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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Job 22

Verses 1-30

The Third Series of Controversies

CHAPTER 22 The Third Address of Eliphaz

1. Is not thy wickedness great? (Job 22:1-5 )

2. In what Job had sinned (Job 22:6-11 )

3. The omniscience of God and the ways of the wicked (Job 22:12-20 )

4. Eliphaz’s exhortation and promise (Job 22:21-30 )

Job 22:1-5 . The third cycle of addresses begins again with Eliphaz, the wise man from Teman. He tries to maintain his dignity and lofty conception, but he proves too well that Job’s accusation of insincerity is well-founded. He starts out with reminding Job of the majesty of God. Can then a man be profitable to God? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty when thou art righteous? Or does He gain anything by it if thou art perfect in thy ways? Since then God has no interest in man’s righteousness, and He cannot punish Job for his righteousness, he draws the conclusion that Job is a great sinner. Is not thy wickedness great? Neither is there an end to thine iniquities.

Job 22:6-11 . And now having made the assertion, according to his logical conclusions, he attempts to show that Job not alone must have sinned, but in what his sin consists. He charges him with avarice, with cruelty, with dealing in a heartless way with widows and with the fatherless. Then he tells Job that is “why these snares are around thee and thou art covered with darkness and with the waters of affliction.” The astonishing thing is that every word of what Eliphaz says is a lying invention. Job later gives the most positive proof that all was a concoction of falsehoods. The Word of the Lord concerning Job shows up Eliphaz as a miserable liar, for the Lord had said concerning Job, “there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man.” Would the Lord have spoken this if Job had outraged the laws of humanitarianism and withheld water and bread from the destitute or stripped the naked of their clothing? But how could Eliphaz ever stoop so low? It was but the result of his iniquitous logic. Job must be a sinner; he is a wicked man and without any real facts he draws his conclusions that Job must have done these things and charges him positively with it. The same fatal logic is still with us. Evil, for instance, comes upon a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ; he passeth through affliction, sorrow upon sorrow comes upon him, then someone suggests that his life must be wrong and the slanderous tongue soon charges some specific evil.

Job 22:12-20 . Eliphaz speaks next of God’s omniscience and then again brings in the favoured theme of himself and his friends, the wicked and their defiance of God. Then in self-righteousness he declares--”But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.” Strange it is this word which came from Job’s lips first (Job 21:16 ). Evidently Eliphaz repeats this phrase to mock and to insult Job.

Job 22:21-30 . Once more as before he turns exhorter. Acquaint now thyself with Him and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee. He gives him instruction what he is to do, and what God will do for him if he acts upon his advice. But while the exhortations are all proper, they are altogether out of place with Job. For if Job acted upon this advice and would repent according to Eliphaz’s demand he would by doing so assent to the false and lying accusations of his three friends. He would acknowledge himself the wicked man they had made him out to be. What he says as to restoration is almost prophetic of what should come to Job in blessing at the close of his trial.

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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Job 22". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.