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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Job 22

Verses 1-5

God’s disinterest in Job 22:1-5

Job 22:2 should end "Him" (i.e., God) rather than "himself" (i.e., the wise man).

These verses reveal Eliphaz’s very deficient concept of God. To him, God did not delight in fellowship with man or in blessing man. His only reason for intervening in life was to punish people when they misbehaved. Many people today share this unfortunate view of God. Truly God does not need people, but He delights in our righteousness and fellowship, and He loves us.

Verses 1-23

D. The Third cycle of Speeches between Job and His Three Friends chs. 22-27

In round one of the debate Job’s friends probed his intellect, and in round two they probed his conscience. In round three they probed specific issues.

"The lamentable fact is that the friends endorsed Satan’s view of Job as a hypocrite. Thinking to defend God, they became Satan’s advocates, insisting that he whom God designated as His servant belonged to the devil." [Note: Kline, p. 477.]

We could summarize the criticisms of Job’s three companions in their speeches as follows.

CycleAccusation against Job
First"You are a sinner and need to repent."
Second"You are wicked and God is punishing you."
Third"You have committed these specific sins."

Verses 1-30

1. Eliphaz’s third speech ch. 22

In his third speech Eliphaz was even more discourteous than he had been previously.

"He [Eliphaz] made three serious accusations against Job: he is a sinner (Job 22:1-11), he is hiding his sins (Job 22:12-20), and he must confess his sins and repent before God can help him (Job 22:21-30)." [Note: Wiersbe, p. 47.]

Verses 6-11

Job’s social sins 22:6-11

Job 22:8 probably reflects what Eliphaz thought Job’s attitude was. Eliphaz implied that Job arrogantly believed the strong, respected man of the world, not the godly man, is the one who controls others and dominates those around him. [Note: Gordis, p. 180.] Were Eliphaz’s accusations valid? Were these sins Job had really committed? Job denied them in Job 31:16-22.

Verses 12-20

Job’s spiritual defiance 22:12-20

Eliphaz proceeded next to judge Job’s motives. He assumed Job had concluded that because God was far away in heaven, he would get away with sin on earth. However, Job had affirmed God’s omniscience (Job 21:22).

"Presuming to read Job’s secret thoughts, Eliphaz puts in Job’s mouth blasphemies untrue to the sentiments he has actually expressed (Job 22:12-14)." [Note: Kline, p. 478.]

Perhaps Eliphaz had in mind the wicked of Noah’s generation in Job 22:15-16. In Job 22:18 a Eliphaz seems to be admitting that some of the wicked do prosper temporarily. In his view, Job had been one of these fortunate individuals.

Verses 21-30

Job’s need to repent 22:21-30

This appeal sounds almost tender. However, Eliphaz had been very condemning in what he had just accused Job of doing and thinking. Job did not need to repent, as Eliphaz suggested (Job 22:23). He was not suffering because he had sinned greatly.

We should not use this type of approach when appealing to the unsaved today because God does not require reformation before He will accept a sinner. Furthermore, He does not promise physical prosperity to those who repent. Again, Eliphaz’s basic retribution theology led him to misrepresent God and misunderstand life.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Job 22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/job-22.html. 2012.