Job 22:1-24:25 Reading the Passage

Some Perplexing Old Testament Questions and Some New Testament Answers – Job 22:1-24:25

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite responded, (2) Can a man be of any benefit to God? No, although the man who acts wisely does benefit himself. (3) What asset is it to the Almighty if you are innocent, or what gain does he derive from your claim that your ways are blameless? (4) Then, again, does he arraign you for your piety, is that why he enters into judgment with you?

(5) Is not your wickedness great? Is there no end to your iniquities? (6) You demanded security from your brothers for no reason; you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked. (7) You gave no water to the weary, and you withheld food from the hungry, (8) even though you were a powerful man owning land—an honored man, residing in the land. (9) You sent widows away empty-handed and you crushed the arms of the fatherless, rendering them powerless. (10) That is why you are surrounded by snares, and the prospect of sudden peril terrifies you. (11) This is why your light has become darkness so that you cannot see, and the flood waters are about to cover you. (12) Is not God in the heights of heaven? And consider the distant stars, how high they are! (13) So you say, “What does God know? Can he judge through the thick clouds? (14) Thick clouds hide us from him so that he cannot see as he walks around on the zenith of the heavens.”

(15) Will you keep to the hidden path, the way that evil men have walked, (16) men who were cut off before their time, men whose foundation was swept away by the raging river? (17) They said to God, “Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do for us?” (18) Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things! I stand far removed from the thinking of the wicked! (19) Righteous men see their ruin and rejoice; the innocent ridicule them, saying, (20) “Indeed, their abundance is cut off, the fire has devoured their wealth!”

(21) Submit to God and be at peace with him; the benefits you will thereby derive will be good. (22) Accept instruction from his mouth and put his words into your heart. (23) If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored—remove iniquity far from your tent. (24) Lay your gold nuggets in the dust, even the fine gold of Ophir, lay them among the rocks in the ravines. (25) Then the Almighty will be your gold, he will be the choicest silver to you. (26) Then you will delight in the Almighty, you will lift up your face to God. (27) You will pray to him and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows. (28) Then whatever you determine will be accomplished for you, and light will shine on your ways. (29) When men are depressed, you will say, “Be lifted up!” and God will save the downcast. (30) God will even deliver the guilty, they will be delivered by the cleanness of your hands.

23 Then Job replied, (2) This very day my complaint is bitter; the blow I receive is heavier than my groanings.* (3) If only I knew where to find him, so that I might come to his throne. (4) I would present my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. (5) I would find out how he would answer me; I would consider what he would say to me. (6) Would he oppose me with awesome judicial power? No, he would not press charges against me. (7) There an upright man could present his case before him, and I would be forever acquitted by my Judge.

(8) But I go forward and he is not there; I turn backward, but I do not perceive him. (9) When he is at work on the left, I cannot behold him; he turns to the right, but I cannot see him. (10) But he knows the way that I take; after he has tested me, I will come forth like gold. (11) My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning from it. (12) I have not deviated from the commandment of his lips; like treasure, I have stored up the words of his mouth in my bosom.

(13) But he stands alone as God; who is able to change him? He does whatever he pleases. (14) He will carry out what he has appointed for me, and many such plans he still has in store. (15) This is why I am terrified before him; when I think about all this, I am in dread of him. (16) God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me, (17) because I was not cut off in the presence of the darkness, nor did he conceal the thick darkness from my face.

24 Since our times are not hidden from the Almighty, why do those who know him never see his days of judgment? (2) Men move boundary stones; they pasture the flocks they have stolen. (3) They drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox as a pledge. (4) They push the needy off the pathway and force all the poor of the land into hiding. (5) Like wild donkeys in the wilderness, the poor go about their labor, searching for food in the desert, food for their children. (6) They gather fodder in the field and glean the vineyards of the wicked. (7) Lacking clothing, they spend the night naked; they have nothing with which to cover themselves in the cold. (8) They are drenched by the mountain rains; lacking any shelter, they huddle against the rocks.

(9) There are those who snatch the fatherless child from its mother’s breast; they seize the infant of the poor as a pledge. (10) Lacking clothing, the poor go around naked; while they go hungry, they carry the master’s sheaves. (11) They crush olives among the terraces; they tread the wine presses, yet they themselves suffer thirst. (12) The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out for help. But God charges no one with wrongdoing.

(13) There are those who rebel against the light; they do not know its ways or stay in its paths. (14) The murderer rises at dawn, so that he may kill the poor and the needy. And at night he is a thief. (15) The eyes of the adulterer watches for the dusk; he thinks, “No eyes will see me.” He keeps his face concealed. (16) In the dark, men break into houses, but during the daytime they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light. (17) For all of them, the morning is like the shadow of death; but they are friends with the terrors of darkness.

(18) But they are like foam on the surface of the water! Let their portion of the land be cursed; let them not go to the vineyards! (19) As heat and drought snatch away the melting snow, so let Sheol snatch away those who have sinned! (20) Let the womb forget them; let the worm feast on them! Let them no longer be remembered! So let wickedness be broken like a tree shattered by lightning!

(21) But they prey on the barren and childless woman, and they show no kindness to the widow. (22) Yet God by his power preserves these men who are mighty in the land; though they have no assurance of life in themselves, they are established. (23) He provides them with security, and they are supported; his eyes are on all their ways. (24) They are exalted, and then after a little while they are gone; they are laid low and gathered up like all the rest of men. They are cut off like heads of grain. (25) If this is not the case, who can refute me and render my speech worthless?

*Chapter 23 verse 2 in the N.I.V. reads, “his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning”

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