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THIRD SERIES OF THE DEBATE
1. With Eliphaz (chaps. 22-24) a. Speech of Eliphaz (chap. 22) b. Reply of Job (chaps. 23-24) 2. With Bildad (chaps. 25-26) a. Speech of Bildad (chap. 25) b. Reply of Job (chap. 26) 3. With Zophar (chaps. 27-31) a. Continuation of the reply of Job (chaps. 27-31) The last speech Eliphaz makes, chapter 22, is a grand effort to refute Job based upon the latter’s appeal to facts. There is more severity in it than he has shown before. He charges Job with cruelty, oppression and injustice as a magistrate. Therefore, no wonder such calamities had come upon him. Using the deluge as an illustration, he shows how God must deal with the wicked according to their deserts. Job is exhorted to acquaint himself with God and be at peace with Him, and all might yet be well.
Job replies pathetically. He has no human help, but turns to God. Oh, that he might come before him! He cannot seem to find Him, yet he has confidence in Him. His own integrity is once more asserted. It was not true that God always dealt with men on earth in accordance with their character. The wicked often have long prosperity, though he admits they will ultimately be cut off.
Bildad attempts a reply in chapter 25, and yet he seems to realize that the controversy is decided, for he contents himself simply with a description of the power, wisdom and majesty of God, closing with the sentiment
expressed before concerning the comparative impurity and insignificance of man. Bildad has, in fact, yielded the argument and retires from the field.
Job speaks in chapter 26 in a strain of irony. His friends have not enlightened him very much. His own views of the greatness of God are superior to those of Bildad. Notice the sublime description of the divine majesty which follows.
Zophar should have replied, but his lips are closed, and Job himself proceeds more calmly in chapters 27-31. Once more he refers to the government of God, giving a most beautiful description of the search for wisdom, detailing the discoveries of science in his time, and saying that none of them could disclose it, and concluding that true wisdom can only be found in the fear of the Lord. Once more he maintains his integrity, and concludes that if God would come forth and pronounce a just judgment on him, he would take the decision and bind it on his head as a diadem, and march forth with it in triumph.
1. What illustrates the greater severity of Eliphaz?
2. How is Job’s magisterial function referred to?
3. In what verses is the deluge spoken of?
4. Under what terms does Job affirm his integrity?
5. Quote some of the irony of Job.
6. Name some of the scientific discoveries of Job’s day.
7. How beautifully is the search for wisdom described?
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Gray, James. "Commentary on Job 26". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany