JOB 22: Eliphaz Accuses Job of Vice- Eliphaz Exhorts Job to Be Strong
Job 22 Study Notes
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
“Can a man be profitable to God,
Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself?
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous?
Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?”
According to the Notes of (GrgGt) we get a summary of vv. 1-30- "Eliphaz went from a dead heart to idle words, and from idle words to the sin of lying, and from lying to insults and abuse. These are the descents of increasing sin."
Job 22:2: “Can a man be profitable to God,
Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself?
According to commentary of the Orthodox Study Bible for v. 2- (GrgGt)- notes when prideful people know they are going to lose the argument, they often repeat what is already known, "lest, by holding their tongue, they should appear to be defeated."
Summary of vv. 1-3 here in Job 22-
“Is he not simply arguing the case for the self-sufficiency of God? God needs nothing; God lacks nothing. Since God is already absolutely perfect, He did not create man out of any personal deficiency or compulsion, and therefore man cannot give anything to God. This is standard orthodox doctrine.” (Mason)
We also see in v. 3- that Eliphaz is accusing Job of being arrogant
i. In one aspect, Eliphaz certainly had correct theology; God does not “need” Job in the way Job needs God. Nevertheless, Eliphaz’s application of this principle was wrong in this context, because it was indeed apleasure to the Almighty that Job was righteous (as seen in Job 1-2). According to those first two chapters, it was indeed a gain to Him that Job made his ways blameless.
ii. Earlier (as recorded in Job 11), Zophar objected to Job’s complaint on what one might today call the grounds of Calvinistic or Reformed theology. Here, Eliphaz took up an argument upon similar lines. It was as if he said, “Job, God is sovereign and self-existent. He needs nothing of you and owes you absolutely nothing. God takes no pleasure in your imperfect righteousness, and it is no gain to Him that you are considered blameless.” Though there is certainly some merit in this theology, it does not apply to every context, and it did not apply to Job in his context. Link: https://www.blueletterbible.org/comm/guzik_david/study-guide/job/job-22.cfm
“Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you,
And enters into judgment with you?
Is not your wickedness great,
And your iniquity without end?
For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason,
And stripped the naked of their clothing.
You have not given the weary water to drink,
And you have withheld bread from the hungry.
But the mighty man possessed the land,
And the honorable man dwelt in it.
You have sent widows away empty,
And the strength of the fatherless was crushed.
Therefore snares are all around you,
And sudden fear troubles you,
Or darkness so that you cannot see;
And an abundance of water covers you.”
We see in vv. 4-11- We see that Eliphaz is describing Job's great wickedness, I see Eliphaz like most hypocrites they love to rant and hear themselves and their own hypocrisy.
“Is not God in the height of heaven?And see the highest stars, how lofty they are!And you say, ‘What does God know?Can He judge through the deep darkness?Thick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see,And He walks above the circle of heaven.’Will you keep to the old wayWhich wicked men have trod,Who were cut down before their time,Whose foundations were swept away by a flood?They said to God, ‘Depart from us!What can the Almighty do to them?’Yet He filled their houses with good things;But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.”
“The righteous see it and are glad,And the innocent laugh at them:‘Surely our adversaries are cut down,And the fire consumes their remnant.’”
We see in vv. 12-20- We see Eliphaz attacking Job's theology and is a contrast between the wicked and the righteous.
i. “Sarcastically, he asks Job if he plans to continue going in the wrong direction — along the path of the wicked. He says this same path that Job is now traveling led to the drowning of an entire generation in Noah’s day ‘by a river,’ a reference to the Flood.” (Lawson)
ii. John Trapp suggested another idea: “This some understand of that river of brimstone and fire poured from heaven upon Sodom and her sisters; but better take it of those in Noah’s days.”
iii. “The oft-used images of darkness and flood of water are also applied to Job, for these are the best examples of God’s judgment, even though they do not match the events of chapters 1 and 2.” (Andersen)
“Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace;
Thereby good will come to you.
Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;
You will remove iniquity far from your tents.
Then you will lay your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
Yes, the Almighty will be your gold
And your precious silver;
For then you will have your delight in the Almighty,
And lift up your face to God.
You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways.
When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come!’
Then He will save the humble person.
He will even deliver one who is not innocent;
Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”
We see in vv. 21-30- Eliphaz gives Job the advice to stay strong in the Lord.
Job 22:23: "if you return and humble yourself before the Lord, you have caused wrongdoing to be far from your dwelling."
We see Eliphaz failing to realize that it was of Job's righteous deeds that he was afflicted in the first place and was subjected to this test (see Job 1:12)
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has isin your [a]power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Satan’s will is of his own will, and derives his power from God, who does not allow him to act except with justice, according to St. John Chrysostom (https://orthodoxwiki.org/John_Chrysostom). Hard times make men stronger so we should always glorify in our tribulations, because God is our seal. (Luke 8:32-33) teaches us that even the evil spirits fear Yeshua (Jesus), cast them out and send them into a great herd of swine.
Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So, they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
"A Three-point closeout"
i. “It is a tribute to his own spirituality that, whereas in Job 5:17-26 he had emphasized the material advantages of religion, here intimacy with God and success in prayer are of chief importance. While it is hurtful to remember that Job has already made these his supreme values, the irony will be felt at the end when Eliphaz will be the chief beneficiary of Job’s power as an intercessor (Job 42:8).” (Andersen)
ii. “Great and wonderful words are these. Had Eliphaz applied them to himself he would have found that his own imperfect acquaintance with God was the reason why he was not able to bring any real comfort to his suffering friend.” (Morgan)
iii. “Thus ends Eliphaz the Temanite, who began with a tissue of the bitterest charges, continued with the cruelest insinuations, and ended with common-place exhortations to repentance, and promises of secular blessings in consequence.” (Clarke)