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Job 4:8-9



8 Even as I have seen [ra'ah], they that plow [charash] iniquity ['aven], and sow [zara`] wickedness [`amal], reap [qatsar] the same.

9 By the blast [nashamah] of God ['elowahh] they perish ['abad], and by the breath [ruwach] of his nostrils ['aph] are they consumed [kalah]. KJV-Interlinear



8 'According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it. 9 'By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end. NASB

Eliphaz continues with his opinion. He takes what he considers as common knowledge and now makes it into a universal law or rule.

What you sow you reap. That is in fact a truth.

God disciplines and judges. That too, is a fact of truth, which applies to everyone sooner or later.

But do they apply to Job, in this situation, and if so, then for what reason?

Eliphaz further suggests, that a simple puff, a slight or gentle breathing of Gods breath, 'nashamah,' is enough to destroy His target. And the 'breath of His nostrils,' which would be considered a much more powerful blast of air, is enough to consume its target.

However, in Genesis 2:7, the first term is used to describe the exhale of God, of life, into the inhale of man, the breath of life. A gentle puff is not a term typically used for discipline. The rod and staff are more appropriate terms for discipline, guidance, or judgment.

Eliphaz describes life, according to 'what he has seen.' He implies that his personal knowledge is expanded into great and common truths, which should be known by all of humanity. Certainly Job should know this.

Eliphaz has stated that he knows of no exceptions. And yet David, when he wrote Psalm 73, describes great frustration with all of the prosperity that wicked people seem to have, and yet they don't seem to ever get punished.

Psa. 73:3

3 For I was envious of the arrogant, As I saw the prosperity of the wicked. NASB

Even when Noah stepped off the Ark, the first incident of trouble after the flood, was the incident with Ham seeing his father's nakedness, or his homosexual act, which was cursed. Ham lived on to have many children.

If Job was a contemporary of Abraham, or even if he lived prior to Abraham's time, then the world's population would have by that time, spread east to Persia and beyond, and west into Egypt. The sphinx either had been sculpted, or was in the process of being created.

Eliphaz did not seem to be the world traveler, and therefore could not have seen every possibility of human activity in the world.

Eliphaz has already drawn his conclusion regarding Job. Now he is laying out his reasons. And though he uses a great deal of truth, which the scriptures teach us, his use of them is inappropriate in the way he is applying them.

One of the very first things we all learn as young believers, it to never judge others. And by this we are talking about social judgment, not legal due process proceedings. Only God can judge. We have no right, nor do we have all of the facts, in individual situations.

God may very well apply a famine to an area in order to get people to move to another area. The book of Ruth is a great example of this. Those people in the example of our famine are not necessarily bad.

In the years surrounding 1000 A.D., the Scandinavians were in the process of migrating across the northern islands into North America. But a severe cold period set in and prevented that migration. Most think that, that severe cold was caused by the explosion of the volcano Krakatau. In hindsight we can see that it was Gods intention that the fontish, and Europe in general, were to be the principal migrants into the Americas.

Back in Job's day, what events had occurred? The Tower of Babel, perhaps. What changed? Language changed. And people began their migration out of Mesopotamia. Were they all bad? No.

Eliphaz has stated that the good are blessed and the bad are punished. He has stated that God judges, and is able to judge with just a puff of his breath. All of this is very true, in principle. But his application to Job is inappropriate.

And this is a common technique of those who wish to prove their point. It is a common politician's or debaters technique. They make many general statements of truth, then they state their point, which may or may not have anything to do with their statements.

Great basketball players are tall. Joe is tall. Joe therefore, is a great basketball player.

Does this principle hold up? No. Not all great basketball players are tall, and Joe may or may not even play the game.

General truths, or half truths, or arbitrary comments which seem reasonable, do not make a universal truth of life. Likewise, conclusions cannot be drawn until all of the facts are in.

Eliphaz implies that Job is receiving the puff of discipline from God, for his sins. And, implied, he risks the blast of Gods overwhelming judgment, unless he changes his ways.

'You think you have it bad now? Just wait until God really gets mad at you.' And so, Eliphaz is positioning himself as narrator of the events which are being played out between God and Job. Who gave Eliphaz the playbook?

Eliphaz is selectively deciding what facts apply and what facts do not. He is being subjective in his overall evaluation of Job's situation.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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