Job Chapter 30
During Job's time of Trials and Tribulations, another aspect of the wrong side of human nature beset Job - "I am a brother of jackals" (Job 30:29 RSV). Seeing his troubles, evil men gloated over him. Jesus Christ experienced the same abuse, as stated in the prophetic psalms: "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death. Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet - I can count all my bones - they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots" (Psalm 22:14-18 RSV)
"But now they make sport of me, men who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. What could I gain from the strength of their hands, men whose vigor is gone?
Through want and hard hunger they gnaw the dry and desolate ground; they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes, and to warm themselves the roots of the broom. They are driven out from among men; they shout after them as after a thief. In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell, in holes of the earth and of the rocks. Among the bushes they bray; under the nettles they huddle together. A senseless, a disreputable brood, they have been whipped out of the land.
And now I have become their song, I am a byword to them. They abhor me, they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me. Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me, they have cast off restraint in my presence. On my right hand the rabble rise, they drive me forth, they cast up against me their ways of destruction. They break up my path, they promote my calamity; no one restrains them. As through a wide breach they come; amid the crash they roll on. Terrors are turned upon me; my honor is pursued as by the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest. With violence it seizes my garment; it binds me about like the collar of my tunic. God has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes.
I cry to thee and thou dost not answer me; I stand, and thou dost not heed me. Thou hast turned cruel to me; with the might of thy hand thou dost persecute me. Thou liftest me up on the wind, thou makest me ride on it, and thou tossest me about in the roar of the storm. Yea, I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help? Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came. My heart is in turmoil, and is never still; days of affliction come to meet me. I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly, and cry for help. I am a brother of jackals, and a companion of ostriches. My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat. My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep." (Job 30:1-31 RSV)
Job Chapter 31
Job was well-aware of the basis of true righteousness, God's Timeless Ten Commandments - that have existed right from before Creation (see the Fact Finder question below).
"I have made a covenant [see Covenant and Testament] with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin? What would be my portion from God above, and my heritage from the Almighty on high [see Thou shalt not take The Lord's Name in vain]? Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity? Does not He see my ways, and number all my steps? If I have walked with falsehood [see Thou shalt not bear false witness], and my foot has hastened to deceit [see Thou shalt not steal]; Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity! If my step has turned aside from the way [see Thou shalt have no other gods before Me], and my heart has gone after my eyes, and if any spot has cleaved to my hands; then let me sow, and another eat; and let what grows for me be rooted out.
If my heart has been enticed to a woman [see Thou shalt not commit adultery], and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door; then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down upon her. For that would be a heinous crime; that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges; for that would be a fire which consumes unto Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase.
If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me; what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?
If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, or have eaten my morsel alone, and the fatherless has not eaten of it, for from his youth I reared him as a father, and from his mother's womb I guided him [see Honour thy father and thy mother]; if I have seen any one perish for lack of clothing, or a poor man without covering; if his loins have not blessed me, and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, because I saw help in the gate; then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder, and let my arm be broken from its socket. For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.
If I have made gold my trust, or called fine gold my confidence; if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, or because my hand had gotten much [see Thou shalt not covet]; if I have looked at the sun when it shone [see Sun Worship and Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy], or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand; this also would be an iniquity [see Thou shalt not make any graven image] to be punished by the judges, for I should have been false to God above.
If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him that hated me, or exulted when evil overtook him, I have not let my mouth sin by asking for his life with a curse [see Thou shalt not kill]; if the men of my tent have not said, 'Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?' the sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the wayfarer; if I have concealed my transgressions from men, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom, because I stood in great fear of the multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors.
Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my signature! let the Almighty answer me! Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as a crown; I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him.
If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept together; if I have eaten its yield without payment, and caused the death of its owners; let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley." The words of Job are ended." (Job 31:1-40 RSV)
Job Chapter 32
Job was righteous, but he was human, at times subject to the wrong kind of pride (see The Two Kinds Of Pride). In his own defense, he crossed the line into self-righteousness i.e. "he was righteous in his own eyes" (Job 32:1 RSV). When Job's three friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite) fell silent, another man, Elihu, who was younger than Job and the others, spoke up.
"So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he became angry.
And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered: "I am young in years, and you are aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you. I said, 'Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.' But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty [see The Spirit Of God and Giving Up The Ghost], that makes him understand. It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right.
Therefore I say, 'Listen to me; let me also declare my opinion.' "Behold, I waited for your words, I listened for your wise sayings, while you searched out what to say. I gave you my attention, and, behold, there was none that confuted Job, or that answered his words, among you. Beware lest you say, 'We have found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not man.' He has not directed his words against me, and I will not answer him with your speeches.
They are discomfited, they answer no more; they have not a word to say. And shall I wait, because they do not speak, because they stand there, and answer no more? I also will give my answer; I also will declare my opinion. For I am full of words, the spirit within me constrains me. Behold, my heart is like wine that has no vent; like new wineskins, it is ready to burst. I must speak, that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer. I will not show partiality to any person or use flattery toward any man. For I do not know how to flatter, else would my Maker [see Christ The Creator] soon put an end to me." (Job 32:1-22 RSV)
Fact Finder: When were God's Ten Commandments first known by humans?
See The Ten Commandments Before Sinai?