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FRAMEWORKS: Job 22: Eliphaz (3:3): Accusations & Challenges


[Preliminary Comments: This is Eliphaz's final speech. He maintains that God is impartial [v.1-3] and as God is obviously dealing with Job that must be a sign of his great wickedness [v.4,5]. He accuses Job [possibly unjustly] of a variety of sins in his old life [v.6-9] and says this is why he is feeling as he does [v.10-14]. He challenges Job to learn from the past [v.15-20] and lays down a prolonged suggestion that repentance is the path back to restoration [v.21-30]. Again it is based on the erroneous assumption that Job is a guilty sinner and yet the early chapters – and last ones – challenge that assumption. His accusations of Job appear unwarranted and unkind.]



v.1 Eliphaz asks what benefit God gets from Job being righteous?


v.1   Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: 

v.2 “Can a man be of benefit to God? Can even a wise person benefit him? 

v.3 What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous? What would he gain if your ways were blameless? 


v.4,5 The fact that God seems to be rebuking him infers Job is wicked


v.4  “Is it for your piety that he rebukes you and brings charges against you? 

v.5  Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless? 


v.6-9 He accuses Job of a variety of sins


v.6  You demanded security from your relatives for no reason; you stripped people of their clothing, leaving them naked. 

v.7  You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, 

v.8  though you were a powerful man, owning land— an honoured man, living on it. 

v.9  And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. 


v.10-14 This is why, he says, God is dealing with you


v.10  That is why snares are all around you, why sudden peril terrifies you, 

v.11  why it is so dark you cannot see, and why a flood of water covers you. 

v.12  “Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars! 

v.13  Yet you say, ‘What does God know? Does he judge through such darkness? 

v.14  Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see us as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.' 


v.15-20 Learn from the wicked in the past who felt secure but God took


v.15  Will you keep to the old path that the wicked have trod? 

v.16  They were carried off before their time, their foundations washed away by a flood. 

v.17  They said to God, ‘Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do to us?' 

v.18  Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things, so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked. 

v.19  The righteous see their ruin and rejoice; the innocent mock them, saying, 

v.20  ‘Surely our foes are destroyed, and fire devours their wealth.' 


v.21-30 Repentance is the path to recovery where God can use you again

v.21  “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. 

v.22  Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. 

v.23  If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent 

v.24  and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, 

v.25  then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. 

v.26  Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. 

v.27  You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfil your vows. 

v.28  What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. 

v.29  When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!' then he will save the downcast. 

v.30  He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”



[Concluding Comments: Yet another demonstration of how the apparently righteous can misjudge a person and a situation!]


So to summarize, what Has Eliphaz been saying? He

•  asks how God benefits by Job being declared righteous [v.1-3]

•  says his plight seems to indicate his guilt [v.4,5],

•  he accuses him of a variety of sins [v.6-9],

•  and concludes with is why God is dealing with him like this [v.10-14],

•  says Job should learn these things from the past [v.15-20],

•  says repentance is surely the path to recovery [v.21-30].


As said above, some good principles but being unable to be applied to Job means a wrong assessment.]



Continue to Chapter 23