Occasionally, it seems difficult to know when to take some of the conversations between Job and the three guests at face value. In this case, the first few verses appear to be full of sarcastic irony – particularly verse 4 (“With whose help have you uttered words,and whose breath has come out from you?”). It really feels like Job is asking if they came up with these “brilliant conclusions” about man and his relationship to God all by themselves.
Job then demonstrates his own insight into the awesome power of the Lord. “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.” He makes the clouds, filling them with downpours of rain, and they hold together until he wills it to be released (“He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them”). He continues his poetic illustrations of God’s mighty power with references to the moon, the heavens, and the seas. He knows that God is ruler over all creation, but he still believes that the Lord has been unfair about justice where Job himself is concerned. Still, he refuses to speak of Him in an openly disrespectful manner.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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