Daily Arts Web Nucleus
Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links
2018 April 27
The Cloisters, San Lorenzo fuori le mura (1824)
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853)
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art
[ Illustration: I have chosen today's painting of a cloister to represent Elihu's arrogant self-congratulation as if he were qualified to be the headmaster of a cloister of students of morality and wisdom. ]
[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no chapters will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]
Explanation: In Job 34, Elihu continues his speech, accusing Job of making unjust accusations against God. In this he was partially correct. However, he claimed too much for himself, professing moral wisdom which he did not possess. Moreover, he invited Job and Job's three other accusers to imbibe his wisdom. In a sense he was inviting them to receive moral instruction from him -- to be, as it were, a small cloister with him as the chief giver of moral understanding.
Having paused in the previous chapter to allow Job to reply, and receiving no answer, Elihu continues his discourse (1).
He addresses Job's accusers, asking them to judge properly and know what is good, referring to his supposedly superior wisdom. He reminds them that Job claimed to be righteous and said that God had taken away his judgment and that he had an incurable wound though he had not transgressed (2-6).
These ideas, in a form somewhat different than Elihu construed them, can be found in the following passages, among others: Job 13:18; Job 13:23; Job 14:17; Job 23:10-11; Job 27:2; Job 27:6. Elihu was aghast that Job could drink up the scorn of his accusers as if he were drinking water (7).
What Elihu failed to recognize, however, was that Job had begun his affliction with a strong sense of his integrity because he was so scrupulous in his obedience that even God commended him ( Job 1:1, 8, 22 and Job 2:3, 9-10). And, after a thorough, but misguided attempt by his friends to convict him of sin, Job came away even more convinced that he was the man of integrity he had always attempted to be. He was not sinless; and he knew that he was not sinless (Job 7:20; Job 13:26). But he also knew that the effect (his destruction) did not equal the cause (the kinds of sins which would have merited destruction). So Job's capacity to receive scorn came from his sense of integrity, not from some unfathomable insensitivity, as Elihu may have supposed.
Elihu's next accusation was that Job was a partaker with those who practice iniquity and wickedness because Job had said, "It profits a man nothing that he should delight himself with God." Job said something similar in Job 9:22, "It is all one; therefore I say, 'He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.'" (ESV). However, the context shows that he considered this a mystery, not a proof that it was unprofitable to serve God (8-9).
Elihu then said that it was far from God to commit wickedness or iniquity. He would reward men according to their deeds and would not pervert justice. God is in charge of the earth; and when he gathers man's spirit, man returns to dust (10-15).
Elihu then accused Job of condemning God; and he reminded Job that, as it was not fit to call a king or a prince wicked or ungodly, so it was far less appropriate to accuse God who does not accept the persons of princes, nor does he regard the rich more than the poor because he made them all, nor is he restrained from taking them away in a moment regardless of how mighty they may be. (16-20).
God, as Elihu noted, knew everything which men did; they could not hide in darkness, not even in the shadow of death. Moreover, he would not do anything to man that was not right (21-23).
This is correct, but God later showed Job and the others that the just and the right thing is not as easily defined as they were assuming it to be. He said, "Will you also disannul my judgment? will you condemn me, that you may be righteous?" (Job 40:8). This statement must be understood in light of God's previous words at the beginning of the book, stating that he had destroyed Job "without cause" (Job 2:3). Simply stated, God's dealings with us go beyond issues of merit and demerit; God brings things to us and upon us for just and righteous reasons which have nothing to do with issues of merit; they are hidden in his secret counsels which, if explained to us, we would not have the capacity to understand. That is a key concept which God infused into the mind and heart of Job later in the book.
Elihu noted that God overpowers mighty men and replaces them with others. He knows their works and destroys them secretly in the night, or openly before others, because they rejected him and would not help the poor and the afflicted. And when God gives someone quietness, no one can cause trouble for them; but when he hides his face no one can find him, whether it is a nation or an individual. He does this to stop the hypocrite from reigning in an evil manner by ensnaring the people (24-30).
Elihu said that it was suitable to acknowledge that we have been chastised and to promise to stop offending God. We should ask God to teach us those things which we cannot see; and we should promise God that we would go and sin no more (31-32).
Ironically, Job had said almost those exact words to God earlier in the book: "How many are my iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin" (Job 13:23). For Elihu to ignore this or to forget it weakens his argument greatly. It reveals, not a mind set on truth or on wisdom, but a mind set on a prejudice -- a presumption of guilt, in this case -- which will admit only those facts which conform to the premise. Such flaws occur throughout the discourse of Elihu. They weaken his case; and it is probably the recognition of these flaws (not intimidation) that was the main factor which stopped Job from replying to Elihu. Job had already stated his case clearly and forcefully and was not moved to restate it.
Elihu then asks Job if God will recompense Job in accord with what Job thinks is right. He challenges him to speak and invites men of understanding to speak. He says that Job has spoken without knowledge and wisdom (a charge leveled later by God Himself against Job). Also Elihu hopes that Job will be put on trial for speaking like wicked men speak and multiplying his words against God (33-37).
[ Sermons: Joseph Pipa 1. Joseph Pipa 2. Various. ]
Bile Chronologies -- Genesis to Revelation
[Traditional Patriarchal Chronology. Judges Period Chronology 1. Judges Period Chronology 2. Kings of Judah and Israel #1. Kings of Judah and Israel #2].
[Intertestamental Period Chronology 1. Intertestamental Period Chronology 2. Intertestamental Period Chronology 3.
Intertestamental Period Chronology 4. Intertestamental Period Chronology 5.]
[New Testament Chronology 1. New Testament Chronology 2. New Testament Chronology 3. New Testament Chronology 4. New Testament Chronology 5.]
PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.
[ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: Job 34: Job 32; Job 33; Job 35; Job 36; Job 37. ].
 Job 12:11.
 Job 13:18-19; Job 27:2.
 Job 13:18-19; Job 27:2; Job 16:11; Job 17:1; Job 16:17.
 Job 11:3; Job 15:16.
 Job 15:4-5; Job 22:15.
 Job 9:20-22; Job 9:30-31; Job 10:6-7; Job 10:14-15; Job 22:3; Job 22:21.
 Genesis 18:25.
 John 10:12-13.
 Genesis 3:19.
 Psalm 137:5.
 Exodus 12:29.
 Job 24:13-16.
 Job 34:20.
-- From Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers ]
[ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]
[ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]
[ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]
HARMONY OF THE LAW
Gospel Harmony - Summary | The Harmony of the Gospels - Augustine | Gospel Harmony Chart - Online Bible
Greek Harmony of the Gospels - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF) | Gospel Harmony in English - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF)
HEBREW AND GREEK INTERLINEAR BIBLES
Job Detailed Outline
The Book of Job
(THE JUSTICE AND THE WISDOM OF THE COVENANT GOD)
2085 B.C., Uz
The wisdom and blessing of exercising faith during undeserved suffering
Map 1: Bible Nations | Map 2: Empire of David and Solomon Map 3: Kingdoms of Judah and Israel | Post Exile Chronology.
2. The Debate About Job's Affliction (Job 2:11 - Job 37:24)
c. Round 3 (Job 22:1 - Job 31:40)
1). Eliphaz Replies to Job (Job 22:1 - Job 22:30)
(You have done evil to others; return to God.)
2). Job Replies to Eliphaz (Job 23:1 - Job 24:6 )
(If I could come before God I could persuade him of my innocence.
Some of those who know God perish as do some of the wicked.)
3). Bildad Replies to Job (Job 25:1 - Job 25:6 )
(How can anyone be righteous?)
4). Job Replies to Bildad (Job 26:1 - Job 31:40)
(You have been of no help.
God has denied me justice.
May my enemies be like the wicked who perish suddenly.
Man does not understand wisdom.
I long for my past blessings, but mockers surround me.
I have obeyed God.)
2. The Monologue of Elihu (Job 32:1 - Job 37:24)
God alone is just.
Your sins do not hurt him, and your righteousness does not profit him.
You have no right to demand a trial before God. God is beyond our reach and exalted in power.
Tomorrow's Picture: TBA
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copyright 2018, Scott Souza