Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2 If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?
3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.
4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.
6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?
7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?
8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.
10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.
11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion's whelps are scattered abroad.
12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.
13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
Eliphaz is the first friend of Job to respond to his outcry. These friends of Job had no knowledge of the Rebellion in Heaven history and the subsequent drawn out dialogue between Satan and God over Job’s faithfulness. It was absent from their thinking.
While Eliphaz was trying to sleep one night, a spirit passed by his face (v. 15). He became afraid and was shaking (v. 14). His hair stood up and he jumped out of bed (v. 16). The voice blaming God for doing things reminds us of the roles Lucifer played in the Rebellion in Heaven. The intention was to throw doubt on God’s justice.
The doubting questions are strengthened by an accusation about God: “Look, He does not trust His servants” (v. 18). The spirit of blame continues, and is directed against God for having charged all “error/folly upon His angels” and expelling them from heaven.
Dear God, we also face tragedies. Satan uses other people and even our own thoughts to accuse us of wickedness that deserves God’s immediate punishment. Yet we know You forgive, and will ultimately reward all who are faithful. Keep us in the hollow of Your hand. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea