A commenter pointed out that Job basically had a great time with God in the past two chapters.
God continues to ask rhetorical questions the chapter, but he brings the teaching home more specifically to Job. It’s a still gentle, non attacking approach as I read it.
God pretty much asks job if he agrees, after they’ve looked at many wonders of creation and nature together, that they can’t really have the discussion job wants to have, where he lays out his case against God and God defends himself. It’s just not appropriate. God can ask the questions, not Job.
And job agrees. He covers his mouth, he has no answer to the questions God has posed. He’s speaking completely differently now, he understands he’s not as big of a deal as he thought he was, but equally that he is not forgotten. At the centre of this vast evolving tapestry of life and creation, God is patiently guiding him in love.
God says, when job understands and can share the rules of life and death, judgement, the role his wrath plays, then they will be able to discuss his case as equals.
He compares Jobs strength to a hippopotamus (most likely… A bit unclear).
This is a bit like those photos that include something for scale. Hippopotamus included for scale. Job much weaker and smaller, not a chance of controlling it. God much stronger. Made the hippo.
Again, a very clear and non judgemental way of demonstrating to job that they simply can’t have the conversation he wanted to have.
In the era of the tweet, the 42 chapter poem of Job is paced more majestically than I’m used to. But it’s certainly effective, I’ve gone on the journey.
I could see where the friends were coming from, I thought job had a point, but God has effectively shut me up without alienating me. Quite the reverse.