In chapter 5, Job’s friend Eliphaz concludes his first speech. To be fair, he did point out some of Job’s good qualities. But as a real friend, he would have to rate pretty low in our esteem, when it comes to consolation. His suggestion is plain in verse 4 that Job is responsible for the deaths of his children. He then sinks to a new low – that of the high and mighty – as he proclaims how different he is from Job in verse 8, committing his cause to God. His praise of the Lord’s power and generosity smacks hard and seems shallow in the face of his continuing to rub salt in Job’s wounds.
He concludes by declaring how blessed Job should consider himself for being reproved by God and how the Lord’s discipline of him will give him redemption from his wicked ways, if only he will learn the lessons that God has surely taught him by his reproach.
Could Job’s other two friends can be a bit more sympathetic? One should hope. But Job will answer this one first.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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