of a legal appeal in God’s own court.
“Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me” (ch23 vv3-5).
In this fantasy, God would grant’s Job’s previous request and lay aside his power, so that the case could be heard fairly;
“There an upright man could reason with him, and I should be acquitted for ever by my judge” (v7).

However, Job has been searching all over the place and cannot find him.
He has been faithful; “I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips” (vv10-12).
Yet God is relentless in carrying out his mysterious determined will;
“He is unchangeable and who can turn him?” (v13)
Therefore Job cannot be other than terrified at his presence.

He wants to know why God does not keep “times of judgement” (ch24 v1).
Why does he not have “appeal” days, like earthly judges, when the victims of injustice can complain against their fellow men?
He gives full examples of this unjust behaviour.
Wicked men remove boundary landmarks, seize flocks, thrust aside the poor.
“From out of the city the dying groan…yet God pays no attention to their prayer” (v12).

The people who do this “rebel against the light”.
Thus the murderer, the adulterer, and the man who digs into the walls of houses all choose to work in the night.
“They are friends with the terrors of deep darkness” (v17).
His friends are going to say “these people are swiftly carried away” (vv18-20).
Unfortunately this is simply not true.
“God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power”. He seems to accept them, at least in the short term.
“If it is not so, who will prove me a liar, and show that there is nothing in what I say?” (v25)

By this time the argument has been played out, and there is not much left to say.
In Bildad’s third speech, he offers up (again) the point that man cannot be righteous before God. God has dominion and overwhelming power. He does not count as “clean” even the moon and stars.
How then can a man born of woman, nothing greater than a worm, make the same claim? (ch25)
Zophar apparently waives his third opportunity to speak, so the emerging pattern of “three speeches each” is left incomplete.

In his first response to Bildad, Job scornfully tells his friends that they have done nothing to help the man who is weak, the man who is supposed to have no wisdom (ch26 vv1-4).
He describes the power of God.
Sheol is naked before him.
He stretches out the firmament over the abyss, and holds the earth in its place.
He binds up the waters, and spreads out the clouds over the heavens.
“By his power he stills the sea; by his understanding he smote [the great beast] Rahab…
These are but the outskirts of his ways… But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (vv6-14).
Presumably the purpose of this description is to suggest that the comforters are answering glibly and not taking their God seriously enough.
The point is that God has the power to subdue evil, when that is what he chooses to do..

Then he makes a solemn oath, “as God lives”.
Yes, he swears by that same God who has taken away his condition of righteousness and made his soul bitter.
As long as breath is in him (and that breath, he reminds them, is breathed into him by God), he will not lie, but will speak the truth.
And the solemn truth is that the comforters are wrong, and Job is blameless;
“Until I die, I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go” (ch27 vv1-6).

The rest of ch27 reads rather oddly, when understood as a speech coming out of Job’s mouth.
It is yet another version of the “downfall of the wicked” theme.
“Let my enemy be as the wicked…”
For the godless has no hope when God cuts him off.
God does not hear his cry when he is in trouble.
He has no delight in God.
His children starve or are destined for the sword or the pestilence.
All his wealth will be passed on to those who are just.
Terrors will overtake him like a flood (vv7-23).
Job may be applying this teaching to those who persecute him, including his current accusers..

Then ch28 examines the question of where Wisdom can be found, and gives the answer that Wisdom is to be found nowhere else but in “fear of the Lord” and departure from evil.
Again, this is something which the friends might have attempted to teach Job, though it is above their usual standard.
The homily is a reminder, at this stage of the debate, that Wisdom (and not human wisdom) is the real key to understanding the issues of this book.

Job’s closing speech, and the book’s final verdict, will be considered in later threads.
In the meantime, we might like to ask ourselves which side of the argument has been making the better case.




posted on Nov, 17 2017 @ 05:04 PM
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Previously;

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)

Eliphaz (1)

Ch4) His understanding of Job’s complaint;
While Job was able to encourage others when they were in trouble, he fails to apply his own advice when the troubles fall upon himself. He has become impatient.
Job believes that his fear of God and his integrity should be enough to protect him from trouble. (vv5-6)

Based on observation;
Those who work with iniquity and cause trouble perish at the hands of God.
Those who are innocent and upright are safe. (vv7-8)
Based on direct vision from God;
NO man can be righteous before God, who finds nothing free from fault. (v17)

Ch5) Observation confirms this.
We see that people reject God and therefore suffer. (v3)
So trouble is natural to our lives (vv6-7).
The answer is to trust in God entirely (v8).
The result of this trust will be protection and security (v26).

Job

Ch6) Restates the heaviness of his vexations.
The terrors of God are arrayed against him (vv1-4).
Restates that in the circumstances he would prefer death (vv8-10).

Eliphaz and the others have been unsympathetic.
He challenges them to specify what was wrong with his remarks.
He will tell them the truth, because his vindication is at stake (v29).
Ch7) His case is the case of men in general (v1).

The reason why he has no fear about addressing God directly;
His life is short, and once he reaches Sheol he will never return (vv7-10).
Therefore he has nothing to lose from speaking his mind.

The root of the problem is that God is paying him too much attention.
As a result, his transgressions are always being noticed, and consequently getting punished (v17).
Why should God not break this chain simply by pardoning his transgressions? (vv20-21)

Bildad (1)

Ch8) God does not pervert justice.
So Job’s children must have been penalised for their own sin (v4)
Job himself should make supplication to God.
If he is pure and upright, God will rouse himself to take action on Job’s behalf (vv5-7)

For this is the wisdom which has been handed down from bygone ages;
On the one hand, the hope of the godless shall perish (v13).
On the other hand, God will not reject a blameless man (v20).

Job

Ch9) He knows that “it is so” (v1);
(That is, God will not, in principle, reject a blameless man.
So if a blameless man like Job finds himself rejected anyway, that needs to be put right.)

But how can a man establish himself as just before God?
The problem is that the overwhelming power of God sets him beyond contradiction (vv2-3).
How can Job, as an innocent man, plead his cause under those conditions? (vv15-17)
What power can compel God to give an account of what he does? (v19)

Even though Job is blameless, he would be forced to condemn himself out of his own mouth (v20).
But he loathes his life, so he is not afraid to say;
1. He himself is blameless
2. God destroys both the blameless and the wicked
However, these issues cannot be discussed fairly, because God will not meet him on equal terms, laying aside his dread power (vv32-35).

Ch10) Again he asks, why should God pursue his transgressions quite so diligently? (v17)
Again he asks; why was he allowed to enter the world, to experience these troubles? (v18)
But if he must live, why cannot be allowed to live his short life in peace?

Zophar (1)

Ch11) Job says that he is blameless.
But God’s wisdom is higher than ours, so his judgement of righteousness and unrighteousness must be better than ours.
In fact in Job’s case he must be exacting less of a penalty than his guilt requires (vv5-6).
So Job should repent and seek God, after which his life will be restored (vv13-15).

Job

Ch12) Restates his basic case;
On the one hand, he himself, a just and blameless man, has now been made a laughing-stock because of his misfortunes.
On the other hand, robbers and idolaters are left free to live in peace and security (vv4-6).
He is not ignorant of the great wisdom of God as ruler of the world.
Indeed his point is that God does everything, and so must be responsible for everything (vv13-14).

Ch13) He intends to argue his case with God directly (v3).
He challenges God to meet him in debate, asking only;
That God should allow him to speak, holding back his own power.
And that God should promise to reply (vv19-22).
He demands a full account of the iniquities for which he is being punished (v23).
Ch14) Since man have been given such a short life, why punish his iniquities anyway? (vv1-3)
Why not just look away from them? (v6)
He wishes he could be allowed to hide in Sheol during the time of judgement, coming out again once it was over, and starting a fresh life free from the scrutiny of his transgressions (vv13-17)

Eliphaz (2)

Ch15) On the authority of wisdom handed down from ancient times;
Repeats, it is not possible for men to be wholly righteous (vv15-16).
Repeats, God brings destruction on the wicked (vv23-25).

Job

Ch16) They do not know his experiences.
He has been “under attack” from God, though he has not earned it by attacking others (vv12-13).
So he wants to make a legal appeal as a victim of “Violence”, naming God himself as the defendant (v18), also citing God as his own chief witness (v19), and calling upon God to be an impartial judge in the case (vv20-21).

Ch17) Returns to the theme of his despair.
Asks whether his hope will go down with him to Sheol and keep him company there (vv13-16).

Bildad (2)

Ch18) The destruction of the wicked.

Job

Ch19) The friends are treating Job’s troubles as proof of his iniquities.
But in fact he is “in the wrong” only because God has put him there (vv5-6).
God has made no response to his appeal for justice (v7), and has left him isolated even from his friends and family.
Job wants a permanent record of his case for the sake of a future appeal (v23).
For he knows there is a “Kinsman” somewhere, who will “redeem” him from his troubles (v25).
Even if he has to wait until he has already reached Sheol (vv26-7).

Zophar (2)

Ch20) The destruction of the wicked.

Job

Ch21) His grievance is not the wickedness of men, but the fact that God allows the wickedness of men (vv1-6)
How often does “the destruction of the wicked” happen in reality?
The truth is, they live and die prosperous and happy.



posted on Nov, 17 2017 @ 05:56 PM
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I wish when I talked to God he would talk back. All I ever get is silence. It makes me think there's no one there.



posted on Nov, 17 2017 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
Very few people get a response from a recognisable voice. That isn't normally the way that he works.
You will know that Job does get a direct response, though. (I am counting Elihu as part of God's answer).


edit on 17-11-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 12:17 PM
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The book of Job is a story of faith as well as endurance, it moral emphasis of we will stumble an fall from time to time. I would like to know what the author was thinking at the time, making Satan summon the Behemoth an Leviathan, an the esoterical metaphysical meaning. I know that water or oceans often can be symbolized with the mind or spirit, where the leviathan gets a home field advantage, an it being Satan, enemy, scary, etc, on an on.

I wonder what the behemoth is in that sense, physical or objective reality? And where the third Beast, Ziz? Also I'm sure there an eastern myth or story very similar, however different from Job since there no people in this story.

It was a creation story of the land god an ocean god fight each other in one conflict that last for a long time, where the land wins, but end being frightened of being the only God left. Then the Sky God came down, and cheered the land up, an some how went to creation of humans.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: dfnj2015
Very few people get a response from a recognisable voice. That isn't normally the way that he works.
You will know that Job does get a direct response, though. (I am counting Elihu as part of God's answer).



Im pretty sure it getting god to shut up is the trick?



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 01:23 PM
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a reply to: Specimen
In the Genesis creation story, the "abyss of waters" gets displaced by the formation of the earth, and part of it becomes the sea.
So "the sea" is the source of evil in many Biblical places, including Revelation, presumably because God did not organise it for human habitation. Leviathan turns up in Isaiah as a great dragon that God is going to deal with "on that day", and also here in ch3 as the creature that has the power to swallow up the day. So Leviathan has background as a symbol of evil.
In this book, it seems to represent the main issue of the book, that God has the power to deal with evil and does not use it immediately.


edit on 18-11-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 02:04 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Specimen
In the Genesis creation story, the "abyss of waters" gets displaced by the formation of the earth, and part of it becomes the sea.
So "the sea" is the source of evil in many Biblical places, including Revelation, presumably because God did not organise it for human habitation. Leviathan turns up in Isaiah as a great dragon that God is going to deal with "on that day", and also here in ch3 as the creature that has the power to swallow up the day. So Leviathan has background as a symbol of evil.
In this book, it seems to represent the main issue of the book, that God has the power to deal with evil and does not use it immediately.


That a good point, I didn't think about water being thought of being considered Evil in Western religion. I guess it might of been thought that way because water not structured like a rock. It un-orthodox, chaotic, as well as rebellious, but was understood to have life giving prooerties. In the east, water is often implied as being an example of tranquility.

I do believe, an it common even for today that the sea or ocean represent the psyche or mind, an then there the Garden of Eden story of humanity fall from grace due to biting into knowledge. And what's Gods role in such meaning, consciousness?

Funny thing about Dragons, is that they are supposedly one of the oldest idols an symbols of dietic worship, relating to funeral right an apparently have a strong connection to incence, although I haven't bothered going into researching it further for some time. However, in every culture from that I've seen, no matter if they are believed to be aligned with Good or Evil, they all end up being some great cavern, ocean, or void leading to a single source.

All rivers flow into the oceans like all roads lead to Rome.







edit on 18-11-2017 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-11-2017 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: Specimen
The Bible has nothing against water as such (life-giving, cleansing), just the sea.
"There was no more sea" is part of the promise of Revelation ch21.

I have an old separate thread on the Eden choice, so I won't go into the subject here.
It focussed on the point that "knowledge of good and evil" must mean "knowledge of the difference between good and evil". Not knowing that they exist, but knowing where the boundary-line comes. The Eden choice was to make that judgement for themselves instead of accepting God's verdict.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 03:58 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Specimen
The Bible has nothing against water as such (life-giving, cleansing), just the sea.
"There was no more sea" is part of the promise of Revelation ch21.

I have an old separate thread on the Eden choice, so I won't go into the subject here.
It focussed on the point that "knowledge of good and evil" must mean "knowledge of the difference between good and evil". Not knowing that they exist, but knowing where the boundary-line comes. The Eden choice was to make that judgement for themselves instead of accepting God's verdict.




I bet the Bible not against water because God used alot of it in the infamous flood of Noah, which would be going against God...

Yea the old Good vs Evil argument, leaving a giant piece of fruit that will lead to all sort of trouble, smack dab in a gated community full of wild little critters yhat breed like rabbits, surrounded by a barren wasteland.

Anyways, there was no more sea...I wonder what that means.

edit on 18-11-2017 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-11-2017 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 04:04 PM
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originally posted by: Specimen
Anyways, there was no more sea...I wonder what that means.

The sea being symbolically the source of evil, "there will be no more sea" means "there will be no more evil".



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 05:05 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: Specimen
Anyways, there was no more sea...I wonder what that means.

The sea being symbolically the source of evil, "there will be no more sea" means "there will be no more evil".


An the meek will inherit the earth, when both beasts of the land an sea get thrown into a lake of fire by a giant sword or a thunderbolt. Satan would bear great wonders where God cast a great demigue of delusions.

Isn't there a reference that the use of the word Waves, is said to be an interpretation of People or Masses? Like collective conscious, and Hell is said to be Legion.






edit on 18-11-2017 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-11-2017 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



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