Job 22-27 — Third Cycle of Speeches

September 23, 2011

It is not a complete cycle.  Eliphaz’s speech is shorter than his previous two (Job 22), Bildad’s speech is the shortest in the whole dialogue (Job 25), and Zophar does not even speak. The friends are clearly exasperated and Job, too, is done with them. One might say they are no longer “friends.” The Friends […]


Job 15-21 — The Second Cycle of Speeches

September 21, 2011

[Given time constraints in class–we will also cover Ecclesiastes this semester–the second (Job 15-21) and third speech (Job 22-27) cycles are only allotted one class period each.  Hopefully, at some point in the future, I will have opportunity to expand my posts on the these two cycles. But for now…this is what I have time […]


Job 12-14: “You’re Kidding, Right?”

September 20, 2011

Perhaps a good word to describe Job’s reaction is….incredulous. Did Zophar just say what he did? “Did I hear him right?” Job might have thought. Job cannot convince his own friends that the tables have been turned on him. While once he “called upon God and he answered” and “though righteous and blameless [integrity],” now […]


Job 11: “God Has Given You Less Than You Deserve.”

September 19, 2011

Zophar is seething. He can’t stand it.  Does Job really think he can dispute with God? Zophar’s zeal for the righteousness of God demands that he “rebuke” this mocker.  “Will no one rebuke you,” Zophar retorts, “when you mock?” (11:3b). Zophar’s speech may be divided into three sections:  (1) his rebuke of Job’s insolence (11:2-6), […]


Job 9-10: Dissing Bildad, Confronting God

September 17, 2011

Who can contend with God?  No one, Job answers (9:3). But the problem is that God is contending with (prosecuting) Job (10:2). His response to Bildad is not direct. As I read him, he basically replies to Bildad’s first question.  It is enough to set Job on fire–”How long will you say such things? Your words […]


Job 8: Bildad Takes a Stab at Job

September 16, 2011

Whatever God does is just. God destroyed your life. Therefore, you deserved it.  That is a summary of Bildad’s response to Job’s harrowing lament and plea for wisdom as well as sympathy from his friends in Job 6-7. The hidden premise is that God only destroys the life of the wicked. Somebody, somewhere sinned. With shocking […]


Job 6-7: Job Responds to Eliphaz

September 15, 2011

Is this how you react, Job asks, to a “despairing man”?  Whoever withholds “kindness” from a friend, according to Job, “forsake[s] the fear of the Almighty” (Job 6:14). Job did not give up the fear of God but Eliphaz did not practice it in how he has approached Job in his suffering. Job’s response to […]


Job 3: Sometimes It Has to Be Said

September 13, 2011

The narrator provides the frame of mind with which to read this magnificent and stunning poem—rather than cursing God (which is what the satan expected), Job curses the day of his birth. The narrator’s introduction underscores that the satan was wrong about Job. At the same time, Job wishes he had never been born or at […]


The Prologue of Job: The Structured Story

September 9, 2011

The story narrated by the Prologue is symmetrical and artistic.  It is neatly structured into two encounters between Yahweh and Satan bounded by an introductory affirmation of Job’s character and a concluding mourning with friends.  We may outline it in this manner. A. Introduction: Job’s Character (1:1-5) B.  First Encounter between Yahweh and Satan (1:6-12) […]


Reading Job: A Structural Guide

August 31, 2011

This semester at Lipscomb I am teaching an intensive Bible Major class on Job and Ecclesiastes. I am excited about the class and literally am sitting on the edge of my seat to see what God does every class period with myself and sixteen students. Over the semester, I hope to blog a bit about […]