In Job 6.1-30 Job begins to defend himself and says Eliphaz has not proved a thing. His suffering was great and Eliphaz only made it worse, and God confirms it at the end of the book (Job 42.7). Job admits that his words in Chapter 3 were hasty, but he did not curse Yehovah. He was under a lot of pressure and pain. He is mistaken in verse 4 when he says, “The arrows of the almighty are within me” because it was Satan who was doing it (Job 2.6).
Even the animals don’t complain without a reason (v 5) and in this Job is saying he has a reason because he has not sinned like Eliphaz was saying. Their words were useless and tasteless like unsalted food or the white of an egg. In the same way Job refuses to “eat” the words of Eliphaz (v 6-7).
Job just wants his misery to end (v 8-9) and his one consolation is he haas not denied (hidden) the words of Yehovah, he is faithful. But the load is too great for him to carry and prolonging his life won’t do him any good. His strength is not like a cornerstone or foundation that can support a building, or like brass that can hold a load. He is flesh and blood, weak, and death would be better (v 12).
He thinks he should be pitied, not insulted. Job should be shown kindness from his friends (v 14), but they do not fear the Lord because they do not show Job kindness. Jam 1.26 says, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart ,this man’s religion is worthless.” His friends have acted deceitfully “like a wadi” and this means that they are like a wadi that is fed by rain and snow. At first, it looks like a big river, but then it fades to a dry creek bed and fades. When Job was prosperous they looked like friends, but now they look like unfaithful and deceitful people who offer no comfort to him (Job 16.1). When you really need the water of comfort it isn’t there (v 15-17). The caravans look for water and they are disappointed. They trusted that there was water, and were ashamed (v 20).
Job says his friends have become like that. They see what happened to him, and they think it would happen to them if they comfort him because they think this is a righteous judgment of God (v 21). Did Job invite them? Did he even ask for their help (v 22-23)? He wants them to show him where he is wrong, he is open to it (v 24).
But their arguments had no truth in them and they didn’t prove a thing. Were they going to just use words with no reasoning behind them? Job’s words were as the “wind” and empty to them and they weren’t even going to listen (v 25-26). He compares himself to an “orphan” who has nothing, and they come to overwhelm him even more and entangle him in a pit of words (v 27).
Job asks them to look upon him favorably and think of him with better thoughts. He tells them to look at him and see if they can detect and falsehood in what he is saying (v 28). He wants them to stop looking at him with criticism before they go too far and sin. He wants them to hear what he is trying to tell them. If they do, they will see that he has not done evil and that his senses can tell the difference between good and evil (v 29-30, 12.11).
In Job 7.1-21 Job begins to defend himself before Yehovah. There is a set time for a person to be born and to die. He is like a man who is hired for a set time, it is fixed before God. He works and his days are full of trouble (v 1). Man is like a servant who “pants” for the shade after his work is done. He looks forward to the time he can rest, and get his reward (v 2). In the same way, Job are allotted a certain time to work, but it is empty of joy. He gets no rest because of his afflictions and he can’t sleep, and that just leads to more weariness (v 3-4).
His flesh is clothed with worms and crusty dirt, with boils and ulcers and he wants it all to end (v 5-6). He says his days in general , especially his prosperous days, went quickly and he wished for them again (Job 29.1-25). His life is like the wind, poor and weak like an air bubble. He did not think he would ever see good in this world again (v 7). After he has died, no eye will behold him in the “land of the living” anymore and he will vanish and not return, so he is going to speak what is on his mind now (v 8-11).
Is he like the raging, tossing sea that stirs up trouble and dirt? This is compared to the wicked in Isa 57.20. Then he says in v 12, “or the sea monster?” This is “tannin” in Hebrew and he is saying, “Am I as evil as Leviathan that you had to restrain me?” In Scripture, Leviathan is a seven-headed sea monster who lives in the sea and is picture of the False Messiah, or “the beast” (Isa 27.1; Rev 13.1; Psa 74.13-14). As we have said before, Job is very eschatological and this is one of many verses that allude to individuals that will be in the Acharit Yamim (the Last Days or Day of the Lord).
When he lies down to rest, God awakens him with dreams and visions. This only makes things worse (v 13-14). He says his breathing stops due to his diseases, and death would be better (v 15). He is wasting away and he isn’t going to live forever. He wants Yehovah to heal him or just let him die (v 16). What is man in the long run that God would set him over the earth, or that God should be concerned with him (v 17). God examines or tests man everyday about his faithfulness. Will the Lord ever stop wrestling and contending with him (v 18-19).
Job asks whether he has sinned like his friends say, but then he remembers that he has been forgiven, so why is he afflicted? Why is he a target for God’s arrows? Job does not understand that this is not coming from God. God has allowed Satan to touch him because he is a righteous man, not a sinner, and Yehovah will keep him all through this process. Again, there is no evidence from Scripture that Job ever does learn about the true source and cause of his troubles. He even asks, “When then dost thou not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity?” He thinks that by forgiving him, the afflictions would be taken away. He just wants to lie down in the dust (die), and God will seek him on the earth, but can’t find him (v 20-21).
In Job 8.1-22, Bildad (beloved Lord) the Shuhite (wealth) now enters the discussion and asserts the justice of God in these events. He takes the side of Eliphaz and says since Job’s sins have been found out, God has delivered him over to judgment. He thinks that Job has charged God with injustice. If Job was innocent, then God would deliver him from these afflictions (v 1-7). But Bildad does not see the heavenly scene that is behind Job’s troubles either, and interprets Job’s troubles to a cause and effect situation.
He then uses similes to illustrate his assertion that Job’s situation is an example of cause and effect. Even as papyrus and rushes fade quickly and dies, so will all those who turn their backs on God (v 11-13). But Bildad is misapplying these pictures from the natural world to Job as if he is sinning. If Job turns back to God he would be blessed again. Eliphaz and Bildad have concluded that God does not afflict the righteous in such a severe manner. He does not keep or prosper the wicked for long, so Job must be wicked because that is what is happening to him (v 14-22).
In Job 9.1-35 Job answers and agrees that God is just, and God’s ways are beyond his ability to know. How can a man be righteous before God or demand answers as if he was in a law suit. Job will admit to doing this in Job 42.1-6 and he repents of it (v 1-8). He praises God for his mighty works in the heavens, but these do not comfort him. The Lord is too great to even notice a mere man. So he is not going to even try to contend with God in a judicial way (v 13-24).
In Job 9.13 we have another eschatological reference to the False Messiah where it says, “God will not turn back his anger, beneath him crouch the helpers of Rahab.” In the Peshat (literal) level, this means that God shows his anger and answers to no one. Even the helpers of the False Messiah will answer to him. The word “Rahab” is a term for the False Messiah in the Scriptures. It means “pride, Egypt, prostitute and broad wall.”
Job 41.34 talks about Leviathan, another name for the False Messiah (Isa 27.1; Rev 13.1), “He (Leviathan) looks on everything that is high, he is king over all the sons of pride.” The word “pride” is Rahab. Job 26.12 says that God “quieted the sea with his power (Isa 57.20), and by his understanding he shattered Rahab. By his breath the heavens are cleared, his hand has pierced the fleeing serpent” (Isa 27.1). Isa 30.7 says, “Even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty, therefore, I have called her Rahab who has been exterminated.”
Now, Egypt is a type of Europe, and Pharaoh a type of the False Messiah in biblical eschatology. Just as Egypt had Pharaoh, Europe will have the False Messiah rule over it. Pharaoh is a type of the False Messiah who will be destroyed (Ezek 29.1-7, 32.1-8 for instance). Isa 51.9 says, “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord (a term for Messiah). Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon (Leviathan, Pharaoh, False Messiah).” The context here is the Second Redemption. Just as Moses defeated Pharaoh and Egypt, so will Messiah defeat the False Messiah. In Psa 87.4 Rahab is used for Egypt. All of these are under God’s power.
Job wonders how he can discuss anything with God since he is infinite. Even if he was righteous, he would still not contend with the Lord, but beg for mercy. If he called to God, and he answered, he would still not believe God even listened to a mere man. Job says God is “bruising me with a tempest” but in actuality he wasn’t, it was Satan, and he wasn’t even letting him rest long enough to “get my breath” (v 17-18).
He wants to find someone who can set him up with God to plead his case. If he tries to justify himself, he is lying because nobody is righteous (v 19-20). God afflicts the righteous and the wicked. If these things happen to the innocent, then who is doing it? God chooses how to use his elect, and the giving of “things” is no proof of Job’s goodness, nor the taking away of those “things” proof of his wickedness (v 21-24). His days are going faster than a runner, like they never were (v 25-26).
Job knows he has sinned, and God will not hold him innocent. Snow water is pure and if he cleansed himself with that, God would still find him unclean, as if he was thrown into a mud pit (v 27-31). God is not like a man that Job may answer him in a court. There is no “umpire” (lawyer) between them, who may mediate between God and Job? Job has nobody to present his case to God, and he has nobody to turn to (v 32-33).
Job wants God to remove his “rod” (affliction) from him. But again, God is not doing it and we know this from Job 1.12, 2.6. He tells Bildad that he is not what Bildad and Eliphaz are making of him. Job isn’t perfect, but he is not the evil person they say he is. Job has not figured out why all this is happening, but he does know that God is fair in all his dealings (v 34-35).
We will pick up in Job 10.1-22 in Part 4.