The second round of debates is about to begin. Eliphaz is about to speak again.
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: 2 "Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge, And fill himself with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, Or by speeches with which he can do no good? 4 Yes, you cast off fear, And restrain prayer before God. 5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, And you choose the tongue of the crafty. 6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you. 7 "Are you the first man who was born? Or were you made before the hills? 8 Have you heard the counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself? 9 What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not in us? 10 Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us, Much older than your father. 11 Are the consolations of God too small for you, And the word spoken gently with you? 12 Why does your heart carry you away, And what do your eyes wink at, 13 That you turn your spirit against God, And let such words go out of your mouth? 14 "What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?” Job 15:1-14 (NKJV)
ELIPHAZ ATTACKS JOB FOR BEING A FOOLISH MAN
Verses one thru fourteen are filled with rapid-fire questions aimed at Job. All three of Job’s friends are much less courteous than before. Job had pulled no punches. He had lain it on the line what he perceived. He was open and self-revealing. What he had stated clashed with the popular theology of the day. This caused a response from Job’s “friends”. When people don’t agree with what you think they start out with debating you – but it soon leads to attacking your character.
Notice the attacks that Eliphaz wages against Job. Some of them are direct and some are indirect. The indirect are given as generalities while the direct are point blank shots at Job. Here again you will notice Hebrew poetry. A statement is made and then a mirror image is given. (The number at the beginning refers to the verse.)
2a. Does a wise man not give wise counsel?
2b. A wise man is not filled with hot air.
3a. Does a wise man argue with useless words?
3b. A wise man’s words serve a purpose.
4a. You undermine the reverence of God.
4b. You hinder deep thoughts of God.
5a. Your sins direct your path.
5b. You purposefully select deceitful language.
6a. Your own lips lead to condemnation.
6b. Your lips are a testimony against you.
7a. Were you the first born of all creation?
7b. Are you older than the hills?
8a. Do you have a seat in God’s boardroom?
8b. Do you own all the wisdom there is?
9a. What inside scoop do you have that we don’t?
9b. Do you see clearly what we are still fuzzy about?
10a. Our elders are on our side.
10b. Older men than your father stand behind us.
11a. God’s words of comfort are not enough for you.
11b. Doesn’t God deal gently enough for you?
12a. Why are you going down the wrong path?
12b. Why is there anger in your eyes?
13a. Why is your anger directed toward God?
13b. Why do you let those words leave your mouth?
14a. Do you think humans can be pure?
14b. Do you think anyone born of a woman can be righteous?
Matthew Henry outlines this section of Job as:
I. Eliphaz charges Job with folly and absurdity (v. 2, 3).
II. Eliphaz charges Job with impiety and irreligion (v. 4).
III. Eliphaz charges Job with intolerable arrogance and self-conceitedness.
IV. Eliphaz charges Job with contempt of the counsels and comforts that were given him by his friends (v. 11)
V. Eliphaz charges Job with opposition to God himself and to religion (v. 12, 13).
VI. Eliphaz charges Job with justifying himself to such a degree as even to deny his share in the common corruption and pollution of the human nature (v. 14).
Verse two Job is told that he is full of hot air. The insinuation that Job had filled himself with the east wind is an allusion to the violent and scorching wind from the desert that brought no rain.
15 If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight, 16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy, Who drinks iniquity like water! 17 "I will tell you, hear me; What I have seen I will declare, 18 What wise men have told, Not hiding anything received from their fathers, 19 To whom alone the land was given, And no alien passed among them: 20 The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And the number of years is hidden from the oppressor. 21 Dreadful sounds are in his ears; In prosperity the destroyer comes upon him. 22 He does not believe that he will return from darkness, For a sword is waiting for him. 23 He wanders about for bread, saying, ’Where is it?’ He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand. 24 Trouble and anguish make him afraid; They overpower him, like a king ready for battle. 25 For he stretches out his hand against God, And acts defiantly against the Almighty, 26 Running stubbornly against Him With his strong, embossed shield. 27 "Though he has covered his face with his fatness, And made his waist heavy with fat, 28 He dwells in desolate cities, In houses which no one inhabits, Which are destined to become ruins. 29 He will not be rich, Nor will his wealth continue, Nor will his possessions overspread the earth. 30 He will not depart from darkness; The flame will dry out his branches, And by the breath of His mouth he will go away. 31 Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself, For futility will be his reward. 32 It will be accomplished before his time, And his branch will not be green. 33 He will shake off his unripe grape like a vine, And cast off his blossom like an olive tree. 34 For the company of hypocrites will be barren, And fire will consume the tents of bribery. 35 They conceive trouble and bring forth futility; Their womb prepares deceit." Job 15:15-35 (NKJV)
ELIPHAZ ATTACKS JOB FOR BEING A WICKED MAN
In verses fifteen and sixteen Eliphaz asks, “How can God consider a man pure if men are filthy (sinful)? God does not even consider His saints and heaven pure.” God is absolute purity. He is absolute holiness. Eliphaz is correct in the fact that compared to God all things are impure. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (HCSB)
In verses seventeen thru nineteen Eliphaz now uses the argument that the wise men had declared the same things that he was declaring. He goes on to state that their ancestors had not argued with what the wise men had said. There is an insinuation in these verses that even God approved of what was being said by the wise men since, “no foreigner passed among them.”
In verses twenty thru the end of the chapter, Eliphaz is describing the fate of the wicked. He goes into great detail of what he understands will happen to them. Note – the details show that he must have given much thought to this. This list is a terrible catalog of troubles overtakes the wicked. These calamities are proportionate to the guilt. Here are the details that he gives:
1. A wicked man has pain all of his life.
2. A wicked man will have but a “few years”.
3. A wicked man’s ears will be filled with “dreadful sounds”.
4. When a wicked man thinks he is at peace – the robber comes.
5. A wicked man has no hope for the future – he will not return from darkness.
6. A wicked man will die a violent death.
7. A wicked man searches for food.
8. A wicked man knows that a day of darkness is around the corner.
9. A wicked man lives a life of trouble and distress.
10. A wicked man is at war with God.
11. A wicked man is always on the offensive with God.
12. Although the wicked man seems to live in prosperity, he actually lives in rubble.
13. A wicked man will lose all his possession.
14. A wicked man will not escape the Day of Judgment.
15. A wicked man should not trust in worthless things.
16. A wicked man will not flourish.
17. A wicked man will be unfruitful.
18. A wicked man will have no security.
19. A wicked man gives birth to evil.
20. A wicked man produces wickedness.
I have heard it said that there is no hell-fire preaching anymore. Eliphaz has just given us an example of hell-fire preaching. Judgment will come – but let us be aware that the judgment is on us. Eliphaz has no place of security. 10 There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one. 13 Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips. 14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, 17 and the path of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 3:10-18 (HCSB) The only place of hope for anyone and everyone – is in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.