Chapter 22 begins what is known as the third cycle of speeches in the Book of Job, and this chapter contains Eliphaz’s last attempt at breaking Job’s resolve to claim his innocence. By now, Zophar has apparently dropped out of the argument, and Bildad will begin another short variance in position during this cycle. But it is Eliphaz who, here in this chapter, launches the most vicious attack yet. Interestingly enough, all three men by their attacks on Job, have sincerely believed that they were defending God by doing so.
But Eliphaz, unable to think of any way to “put Job in his place” by any other means, resorts to wildly false accusation using nothing more than an imagination fueled by jealousy and vindictiveness. It is truly shameful and tasteless, but clearly this locomotive is mercifully expelling its last bit of steam, and all four will sit back and wonder at their own positions throughout the previous debates. Job’s “friends” will have the most to consider in that respect.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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