Job 15:1-17:16 Reading the Passage

Where Can You Find Consolation? – Job 15:1-17:16

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied, (2) Should a wise man answer with empty notions or fill his belly with the hot east wind? (3) Should he argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value? (4) Indeed, you are undermining godly fear and are hindering devotion to God; (5) because your iniquity prompts your mouth—you have adopted the tongue of the crafty! (6) Your own mouth condemns you, not I; your own lips testify against you. (7) Are you the first man ever to be born? Were you brought forth from the womb before the hills? (8) Did you listen in on the secret counsel of God? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom? (9) What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have? (10) We have the gray-headed and the aged on our side, men who are even older than your father! (11) Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words that have been spoken gently to you? (12) Why have you let your heart carry you away, and why do your eyes flash, (13) that you vent your anger against God and pour out such words from your mouth? (14) What is man, that he could be pure, or one born of a woman, that he could be righteous? (15) Listen; if God places no trust in his holy ones, and even the heavens are not pure in his sight, (16) how much less does he consider man who is vile and corrupt, who drinks up evil like water?

(17) Listen to me and I will explain things to you. Let me tell you what I have seen, (18) what wise men have declared—hiding nothing they received from their fathers (19) (to them alone the land was given, and no alien passed among them): (20) All his days the wicked man suffers torment, such is the plight throughout all the years reserved for the tyrant. (21) Terrifying sounds fill his ears; and when all seems well, marauders attack him. (22) He has no confidence that he will escape from darkness; he is marked for the sword. (23) He wanders around looking for bread—Where is it? He knows that disaster has been prepared for him. (24) The day of darkness terrifies him; distress and anguish overpower him like a king poised to attack. (25) This is his fate because he shakes his fist at God, and conducts himself with arrogance against the Almighty. (26) He charges headlong at him with his massive shield. (27) Though his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh, (28) he will reside in devastated cities and houses where no one lives—houses destined to become a pile of rubble. (29) He will not remain rich and his wealth will not endure; his possessions will not spread over the earth. (30) He will not escape the darkness; the flame will wither his shoots, and by the breath of God’s mouth he will be swept away. (31) Let him not trust in what is worthless, only deceiving himself; for he will get nothing in return. (32) Before his time he will be paid in full, and his “palm branch” will wither. (33) He will be like a vine whose unripe grapes fall off, and like an olive tree that casts off its blossoms. (34) The company of the godless is like barren soil, and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes. (35) They conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity, in their “womb” deceit is fashioned.

16 Then Job answered, (2) I have heard many such things; all of you are miserable comforters! (3) Is there no end to your words of wind? What irritates you that you keep on answering? (4) I, too, could speak like you, if you were in my place. I could compose speeches against you and shake my head at you. (5) But I would encourage you with my mouth; comfort from my lips would ease your pain.

(6) But in my case, if I speak, my pain is not eased, and if I refrain from speaking, the pain does not leave me. (7) Indeed, he has worn me out; O God, you have devastated my entire household. (8) You have shriveled me up—this has become a witness against me. Indeed, my gauntness rises up against me; it testifies to my face. (9) In his anger he tears me apart and assails me. He gnashes at me with his teeth; my adversary glares at me with his eyes. (10) Men stare at me with wide open mouths; they slap my cheeks in scorn; they assemble together against me. (11) God has turned me over to the vicious and has tossed me into the hands of the wicked. (12) All was well with me, but then he crushed me; he seized me by the neck and shook me to pieces. He has made me his target; (13) his archers surround me. Without pity, he pierces my kidneys; he spills my gall on the ground. (14) He breaks through my “wall,” making breach after breach; he rushes at me like a warrior. (15) I have sewn sackcloth over my scabby skin and buried my brow in the dust. (16) My face is red from weeping, and dark shadows circle my eyes. (17) All this has happened to me, even though my hands are free from violence and my prayer is pure.

(18) O earth, do not cover my blood! May my cry find no resting place! (19) But even now my witness is in heaven; my defender is on high. (20) My friends scoff at me; but my eyes pour out tears unto God. (21) O that a man might plead with God, like a man does with his neighbor! (22) A few more years will pass, then I will go the way from which there is no return.

17 My spirit is broken; my days are running out, the grave awaits me. (2) Surely, mockers surround me; my eyes dwell on their hostility. (3) Lay down a pledge, be my surety with yourself, O God. Who else will pledge himself to be my surety? (4) Because you have closed their mind from understanding, they will not raise their hand, consenting to be my surety. (5) If a man renounces his friend for a reward, his children’s eyesight will fail. (6) But he has made me a proverb for the people; I am one before whom men spit. (7) My eyesight has grown dim from grief; my whole frame is but a shadow. (8) (Upright men will be appalled by this; the innocent will rouse themselves against the ungodly.) (9) Nevertheless, the righteous man will hold to his ways, and he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.

(10) But all of you, turn, come back; still I will not find a wise man among you. (11) My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart. (12) These men turn night into day, saying in the face of darkness, “Light is near!” (13) If I build my house in Sheol, if I spread out my bed in darkness, (14) if I say to the grave, “You are my father,” and to the worm, “You are my mother and my sister,” (15) where then is my hope? (16) Will it accompany me down to the chambers of Sheol? Will it descend with me into the dust?

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.