Chapter 26 Chapter 31 Chapter 36 Chapter 41
Chapter 27 Chapter 32 Chapter 37 Chapter 42
Chapter 28 Chapter 33 Chapter 38
Chapter 29 Chapter 34 Chapter 39
Chapter 30 Chapter 35 Chapter 40

Chapter 26

(Verses 1 through 4) But Job answered and said, How hast thou helped him that is without power? How savest thou the arm that hath no strength? How hast thou counseled him that hath no wisdom? And how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is? To whom hast thou uttered words? And whose spirit came from thee?


It is obvious that even though what Bildad has said is true, Job perceives that he is still trying to maintain the same accusations against him that he has presented from the beginning. And he is greatly angered by it. In verse 2, his questions are designed to call attention to the fact that all of Bildad’s speech, whether true or not, does no good toward the alleviation of one whose strength has been taken away by affliction. It will neither comfort him nor give him strength. Neither will his counsel help one so distracted by suffering that his wisdom is taken away. His remaining three questions seem to show his utter contempt for Bildad. “How hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is? To whom hast thou uttered words? And whose spirit came from thee?” The first question seems to be pure sarcasm, meaning not that you have fully set forth the situation, but that you think you have, and that you are the only one who knows such things. The second is much the same as we sometimes ask today, when someone tells us something we already know, but he thinks is new to us. “To whom do you think you are talking?” And the third is the equivalent of, “Do you think you are the one who gives the spirit (life)?” Together they show how little Job appreciated Bildad’s speech.


At this point there is an abrupt change in the subject of the text. Some commentators say that verses 5 through 14 are the resumption of Bildad’s speech, and should be attached to verse 6 of Chapter 25. Whether this is true or not I do not claim to know. Their substance does seem to fit as a continuation of that. But since there is nothing said in the text to settle this matter, I leave it to the discretion of the reader.


(Verses 5 through 10) Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before Him, and destruction hath no covering. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of His throne, and spreadeth His cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.


Verse 5 seems a little obscure. Some seem to think its meaning is that the dead are brought together “under the waters.” And that may be the proper thought of it. For it was the belief of many of the ancients that the place of abode of the dead is in “the underworld,” a special world, under this in which people live. They considered that, that dominion extended not only under the earth, but also under the waters, or seas, as well. So the dead are “formed,” or brought together there. And they are the inhabitants thereof. Even hell is naked, or open, before Him, and destruction is not hidden from Him. The far north, the Arctic , was considered as an empty place, and so was the space under it. “He hangeth the earth upon nothing.” Many ancient people believed that the earth was flat, and rested upon some type of foundation, although their opinions differed widely concerning what that foundation was. Here, however, we see that the speaker had the correct idea concerning it. God hung it upon nothing. That is, He suspended it in space. “He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. This is certainly a great miracle, especially to one, who does not understand that the water in the cloud is in a different form from that striking the ground. Even to those who do so understand it, it is still a miracle. For in that cloud, He can, and does, move great amounts of water long distances, and deposits it at the places, and in the amounts, He pleases; sometimes even causing it to completely dissipate, without even leaving a trace, not even a cloud. He holdeth back the face of His throne, and spreadeth the cloud upon it.” Some see this as simply His causing the cloud to come over and obscure the moon from view. Be that as it may, He has set bounds upon the waters of the seas, over which they cannot pass, except when He sends forth a special event, such as a tidal wave, or some other force. These bounds are to be in effect as long as this world shall stand, “until day and night come to an end.”


(Verses 11 through 14) The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at His reproof. He divideth the sea with His power, and by His understanding He smiteth through the proud. By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens: His hand hath formed the crooked serpent. Lo, these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him? But the thunder of His power, who can understand?


Thus we continue with some more of the works of God, which show His power and glory. And, of course, these are by no means all the miraculous things He does. They are only a small part of them. So the speaker exclaims, “How little a portion is heard of Him!” And none can understand the thunder of His power. That is, man is not great enough to even imagine His power, as He speaks in the thunder, which was often considered the voice of God.



Chapter 27

(Verses 1 through 6) Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, As God liveth, Who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, Who hath vexed my soul; all the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.


Most commentators seem to think that, in verse 2 Job is accusing God of being unrighteous, wrongfully denying him his right of judgment, and without cause bringing this great affliction upon him. While it is true that Job does declare that God has taken away his judgment, and vexed his soul, it appears that, primarily, he is only saying that the LORD has brought all this upon him, and will not show him the reason for it. Therefore he calls God to witness that as long as he lives, he will maintain that it is not because of any unrighteousness on his part. When he says, “and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,” he has no reference to the Holy Ghost, but to the spirit, or life, that God has given him, as a man. When he says, “My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit,” he is declaring that if he should confess to the charges they have brought against him, it would be a false confession, and therefore wickedness, and he would be speaking deceit, which he will not do. “God forbid that I should justify you.” That is, “that I should justify the charges you have laid against me.” Since he knows that he is not guilty of such, he will never “cave-in” to their demands. His heart knows that he is innocent of their accusations, and he will not give them reason to reproach him by giving a false confession.


(Verses 7 through 10) Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?


This is Job’s curse on his enemies and those who rise up against him. May they be as the wicked and the unrighteous. What hope do they have when God calls away their souls? They may have had great gain while in this life. But when called away, will God hear their cry? Will they delight in the Almighty, and always call upon Him. The only answer to these questions is a very strong negative.


(Verses 11 through 15) I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal. Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it; why then are ye thus altogether vain? This is the portion of the wicked man with God, and the heritage of the oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep.


This seems a strange turn of the subject, in fact, so strange that some contend that at this point, though nothing is said about it, Zophar has broken in to give his third speech. This may, or may not, be the case, but the doctrine is identical to that which the three friends have maintained from the beginning. This segment opens with, “I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty I will not conceal.” This seems to show the same arrogance as their other speeches. They think themselves wise enough to teach all the works of the Almighty. And they consider Job as having no wisdom at all. However, the next verse seems to contain some very heavy sarcasm. “Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it.” And the address of this is plural, instead of singular as it would most likely be if addressed to Job. Therefore it may be the continued speech of Job, as he asks these friends, “Why then are ye altogether vain?” To review, they have contended all the way that every wicked one will be cut off, and not be permitted to enjoy any continued prosperity in this life. Although he may have accumulated riches, he will not be permitted to enjoy them, but they shall be given to others. Therefore, if they have indeed seen all of this, and know it to be true, why are they altogether vain, or foolish enough to think that they shall get by with their false charges against him. A false charge is a lie; and liars are sinners. So that makes them subject, according to their doctrine, to the same penalties they have been proclaiming against the wicked. Although Job has earlier declared that God does sometimes suffer the wicked to live long lives and enjoy their ill gotten gains, and the righteous may sometimes suffer, this speech, from verse 11 through the remainder of the chapter is directly contrary to that. And since he has declared in verse 6 that he will not renounce his righteousness, we can only conclude that this is the speech of one of his friends, or an example of his sarcasm against them for their untenable position. And since he asks the question he does in verse 12, the latter seems probable.


Verse 16 through the remainder of the chapter is only a continuation of the description of the punishment of the wicked in this life according to the doctrine of these three friends. As I have pointed out before, God is certainly able to bring all these things upon them. And, as He sees fit, He will. But to say that He always does, or always will, deal thus with them is not in keeping with His word. He has promised to take care of His people in this life, and glorify them in that to come. And He has declared that he will judge the wicked. That judgment may sometimes be begun in this life; but it is often completely deferred until that great Day of Judgment after the resurrection. So we should never be concerned about the judgment of the wicked, nor be in a hurry for it to be executed. And, above all, we should never judge one to be a sinner because of his suffering or lack of prosperity in this world. Neither are we to judge one righteous on the basis of his being prosperous and enjoying life. The remainder of this chapter sets forth nothing new, but is a repetition of the same doctrine Job’s three friends have taught from the beginning.


Chapter 28

Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone. He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death. The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men. As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire. The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.


This entire chapter is the subject of some controversy among men. Some argue that it is not a part of the original text, but is an interpolation. Be that as it may, none has been able to disprove what it says. Although it does seem to be a somewhat abrupt break in the train of thought, that is not too unusual. The subject turns from a discussion of the portion of the wicked in this world, as Job's friends considered it, to a declaration of the greatness of God. The first three verses tell us that gold, silver, and iron  are all taken out of the earth. He also tells us that gold, as precious as man has always considered it, must be refined before it is of much use, “And a place for gold where they fine  (refine) it.”  Since brass, as we know it, is an alloy of copper and tin, his reference to brass as it is “molten out of the stone,” should be considered as copper. Although he does not say so in so many words, the fact that these elements are in the earth, it logically follows that they were put there that men might find them. And, since God is the Creator of the earth, unquestionably, it was He, Who put them there. Not only has He done this, but He sets the end, or boundary, to darkness, and searches out all perfection, or fullness, even “the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.” Inasmuch as the grain from which bread is made grows in the earth, “out of it cometh bread,” while under this same earth “is turned up as it were fire.” The volcanoes spew up fire from the earth. It is in the stones of the earth that precious gems, “sapphires,” as well as dust of gold, are found. All these things have been prepared by the wisdom and power of God.


(Verses 7 and 8) There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: the lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.


Many seem to derive great delight from what they call “spiritualizing” this text, and applying it to the gospel church. To do so is to rob it of its greatest beauty. This is a declaration that this great God, Who has placed all these things in the earth for the use of man, travels by a path, which can be traced out by none. Not even the vulture, which is known for its exceedingly keen eyesight, nor the lion that sees so well in the darkness, has ever, or will ever, see, or walk, in this path. They can never find it. Our only clue to His whereabouts is His works. Even when we are blessed to see His works, we cannot see Him, and neither can we trace His path from one work to another, nor do we have any clue to where He will next show His power. “His ways are past finding out.”


(Verses 9 through 11) He putteth forth His hand upon the rock: He overturneth the mountains by the roots. He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and His eye seeth every precious thing. He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth He forth to the light.


It is by His placing His hand upon the rock that all these things before mentioned are planted therein. In the great earthquakes and volcanic eruptions He overturns the mountains by the roots. Even the precious things that are hidden in the earth are not hidden from His sight. The rivers that are cut among the rocks, and sometimes even through the rock itself, are His handiwork. He puts boundaries upon the floods of waters. And things that are, and have been, hidden from man, He brings forth, or reveals. The Apostle Paul summed it all up in one short statement. “He works all things after the counsel of His own will.” What a wonderful God is He!


(Verses 12 through 19) But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.


Having told us a few of the marvelous works of God, he now considers one of the wonderful attributes of God, wisdom. He first asks where it can be found, and where is its place, or residence. Men have made many maps of the world; but on none of them can we find the place of wisdom, in spite of the fact that man has been searching for it since he was first placed upon earth. The promise of wisdom, though false, was the cause of Eve’s eating the forbidden fruit, and giving it to Adam. Satan had promised that by doing this she would become wise, “as gods, knowing good and evil.” In all man’s searching he has never found where wisdom dwells. The depth (the abyss, or outer space,) disclaims any possession of it; and the sea, likewise, says, “It is not with me.” Although in the rocks of the earth are found various metals, as well as all manner of precious gems, wisdom is not there. So this leaves it impossible for man to find it. Then we are told that, if we could find it, we could not buy it, for there is nothing else of sufficient value to trade for it. All the gold  and all the precious gems of the earth are not sufficient to purchase it.


(Verses 20 through 28) Whence then cometh wisdom? And where is the place of understanding? seeing it  is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof. For He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; to make the weight for the winds; and He weigheth the waters by measure. When He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: then did He see it, and declare it; He prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.


He again asks the same questions as in verse 12. Notice that in neither location does he attempt to answer these questions. That is reserved for the final verse of the chapter. But he does declare that it is hidden from all living, from the fowls of the air, and even from destruction and death. Death and destruction have heard of it, but know nothing about it. “But God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.” Since God is always in the way of wisdom, and this way is hidden from all others, even the fowls of the air, it, doubtless, is the way set forth in verses 7 and 8. God sees all things at once, even “to the ends of the earth, and (He) seeth under the whole heaven.” Man cannot weigh the winds, and neither can he weigh the waters; but God can, and does, both. When He made the decree for the rain, and for “the lightning of the thunder,” He certainly saw wisdom, understanding, and the way of both. He declared it, prepared it, and searched it out. Then He gave man the answer to that for which he had so long searched. That answer is, “The fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” In spite of His giving this answer to man, no man knows it except him to whom God reveals it by opening his heart to receive it.



Chapter 29

(Verses 1 through 10) Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; when His candle shined upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness; as I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; when the Almighty was yet with me; when my children were about me; when I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; when I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street! The young men saw me, and hid themselves; and the aged arose, and stood up. The princes refrained from talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.


Back in Chapter 1, verse 3, we are told, “His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household: so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.” As we read this, we, of course, see that he was a very rich man. And in addition to having much wealth, he seems to have been very influential in the council of his city. He was, no doubt, one of its elders, and one to whom both old and young, as well as the princes, showed great respect. Now all this is taken from him, and he is bemoaning the loss, and wishing everything were restored to its former condition. Certainly, we cannot lay any blame upon him for this. We, surely, would do the same.


(Verses 11 through 18) When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.


As we read Job’s account of his righteous works, we might be tempted to think that he is boasting too much. And, indeed, he might be; for no man should ever think too highly of his own righteousness. Yet God’s own testimony bears him witness: “there is none like him in all the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” So there can be no doubt that this was Job’s manner of living. Still glorying in self-righteousness is not acceptable before God. So we should all guard against such in our lives. None of us even measure up to Job’s standard. So surely we have nothing of which to boast. Because of his amplifying the good he had done, and the thinking so much upon the suffering he was enduring, Job was in something of a depression, just as we would also be. Without question, Job’s suffering was great, probably more than any except our Lord Jesus has ever borne. But, even so, dwelling upon it, and remembering former times made it seem even worse.


(Verses 19 through 25) My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch. My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand. Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel. After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them. And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down. I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.


This is a continuation of Job’s account of his own good works. And, for that reason it might be considered inappropriate, even though true. For it is far better that one keep silent while others tell of his good works than that he should speak so much about them. No doubt, much of this was said in his defense against the false accusations brought against him by his three friends. Their false charges had greatly aroused him. He had been a great man in his city. People listened to his advice, and did not gainsay it. In verse 25 it is apparent that he must have been what we would probably call the chairman of the council, with perhaps a little more authority than is usually given to a chairman. His thoughts go back to those times, and, as he says in verse 2, he longs for them again.


Chapter 30

(Verses 1 through 8) But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. Yea, whereunto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished? For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former times desolate and waste. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) to dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. They were children of base men: they were viler than the earth.


Job now considers the contrast between his former and present conditions. Whatever one may think of Job’s treatment of these people in his time of prosperity, it was in keeping with the attitude and action of the general public. Men, the populace, drove these men out of their cities and villages as thieves. They were made to dwell in the wilderness, and live off the land, even as a herd of wild asses. So, as such, they brayed among the bushes. They were the children, descendants, of people of no wisdom, and were “viler than the earth,” or dirt. Now the children of these, though much younger than Job, show him no respect at all. In fact they ridicule him, or “hold him in derision.” What a contrast!


(Verses 9 through 14) And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. They abhor me, they flee from me, and spare not to spit in my face. Because He hath loosed my cord and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction. They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.


One of the fundamental rules of society in Job’s day was respect for one’s elders. Yet these young ones, of whom Job speaks, make up uncomplimentary songs about him, use his name as a byword, that is, in a derogatory manner, run away when he approaches, and even spit in his face. They lay aside all restraint. They make his affliction worse by marring his path, or putting things in it to cause him to stumble. They are like a great flood coming in upon him, with none among them that will give him any help at all. All this they do because they see that the LORD has “loosed his cord,” or removed that which was his security, and has afflicted him.


(Verses 15 through 19) Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. My bones are pierced in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.


Job is indeed in a deplorable condition. In addition to the evil things that have befallen, and are befalling, him, there is the added affliction of the terrors of the mind. These terrors are so great that they have caused him to lose all hope of any better times to come. Even his bones and sinews get no rest in the night. They feel no better when he gets up in the morning than they did when he went to bed. Even his whole garment, because of his disease, changes. It sticks to his body, and binds him as does the collar of his coat. God has cast him into the mire so that he is as dust and ashes. He has so long sat in the dust and ashes that he is covered with them, and even looks like dust and ashes. As repulsive as it may seem, considering the lack of facilities people had in Job’s day, he may not have even had a bath since he sat down in the ashes, in Chapter 2, verse 8. That was something more than a week before this statement. This might enable one to imagine something of how he would look at this time.


(Verses 20 through 24) I cry unto Thee, and Thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and Thou regardest me not. Thou art become cruel to me: with Thy strong hand Thou opposest Thyself against me. Thou liftest me up to the wind; Thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance. For I know that Thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. Howbeit He will not stretch out His hand to the grave, though they cry in His destruction.


Job turns his address to God. In spite of his cries to Him, God will not hear his cry. That is, He will not grant him that for which he cries. This, to Job, seems very cruel. He feels that God in His strength has set Himself as his enemy. It seems that God has taken him as one would a handful of hay, and tossed it up in the wind. It rides upon the wind while the wind scatters it piece by piece, thus dissolving its substance. He declares that he knows that God will bring him to death, just as He will all living. And when that is done “He will not stretch out His hand to the grave;” that is, to bring him back to this life. It will all be over.


(Verses 25 through 31) Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.


Here Job continues his complaint, saying that he had been the champion of the poor and those in trouble. Yet, when he expected good to come to him, he received only evil; and when he looked for light, his way was made dark. He has been brought so low that his harp, the instrument intended for playing joyful songs is in mourning instead. Also the organ has been made to play only the music of weeping, and not that of rejoicing.


Chapter 31

(Verses 1 through 6) I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strong punishment to the workers of iniquity? Doth not He see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked in vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.


Job declares that he had, by a covenant, brought his eyes under control, so that he did not even “think upon a maid.” He too well knew what portion such would receive from God. It would be destruction, or strong punishment. In verse 4 he asks, “Doth not He see my ways, and count all my steps?” He knew the answer to that question. God sees and knows all about everything we do and every step we take. Nothing can be hidden from Him. Yet in verse 6, he seems to feel that God has not fully evaluated him, and he desires to be weighed in an even, or fair balance. He feels that in such he would be exonerated, and his affliction would then be taken away. Although he has several times proven it to be false, he still seems to want to hold to the same doctrine that his friends have been declaring, that if God knows that he has not committed any great evil, He will remove all his troubles. This shows just how confused the human mind can become under the stress of great suffering. It will sometimes vacillate between two directly opposite lines of thought about a matter.


(Verses 7 through 12) If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let mine offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbor’s door; then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is a heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.


As Job continues, he declares himself not guilty of any of these evils. If any blot can be found to cleave to his hands, he assents to the judgment that the produce from all his crops be taken away from him and his family, and given to another. If he has committed adultery with his neighbor’s wife, or any other woman, may his own wife become a slave to someone else, and even a prostitute for other men to use. He is absolutely sure that he has done none of these things. For he is fully aware of the penalty for such. It is such a great sin that it is punishable by the judges. It is also a fire that would “root out,” or destroy completely everything he has.


(Verses 13 through 23) If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me, what then shall I do when God riseth up? And when He visiteth, what shall I answer Him? Did not He that made me in the womb make him? And did not One fashion us in the womb? If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail: or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (for from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;) if I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; if his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed by the fleece of my sheep; if I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. For the destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of His highness I could not endure.


As we consider this, we should remember that in the religion and culture of that time, it was a fundamental requirement to take care of the poor, the fatherless, and the widow. And Job declares that he was brought up to do this, and practiced it all his life. He is so positive that he has never failed in this, that he pronounces a severe curse upon himself if it can be found that he has failed in either of these works. That curse is, “Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.” His reason for having always observed this teaching is, “For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of His highness, I could not endure.” So he did not do this to curry favor with man, but for the fear of God.


(Verses 24 through 34) If I have made gold my hope, or have said to fine gold, Thou art my confidence; if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above. If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul. If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! We cannot be satisfied. The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveler. If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not to the door?


Notice, in verses 24 through 27, how Job links covetousness, the rejoicing in riches, with idolatry, paying homage to the sun or the moon, making them equal sins. Then, in verse 28, he declares them all as, “an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should deny the God that is above.” Either of these sins is a denial of the God that is above. Then he declares that he has never rejoiced at the downfall of one that hated him. And he would not let his mouth sin by wishing a curse upon his enemy, even when the men of his house spoke disparagingly of him. His door was always open to the stranger. When he did commit any transgression he confessed it, and did not try to hide it in his bosom, as did Adam, for fear of criticism and contempt. He has always been open and aboveboard in all his dealings.


(Verses 35 through 40) Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare unto Him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto Him. If my land cry against me, or that the furrows thereof likewise complain; if I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.


This final argument of Job’s seems to sum up, not only Job’s greatest fallacy, but also that of many today. He complains that he wants God to answer him, and the LORD will not do so. This seems to spring from the idea that he felt that somehow God was under some kind of obligation to “play by his rules,” just as many today seem to think. How often we hear the expression, “God would be unjust, if He did this, or that.” How foolish can men get? Try to imagine anything you will. It may be something that God will not do. But, if He did, He would still be just and holy. And all of your rules cannot change that. Remember that your rules and mine do not apply to Him. Man’s ego is so great that it is difficult for him to realize that God is above all the rules of fairness and justice that govern men. He can, and does, do all things according to the good pleasure of His own will, and we have neither the right nor the authority to challenge it. The next problem Job had was his dependence upon his own self-righteousness. There is no doubt that he was a righteous man, “perfect and upright,” but even so, his righteousness was not worthy to be brought up before God. It seems that, in verses 36 and 37, he was feeling a little false importance. And before we criticize him too much for it, we had better look to our own steps, and make sure we are not doing the same thing. With this declaration of his own righteousness Job concludes his speech.


Chapter 32

(Verses 1 through 5) So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: Against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. Now Elihu had waited until Job had spoken, because they were elder than he. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.


These three, who had made an appointment together to come and comfort Job, finding that their charges against him were all refuted, and that they could find no answer to his problem that was acceptable to him, finally did what he had earlier tried to get them to do. They ceased their harangue. Now another man, one younger than they is introduced. When he arrived, or even why he was present, is not mentioned. But, evidently, he had been there long enough to hear most, if not all, of these speeches. Since he was younger than they, protocol demanded that he wait until they were finished before attempting to give his opinion. In listening to them, he had become angry at all of them. First, Job’s repeated declaration of his own righteousness instead of that of the LORD, caused him to be angry with him. And, second, the fact that these three friends could not find an answer to Job’s questions, and yet they continued to condemn him, raised his ire against them. So, when Job had finished his last speech, and there was no answer from either of his three friends, Elihu decided that it was time for him to speak.


(Verses 6 through 13) And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not show you mine opinion. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words: lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.


This is only a part of the preamble of Elihu’s speech. In it he lays out several points that have some importance. First, his youth, in comparison to these three friends and Job, caused him, out of respect for age, to wait and listen instead of interrupting, because he had been brought up to believe that wisdom comes with age, and therefore age should teach, and youth should listen. Then, as he listened, and recognized their frustration and inability to answer Job’s questions or convince him of wrongdoing, he felt that the spirit within him was given understanding by the inspiration of God. Thus he saw that great men are not always wise, and neither do old men always have understanding. At this point he became convinced that the reason they had not been able to answer Job was that God had hidden the answers from them, lest they be lifted up in their own minds, and say, “We have found out wisdom.” He points out that it is God, Who has thrust Job down, and not man, thus implying that the answer also must come from God.


(Verses 14 through 22) Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches. They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;) I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion. For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away.


This completes the preamble, or introduction, of Elihu’s speech. He says that, since Job’s speech has not been addressed to him, he will not answer him with the same accusations these three friends have used. Let us slightly re-arrange the wording of verses 15 through 17, not to change their meaning, but to make them a little easier to follow. “They were amazed, they answered no more; they left off speaking. (For they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more.) When I had waited, I said, ‘I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.’” After Elihu had told these three friends that they had failed to properly answer Job, and that he would not use their speeches to answer him, they were so astonished that this young “up start” should so address them, that they were speechless. After waiting, as respect demanded, and receiving no answer, Elihu said in his mind, “I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.” He had waited in deference to their age, but, as is sometimes the case even with us, he felt that he had to speak, or burst. So for his own relief he will speak. And it is his prayer that he not be permitted to show partiality, or give flattering titles to anyone. He knows that if he attempts to do so, he is subject to being immediately cut down by his Maker.


Chapter 33

(Verses 1 through 12) Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words. Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth. My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and My lips shall utter knowledge clearly. The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay. Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither will my hand be heavy upon thee. Surely thou hast spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying, I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me. Behold, He findeth occasion against me, He counteth me for His enemy, He putteth my feet in the stocks, He marketh all my paths. Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.


Before beginning to talk of Job’s problem, Elihu declares that his words shall be of the uprightness of his heart, and what he says will be clearly spoken wisdom. None of it will be in proverbs, metaphors, similes, cliches, or even “hand me down” truisms. He will speak only in a straightforward manner. He, just as Job, was made from clay, fashioned by the hand of God, and given life by His breath. He, instead of God, stands before Job, although he does intend to speak on God’s behalf. Yet the fact that he is only a man will completely set aside any terror on Job’s part, that he would have had in standing before God. Therefore Job can be more at ease in contending with him. He reminds Job of what his complaint against God has been, and declares that he is not just in making such complaint against God, because God is greater than man. He neither denies nor affirms that God has done what Job says He has; but declares that this is not within the scope of man’s authority to question. The question that is under consideration as he speaks, and seems to confront man today, is answered in one short and simple statement. “God is greater than man.” If we can truly learn this, it will set aside all our complaints and discontent, as we experience the trials of life. Whatever our situation, we cannot bring a charge against God. As God Himself says, (Isaiah 55:9) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”


(Verses 13 through 22) Why dost thou strive against Him? For He giveth not account of any of His matters. For God speaketh once, yea, twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon their beds; He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instructions, that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: so that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.


Since God is so much greater than man, why should any man strive against Him? Surely there can be only one conclusion to such a contest. Whether we know why God does this, or that, has no bearing upon the case. For He does not, and is not required to, give account of any of His actions to any man. The only reason He has ever told us why He did anything is that it pleased Him to do so. Whether He speaks in a dream to one to bring him back from some danger that he would have incurred in the path he was following, or whether He lays upon him such affliction that “his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers,” He is still God, just and holy, and man cannot question Him or His work.


(Verses 23 through 33) If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man His uprightness: then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: he shall pray unto God, and He will be favorable unto him: and he shall see His face with joy: for He will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon man, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not, He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak. If thou hast anything to say, answer me: speak for I desire to justify thee. If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.


The terrible condition Elihu has just described, and declared that God sometimes brings upon man is almost exactly that to which Job has been brought. Yet if there is with such a man “a messenger, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man His uprightness: then He is gracious unto him.” As we consider this, we are led to think that this messenger, although he may be another man, may also be the Spirit of God, without the agency of man. For it is He, Who interprets God’s works to man, and shows man the uprightness of God. If this messenger is with that man, God is gracious to the man, and says, “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” Then that man shall be refreshed, and brought back to the vigor of his youth, his prayer will be acceptable to God, and the LORD will cause him to rejoice in His Presence. He will also “render unto man his righteousness.” That is, the man will not be the one to declare his righteousness. Instead God will Himself show him to be so. Verse 27 reminds us of an expression of the Apostle John. (I John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” On the other hand, if we maintain that we have no sin, we make God a liar. This has been Job’s greatest fault throughout this experience. But God delivers those who confess their sins. Elihu says that such things as Job has suffered are oftentimes worked of God, not for the destruction of him who suffers them, but to “bring back his soul from the pit,” and that he might be enlightened, or made wise, with the light of the living. Then he calls upon Job to pay attention and heed what he has said. He further says that if Job has anything to say, now is the time to speak, Otherwise, just be quiet and listen. He has not set out to condemn Job, but rather, to justify him. This is not to be understood as his wanting to justify Job in the position he has already taken, but, rather, he desires to show him a just manner of considering the matter.


Chapter 34

(Verses 1 through 15) Furthermore Elihu answered and said, Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge. For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat. Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good. For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment. Should I lie against my right? My wound is incurable without transgression. What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water? Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men. For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God. Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God that He should do wickedness; and from the Almighty that he should commit iniquity. For the work of man shall He render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. Who hath given Him a charge over the earth? Or who hath disposed the whole world? If He set His heart upon man, if He gather unto Himself His Spirit and His breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again into dust.


Through verse 4, it appears that Elihu was trying to curry favor with Job’s three friends by addressing them as wise men. And he also tried to set himself up as wise also. He uses an old threadbare expression, “For the ear trieth words, as the mouth trieth meat.” That is, “we are wise enough to tell what a man means when we hear him, whether that is what he says, or not.” Then he says, “Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.” Elihu has said that he will not answer Job with the speeches of these three friends. Yet in verses 7 and 8, he lays against Job the same old charges that have been used by the other three. What he says in verses 5 and 6 is correct. But this does not make Job one, who “goes in the company of the workers of iniquity, and walks with wicked men.” Job’s complaint has been that God has brought this affliction upon him and will not show him why He has done so. In Chapter 33, Elihu has sufficiently answered this complaint; but now he seems to want to add insult to injury by telling these three friends what a wicked man Job is. Then he sets forth to declare that God will not commit iniquity. And, indeed, He will not. Nevertheless, His works often appear to men to be unfair, because they cannot understand His ways. In verses 13 through 15, he does set forth the truth concerning the works of God. Since man had no hand in placing God in charge over the earth, God is in no wise responsible to man, either to give an account of His works, or to “play by man’s rules.” If God should “gather to Himself,” or recall, His Spirit and His breath, all men would immediately perish, and return to dust.


(Verses 16 through 25) If now thou hast understanding hear this: hearken to the voice of my words. Shall even he that hateth right govern? And wilt thou condemn Him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? or to princes, Ye are ungodly? How much less to Him that accepteth not the person of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? For all are the work of His hands. In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all his goings. There is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. For He will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God. He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. Therefore He knoweth their works, and He overturneth them in the night, so they are destroyed.


About all the fault one can find with what Elihu says here is the arrogant manner in which he says it. In verse 16 he says, “If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.” The earlier part of his speech shows that he had not listened carefully to what Job had said. If so, he would not have laid against him such a charge of wickedness as he did in verses 7 through 9. Now, because he did not understand Job, he thinks him a fool, and says, “If you have any understanding, hear this: pay attention to the sound of my words,” signifying that he is far superior to Job in wisdom and knowledge, and is able to teach him, if he will just listen. While, as he continues on, the things he says are true, Job, though he does not, could well answer him as he did Zophar in Chapter13, verses 1 and 2. No doubt, it is not only inappropriate, as well as unwise, to charge earthly kings and princes with wickedness, but far more so to make such charges against God. Nevertheless Job had several times declared that the fear of the LORD was still upon him, and only if He would remove that fear could he attempt to set before Him any of his complaints. Review Chapter 23, especially verses 10 through 16. Job did maintain that he was righteous; and self-righteousness is an affront to God, and is sin. Yet, in spite of this, Job maintained his faith in God. Although he said that God had laid this affliction upon him without his having done anything to bring it on, he did not accuse God of committing iniquity in so doing. Elihu continues to tell of the greatness of God; and those things he says are true. Still they should not be used in an effort to prove Job a wicked man.


(Verses 26 through 37) He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others; because they turned back from Him, and would not consider any of His ways: so that they cause the cry of the poor to come up unto Him, and He heareth the cry of the afflicted. When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? And when He hideth His face, who can behold Him? Whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only: that the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared. Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: that which I see not, teach Thou me: If I have done iniquity, I will do no more. Should it be according to thy mind? He will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest. Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me. Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom. My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men. For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.


What Elihu says about God in verses 26 through 28 is sometimes true. And He is always able to do so. But to set it forth as dogma, that He will always do so is not true. See Solomon’s declaration in Ecclesiastes 7:15. And this is not just an isolated exception. God has indeed promised to bless the righteous, and bring the wicked to destruction. But often He reserves both actions for the Day of Judgment. They are not always executed in this world. Job has himself already pointed this out. But all four of these “comforters” have been so enwrapped in their own wisdom that they could not hear him. Surely when God gives quietness and peace, man cannot change it. Neither can man find God when He hides Himself from man. This, Job has declared in Chapter 23, verses 8 and 9. Yet he recognized that God knew exactly where he was. And so it is with us all, whether it involves only one man, or a whole nation. Because of this, whether or not we are aware of any special, or particular, sin that is the cause of whatever trouble we may have, it is right that we acknowledge ourselves sinners, and ask the Lord to teach us, or show us our transgressions, that we may avoid such in the future. It seems that in verse 33, Elihu is laying a charge of great sin against Job, and threatening him with the punishment of God whether he confesses his sin or not. Then he asks that those who have wisdom and understanding listen to him, as if he has some great wisdom to speak forth. Yet all he does is to declare that Job’s answers have been to the advantage of wicked men, and that by continuing to speak as he has, Job has added rebellion to his sin. If one will review all of Job’s speeches, he will find this accusation to fall for lack of evidence. Self-righteousness is a sin, and of that Job was guilty. But the other charges fall completely flat.


Chapter 35

(Verses 1 through 6) Elihu spake moreover, and said, Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s? For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto Thee? And what profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin? I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee. Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou. If thou sinnest, what doest thou against Him? Or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto Him? If thou art righteous, what givest thou Him? Or what receivest He of thy hand? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.


Notice how Elihu takes Job’s words, and twists them to his own meaning. In Chapter 21, verses 14 through 16, Job says, “Therefore they say unto God, ‘Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto Him?’ Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.” Yet Elihu accuses Job of saying, “What advantage will it be unto Thee? And what profit shall I have, if I be cleansed of my sin?” Job was only quoting the thoughts of the wicked, which he said were far from him. But Elihu tries to make them be Job’s own thoughts. This is a prime example of what we sometimes call “selective hearing.” So Elihu says he will answer these questions for Job and his companions. It is unclear whether he is referring to Job’s three friends, as his companions, or whether he means the wicked, whom he has earlier declared to be Job’s companions. In either case, he sets forth to give his answer. What he says is generally true, but it in no wise answers the questions. The closest he comes to an answer is, “Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.” His reference here to “the son of man,” only means the descendants of man. He is not referring to the Christ. Although the sin of man is an affront to God, and the righteousness of man glorifies God, neither can essentially affect Him. He remains forever the same.


(Verses 9 through 16) By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty. But none saith, Where is God my Maker, Who giveth songs in the night; Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? There they cry, but none giveth them answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it. Although thou sayest thou shalt not see Him, yet judgment is before Him; therefore trust thou in Him. But now, because it is not so, He hath visited in His anger; yet He knoweth it not in great extremity: therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.


Those men, who can so readily be affected by the wickedness, or righteousness of man, are oppressing the poor so that they cry out because of the oppressions. But because of the pride of evil men, they do not cry unto God, and neither do they seek after Him, although it is He, Who has given more understanding and wisdom to us, than to the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air. As long as they are making their cry to men instead of crying to God, and as long as they do not seek after God, He will not hear nor regard them, because it is all vanity. This seems to be the same doctrine that many teach today. That is, that God is just helplessly standing by, but either will not, or can not, do anything, until man comes to Him, and lets Him do that which He has so long desired to do. All of this, the scriptures completely refute. Then Elihu accuses Job of saying that he shall not see God, totally disregarding what Job has several times said, and especially what he says in Chapter 19, verses 23 through 27. So he admonishes Job to trust in God. This is what is often today called “preaching to the choir,” inasmuch as Job has several times fully declared his faith in God. Elihu continues, declaring to Job that his afflictions are brought on as God’s visitation of His anger on Job for his sins. Yet he says this is not an extremity of His anger, but is designed to bring Job to repentance. He then accuses Job of making vain speeches, and multiplying words without knowledge. May the LORD keep us from ever making such accusations against anyone, and especially anyone suffering as has Job.


Chapter 36

(Verses 1 through 15) Elihu also proceeded, and said, Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker. For truly my words shall not be false: He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee. Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: He is mighty in strength and wisdom. He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor. He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, He doth establish them forever, and they are exalted. And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction; then He sheweth them from their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall be without knowledge. But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when He bindeth them. They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean. He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.


Elihu declares that he still has something to say on God’s behalf, and that he will ascribe righteousness to his Maker. In verse 4 he says that what he is going to say is the truth. He also uses an expression that might be understood in either of two different meanings. “He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.” This may mean that they are all in the presence of God, Who is perfect in knowledge, and therefore he cannot afford to say anything that is not true. On the other hand, he may be telling them that he thinks he has perfect knowledge of the matter, and will therefore enlighten them. In either case, he missed the mark somewhat, in that which he continued to teach. The remainder of this speech through verse 15 is the same doctrine Job’s three friends have set forth from the beginning. He starts off with, “Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: He is mighty in strength and wisdom. He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.” This is the same doctrine taught by many today. They just use different words: “With God is no respect of persons; He loves everyone exactly alike.” In spite of God’s having said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated,”: and in spite of the great doctrine of election according to the grace of God only, as taught by Jesus and His apostles, they deny that there is such a doctrine in the scriptures. They claim that everyone has the same chance before God. The next part of Elihu’s doctrine is that God will not preserve the life of the wicked, but will bring him to destruction, and will always safeguard the right of the poor and the righteous, which Job, Solomon, and others, including our Lord Jesus, declared is not always the case. Our Lord, in His parable of The Wheat and The Tares, declares that the wicked are not to be rooted out until the time of harvest, which He says is the end of the world. This is not to say that He cannot, or that He will not punish the wicked, and reward the righteous in this life; but in eternity is where the big difference is made. Notice especially Elihu’s doctrine of materialism in verses 11 and 12. “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.” Contrast this with Job’s speech in Chapter 21, verses 7 through 13, and what Asaph said in Psalm 73. Asaph saw so much of this that he said, “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious of the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. _ _ _ When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” The righteous suffer so much in this life, and the wicked are so prosperous here, that until God lets us understand their end, it is too painful for us to even think about. Elihu continues, “But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when He bindeth them. They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean (dead).” We have already proven that, although God can, and sometimes does, cut off the wicked in youth, He does not always do so. Neither does He always “deliver the poor from his affliction, and open their ears in oppression.” Certainly He can deliver them, and at His appointed time will do so. But that deliverance may even be by death itself.


(Verses 16 through 23) Even so would He have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness. But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee. Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away with His stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will He esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength. Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place. Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction. Behold God exalteth by His power: who teacheth like Him? Who hath enjoined Him His way? Or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?


Elihu continues his speech, declaring that Job is the cause of his own affliction. According to him, if Job would only accept the mercy of the LORD, and confess his sin, God would lift him out of all his troubles, and make him prosper in all things. But because Job continues to maintain that this affliction is not sent upon him for his sin, Elihu tells him, as many do today, that this is his last chance. He has “fulfilled the judgment of the wicked,” that is, his sin is so great that it puts him in line to receive the judgment that is prepared for the wicked, and justice has already taken hold of him by means of the present affliction. This is his last chance, and he had better accept it before it is too late. This is the same doctrine we often hear today. If we look back to Chapters 1 and 2, we find that this is not the case at all. Elihu seems to know nothing of the fact that God works all things according to the counsel of His own will. He seems to think that what God can, or will, do depends entirely upon what Job does about the situation. Elihu mixes a little truth with his other ideas, just as men do today. Certainly God will not be influenced by Job’s wealth, whether gold or forces of strength. And surely He exalts by His power, is a teacher beyond compare, and none can charge Him with iniquity. But what Elihu says, in verses 20 and 21, is out of place, because it is based upon a false premise, “Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this thou hast chosen rather than affliction.” While it is true that Job has declared his own righteousness, which is not appropriate for man to do before God, and for which God a little later rebukes him, that is not the cause of his affliction. He has also declared the great power and wisdom of God far more forcefully than have any of these, who have been so busy condemning him.


(Verses 24 through 33) Remember that thou magnify His work, which men behold. Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off. Behold, God is great, and we know Him not, neither can the number of His years be searched out. For He maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapor thereof: which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly. Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of His tabernacle? Behold, He spreadeth His light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea. For by them judgeth He the people: He giveth meat in abundance. With clouds He covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt. The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapor.


Without controversy, this is one of the great declarations of God’s power. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to make it any clearer by explanation. Perhaps, a little emphasis on some points might cause it to stay more firmly in our minds. “For He maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapor thereof: which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.” In vapor, which is the state of the water in the clouds, how small, indeed, are the drops! They, as individual drops, are almost microscopic. Yet the LORD can, and does, with the water in these clouds, pour down upon the earth such torrents that they wash away trees, houses, and even cities. So we can see what a broad spectrum His power covers: from the little drop of vapor to the storm and raging torrent of rain. None can understand the clouds, or the way in which they are spread around. He calls them together, or spreads them apart as He will. Recently, there have been some places in our nation, that have received so much rain that if men understood how to do so, they would spread the clouds away for a while. At the same time, in other places they would gather them together. So it is evident that man does not understand the spreading of the clouds. Man has, in a few instances, apparently been successful in “seeding the clouds,” and receiving rain. But, as one on the news media said a few days ago, “Where there are no clouds, you can’t even seed them.” He spreads forth His light (the sun) over the world, and even covers the bottom of the sea. Also, as He sees fit, He commands the cloud to hide the face of the sun from the earth. “The noise thereof (the thunder) sheweth concerning it, and the cattle concerning the vapor.” Often when a cloud is brought forth, it contains sufficient electrical charges to cause much thunder, thus making a great noise. And the cattle that stay out on the range are wet with the vapor, or water, of the cloud. These are just a few of the things that declare His great power. Even Elihu told some truths about God.


Chapter 37

(Verses 1 through 8) At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. Hear attentively the noise of His voice, and the sound that goeth out of His mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and His lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth: He thundereth with the voice of His excellency; and He will not stay them when His voice is heard. God thundereth marvelously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend. For He saith to the snow, Be on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of His strength. He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know His work. Then the beasts go in their dens, and remain in their places.


This is a continuation of Elihu’s speech concerning the wonderful power of God. All that he says, in Chapters 36:24 through 37:24, makes up his declaration of the greatness of God. Certainly, he does not cover every one of God’s great works; that, none can do. But what he does say is true, and leaves no doubt that God is fully able to do His will, and none can question or challenge Him on anything He does. It seems strange that one with the depth of understanding Elihu shows concerning God’s power, as demonstrated in the things of nature, could have such shallow comprehension  of His dealings with man, both the righteous and the wicked. All he says about the works of God in the things of nature is true, and is so clear that it needs no explanation. God uses all these things as pleases Him, “whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy.” Our problem is that we are so without wisdom that we do not always know for what purpose it is sent. So we ought to follow the advice Elihu gives Job in verse 14. “Hearken unto this, O Job, stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.”


(Verses 15 through 22) Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of His cloud to shine? Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him Which is perfect in knowledge? How thy garments are warm when He quieteth the earth by the south wind? Hast thou with Him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass? Teach us what we shall say unto Him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness. Shall it be told Him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up. And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them. Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is great majesty.


As one reads this, he surely must wonder what would have been the difference of the outcome of the efforts of Job’s three friends, had they begun, and carried through their discourses as Elihu finished up his. Even some of Elihu’s speech was much like theirs; but in the latter part of it he declares the greatness of God, and His right to deal with any man as He will, with none able to question Him or His work. Now he asks Job a series of questions, all designed to receive a negative answer, and thereby to declare that even if Job’s claim to righteousness is accepted as true, God is still so much greater that neither Job, nor anyone else can question Him. Elihu’s statement in verse 22 seems clear enough as it is. But from it we might also see this truth. “As surely as fair weather comes from the north, with God is terrible majesty.” Since in that region a weather system that comes from the north is sure to bring fair weather, it can be used as assurance that there is with the LORD terrible majesty. We can only approach Him in humility and reverence; not in a demanding attitude.


(Verses 23 through 24) Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: He will not afflict. Men do therefore fear Him: He respecteth not any that are wise of heart.


Having finished his address to Job, Elihu sums up what he has said about God. However his statement, “He will not afflict,” hardly seems to agree with what he has said before. It appears that, possibly, two words of it may have been lost. If so, it might read, “He will not afflict without cause.” This is borne out by this whole episode. Although Job never knew the cause, God suffered him to be afflicted to show Satan the strength of the faith with which He had blessed Job. It is because of His power, judgment, and justice, that men fear the LORD.



Chapter 38

(Verses 1 through 11) Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man: for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me. Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measure thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof: when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, and brake up for it My decreed place, and set bars and doors, and said, hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?


It seems that after Elihu spoke, no one had anything more to say. But from the whirlwind God Himself spoke. When He said, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge,” surely He was addressing Job. However, it appears that, for the greater part, except for the latter part of Elihu’s speech, this would fit all that any of them had said. He asks Job a series of questions, which we all should consider when we are tempted to proclaim our own righteousness, and complain about what God has done for us. Of course, when God did all these wonderful works, Job was not there; and neither were we. Many ancients believed that there is a certain musical harmony among the stars, which may, or may not, be true. But God declares that there was a time when “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God (which is commonly considered as the angels of God) shouted for joy. Certainly the angels of God were not His sons by generation as was Christ Jesus our Lord, but Adam is called “the son of God” because directly created by Him. So it is with His angels. This is, of course, an event not witnessed by men. The remainder of this seems easy enough to be understood.


(Verses 12 through 24) Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. And from the wicked their light is holden, and the high arm shall be broken. Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in search of the depth? Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare if thou knowest it all. Where is the way where light dwelleth? And as for darkness, where is the place thereof, that thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? Knowest thou it because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great? Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?


The LORD continues His answer to Job. In it are shown the beliefs of ancient people about several things. They, or many of them, believed that such things as light, darkness, the “dayspring,” or daybreak, the treasures of snow and hail, and even the shadow of death were kept in certain assigned places until commanded to go forth to their work. Whatever one may think of such ideas, they serve very well to illustrate how little is man’s knowledge and power, as contrasted to that of God. In this contrast we can see how little we are. And that is the purpose of this entire answer to Job.


(Verses 25 through 33) Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of the thunder; to cause it to rain on the earth where no man is; on the wilderness where there is no man; to satisfy the desolate and the waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or, who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?


As God continues, He shows just how little is Job’s knowledge of, and ability to control, the things of earth, which are all around him. Then He calls his attention to the constellations of the heavens, about which he has very little knowledge, and certainly has no power to control. We are no wiser, and have no more power than did Job. When we are lifted up by our own importance, contemplation of these questions should very quickly put us in our proper place. God has all wisdom, knowledge, and power, while all we can have is that which He is pleased to give us. Therefore we must realize that He has a perfect right to deal with us as pleases Him. And we have no right to question Him or His work, whether, or not, it is according to what we think is right. And in all things He does, He remains just and holy.


(Verses 34 through 41) Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are? Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who hath given understanding to the heart? Who can number the clouds in wisdom? Or who can stay the bottles of heaven, when the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave together? Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or, fill the appetite of the young lions, when they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? Who provideth for the raven his food? When his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.


Again God reminds Job of those things that are all around him. No doubt Job had seen many times of drought; but in none of them had he ever been able to speak to the clouds with sufficient authority to cause them to drop any rain at all upon him, much less to give abundance of rain. Even today, with all the wisdom man claims to have, none can do this. Neither could Job, nor can we, send forth the lightning where we will. We cannot count the clouds, and we cannot stop the rain any more than we can start it. In all such matters we are totally helpless. Yet, at the word of God these things take place, and that without fail. He even provides food for the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air. How wonderful He is!



Chapter 39

(Verses 1 through 12) Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve? Canst thou number the months that they fulfill? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth? They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows. Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them. Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing. Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valley after thee? Wilt thou trust him because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labor to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?


As the LORD continues His questions to Job, it is obvious that they do not require answers. The answers are apparent to all. They are only asked that Job, and we, might see what a great difference exists between the wisdom and power of God, and that of man. It is all clear enough as written, except that some might wonder about the reference to the unicorn. The unicorn, as it is usually considered, is a mythological animal, and totally a figment of the imagination. However, some commentators consider the animal here mentioned to be the Indian rhinoceros, because of the reference to its great strength and the fact that man would never feel safe in trusting it to do his work. This might well be its meaning.


(Verses 13 through 25) Gavest thou the goodly wings to the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labor is in vain without fear; because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath He imparted to her understanding. What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and rider. Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpeters, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunders of the captains, and the shouting.


In this, God takes three things, the beauty of the peacock, the stupidity of the ostrich, and the bravery and strength of the horse trained to battle. He points out to Job that these things are all by His hand, not by Job’s. We have many today, who, although they will admit that God did give the peacock its beauty and the horse his bravery and strength, just cannot believe that He gave the ostrich her stupidity. They cannot believe that God would do anything “so unfair.” But review verse 17. “Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath He imparted to her understanding.” This appears clear enough. So in all these things He shows us that He is, and always has been fully in charge. And man is only a part of His workmanship; nothing more.


(Verses 25 through 30) Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.


This entire series of questions, from verse 1, imply a question that is never set into words. “Since you neither know, nor can do, these things, why do you think that God must ‘work by your rules?’” The only answer we can give is, “Our own lack of wisdom has led us to think thus.”




Chapter 40

(Verses 1 and 2) Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.


Having set before Job this reminder of all these things that God has done, and which are far beyond the knowledge or the power of Job, or any other man, the LORD asks, “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him?” This, of course Job knew to be impossible. It is totally absurd for man to think that he can teach God a better way of managing the affairs of man. Then He says, “He that reproveth God, let him answer it.” That is, if you are going to criticize God, or anything He does, be prepared to teach Him how to do better. This, obviously, is utterly impossible. And Job was fully aware of that.


(Verses 3 through 5)  Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer; yea, twice, but I will proceed no further.


When the LORD brings us up before Himself, and shows us that we are indeed nothing, we too, as did Job, find that we have already talked too much; and we have no answer. We can no longer trust in our righteousness, because we see that we have none. We recognize that we are vile, and there is no more that we can say.


(Verses 6 through 14) Then answered the LORD to Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto Me. Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? Wilt thou condemn Me that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like Him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold everyone that is proud, and abase him. Look on everyone that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. Then will I confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.


The LORD tells Job that it is now time for Job, as we would say, “to put up, or shut up.” Earlier Job had said that he wanted the opportunity to talk face to face with God, and thus make his complaint to Him. So the LORD tells him several things to do if he can. Now, if he can accomplish these things, God will confess to him that he can save, or deliver, himself from the present affliction. All these things are such that God can do them with all ease; but such that all are impossible for Job, or any other man to do.


(Verses 15 through 24) Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: He that made him can make His sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadows; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.


Among commentators, there seem to be at least three different ideas as to what creature is here called “behemoth.” Some think it to be the elephant, others, the hippopotamus, and some, even the crocodile. The description given here, to me, seems to fit the elephant better than either of the others. The LORD says that “he is chief of the ways of God.” That is, he is the largest of God’s creatures on land. The LORD tells Job to consider this great creature, “which I made with thee.” That is, just as this creature is the handiwork of God, so is Job; and so also are we. Although this creature is so great, God is able to “make His sword approach unto him. That is, He can destroy him just as easily as He made him. From this we should all take warning that our lives also are in the hand of God.


Chapter 41

Without quoting this Chapter, let me say that it is a very detailed description of a creature of the sea. Some think it to be the whale, while others consider it the monstrous sea serpent of ancient legends. Verse 19 seems to favor the latter. In any event, it is a creature so ferocious that no man can attack him, and hope to win the battle. He cannot be tamed by man, and kept for a pet, nor a servant. There is no other creature like him in the world. When he is aroused, even the mighty are afraid. No weapon in man’s arsenal of that day could be effective against him. Yet he is part of God’s handiwork; and God can do what He will with him. This alone should cause man to consider his position before God. If he has been somewhat arrogant, all arrogance should be completely driven away. The LORD calls this great creature, Leviathan.


Chapter 42

(Verses 1 through 6) Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that Thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech Thee, and I will speak: I will demand of Thee, and declare Thou unto me. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now Mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.


The LORD has brought Job to a realistic view, or assessment of himself in his relation to God. He now realizes that it is God’s right to deal with any man, or all men, as He will, just as He does with all His creation. God can do every thing. That is, every thing He is pleased to do without asking man’s permission. And none can question Him. Neither can anyone have a thought that God does not already know about. Job’s question in verse 3, “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge,” though it is the same question God asked him in Chapter 38, verse 2, seems to be also Job’s own present conception of his complaints against God. He sees that he did not even realize what he was saying. Now that he does, he says,  “Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” His statement, “I will demand of Thee, and declare Thou unto me,” since it follows, “Hear I beseech Thee,” seems to mean, “I will ask of you, and please answer me,” rather than as we would normally understand “demand.” It is apparent that he is no longer in a demanding attitude. That arrogance is all gone. He now says, “Hear, I beseech (beg) Thee, and I will speak.” Instead of foolishly demanding “his rights,” he realizes that he has no “rights,” but is solely dependent upon the mercy of God. That is also our position before Him. Then he says, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee.” Surely he means not that the eyes of his flesh were seeing God, but that the LORD had so clearly revealed His majesty to him that it was as if he were looking directly at His Person. This caused him to “abhor,” (hate) himself, and brought him to repentance, even in dust and ashes, the very deepest repentance.


(Verses 7 through 9) And it was so that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, like My servant Job. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did as the LORD had commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.


After the LORD completed His talk with Job, He took up another matter of great importance. As we have several times pointed out in our discussion of this book, these three friends based their entire approach to the works of God upon the foundation of materialism, while, in spite of the fact that Job tried to maintain his self-righteousness, he, when speaking of what the LORD will, or will not do, set forth the truth. God has already brought him to repentance of his self-righteousness. So now He attends to the matter of the false doctrines and false accusations set forth by these three friends. Although Elihu also condemned Job without cause, and to some extent followed the same doctrine as these three friends, God says nothing about him. But He does rebuke these three, and twice declares that they did not speak the truth, “the thing that is right,” about Him as did Job. He threatens that if they do not bring their sacrificial animals before Job, not to make offerings to Job, but to God in the presence of Job, and have Job pray for them, He will deal with them according to their folly. So they obeyed His commandment, and the LORD accepted Job. That is, as an intercessor for them.


(Verses 10 through 17) And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than the beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhapuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this Job lived an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his son’s sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old, and full of days.


Without a great deal of comment on this, it seems to adequately sum up the situation. In Chapter 23, verse 11, Job said, “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” He knew that his affliction was not penal, that is, it was not brought upon him for disobedience. He did not know why God sent it upon him, but he was confident that after sufficient trial he would come forth as gold. After this trial, God gave Job double of all he had before, except his children. But even Job knew that this is not always the way the LORD works.


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