John T. Willis

Monday, October 05, 2009

All Wicked People Suffer--Eliphaz's Second Speech--Job 15

We now begin the second series of the debate between Job and his three friends. This is recorded in Job 15-21. Job's friends become harsher and harsher with Job, and their arguments are redundant.

Eliphaz's second speech, recorded in Job 15, falls into three parts.

I. Eliphaz tells Job: Your own arguments condemn you. No one could fear your God. Job 15:1-6.
a. Eliphaz begins by asserting that Job's reasoning is "windy knowledge," like the "east wind," "unprofitable talk." Verses 1-3. Assertion!!! But is Eliphaz correct?
b. Eliphaz declares that IF Job's view is correct, you [Job] are doing away with "the fear of God." In other words, no one could fear the God you are portraying. Verse 4.
c. Eliphaz accuses Job of teaching iniquity, of being crafty, and obviously condemning Job's own position. Verses 5-6.

II. Eliphaz proclaims that no human being is righteous before God. Job 15:7-16.
a. Eliphaz asserts that Job knows nothing compared with God and wise people of former generations. Eliphaz denies that Job was the first human being ever born or that Job listened in the council of God. Eliphaz declares that he and his two friends know fully as much as Job. [Notice in verse 9 that Eliphaz is speaking in behalf of his friends as well as himself--"we," "us." Evidently, Job's three friends first consulted about their position, and only then gave their next debate speech]. Eliphaz appeals to the wisdom of the "gray-haired," the "aged," those "older than your [Job's] father." So, Job, why do you turn your spirit against God? Verses 7-13.
b. Eliphaz repeats the obvious view of his friends [see Job 4:17]: All human beings are "unclean" and "unrighteous." Even the angels are unrighteous. How much less Job, who "drinks iniquity like water." No wonder Job is suffering. Verse 14-16.

III. Eliphaz re-insists that ALL WICKED PEOPLE SUFFER--Job 15:17-35.
a. Eliphaz "quotes" the position of the "sages" and their "ancestors." This position is: "THE WICKED WRITHE IN PAIN ALL THEIR DAYS" (verse 20). Verses 17-20.
b. Eliphaz "lists" a number of punishments that sinful people experience: terrifying sounds, the destroyer will come upon them, they are destined to the sword, distress and anguish, they live in desolate cities, they will not be rich, they will not prosper, and fire consumes their tents. Verses 21-35.

Well, this is Eliphaz's position at this point. What do YOU think? I am not trying to affirm or denounce Eliphaz, only to relate Eliphaz's view here. I DO have to wonder whether Eliphaz ever got out of his house and look at the "real world." ALL wicked people suffering? That is not what I see in my world. What about YOU? Share your thoughts. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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