In spite of the harshness of Eliphaz’s last speech, Job chooses to ignore it. Perhaps he had grown weary of the effort. That seems to be the case with Bildad and Zophar, as they have become silent. Instead, Job returns to voicing his wish to lay his case out to God – so sure was he that he is innocent of grievous sin. Note that Job does not consider himself to be without sin at all. He simply is convicted that he is innocent enough that his judge (God) would acquit him of whatever sins are imagined against him.
But though he remains steadfast in his belief that he has not departed from the words of the Lord, his fear of God is fierce, and the last few lines are the most poetic of the chapter:
Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.
God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;
yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
nor because thick darkness covers my face.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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