Job 34: This is the start of Elihu’s second speech. He initially addresses the three friends and then turns to Job again. In his statements to the friends he pretty much argues that God doesn’t do evil things, God doesn’t sin. Instead, God “repays people based on what they do, paying back everyone according to their ways” (34:11). He argues that God doesn’t do wicked things or distorts justice. In essence, he seems to be agreeing with the friends.
Job 31: This chapter marks the end of Job’s tenth speech. In this chapter he asks God to directly face him. Job actually declares an oath, declaring his innocence against seven possible charges: “deceit (vv. 5–8), adultery (vv. 9–12), disregard of servants (vv. 13–15), disregard of the poor (vv. 16–23), trust in wealth (vv. 24–28), rejoicing at the misfortune of others (vv. 29–34), and assault on the land (vv. 38–40b)” (NRSV Study Bible notes, p. 757). In essence, Job is presenting his case again. He is so confident he is right that he says he is willing to accept punishment if he is lying.
I had a great chat last week with Father Kevin. It’s been a while since we talked, but it felt good to share how this is all going. I mentioned the idea of writing a book someday and how I’ve noticed that at the foundation of all of this is asking questions. It’s important for us to ask questions while reading the Bible as well as questions associated with religion. And guess what…it’s also important for us to ask questions in science too. This is not to argue that science and religion are the same, but perhaps if people started to view religion with this mindset then maybe not everyone would leave. Just throwing ideas out there now.
Job 22: Third cycle begins. This time, only Eliphaz and Bildad speak followed by Job’s responses. Here we see Eliphaz speak for a third time.