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ELIPHAZ' SECOND SPEECH: PRETENDING TO KNOW THAT JOB IS WICKED; ELIPHAZ DESCRIBES THE PUNISHMENT JOB CAN EXPECT
It is the conviction of this writer that the speech of this old hypocrite Eliphaz is merely the ostentatious declamation of an arrogant ignoramus, absolutely worthless and unworthy of any special attention.
On the basis of his false theological axiom that God metes out, during this present lifetime, the just reward of every man, blessing the righteous and heaping on the punishments on the wicked. Eliphaz proceeded, in effect, to preach Job's funeral. Jehovah himself addressed Eliphaz and the other friends of Job, saying, "Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right" (Job 42:7); and this is reason enough for avoiding any detailed analysis of this cruel and inconsiderate speech.
What he said was unkind, brutal, cruel, inaccurate, conceited, arrogant and without any redeeming quality whatever. It was merely another bitter experience for Job, serving no other purpose than that of Satan, namely, trying in vain to force Job from his integrity.
ELIPHAZ BLUNTLY ACCUSES JOB OF WICKEDNESS
"Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
Should a wise man make answer with vain knowledge,
And fill himself with the east wind?
Should he reason with unprofitable talk,
Or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?
Yea, thou doest away with fear,
And hinderest (diminishes) devotion before God.
For thine iniquity teacheth thy mouth,
And thou chooseth the tongue of the crafty.
Yea, thine own lips testify against thee."
Job had just enunciated some of the greatest and most significant theological truths ever revealed from God, namely, the resurrection of the dead, and the forgiveness of sins; but such truth was lost on Eliphaz. Blinded by what he thought he knew, but didn't, he made light of Job's speech. Satan must have rejoiced at having so skillful a servant in his evil attack upon Job.
ELIPHAZ CALLED JOB ABOMINABLE AND CORRUPT
"Art thou the first man that was born?
Or wast thou brought forth before the hills?
Hast thou heard the secret counsel of God?
Or dost thou limit wisdom to thy self?
What knowest thou that we know not?
What understandest thou that is not known in us?
With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men,
Much elder than thy father.
Are the consolations of God too small for thee,
Even the word that is gentle toward thee?
Why doth thy heart carry thee away?
And why do thine eyes flash,
That against God thou turnest thy spirit,
And lettest words go out of thy mouth?
What is man, that he should be clean?
And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Behold, he putteth no trust in his holy ones;
Yea the heavens are not clean in his sight:
How much less one that is abominable and corrupt,
A man that drinketh iniquity like water!"
Eliphaz claimed that all of the aged men approved of their judgment and condemnation of Job as a gross sinner, implying that the whole population of the area concurred in their evil appraisal of the situation; and he was very probably correct in that allegation.
Satan here had succeeded in the complete isolation of Job from every possibility of any human support. And how had he been able to do that? It all stemmed from that evil proverb: GOD ALWAYS DEALS (IN THIS LIFE) WITH EVERY MAN EXACTLY AS HE DESERVES. THE GOOD GET RICH; THE EVIL SUFFER. A lie has always been the principal weapon in the arsenal of the devil. Satan is the Father of Lies; and it was with a lie that he seduced and destroyed our Progenitors in Eden.
THE DARK PICTURE THAT ELIPHAZ PAINTED OF JOB'S FUTURE
"I will show thee, hear thou me;
And that which I have seen I will declare
(Which wise men have told
From their fathers, and have not hid it;
Unto whom alone the land was given,
And no stranger passed among them):
The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days,
Even the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor.
A sound of terror is in his ears;
In prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.
He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness,
And he is waited for of the sword.
He wandereth abroad for bread, saying,
Where is it?
He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
Distress and anguish make him afraid;
They prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.
Because he hath stretched out his hand against God,
And behaveth himself proudly (biddeth defiance to) against the Almighty.
He runneth upon him with a stiff neck,
With the thick bosses of his bucklers;
Because he hath covered his face with his fatness,
And gathered fat upon his loins;
And he hath dwelt in desolate cities,
In houses which no man inhabited,
Which were ready to become heaps;
He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue,
Neither shall their possessions be extended .... on the earth.
He shall not depart out of the darkness;
The flame shall dry up his branches,
And by the breath of God's mouth shall he go away.
Let him not trust in vanity, deceiving himself;
For vanity shall be his recompense.
It shall be accomplished before his time,
And his branch shall not be green.
He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine,
And shall cast off his flower as the olive tree
For the company of the godless shall be barren,
And fire shall consume the tents of bribery.
They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity,
And their heart prepareth deceit."
The discerning reader will not overlook Eliphaz' strategy in this evil speech. In effect, he preached Job's funeral, mentioning all the things he could think of that would tie his description of the wicked to what had already happened to Job. The implied prophecies were that Job would never be rich (Job 15:20), that he would soon die (Job 15:30,32). etc. These prophecies, of course, were never fulfilled. Note particularly Job 15:21 in which Eliphaz explained that God's judgment would fall upon the wicked in the time of his "prosperity," exactly as it had happened to Job. A dozen other such brutal insinuations may be detected in this shameful tirade against Job.
We are delighted to skip any further attention to this crooked speech, although a fantastic instrument of the devil it surely was!
Coffman's Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 15". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14