The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Job 22

Job 22:1

Job 22-31: The third cycle of speeches: (a) Eliphaz (Job 22); (b) Job's reply (Job 23; 24); (c) Bildad (Job 25); (c) Job's reply (Job 26); and (e) Job's monologues (Job 27 -- 31).

Job's final speech in the second cycle (Job 20) had demolished the foundation of his friends' arguments concerning retribution. At the same time there had been awakened in Job himself a profounder knowledge and keener faith, a conviction concerning divine justice that carried with it future assurance, the inevitability of God's intervention to right his wrongs -- and under the power of this conviction, Job's turmoil lessened and his serenity returned.

Their thesis gone, it was inevitable that the three friends should be driven from the field of argument. In this final debate, we notice how they were quickly silenced. A desperate last defense by Eliphaz, filled with wild, unsupportable accusations; a reply from Job that easily refuted them; a few words (mostly heard before) mumbled by Bildad, a brief reply by Job; and Zophar... failing to come forward at all. He had twice been mauled by Job, and twice was enough. For him, finally, discretion was the better part of valor.

With Zophar's failure to come forward, Job was left the master of the field, to wind up the debate with a series of monologues.

Job 22: A desperate last defense, filled with wild, unsupported accusations.

Job 22:6

Vv 6-11: Job's wickedness is detailed, but without the slightest hint of proof.

"One wonders what can possibly have brought about this accusation. Job was clearly recognised as an upright man whilst he was prosperous, but now he is destitute the attitude towards him has changed. We really must recognise this fault in ourselves (I know I do). We despise people who we do not view as successful. This is very wrong, and must be stopped. The love of God, which should be in us, does not respect persons: Lev 19:15; Deu 1:17; 16:19; Pro 24:23; 28:31; Acts 10:34" (PC).

V 6: Ct with Job's denial: Job 24:3; 31:19,20.

Job 22:7

Ct Job 31:16,17.

Job 22:9

Ct Job 29:12,13; 31:16-18.

Job 22:13

Vv 13,14: Job's alleged words.

Job 22:22

That is, assent to our doctrine of "exact retribution".

Job 22:24

OPHIR: See Lesson, Ophir.

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