Eliphaz speaks a second time to Job and is more aggressive than the first.
I’m guessing he took offence at Job saying he was not inferior to his friends, because he doubles down on attacking Job for a mixture of arrogance and corruption.
I’ll talk through the flow of his argument, because I’m struggling to follow a bit at this point.
First he says that wise people don’t do what he does: speak empty words that drag other people down. We are being shown that Eliphaz finds Job’s questioning an offence and a threat.
He claims the elders. He says they are on his side … So where could have Job’s attitude have come from? He’s marginalising him.
He gets theological, but unfairly so by saying only God can be righteous and pure, when Job has already agreed he’s not perfect.
To this theological point he adds the elder’s traditional teaching that bad people get bad things..
If evil people seem to be thriving, it’s an illusion. It will all fall apart, they’ll get theirs.
He doesn’t once refer to the Job’s suffering personally or directly. Job has made a very emotional appeal. Eliphaz’s response is impersonal.
Empathy is a luxury for the unthreatened. Because simply acknowledging the seeming injustice Job is suffering would threaten his world view, he can’t. He throws up religion, tradition and majority consensus to justify switching off from job.
It is so still thus. Very easy to view this as an indigenous story. And to relate it to the demonization of refugees and immigrants, or the ‘other’ whatever form that may take. Eliphaz started out sounding more sympathetic, but underneath was this resistant hardness.
Suffering a touch of Monday-itis. What will the week bring? Have a fun trip to wyong to look forward to on Wednesday, and a few other nice things. And Kelly will finish all her assessments.
Speaking to me from the passage is the need to respond to the things in front of you. What you encounter. The good you can do now, like Jesus did. Don’t close yourself to the moment.
Rattling round in my head is a Christian thinker who claimed in a video last week that all human creativity and achievement is social, relational. I’m feeling like I’m too much of an island.