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1 Then Eliphaz ['Eliyphaz] the
Temanite [Teymaniy] answered [`anah] and said ['amar],
2 Can a man [geber] be
profitable [cakan] unto God ['el], as [kiy] he that is wise [sakal] may be profitable [cakan]
unto himself? KJV-Interlinear
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite
responded, 2 'Can a vigorous man be of use to God, Or a wise man be useful to
This will be Eliphaz's final say in the
discussion. Eliphaz was the first of the
three friends. His name means 'God is
fine gold,' or 'God of strength,' with emphasis on the earthly nature of these
meanings. Eliphaz is the most prominent
of the three friends. His speeches
demonstrate greater weight and originality.
He is a Temanite, which means southerner. His arguments represent the best wisdom of the
world. His wisdom is described as the
result of ages of thought and experience, Job 15:17-19, of long and ripened
study, 5:27, and he claimed the ability of revelation earlier in the book.
Despite his claim to wisdom, Eliphaz did not listen to
Jobs words. And of the words he heard
Job say, Eliphaz heard only what he wanted to hear. Thus the nature of his wisdom and
interpretation of truth in the world.
And thus we will eventually discover that the wisdom
of this world is just that, an acceptance of whatever is convenient or
acceptable to the way we want things to be, rather than to how things really
Job has stated that his friends opinions, that the
good people of the world are blessed and that the wicked are cursed for all to
see, is not the way life is. That good people often times live a life of
suffering, and that bad people will live a life of prosperity, even all the way
to the grave.
And if you have any sense at all, then you know that
this is a true statement.
Eliphaz, rather than listening to Jobs opinion, which
is true by the way, does not look at any facts that Job could offer, but
instead misinterprets Jobs comments with even further truths, which will be
true, but will be distorted because Eliphaz is going to make wrong conclusions.
'What? Does God
have a use for vigorous men? Does God
make a deal with the wicked because He needs them? And therefore, does God in these deals, not
And more than that.
'Does a wise man, one who is wise in the things of this world, make his
own way through life? Does a worldly
wise man, figure out how to live and coexist with God, to his own advantage?'
All of these rhetorical questions command a response
of, 'No.' And so Eliphaz in his response, uses truths again, but he uses them in
ridicule or mockery of Jobs comments.
10 If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its
edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving
1 Tim. 4:8
8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but
godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present
life and also for the life to come. NASB
In this world, there are two types of wisdom. The first is academic wisdom, or it can even
be called street smart. But whether from
books or world experience, being smart can either get you ahead in life, or
help you avoid problems. Crooks use this
approach to get ahead by means of shortcuts and at the expense of others.
Non-crooks, or otherwise normal people, can use world
wisdom to help them function in life, get an education, get a job, get ahead
and so forth. Some people do this very
well and some do not. World wisdom is
good only for this world.
Then there is spiritual wisdom, which includes the
opening up of ones eyes to the wisdom of the world as well as the wisdom of
God. Spiritual wisdom is good for both
now and forever.
In either case, does God need wise men? No.
Can God function without wise men?
Yes. Does God need either you or
Some people seem to do very well in life because they
seem very smart or witty or they hustle in life. But for every man who is successful in life,
you can go out and find a million that are not.
Remember that there are only about ten-million millionaires in this
world and seven billion that are not.
That should tell you something.
But world wisdom, though it has its purpose, is
nothing when compared to spiritual wisdom.
Eliphaz is still of the mind that the wicked, or the
worldly wise, cannot have escaped suffering because of their making a deal with
God, or that God has any need of them.
And in this, Eliphaz is correct in saying that God
makes no deals, and that God has no need of people. But where he is wrong, is that just because a
person lives their life apart from God, in this life, they will not
automatically fall prey to His judgment, in this life.
Every person will die, and to some there will be a
second death, and to others there will be an evaluation. God has his priorities and His plan. In the long run, no one gets away with
anything. But just by being evil or
street smart or academically smart now, does not means an automatic sentence of
suffering in this life. Our study of
Pharaoh should have made that clear.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years
of life will be added to you. 12 If you
are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it. 13 The woman of folly is boisterous, She is
naive, and knows nothing. 14 And she
sits at the doorway of her house, On a seat by the high places of the city, 15
Calling to those who pass by, Who are making their paths straight: NASB
There will be those who will receive promotion from
God, because of Gods word in them.
Whatever you are, whatever you have, it all came courtesy of God.
Likewise, there will be those who seek to promote
themselves by means of their own attitudes and beliefs (the boisterous female). In rejecting God, they over emphasize their own
In either case, whether a person is for or against God
in their life, all they are and all they have comes courtesy of God.
Humanity cannot drive history through his own
ingenuity, talent, or ability. Humanity
cannot control his own future. God does
God does not depend on the mechanisms of humanity in
order to accomplish His plans.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
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.