Job 15-21: In this second cycle, the 3 friends merely restate
their arguments from a different angle -- growing more harsh. They do not
mention hope for the repentant, and instead describe more fully the fate of the
Job 15: "Having gone through the first series of trials (3
accusations from his friends, as the Lord Jesus faced three trials at the hand
of the Jews, and three from the Gentiles), Job now faces a second series (Job
15-21). Eliphaz opens the trial, claiming that Job's words condemn divine law
and are contrary to experience. He first alleges that (1) Job's argument are
impious: vv 1-6; then (2) claims that Job is conceited and arrogant: vv 7-16,
and (3) that teaching and experience proves Job a sinner: vv 17-35.
"Eliphaz is the most argumentative of the three friends,
appearing calm and reasonable in his claims. He rebukes Job for the alleged
impiety of his arguments (vv 2-16), and again urges that Job only suffered as a
sinner on the grounds of experience: what he had seen and learned (vv 17-35). In
this speech, his tone is much severer, as he has become exasperated with Job. It
is also much shorter as he runs out of arguments. His rigid theory is epitomised
in the statement: 'Remember I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? Or
where were the upright cut off?' (Job 4:7). Of course, Job stands as a type of
the Lord Yahshua, who was certainly 'cut off out of the land of the living' (Isa
53) though having done no sin. Thus the illustrations of Eliphaz (vv 20-35) are
but thinly disguised allusions to Job, which must have cut the patriarch to the
quick, and increased his sufferings. In this speech, Eliphaz claims that it is
only the wicked who suffer. As such he rejects the principle of 'sacrifice that
redemption might be obtained' " (GEM).
A WISE MAN: That is, as Job claims to be: Job 12:3,7;
Why does God look so unmercifully upon so piteous a
Vv 4-6: "Eliphaz is not holding back here at all. What he says
here is that Job is a liar, and he says it in a particularly unacceptable way --
which Job must have had a great deal of difficulty taking. Anyone who has been
accused of something that he didn't do knows the feeling. Think, though, of the
one who died for us, and who had done nothing whatsoever worthy of death. What a
wonderful act of love this was" (PC).
YOUR OWN MOUTH CONDEMNS YOU: This idea comes in Job's
own words in Job 9:20. See also Psa 64:8, Mat 12:37. Note also that there is a
claim by those who judged that it was by his own words that Jesus was condemned
-- Mat 26:65.
THE GRAY-HAIRED AND THE AGED ARE ON OUR SIDE: Eliphaz
prob is referring to himself.
"I have tried to console you, but you push it aside." Cp Job
Job is invited to see himself...
Eliphaz rejects Job's claim to the wisdom of antiquity (vv
7-10), then claims it for himself (vv 17-19).
NO ALIEN: That is, their wisdom was
The wicked is defiant against God.
The sensual indulgence of the wicked.
NOR WILL HIS POSSESSIONS SPREAD OVER THE LAND: "Neither
shall their produce bend to the earth" (RV), ie in heavy crops of
NOTHING IN RETURN: The wicked will be
AN OLIVE TREE: The olive is the greatest flower-bearing
tree, but its flowers never come to maturity in great numbers. They are cast
off, so that tree's fatness may be turned to berries (which mature into fruit)
The wicked's iniquity is as his children: he nourishes them,
and at last they turn on him.