Verse 2 (“No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you”), rather than being flattery, is obvious sarcasm on Job’s part concerning his wise friends. He already knows, he tells them, about God’s great power and goodness; and he tells them in verse 3 that “I am not inferior to you.” Job seems to have had enough of their self-righteous speeches about their supposed insight into the wisdom of the ages and the wisdom of God Himself.
Concerning Job’s description of his treatment by his neighbors in verses 4-5, Coffman comments “he truly spoke of a universal trait of our fallen human nature, namely, that of despising the unfortunate.” He again disputes his friends’ assertions in verse 6 by pointing out that thieves and other ungodly people do enjoy peace and prosperity.
He then points them toward the animal kingdom, nature, and even the rest of mankind. Gentle creatures, lush forests, and righteous men are not favored by God with abundance over predators, weeds, or evil dictators. Princes, kings, and even great nations can rise quickly and just as easily fall. God, Job points out, controls all nature and everything on the earth.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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