While Eliphaz remains the most courteous comforter, there is a marked decline in his politeness. He dismisses Job's words as hot air and nonsense (vv. 2-3). But Job's words are not simply useless, they are harmful. Job is undercutting religion! He is discouraging devotion to God (v. 4). His words are not only sinful in themselves, they are symptomatic of a deep awareness of guilt (vv. 5-6). His protestations are prompted by his guilt.
Through several questions addressed to Job (vv. 7-9), Eliphaz seeks to show Job his arrogance (vv. 12-13) and his delusion relative to his innocence (vv. 14-16). Obviously Eliphaz is more concerned with his traditional theology than with Job.
Eliphaz again presents his favorite theme—the ultimate fate of the wicked (vv. 17-35). What is that fate? Suffering and pain. Any prosperity is at best temporary (vv. 27-29) and is not fully enjoyed because of the realization that retribution is imminent (vv. 22-24). Not only is Eliphaz's tirade here irrelevant and inapplicable, it is clearly incorrect. All too often the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer. The psalmist presents a more realistic and accurate picture than the one given by Eliphaz (Ps 73).
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