Class 2, Chapters 4-7
Job Chapter 4 - Eliphaz
4:3-4 — Eliphaz praises Job for the help and encouragement he has given to many others. In verse 4 Eliphaz specifically mentions the words Job has used to help people in trouble in the past. This is a reminder to us that our words have an impact, perhaps more than we realize at the time. We can lift others up and help people from stumbling with our words.
4:5 — Eliphaz tends to downplay Job's plight. We see this here. It reminds me of when people were hurling insults at Jesus on the cross and saying how he could save others but not himself — Luke 23:35.
It touches you — Job has been more than just touched by trouble. He has been all but destroyed. Eliphaz is putting the severity of Job's situation on the same level as the people's troubles whom Job comforted. It is highly unlikely that anyone Job comforted lost everything in the manner Job did.
4:6 — Indirect accusation for Job, hinting at him being responsible for this situation. (Even Job's wife didn't blame him).
4:7 — Unintentionally validates what Job said in 3:20-23. Eliphaz is trying to explain his reasoning for casting doubt on Job in 4:6
4:8 — A popular phrase although not a true one "It takes one to know one" comes to mind. This is another accusation of Job, saying his trouble is his own fault. Well, Job, "What goes around comes around."
4:9 — Eliphaz describes the quick downfall and death of evil people. Remember how all of Job's possessions went away, and then his health in quick succession. Without knowing the whole story this explanation would seem to prove Eliphaz correct when he says Job's evil has caught up with him.
4:10-11 — Even the fierce lion dies when food runs out, plus the lion hasn't done anything wrong. It could also suggest that Job has no one left to consume, like how the lion ran out of prey.
4:12-21 — Eliphaz describes a dream which scared him, possibly to convey it wasn't just some idle thought when he was tired. "Look Job, I was truly scared!" He saw a spirit but couldn't see it clearly.
4:17-21—How can a man be right before God? Even angels sin, so what does that say about us in our clay houses in the dirt? Come on, Job. Seriously! In saying we die without wisdom it is probably a comparison to God's level of wisdom. We may have some, but compared to God's wisdom it's pretty much nothing.
Everybody sins, we all make mistakes, come on, we are mortal men!
It's like Eliphaz is accusing Job again while provoking him to make a confession.
Eliphaz is using a generality and applying it to a specific problem, blaming Job since people aren't perfect.
This is like the method of "flattening" used in popular arguments against a viewpoint or ideology. For example, some supporters of socialism use this method to cast doubt on the merits of capitalism.
We know people sin — Romans 3:23, Psalm 14:3, Ecclesiastes 7:29 — but this doesn't prove Job's situation is a result of any sin he committed. Since we have the luxury of knowing what occurred in chapters 1 and 2 we know this for a fact.
Chapter 5 - Eliphaz
5:1 — Holy ones is also translated as "saints"
5:4 — His children are far from safety. This implies Job is a fool — 5:3
5:5 — Might be referring to those who took away Job's camels (Chaldeans, 1:17) as well as oxen and donkeys (Sabeans, 1:15). Eliphaz may be defending some of the human perpetrators of Job's calamity.
5:6-7 — Eliphaz broadens his view on who deals with trouble, perhaps implying Job is one of many to suffer. Perhaps an attempt to lessen Jobs opinion of the severity of the trouble. He also accused Job of being jealous — 5:2
5:7 — You can't escape trouble if you're living (although he is accusing Job of wrongdoing).
5:8 — At odds with what Job exclaimed in 1:21. God was the first one Job looked for.
5:11 — If you commit your cause to God (5:8) he will lift you up. This implies Job has been pursuing his own ends and hasn't included God in his plans.
5:12-14 — Admits Job is wise but says he has acted wrongly (craftiness)
5:17-26 — This is God's discipline to Job, but don't worry, he will renew, restore and strengthen you. Perhaps an attempt to boost Job after implying he was wrong, wicked, jealous, envious, etc.
5:20 — Famine; Job's food sources have been largely cut off. War; raiding bands of Chaldeans and Sabeans.
5:21 — Lash of the tongue — we won't have anything to accuse you of after you are holy again, Job
Destruction: all that happened
Beasts: everyone has an animal they would avoid or fear; spiders, snakes, wolves, etc.
5:24 — Your fold — it's gone now
5:25 — Offspring, where and when?
5:26 — To your grave in ripe old age. The emphasis is that it's not Job's time yet. This opposes what Job desires from chapter 3.
5:27 — Eliphaz finishes his speech by rallying support from his friends by including them and also to strengthen his case that Job is wrong and should turn back to God. Eliphaz is not the only one to feel this way since he has included Job's other friends as well. He attempts to end his speech on a strong note. It's logical to think that Job's friends must have spoken together on their journey to see him. They probably would have made up their minds about what brought the calamity on Job and what was necessary to fix it. When people hear bad news they speculate, and Job's friends very likely did the same thing.
Chapter 6 — Job's reply to Eliphaz
NOTE: Job doesn't give a point by point refute to anything his friends say, but takes some of their points into account in his reply to them. He will answer some of their accusations but not all.
6:4 — Job knows it isn't chance or bad luck, or the trouble that man is born to, but that it is God who is behind the tragedy.
6:7 — I have no appetite
6:8-9 — Job still wants God to allow him to die — now
6:10 — I can deal with pain if God kills me because I know I'm right with him. Job hasn't asked to not have any troubles in his life.
6:11-13 — I'm so weak, I can't bear this.
6:14 — Rejecting a friend is bad but …
6:15 — … my family is treacherous. This informs us that Job's opposition is from more than his three friends. His family is worse to him than they are.
6:21 — You fear my situation
6:22-23 — I haven't asked for special treatment
6:24 — Tell me what I have done wrong
6:28-30 — Look at me and tell me is there injustice with me? It's like when you tell your kids to look at you and repeat what they just said when you strongly suspect they are lying. It's more difficult to look someone in the eye and be dishonest.
Don't I know God is behind this?
Chapter 7 — Job continues
7:1-2 — Life is tough and is hard work (even if you are very wealthy)!
7:4 — I can't even sleep!
7:5 — My body isn't healing. It's frustrating when we experience a sickness that lingers longer than we think it should. This is true of typical illnesses, but Job's frustration must be great with his painful sores.
7:6 — The days seem futile
7:7-8 — Life is short; I'll be gone before you know it
7:9-10 — When you die, that's it, you're gone and you don't come back. Job discusses the finality of death. Since death is final …
7:11 — I will make my complaints! I might as well since when I die that's it
7:12 — The word "guard" could also be written as a watch, place of confinement, prison, guard post, and other similar words. Hebrew word "mishmar." Job feels he is a prisoner to his circumstances and God has put him there. He is stuck.
7:13-15 — Job wants rest but has none because Eliphaz (or his illness) has terrified him with dreams and visions. Although the exact kind of sores Job had has been debated, one common idea is black leprosy. One symptom of this is terrifying dreams. Some types of medication cause unnatural, strange or disturbing dreams. Some illnesses do the same thing.
7:16-19 — What's the big deal? Please leave me alone until I die. (Job is asking God)
7:20-21 — How could I hurt you and why am I suffering? Job asks God how someone as small as he could do anything to God and why he is God's target. He feels he is about to die without God telling him why this has happened.