Thursday, June 24, 2010

Job Picture 9

Eliphaz answers Job:

"12 "A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it.

13 Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on men,

14 fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake.

15 A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end.

16 It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice:

17 'Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?" (Job 4:12-17)

Is 'Eliphaz' one of Job's buddies or something that came up out of his unconscious? Is it an outward or an inner experience; you can play it either way.

Edinger (41) calls it "a numinous dream of Job's, which is being recalled in his active imagination. It is a kind of dream prelude to the later full encounter with Yahweh."

So what does that mean to the ordinary lowbrow? Edinger is suggesting that something is going on in Job's mind (although it's ostensibly an event in neighbor Eliphaz's life).

Look at the Book of Job as a whole, and this obviously portends the appearance of the Eternal in Job's life.

"Was ever any man found blameless in the presence of God, or faultless in the presence of his maker." (Job 12:16 in the Jerusalem Bible) The writer of Job may have had in mind this verse from Psalm 14 (or any one of several passages with a similar sense): "1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."

The 'voice' Eliphaz heard leads Job to a comprehension that he is not as righteous as he thought he was; I wonder if that doesn't happen to all of us sooner or later.

The O.T., especially the Book of Psalms reiterates the idea that if you obey God and keep his commandments, all will go well. Job through painful experience found that that isn't necessarily true, as do we all sooner or later. So what was the outcome? Read on!

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