Job: You...make my humiliation an argument against me (Round 2: Chs12-20)

"If indeed you magnify yourselves against me, and make my humiliation an argument against me...." (Job 19:5)

It is sad to see that the friends who had come to comfort Job start ending up trying to convict and condemn him. The pain is aggravated by their aggressiveness to reproach Job.
  • Job remarks that what they are saying isn't something very new. His friends still can't relate with his pain. He doesn't accept their accusations and says that they all whitewash with lies and are worthless physicians; it would have been better if they would keep silent; why should they be speaking falsely for God. He asks God why He is hiding His face and counting him as His enemy. He feels he is left alone to mourn for himself. (Chs12-14)
  • Eliphaz accuses Job of speaking out of his own sinfulness. He seems to be irritated that Job didn't agree to look inferior than them in knowledge, and retorts "Are you the firstborn of the human race?....What do you know that we do not know?" It seems that Eliphaz was quite older than Job because he remarks, "The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, those older than your father." The softer Eliphaz has turned a bit aggressive here. He quotes the ancients as affirming that the wicked are the ones who perish. (Ch15)
  • Job again replies that he has heard many such things and laments of how miserable comforters they all are. They still are not relating to his pain. He feels that God has become his enemy and has abandoned him to misery. Job is extremely broken because of his suffering. (Chs16-17)
  • Bildad seems to feel irritated that Job is not acknowledging their wisdom. "Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight?" he asks. His statement is that it is the wicked who lose everything and are completely destroyed. (Ch18)
  • Job feels greatly tormented by his friends who find an opportunity to magnify themselves against him in his humiliation. Job continues to describe his agony. His cry to them is summed up in these words, "Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! Why do you, like God, pursue me, never satisfied with my flesh?" (Ch19)
  • Zophar starts out by stating that the prosperity of the wicked is short-lived. Many of the things which Job's friends are saying are true; but, they are applying it to a wrong person and to a wrong situation. It seems here, in Zophar's case, that Job's friends have progressed from simple speculation to some kind of belief of what sins Job might have done. For instance, Zophar says that the wicked will be destroyed because "they have crushed and abandoned the poor, they have seized a house that they did not build." Perhaps, it's similar to the elder brother in the Prodigal Son's story who accuses his brother of wasting all the money on harlots. Zophar's final words seem to try to threaten Job. All attempts to comfort are forsaken because of the aggression provoked by Job's refusal to admit that their theological evaluation of his condition is right. (Ch20)

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