the final speech of Job covers six chapters, we provide the following
structure to help the reader follow it:
Job (9) Part 1: Attack - Rebuke of the ‘friends' - only God knows
(9) Part 2: Defence - Job's Personal Integrity
& the fate of his enemies
Job (9) Part 3: Interlude:
Where Wisdom is Found
Job (9) Part 4: The Past
- Job looks back almost nostalgically
Job (9) Part 5: The
Present - Roles Reversed & a Resultant Wreck
Job (9) Part 6: Final Defence
- Job's Final Words of Self-Vindication
Job 27: Job
(9) Part 2: Integrity
Integrity & the fate of his enemies
Comments: The start of this chapter sees Job continuing
by strongly maintaining his innocence [v.1-6]. Clearly – and we'll
see it later – he is aware of those who speak against him and
these he considers his enemies. It is on them that the rest of
the chapter is focused. Distress will come on them [v.7-10]. Indeed
it is so clear to him that he declares he will lay it out to the
friends [v.11,12]. The truth, he maintains, is that God DOES deal
with the wicked and destroy them and he spells out the form that
that will take [v.13-19]. He closes with the warning of how these
things will come so hastily like a flood or a tempest that comes
at night [v.20-23]. Perhaps behind all this we might suggest he
is implying that because this is how it works, he has not been
destroyed and thus cannot apply to him, i.e. he IS innocent, he
1: v.1-6: Job's Integrity
Job declares he will maintain his integrity, whatever happens
continued his discourse:
as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has
made my life bitter,
as long as
I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils,
my lips will
not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies.
will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not
deny my integrity.
will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience
will not reproach me as long as I live.
2: v.7-23: The fate of Job's enemies, the wicked
His enemies or adversaries will suffer at God's hands
my enemy be like the wicked, my adversary like
hope have the godless when they are cut off, when God takes
away their life?
God listen to their cry when distress comes upon them?
find delight in the Almighty? Will they call on God at all times?
The ways of God in this respect are obvious
teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will
all seen this yourselves. Why then this meaningless talk?
Destruction IS the fate of the wicked
is the fate God allots to the wicked, the heritage
a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:
However many his children, their
fate is the sword; his offspring will never have enough to eat.
The plague will bury those who survive
him, and their widows will not weep for them.
Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
he lays up the righteous will wear, and the innocent will divide
The house he builds is like a moth's
cocoon, like a hut made by a watchman.
He lies down wealthy, but will do
so no more; when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
These things will come suddenly and without warning
overtake him like a flood; a tempest snatches him away in the
east wind carries him off, and he is gone; it sweeps him out of
itself against him without mercy as he flees headlong from its
It claps its
hands in derision and hisses him out of his place.”
Comments: Commentators often ponder over chapter 28 that
follows, suggesting it is by the author of the whole book because
it continues directly on without any description of who speaks,
yet this is also true of chapter 24 that we simply take as a continuation
of Job speaking. The following chapter may be the expression of
what he says in v.11 above.]
have we seen Job saying in this chapter? He
maintains his integrity & innocence
declares that God will deal with Job's
and maintains this should be obvious
for God has decreed curses for evil
and such things WILL come speedily
on such people [v.20-23].
he strongly maintains his own innocence, Job is clear that God
IS a God who holds sinners accountable [the blessings and curses
of Deuteronomy show this was true of Israel and Jesus likewise
warned against such things – see Lk 13:5.] It takes someone firm
in their faith to be able to declare the things of this chapter.]