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                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

           The Great Debate: Second Cycle Of Speeches (15-21)


1) To observe the progress of the "great debate", in which Job's
   friends are unable to convince Job that he is some great sinner who
   deserves his suffering

2) To note how Job continues to vent his complaint, and while losing
   hope for anything in this life, he does reveal his faith in a 
   Redeemer and in seeing God after death


The second cycle of speeches continue in the same format, with the
three friends speaking and Job responding to each one in turn.  The
speeches are shorter, and it appears their tempers are becoming short
as well.  Eliphaz begins with an attack on Job, ridiculing his wisdom.
Like Bildad, he too appeals to the wisdom of others as he repeats his
main thesis:  suffering comes to the wicked, therefore Job must be 
wicked (15:1-35).  Job's response to Eliphaz begins with a reproach of
his friends as "miserable comforters".  Job continues to view his
suffering as an attack by God for reasons unknown to him.  Wishing
there was someone who could plead for him, he cries out for relief as
he resumes his complaint.  With no wisdom from his friends, he is 
losing hope for anything in this life but death (16:1-17:16).

Bildad angrily wonders "how long" will Job keep speaking this way, and
why does he regard his friends as beasts and stupid?  In what appears 
as an attempt to get Job to confess he is a sinner, Bildad provides a 
lengthy description of the suffering of the wicked (18:1-21).  Job
responds by asking "how long" would they continue to torment him?  
While they accuse him of being a great sinner, they have yet to point
out his errors.  As Job resumes directing his complaint to God, he 
bewails his loneliness and abandonment by friends and family.  And yet,
while Job feels God is treating him as an enemy, he affirms his faith
in a Redeemer who would one day stand on the earth and in seeing God 
after his death (19:1-29).

Zophar speaks in what will be his last contribution to this "great
debate".  While he offers little that is really new to the discussion,
he does describe the short-lived triumph of the wicked, to whom the 
sweetness of sin becomes a bitter curse and whom God will sweep away 
into darkness.  The only problem is that like his friends, he assumes 
that such is always the case in this life (20:1-29).  Job's rebuttal
provides examples in which some wicked do prosper in this life, and die
an easy death.  Therefore his friends' words have proven to be empty
and without comfort (21:1-34).



   A. ELIPHAZ'S REBUTTAL (15:1-35)
      1. Eliphaz attacks Job, rebuking his behavior and ridiculing his
         wisdom (15:1-16)
         a. Job is reasoning with unprofitable talk, his own mouth 
            condemns him
         b. Job attempts to limit wisdom to himself, disregarding the 
            wisdom of others
         c. Job cannot be as pure and righteous as he claims; if angels
            and the heavens are not pure in God's sight, how much less
            one who "drinks iniquity like water"?
      2. Eliphaz repeats his main thesis: suffering comes to the wicked
         a. Appealing to what he has seen, and what wise men have said
         b. He then offers a lengthy description of how the wicked one
            suffers (is he trying to describe Job?)

   B. JOB'S REPLY (16:1-17:16)
      1. He reproaches his friends (16:1-5)
         a. They are "miserable comforters"
         b. He could do what they do, but would offer true comfort if
            they were in his place
      2. He describes God's treatment of him (16:6-17)
         a. Whether he speaks or remain silent, there is no relief
         b. God is wearing him out, shriveling him up, gnashing at him
         c. God has turned him over to the ungodly, who gape at him and
            strike him reproachfully
         d. God has shattered him, shaken him, and broken him with 
            wound upon wound
      3. He hopes his cry will be heard (16:18-22)
         a. That it not be buried in the dust of the earth, that it be
            seen in heaven
         b. Scorned by his friends, his eyes pour out tears to God
         c. He wished there was one who would plead for him with God,
            for he knows his time is short
      4. Job asks for relief (17:1-5)
         a. He is broken, the grave is ready for him, and mockers are
            with him
         b. His friends have no understanding, can't God help him?
      5. He resumes his complaint (17:6-9)
         a. He is despised by others, even as he grows weaker
         b. Upright men are astonished by him, the innocent are stirred
            up against the hypocrite (is Job saying that is how they 
            view him?)
         c. The righteous holds to his way, and those with clean hands
            become stronger and stronger (perhaps Job is referring here
            to his friends, and speaking with sarcasm)
      6. With no wisdom from his friends, he is losing hope (17:10-16)
         a. His days are past, his plans are broken, and all his
            friends can do is say "the light is near" when all is dark
         b. If death and the grave is all that lies ahead, where is his


   A. BILDAD'S REBUTTAL (18:1-21)
      1. He is incensed at Job (18:1-4)
         a. "How long" will Job keep speaking? - cf. 8:2
         b. Why does he consider his friends as beasts and stupid?
         c. Should the earth be moved because he is angry?
      2. He too provides a lengthy description of the suffering of the
         wicked (18:5-21)
         a. The light of the wicked will go out
         b. He is cast down, ensnared
         c. Terrors frighten him on every side
         d. Destruction comes his way, others will take what is his
         e. The memory of the wicked will perish from the earth, there
            will be no posterity
         f. Such will happen to the wicked, to those who know not God

   B. JOB'S REPLY (19:1-29)
      1. He responds to his critics (19:1-6)
         a. "How long" will you torment my soul? - cf. 18:2
         b. They continue to reproach him, but have not pointed out his
         c. While they magnify themselves against him, he feels God has
            wronged him!
      2. Job again directs his complaint to God (19:7-12)
         a. God does not seem to hear his cry for justice
         b. God has broken him down, uprooted any hope that he had
         c. God treats him as an enemy
      3. He bewails his loneliness (19:13-22)
         a. Abandoned by relatives, close friends, even his servants
         b. He is repulsive to both wife and children, those he loves
            have turned against him
         c. He cries for pity from his friends
      4. He affirms his faith (19:23-29)
         a. In his Redeemer who lives, and who shall stand at last on
            the earth
         b. In that after death, in the flesh, he shall yet see God
            (i.e., the resurrection?)
         c. In the judgment, in view of which he warns his friends


   A. ZOPHAR'S REBUTTAL (20:1-29)
      1. He describes the short-lived triumph of the wicked (20:1-11)
         a. Irritated by Job's reproof, Zophar responds
         b. What joy or triumph the wicked experience is only momentary
         c. The wicked will soon be no more, their children dependent
            upon the poor
      2. The sweetness of sin will become a bitter curse (20:12-19)
         a. It will be like the poison of cobras, making him vomit
         b. What he has gained through oppression, he will not be able
            to enjoy
      3. God will sweep away the wicked into darkness (20:20-29)
         a. The wicked will not be at peace, his well-being will not
         b. God's anger will come upon him, like an iron weapon
         c. Losing all, terror and darkness is the portion God has
            appointed for the wicked

   B. JOB'S REPLY (21:1-34)
      1. The wicked don't always suffer, but often prosper in this life
         a. Job asks that they listen carefully, and then continue
            their mocking
         b. Some wicked do prosper in this life, even though they 
            reject God and His ways
      2. The wicked often die in comfort (21:17-26)
         a. They don't always experience God's wrath in this life
         b. Some even say that God lays up the iniquity of the wicked
            for his children (though Job wishes God would recompense
            the wicked one directly)
         c. The fact is, some people die at ease, while others die in
      3. He rejects their answers as false (21:27-34)
         a. They've asked him "Where is the dwelling place of the 
         b. He asks them "Have you not asked those who travel?"
            (implying that the wicked are everywhere)
         c. Job understands that the wicked are reserved for the day of
            doom and wrath (i.e., the day of Judgment)
         d. So his friends' words have proved to be empty and without


1) How does Eliphaz view Job's attempts to justify himself? (15:2-3)
   - Empty knowledge, unprofitable talk

2) In rebuking Job, what does Eliphaz ask of him? (15:9)
   - What do you know that we do not know?

3) In responding to Job's claim of innocence, how does Eliphaz describe
   man? (15:16)
   - Abominable and filthy, who drinks iniquity like water (possibly 
     directed at Job)

4) In his description of how the wicked suffer, what point is Eliphaz
   making? (15:17-35)
   - That suffering comes to wicked; i.e., if you are suffering, you 
     must be wicked

5) As Job responds to Eliphaz, how does he describe his three friends?
   - Miserable comforters

6) What does Job say he would do if they were in his place? (16:4-5)
   - Strengthen them with his mouth, relieve their grief with 
     comforting words

7) How does Job feel God has treated him? (16:7-14)
   - Worn him out, shriveled him up, tears him in His wrath, gnashes him
     with His teeth
   - Delivered him up to the ungodly, shattered and shaken him to pieces

8) For what does Job cry out? (16:21)
   - That one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleads for his

9) What does Job say God has made him? (17:6)
   - A byword of the people, one in whose face men spit

10) While Job has not lost his faith, what has he lost? (17:11,15)
   - Any purpose or hope pertaining to this life

11) When Bildad responds, how does he feel Job has regarded them?
   - As beasts and stupid in his sight

12) In his second speech, what does Bildad provide? (18:5-21)
   - A lengthy description of the suffering of the wicked, similar to 
     what Eliphaz has done

13) In response to Bildad's second speech, what does Job ask him?
   - How long will you torment my soul, and break me in pieces with 

14) As Job resumes his complaint to God, what does he say God has done?
   - God has stripped him of his glory, broken him down on every side,
     uprooted his hope like a tree, kindled His wrath against him

15) Who else does he feel has now forsaken him? (19:13-19)
   - His brothers, relatives, close friends, servants, even his wife 
     and young children

16) What does Job ask of his friends?  Why? (19:21)
   - Have pity on him.  For the hand of God has struck him.

17) While suffering, in what three things does Job affirm his faith?
   - That his Redeemer lives and will one day stand on the earth (i.e.,
     the Messiah)
   - That after death he will in his flesh see God (i.e., the 
   - That there will be a judgment (i.e., the Judgment Day)

18) As Zophar begins his second speech, what troubles him? (20:2-3)
   - Having heard the reproof (of Job) that reproaches him

19) What does Zophar then describe? (20:1-11)
   - The short-lived triumph of the wicked

20) What does Zophar believe concerning the wicked? (20:12-29)
   - The sweetness of evil will become like a bitter curse, like cobra
   - He will not be able to enjoy what he has accumulated

21) In response to Zophar, what does Job say about the wicked? 
   - The wicked don't always suffer
   - The wicked often die of old age and have an easy death

22) While they may prosper in this life, what does Job know concerning
    the wicked? (21:30)
   - They are reserved for the day of doom, they shall be brought out
     on the day of wrath (i.e., the Judgment Day)

23) As the second cycle of speeches ends, what does he say concerning
    his friends? (21:34)
   - How can you comfort me with empty words, since falsehood remains
     in your answers?
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