In the days of Job, God had not yet torn a remnant from the peoples of the world as he would later, beginning with the lineage of Abraham. From Abraham’s descendants the Israelite nation was born. Judaism sprang from God’s covenant with Abraham’s descendants, and the restrictions he placed upon them.
Job lived in the land of Uz. Today, that land is most likely part of the country Jordan.
His three friends were Eliphaz, from the land of Teman, also in modern day Jordan and Bildad and Zophar from the surrounding desert lands of Arabia. They sat with Job and listened to his complaints.
Of course, Job wasn’t merely complaining out of inconvenience; he wasn’t whining about a minor illness, or even a serious one, for that matter. Job was in emotional and physical torment. His children had been killed and his servants murdered. All of his livelihood had been stripped from him. His body was ravaged with excoriating , debilitating pain. Instead of comforting him and being supportive, Job’s wife neglected and belittled him.
Job felt that God had abandoned him. He believed that God was unjustly punishing him. Evil people, guilty of terrible crimes who flourished while he suffered, ran rampant in his mind. He cried out to God, demanding to know why?
Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar where offended by Job’s demand. They believed that he was guilty of a some terrible offense and that God was punishing him for it. They told Job so.
None of them cursed God. But all of them spoke for God. All of them speculated how God feels, how he acts and how he reacts. They all, to varying degrees, put themselves in the place of God.
After they had had their say, opining, one to another, a whirlwind appeared to them. The voice of God thundered from it.
Who is this who obscures My counsel
with ignorant Words?
Get ready to answer Me like a man;
When I question you,
you will inform Me.
Where were you you when I established the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who fixed its dimensions?
Certainly you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
What Supports its foundations? –Job 38:2-6
Then God spoke a long and glorious discourse about the wonders and mysteries of his creation. He spoke of separating light from darkness, the earth from the ocean. He spoke of his animal kingdom and the wondrous, magnificent instincts that he bestowed on the species of the world.
He spoke lovingly of creatures that have become extinct: the fierce and powerful Behemoth, so muscular and mighty, yet at peace with all of nature, so indestructible no mortal hunter could bring him down, and the sea monster Leviathan, so huge and ferocious that he could never be taken by fleets of ships, so terrifying with rows of razor teeth that the mere sight of him would cause a sailor to faint, and yet his closely woven scales, beautiful and gleaming, turned the water glorious silver as he passed.
God spoke of many things and many mysteries. And he spoke of the constellations Pleiades and and Orion and their science.
Can you fasten the chains
of the Pleiades
or loosen the belt of Orion?
Can you bring out the constellations
in their season
and lead the Bear and her cubs.–Job 38: 31-32
“Astronomers today know that the Pleiades is a gravitationally-bound star cluster. All the stars of the Pleiades are moving in the same direction across the sky at the same speed. In contrast, Orion’s stars are not gravitationally-bound; they are gradually moving away from each other.”–William T. Pelletier, Ph.D. (of Mathmatics)
To be cont’d…