Job 8:1-10:22 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. What question does Bildad ask in chapter 8 verse 3 (printed below?) How does he answer that question in his ensuing speech?

Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness? (Job 8:3)

Bildad asks the question, “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness?” (8:3) The answer he anticipates and which he affirms is a resounding “No! God certainly does not pervert justice!” In verses 8-10 Bildad appeals to the fact that the justice of God is the sure and unanimous testimony handed down from the ancients. Bildad concludes his speech with a final confident assertion of God’s justice: Surely God will not reject a blameless man (i.e.; a man who is morally upright, as Job himself is described in 1:1), and neither will He strengthen the hand of evildoers (8:20.)

2. What is Job’s initial response to Bildad’s speech? See chapter 9 verses 1-2a (printed below.)

Then Job replied, (2) Indeed, I know that this is true. (Job 9:1-2a)

In responding to Bildad’s speech, Job begins by affirming the truth of his claim that God is just. When Bildad has concluded his speech, Job begins his own speech by giving his “Amen” to Bildad’s main point; namely, that God does not pervert justice—to this Job declares, “Indeed, I know that this is true.” (9:2a)

3. Job agrees that God is just, but what concern does he raise in chapter 9 verses 22-24 (printed below?)

It is all the same; that is why I say, He destroys both the blameless and the wicked. (23) When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the calamity of the innocent. (24) The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; he blindfolds its judges. If it is not he, who then is it? (Job 9:22-24)

Bildad has assured Job that God, in His justice, makes a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous (8:20). But Job confesses that when he observes the world he has a hard time reconciling that truth with what he witnesses (9:22). In verse 23 Job proceeds to submit evidence that appears to support his concern: When a plague (be it a flood or disease or some other form of devastation) sweeps through the land, God “mocks the calamity of the innocent.” That is to say, the innocent succumb to the plague just like the wicked, both are swept away before the calamity; God does not spare the innocent and cause only the wicked to be afflicted by the scourge. Job is perplexed by God’s apparent “inconsistencies” with regard to justice.

4. What accusatory question does Job address to God in chapter 10 verse 3 (printed below?)

Do you derive a benefit from oppressing me and rejecting the work your hands have made, while you smile upon the schemes of the wicked? (Job 10:3)

Casting all caution (and reverent fear of God) aside, Job, in a moment of despair and bitterness of soul, raises a challenge to God’s moral integrity: Does it seem good to God for Him to oppress and reject the work of His hands? (10:3a). Does God deem it to be a good thing to oppress the man whom His has made, a man who is devoted to Him, and at the same time “smile upon the schemes of the wicked?” (10:3b) Note: the word Job uses here, “oppress,” is often used in the Old Testament to describe social injustice (The Book of Job, Hartley, p. 184).

5. Of what does Job remind God in chapter 10 verses 8-13 (printed below?) Why does he do so?

Your hands shaped me and assembled me; now you are destroying me! (9) Remember that you have made me out of clay; will you now turn me back to dust? (10) Did you not pour me out like milk, and curdle me like cheese? (11) Did you not clothe me with skin and flesh, did you not knit me together with bones and sinews? (12) You granted me life and showed me kindness, and by your providence you watched over my spirit. (13)But you have now hidden these things in your heart; I know that they are still with you. (Job 10:8-13)

Job reminds God that He has created him with His own hands, yet now God seeks to destroy this very one whom He so lovingly and painstakingly made (10:8). He pleads with God to remember that he has been made out of clay, i.e., he is fragile (10:9). Job describes his conception (using the imagery of milk being curdled into cheese) and the fact that upon being born he became the object of God’s affection and care (10:10-12). But now God has hidden these things in His heart—i.e.; God has withdrawn His affection and care for Job, He has hidden these attributes deep within the recesses of His own heart. By reminding God of these things Job is hoping to induce God to take pity on him and be merciful to him.