The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Job 15

Job 15:1

Job 15-21: In this second cycle, the 3 friends merely restate their arguments from a different angle -- growing more harsh. They do not mention hope for the repentant, and instead describe more fully the fate of the wicked.

Job 15: "Having gone through the first series of trials (3 accusations from his friends, as the Lord Jesus faced three trials at the hand of the Jews, and three from the Gentiles), Job now faces a second series (Job 15-21). Eliphaz opens the trial, claiming that Job's words condemn divine law and are contrary to experience. He first alleges that (1) Job's argument are impious: vv 1-6; then (2) claims that Job is conceited and arrogant: vv 7-16, and (3) that teaching and experience proves Job a sinner: vv 17-35.

"Eliphaz is the most argumentative of the three friends, appearing calm and reasonable in his claims. He rebukes Job for the alleged impiety of his arguments (vv 2-16), and again urges that Job only suffered as a sinner on the grounds of experience: what he had seen and learned (vv 17-35). In this speech, his tone is much severer, as he has become exasperated with Job. It is also much shorter as he runs out of arguments. His rigid theory is epitomised in the statement: 'Remember I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright cut off?' (Job 4:7). Of course, Job stands as a type of the Lord Yahshua, who was certainly 'cut off out of the land of the living' (Isa 53) though having done no sin. Thus the illustrations of Eliphaz (vv 20-35) are but thinly disguised allusions to Job, which must have cut the patriarch to the quick, and increased his sufferings. In this speech, Eliphaz claims that it is only the wicked who suffer. As such he rejects the principle of 'sacrifice that redemption might be obtained' " (GEM).

A WISE MAN: That is, as Job claims to be: Job 12:3,7; 13:2.

Job 15:3

Why does God look so unmercifully upon so piteous a creature?

Job 15:4

Vv 4-6: "Eliphaz is not holding back here at all. What he says here is that Job is a liar, and he says it in a particularly unacceptable way -- which Job must have had a great deal of difficulty taking. Anyone who has been accused of something that he didn't do knows the feeling. Think, though, of the one who died for us, and who had done nothing whatsoever worthy of death. What a wonderful act of love this was" (PC).

Job 15:6

YOUR OWN MOUTH CONDEMNS YOU: This idea comes in Job's own words in Job 9:20. See also Psa 64:8, Mat 12:37. Note also that there is a claim by those who judged that it was by his own words that Jesus was condemned -- Mat 26:65.

Job 15:10

THE GRAY-HAIRED AND THE AGED ARE ON OUR SIDE: Eliphaz prob is referring to himself.

Job 15:11

"I have tried to console you, but you push it aside." Cp Job 4:12; 5:8.

Job 15:14

Job is invited to see himself...

Job 15:18

Eliphaz rejects Job's claim to the wisdom of antiquity (vv 7-10), then claims it for himself (vv 17-19).

Job 15:19

NO ALIEN: That is, their wisdom was uncorrupted.

Job 15:25

The wicked is defiant against God.

Job 15:27

The sensual indulgence of the wicked.

Job 15:29

NOR WILL HIS POSSESSIONS SPREAD OVER THE LAND: "Neither shall their produce bend to the earth" (RV), ie in heavy crops of grain.

Job 15:31

NOTHING IN RETURN: The wicked will be unproductive.

Job 15:33

AN OLIVE TREE: The olive is the greatest flower-bearing tree, but its flowers never come to maturity in great numbers. They are cast off, so that tree's fatness may be turned to berries (which mature into fruit) (LB 54,55).

Job 15:35

The wicked's iniquity is as his children: he nourishes them, and at last they turn on him.

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