Job's Friends Part 1: Eliphaz
Job's Friends Part 1: Eliphaz
Welcome to a behind-the-scenes look at the research and artwork that goes into making each scene of iBIBLE. Let's take a look at Job's friend, Eliphaz.
Job’s friends have seen him suffer horribly, and they gather to try to comfort him. From chapters 4 to 31, Job conversed with his friends about the meaning of suffering. Ultimately the theories of his friends were unsatisfactory and aligned with some of the same theories people often have today.
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.
And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward Heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. (Job 2: 11-13)
Answers to earthy troubles are often found by looking to Heaven. We looked at this in last week's post. Job’s friends, however, looked to their own understanding.
First, we look at Eliphaz the Tenamite
Eliphaz the Tenamite
Eliphaz has three dialogues with Job, which, according to Maimonides (a highly respected medieval scholar), represent the rabbinic tradition that “Job is being punished for his sins."
The Conclusions of Eliphaz:
1: The innocent prosper. Job is not prospering.
Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. (Job 4:7-8)
2: Job does not fear God.
But you are doing away with the fear of God and hindering meditation before God. (Job 15:4)
3: Job’s sin is great.
Is not your evil abundant? There is no end to your iniquities. (Job 22:5)
To Eliphaz, Job has sinned, and Job is being punished. He has taken the position that the severity of Job’s suffering must mean that Job has committed some grievous sin. God is punishing Job.
Eliphaz certainly meant well; however, his conclusions of why God was allowing Job to suffer and how to end the suffering, were based on his pre-conceived beliefs of who God was and his human understanding. He possessed no spiritual insight into God’s dealing with Job, and his words offered no comfort.
Job answers Eliphaz defending his integrity before God
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food. (Job 23:10-12)
As we go through producing the book of Job in iBIBLE, we grow to appreciate the magnificence and relevance of God’s Word. We can see, even in the oldest books of the Bible, the flaws in our human ways of thinking and our need to seek answers from God—leaning not on our own understanding.
There are books of the Bible that are hard to understand or accept as we face our own trials and tribulations, and we can find it easier to set aside the Old Testament and these other more difficult books; however, the Biblical narrative (including the events that may be more difficult to understand) weave a beautiful tapestry of God’s plan to restore and redeem His perfect creation!
As we continue to work on iBIBLE, we seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to help us bring all the truths in the Scriptures to their proper portrayal. Thank you for helping RevelationMedia bring iBIBLE to the world! This is a God-sized project, and it is only possible with the support of individuals and families like you.