Job 3-42: The Dialogue

Job 3-42 is a dialogue between:

  1. Job – rebuked at the end by God
  2. Eliphaz (Job’s older friend) – rebuked at the end by God
  3. Bildad (Job’s older friend) – rebuked at the end by God
  4. Zophar (Job’s older friend) – rebuked at the end by God
  5. Elihu (Job’s younger friend) – NEVER rebuked at the end by God
  6. God

Here is my overly simplistic paraphrase of that dialogue:

Job: I wish I was never born. (ch. 3)

Eliphaz: Repent and be restored (ch. 4-5)

Job: My sin didn’t cause this (ch. 6-7)

Bildad: Repent and be restored (ch. 8)

Job: God hurts the innocent, like me (ch. 9-10)

Zophar: Repent and be restored (ch. 11)

Job: God caused this, not me (ch. 12-14)

Eliphaz: God judges the wicked (ch. 15)

Job: God caused this, not me (ch. 16-17)

Bildad: God judges the wicked (ch. 18)

Job: God did this, not me (ch. 19)

Zophar: God judges the wicked (ch. 20)

Job: God deals with people the same regardless of their righteousness (ch. 21)

Eliphaz: Repent and be restored (ch. 22)

Job: If I could get a hearing with God, he’d say I’m not guilty. My sin didn’t cause this. (ch. 23-24)

Bildad: Compared to God, all people are sinful (ch. 25)

Job: Man is clueless about God’s ways; fearing Him is the wisest thing to do. I wish He would respond when I called to Him (ch. 26-31)

Elihu, “burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.” (32:2-3)

Elihu: Job, why do you claim God doesn’t speak to you? God speaks all the time–especially to save souls. God has done no wrong here, despite what Job sinfully claims. God is not changed by man’s righteousness or wickedness. Look at God’s ways and be in awe. He is far above us, to make him understandable to us is foolish. (ch. 32-37)

God: Look around you, Job. Who holds all things together? Do you really claim I’m at fault here? (ch. 38-40:2)

Job: I’m small compared to you; I won’t answer anymore. (40:3-5)

God: Doesn’t it seem foolish to condemn Me when I am the one who overthrows the proud and strong in the world? (40:6-41)

Job: Seeing and hearing you directly makes me realize my foolishness. I repent. (42:1-6)

God: And Eliphaz, I’m upset with you and your friends for speaking wrongly of me in ways Job didn’t. Offer sacrifices and have Job pray for you that your sins would be forgiven.

“So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.” (42:9)

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