2 Peter 2:1 Meaning… According to John Owen

The following text explaining the meaning of 2 Peter 2:1 is found in John Owen’s Death of Death in the Death of Christ, Book IV, Chapter V, Roman Numeral III.

Owen starts this discussion back in Book IV, Chapter II – “An entrance to the answer unto particular arguments.

Two sorts of arguments against limited atonement

Owen begins by noting that there are two sorts of arguments used by those who deny limited atonement or particular redemption – the teaching that Jesus’ intention in dying was for the elect only…

Now, the objections laid against the truth maintained [of limited atonement or particular redemption] are of two sorts; the first, taken from Scripture perverted; the other, from reason abused.

So, those who believe that Jesus died for every single human being who ever lived argue in two ways – by perverting Scripture and by abusing reason.

Objections to limited atonement from Scripture

Owen begins by dealing with arguments used to deny limited atonement by perverting Scrpture…

We begin with the first, the objections taken from scripture; all the places whereof that may any way seem to contradict our assertion [of limited atonement or particular redemption] are, by our strongest adversaries, in their greatest strength, referred to three heads:—

Three heads of Scripture used to deny limited atonement

First, Those places that affirm that Christ died for the world, or that otherwise make mention of the word world in the business of redemption. Secondly, Those that mention all and every man, either in the work of Christ’s dying for them, or where God is said to will their salvation. Thirdly, Those which affirm Christ bought or died for them that perish.

It’s this third head – places in Scripture which seem to affirm that Christ bought or died for those who end up perishing where Owen will discuss the meaning of 2 Peter 2:1.

Hence they draw out three principal arguments or sophisms, on which they much insist. All which we shall, by the Lord’s assistance, consider in their several order, with the places of Scripture brought to confirm and strengthen them.

Christ bought or died for those who ultimately perish

Owen then goes on to deal with passages in Scripture where God speaks of the world and where he speaks of all and every man.

Then he comes to passages where it speaks of God buying people who ultimately perish (Book IV, Chapter V, Roman Numeral III).

I come, in the next place, to the third and last argument, drawn from the Scripture, wherewith the Arminians and their successors (as to this point) do strive to maintain their figment of universal redemption; and it is taken from such texts of Scripture as seem to hold out the perishing of some of them for whom Christ died, and the fruitlessness of his blood in respect of divers for whom it was shed.

In other words, if those for whom Christ actually died end up perishing, then Christ’s blood is fruitless for the vast majority of those for whom is was supposedly shed.

And on this theme their wits are wonderfully luxuriant, and they are full of rhetorical strains to set out the unsuccessfulness and fruitlessness of the blood of Christ in respect of the most for whom it was shed, with the perishing of bought, purged, reconciled sinners.

So, Arminians go to great lengths to advocate for the uselessness of Christ’s blood in the lives of those for whom it was shed.

Who can but believe that this persuasion tends to the consolation of poor souls, whose strongest defence lieth in making vile the precious blood of the Lamb, yea, trampling upon it, and esteeming it as a common thing?

But, friends, let me tell you, I am persuaded it was not so unvaluable in the eyes of his Father as to cause it to be poured out in vain, in respect of any one soul.

Owen is convinced that Christ’s blood wasn’t so worthless in the eyes of God the Father so as to pour it out for no reason on those whom he never intended to save.

But seeing we must be put to this defence, — wherein we cannot but rejoice, it tending so evidently to the honour of our blessed Saviour, — let us consider what can be said by Christians (at least in name) to enervate the efficacy of the blood-shedding, of the death of him after whose name they desire to be called. Thus, then, they argue:—

The Arminian argument: Christ died for those that perish

If Christ died for reprobates and those that perish, then he died for all and every one, for confessedly he died for the elect and those that are saved; but he died for reprobates, and them that perish: therefore,” etc.

The Arminians arguethat Christ died for all and every person – for the elect who are ultimately saved and for the reprobate who are ultimately condemned.

An answer to the Arminian argument for universal redemption

Ans. For the assumption, or second proposition of this argument [that Christ died for the reprobate and those who end up perishing], we shall do what we conceive was fit for all the elect of God to do, — positively deny it (taking the death of Christ, here said to be for them, to be considered not in respect of its own internal worth and sufficiency, but, as it was intended by the Father and Son, in respect of them for whom he died).

So, Owen clarifies that he’s not denying that the worth and sufficiency of Christ’s death is unlimited, but rather that the intention of the Father and Son is Christ’s death was selective for only his people.

It was not Christ’s intention to die for reprobates

We deny, then, I say, that Christ, by the command of his Father, and with intention to make satisfaction for sins, did lay down his life for reprobates and them that perish.

So, Owen denies that Christ laid down his life for those who will end up in hell.

Arminian proof texts that Christ died for reprobates

This, then, they prove from Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:11; 2 Peter 2:1; Hebrews 10:29.

Now, that no such thing as is pretended is proved from any of the places alleged, we shall show by the consideration of them in the order they are laid down in.

Owen then deals with Romans 14:15 and 1 Corinthians 8:11 before taking up 2 Peter 2:1.

Three uncertainties for Arminians in 2 Peter 2:1

The next place is much insisted on, — namely, 2 Peter 2:1, “There shall be false teachers, denying the Lord that bought them, and bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”

All things here, as to any proof of the business in hand [attempting to prove that Christ died for the reprobate], are exceedingly dark, uncertain, and doubtful.

Uncertain, that by the Lord is meant the Lord Christ, the word in the original being Δεσπότης, seldom or never ascribed to him [once in Jude 4 out of ten uses in the New Testament];

uncertain, whether the purchase or buying of these false teachers refer to the eternal redemption by the blood of Christ, or a deliverance by God’s goodness from the defilement of the world in idolatry, or the like, by the knowledge of the truth, — which last [deliverance and not redemption] the text expressly affirms;

uncertain, whether the apostle speaketh of this purchase according to the reality of the thing, or according to their apprehension and their profession.

So, Owen identifies three uncertainties in this text when one tries to use 2 Peter 2:1 to prove that Christ died for every person who has ever lived.

He says that it’s uncertain that the “Lord” or master (Δεσπότης) referred to is even speaking of Christ. That Greek word is used ten times in the New Testament. Five times it’s used of a human master of slaves or servants (1 Timothy 6:1,2; 2 Timothy 2:21; Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 2:18). Three times it’s used of God the Father (Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Revelation 6:10). Once it’s used of Jesus Christ (Jude 4). And then there’s this passage, which Owen argues doesn’t even refer to Jesus.

Also uncertain from the text is whether the false teachers being bought is a reference to eternal redemption by Christ’s blood or rather some sort of deliverance from some of the defilements of the world (and Owen thinks the latter is right). He’ll give more defense for this claim later.

Finally, Owen asserted that it’s not as though Christ actually bought these false prophets, but that rather that they think and claim that he did and that others assume the same about them.

Two certainties about 2 Peter 2:1

Owen then moves on from uncertainties to certainties concerning this passage of Scripture…

On the other side, it is most certain, —

First, That there are no spiritual distinguishing fruits of redemption ascribed to these false teachers, but only common gifts of light and knowledge, which Christ hath purchased for many for whom he did not make his soul a ransom.

Secondly, That, according to our adversaries, the redemption of any by the blood of Christ cannot be a peculiar aggravatio[n] of the sins of any, because they say he died for all; and yet this buying of the false teachers is held out as an aggravation of their sin in particular.

Uncertainties revisited

Owen goes on to elaborate on the uncertainties which he previously laid out before progressing later to explain what the truth is concerning 2 Peter 2:1…

Of the former uncertainties, whereon our adversaries build their inference of universal redemption (which yet can by no means be wire-drawn thence, were they most certain in their sense), I shall give a brief account, and then speak something as to the proper intendment of the place.

Uncertainty that “Lord” refers to Christ the mediator

For the first, It is most uncertain whether Christ, as mediator, be here intended by Lord or no.

There is not any thing in the text to enforce us so to conceive, nay, the contrary seems apparent, —

Two reasons why “Lord” doesn’t speak of Christ in 2 Peter 2:1

First, Because in the following verses, God only, as God, with his dealings towards such as these [false teachers], is mentioned; of Christ not a word.

This is the case in 2 Peter 2:4-19.

God is mentioned in verse 4 as casting angels into hell, in verse 5 of not sparing the ancient world but preserving Noah through the world-wide flood, in verse 6 of judging Sodom and Gomorrah, and in verse 7 of rescuing Lot.

In verse 9 it’s the Lord who rescues the godly and keeps the ungodly under punishment until the day of judgement. Angels dare not blaspheme “the glorious ones” before the Lord in verse 11.

It’s not until verse 20 that Jesus Christ is named – where he’s said to be the one by whom “those who are barely escaping from those who live in error” “have escaped the defilements of the world” and are “again entagled in them and overcome…” And in this case, Jesus is not mentioned with reference to the false teachers themselves – but rather to those whom the false teachers deceive.

Secondly, The name Δεσπότης, properly [in Latin] “Herus,” attended by dominion and sovereignty, is not usually, if at all, given to our Saviour in the New Testament [the only exception out of ten instances is Jude 4]; he is everywhere called Κύριος, nowhere clearly Δεσπότης, as is the Father, Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, and in divers other places.

Besides, if it should appear that this name were given our Saviour in any one place, doth it therefore follow that it must be so here? nay, is the name proper for our Saviour, in the work of redemption?

Δεσπότης is such a Lord or Master as refers to servants and subjection; the end of Christ’s purchasing any by his blood being in the Scripture always and constantly expressed in other terms, of more endearment.

It is, then, most uncertain that Christ should be here understood by the word Lord.

Uncertainty that buying is a reference to Chris’t blood

[Secondly], But suppose he [Christ] should [be identified as Δεσπότης], it is most uncertain that by buying of these false teachers is meant his purchasing of them with the ransom of his blood; for, —

Three reasons that “bought” isn’t referring to ransoming through Christ’s blood

First, The apostle insisteth on a comparison with the times of the Old Testament, and the false prophets that were then amongst the people, backing his assertion with divers examples out of the Old Testament in the whole chapter following.

Now, the word ἀγοράζω, here used, signifieth primarily the buying of things; translatitiously, the redemption of persons; — and the word פָּדָה in the Old Testament, answering thereunto, signifieth any deliverance, as Deuteronomy 7:8, 15:15, Jeremiah 15:21, with innumerable other places: and, therefore, some such deliverance is here only intimated.

Secondly, Because here is no mention of blood, death, price, or offering of Jesus Christ, as in other places, where proper redemption is treated on; especially, some such expression is added where the word ἀγοράζω is used to express it, as 1 Corinthians 6:20, Revelation 5:9, which otherwise holds out of itself deliverance in common from any trouble.

Thirdly, The apostle setting forth at large the deliverance they had had, and the means thereof, 2 Peter 2:20, affirms it to consist in the “escaping of the pollutions of the world,” as idolatry, false worship, and the like, “through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;” plainly declaring that their buying was only in respect of this separation from the world, in respect of the enjoyment of the knowledge of the truth; but of washing in the blood of the Lamb, he is wholly silent.

Plainly, there is no purchase mentioned of these false teachers, but a deliverance, by God’s dispensations towards them, from the blindness of Judaism or Paganism, by the knowledge of the gospel; whereby the Lord bought them to be servants to him, as their supreme head.

So that our adversaries’ argument from this place is this:— “God the Lord, by imparting the knowledge of the gospel, and working them to a professed acknowledgment of it and subjection unto it, separated and delivered from the world divers that were saints in show, — really wolves and hypocrites, of old ordained to condemnation: therefore, Jesus Christ shed his blood for the redemption and salvation of all reprobates and damned persons in the whole world.” Who would not admire our adversaries’ chemistry?

The purchase is not real but supposed

Thirdly, Neither is it more certain that the apostle speaketh of the purchase of the wolves and hypocrites, in respect of the reality of the purchase, and not rather in respect of that estimation which others had of them, — and, by reason of their outward seeming profession, ought to have had, — and of the profession that themselves made to be purchased by him whom they pretended to preach to others; as the Scripture saith [of Ahaz], “The gods of Damascus smote him,” because he himself so imagined and professed, 2 Chronicles 28:23.

The latter hath this also to render it probable, — namely, that it is the perpetual course of the Scripture, to ascribe all those things to every one that is in the fellowship of the church which are proper to them only who are true spiritual members of the same; as to be saints, elect, redeemed, etc.

Now, the truth is, from this their profession, that they were bought by Christ, might the apostle justly, and that according to the opinion of our adversaries, press these false teachers, by the way of aggravating their sin. For the thing itself, their being bought, it could be no more urged to them than to heathens and infidels that never heard of the name of the Lord Jesus.

The truth of the matter

Now, after all this, if our adversaries can prove universal redemption from this text, let them never despair of success in any thing they undertake, be it never so absurd, fond, or foolish.

But when they have wrought up the work already cut out for them, and proved, —

first, That by the Lord is meant Christ as mediator;

secondly, That by buying is meant spiritual redemption by the blood of the Lamb;

thirdly, That these false teachers were really and effectually so redeemed, and not only so accounted because of the church;

fourthly, That those who are so redeemed may perish, contrary to the express Scripture, Revelation 14:4;

fifthly, Manifest the strength of this inference, “Some in the church who have acknowledged Christ to be their purchaser, fall away to blaspheme him, and perish forever: therefore, Christ bought and redeemed all that ever did or shall perish;

sixthly, That that which is common to all is a peculiar aggravation to the sin of any one more than others;

— I will assure them they shall have more work provided for them, which themselves know for a good part already where to find.

Job 30 Summary

Job 30 Summary

But it’s as if those times never happened with how miserable an existence Job currently experiences. And so, for 31 verses in chapter 30, Job catalogs – for all of us to see – his present misery.

Job 30 Summary of Verses 1-14

The children of worthless men disrespect Job now | Job 30:1-14

To begin – remember how Job said young people used to respond to him back in chapter 29? With respect.

Job 30 Summary of Verses 1-8

Job describes the children now (1a) and their fathers in the old days (1b-8) | Job 30:1-8

But now, young people show him shameful disrespect.

And the ultimate insult to Job is that – not only are these young people showing themselves to be worthless people – but their fathers – and their fathers’ fathers – were worthless, too! – verses 1-8…

KJV Job 30:1 But now they that are younger than I [have me in derision/mock me],

whose fathers I would have disdained [too much…] to have [set/put] with [the dogs of my flock/my sheep dogs].

Job 30:2 [Yea/Indeed/Moreover], [whereto/how even] might the strength of their hands profit me,
in whom [old age/vigor/strength] [was/had] perished? {these fathers were too weak to work…}

Job 30:3 [For/From] want and [famine/hunger] {they/the fathers} were [solitary/gaunt];
[fleeing into/who gnaw/they would gnaw] the [wilderness/dry ground/parched land] in former time desolate and waste.

Job 30:4 Who [cut up/pluck] mallows by the bushes, [by the brush they would gather herbs from the salt marshes…]
and [juniper roots/the root of the broom shrub] [for/was]their [meat/food].

Job 30:5 They were [driven forth from among/driven from/banished from] [men/the community],
([they/people] [cried after/shout against/shouted after] them as [after/against/they would shout at]a thief;)

Job 30:6 [To/So that they] [dwell/had to live] in [the clifts of the valleys/dreadful valleys/the dry stream beds],
 in [caves/holes] of the [earth/ground], and [in/of/among]the rocks.

Job 30:7 Among the bushes they brayed [i.e., like animals…];
under the nettles they [were/are] [gathered/huddled] together.

Job 30:8 {They/the fathers of these worthless children} were [children/sons] of [fools/senseless], [yea/and], [children of base men/nameless people]:
they were [viler than/scourged from/driven out of] the [earth/land]. [i.e., with whips…]

So, these young people who are now disrespecting Job had fathers who were also disgraceful castaways from society. And those fathers themselves had fathers of the same dishonorable nature.

Job 30 Summary of Verses 9-14

Job returns to considering the children’s’ disgraceful behavior toward him | Job 30:9-14

And with that pedigree in mind, Job returns to the disgraceful children of the disgraceful children of disgraceful men – and Job consider how these youngsters are now acting toward him in a most disgraceful manner – verses 9-14… 

Job 30:9 And now [am I/I have become] their [song/taunt song],
yea, I [am/have become] their byword.

Job 30:10 They [abhor/detest] me, they [flee/stand] [far/aloof] from me, [i.e., maintaining their distance…]
and [spare/refrain/hesitate] not to spit in my face.

Job 30:11 Because {he/God} hath [loosed/untied] my [i.e., tent…] cord, and afflicted me,
[they/people] [have also let loose the bridle before me/throw off all restraint in my presence].

Job 30:12 [Upon/On] my right hand rise [the youth/their brood/the young rabble];
they [push away/thrust aside] my feet, [they drive me from place to place…]
and [they raise up/build up] against me [the ways of their/their ways of] destruction. [siege ramps…]

Job 30:13 They [mar/break up/destroy] my path,
they [set forward/profit from/succeed in] [my calamity/destroying me],
[they have/with] no [helper/assistant]. {they do it themselves…}

Job 30:14 They [came upon me/come in] as a wide [breaking in of waters/breach]:
[in/amid] the [desolation/tempest/crash] they [rolled themselves upon me/roll on/come rolling in].

And we wouldn’t know about this happening in Job’s life unless he had told us right here.

Job 30 Summary of Verses 15-17

Job reviews his physical and emotional turmoil | Job 30:15-17

Well, Job turns from considering these disrespectful and violent youth – to lament the current physical and emotional turmoil that he’s experiencing – verses 15-17…

Job 30:15 Terrors are turned [upon/against/loose on] me:
{they/the terrors} [pursue/drive away] my [soul/honor] [as/like] the wind:
and my [welfare/prosperity/deliverance] passeth away as a cloud.

Job 30:16 And now my soul [is poured/pours itself] out [upon/within] me;
the days of [affliction/suffering] have taken hold upon me.

Job 30:17 My bones are pierced in me [in/by] the night season:
and my [sinews/gnawing pains] [take no rest/never cease].

Job 30 Summary of Verses 18-22

God is the powerful and unresponsive cause of Job’s misery | Job 30:18-22

And where does Job place the blame for all of this happening to him? Job places the blame on God – whom Job perceives to be both powerful – and yet, unresponsive – when it comes to Job’s present misery – verses 18-22…

Job 30:18 [By/With] [the great force/great power] of my disease [is my garment changed/my garment is distorted/my garment is grasped by God]:
[it/he/God] bindeth me about as the collar of my [coat/tunic].

Job 30:19 {He/God} hath [cast/flung] me into the [mire/mud],
and I [am become like/have come to resemble] dust and ashes.

Job 30:20 I cry [unto/out to] {thee/God} [i.e., for help…],
and thou dost not [hear/answer] me:

I stand up,
and thou [regardest me not/turn your attention against me/only look at me].

Job 30:21 [Thou art/You have] become cruel to me:
with [thy strong hand/the might of your hand/the strength of your hand] thou [opposest thyself against/persecute/attack] me.

Job 30:22 Thou [liftest/pick] me up [to/on] the wind; thou [causest/make] me to ride upon it,
and [dissolvest/toss me about] [my substance/me in the storm].

Job 30 Summary of Verse 23

God is going to kill Job, and Job can hardly believe it | Job 30:23

And Job thinks – with all of God’s power directed against him – that God will surely put an end to his life soon – verse 23… 

Job 30:23 For I know that thou [wilt bring/are bringing] me to death,
and to the [house appointed/house of meeting/meeting place] for all [the…] living.

So, God – in Job’s mind – has determined to kill him and will not change his mind about that.

Job 30 Summary of Verses 24-26

Job was kind to the suffering, but he’s not experiencing any kindness in his suffering | Job 30:24-26

But this strikes Job as utterly unfair. Because Job used to be kind to the suffering – and yet he himself now is not experiencing any sort of that kindness from God or others in his suffering – verses 24-26…

Job 30:24 [Howbeit/Yet/Surely] [he will/one does] not stretch out his hand [to the grave/in a heap of ruins/against a broken man], {“heap” 4/5x in KJV…}
though [they/he] cry [out for help…] in his [destruction/disaster/distress]. {Maybe, God isn’t reaching out to me as I’m going to the grave, but as for me…}

Job 30:25 [Did/Have] not I [weep/wept] for [him that was in trouble/the one whose life is hard/the unfortunate]?
was not my soul grieved for the [poor/needy]?

Job 30:26 {But…} When I [looked for/expected/hoped for] good,
[then evil/trouble] came unto me:

and when I [waited for/expected] light,
[there/then] came darkness.

Job 30 Summary of Verses 27-31

Physical pain, deep sorrow, and ostracism | Job 30:27-31

An Job finishes this chapter expressing his physical pain, his deep sorrow, and the ostracism that he’s experiencing – verses 27-31 to finish the chapter…

Job 30:27 My [bowels/innards/heart] [boiled/are seething/is in turmoil], [and rested not/and cannot relax/unceasingly]:
the days of [my…] affliction [prevented/confront] me.

Job 30:28 I [went/go about] [mourning/blackened] [without the sun/without comfort/but not by the sun]:
I [stood/stand] up, and I [cried/cry out] [for help…] in the [congregation/assembly].

Job 30:29 I [am/have become] a brother to [dragons/jackals],
and a companion [to owls/of ostriches].

Job 30:30 My skin [is/turns/has turned] [black/dark] [upon/on] me,
and my [bones/body] [are burned/burn/is hot] with [heat/fever].

Job 30:31 My harp [also/therefore] is [turned to/used for] mourning,
and my [organ/flute] [into/to/for] the [voice/sound] of them that weep.

So, Job’s life used to be good – chapter 29. But now it’s miserable – chapter 30.

And next time – in chapter 31 – Job will give a vindication of his life and argue vehemently that he doesn’t deserve the suffering that he’s receiving.

God’s ways in Job’s life don’t make sense to him. He needs to come to the point of trusting that God is dealing wisely in his life. But that will require nothing less than a word from God – which is coming in just a few chapters.

So, may the Lord help us – who have a word from him – to trust his wisdom when we can’t understand his ways in our lives.

Job 29 Summary

Job 29 Summary

And that confusing and painful reality leads Job in chapters 29-31 to do three things.

First, in chapter 29 he’s going to review his past blessed circumstances. Then in chapter 30 he’s going to lament his current painful circumstances. And lastly in chapter 31 we’ll see him vouch for the fact that none of the pain from chapter 30 is a result of his being personally wicked.

So, let’s allow Job to review for us – over 25 verses – his past blessed circumstances in chapter 29.

Job 29 Summary of Verses 1-7

Job wants to return to a time when God took care of him | Job 29:1-7

And he begins by wishing that he could return to his former days when God seemed near to him – verses 1-7…

KJV Job 29:1 [Moreover/And/Then] Job [continued/took up] his [parable/discourse/speech], and said,

Job 29:2 Oh that I were as in months [past/gone by/now gone],
as in the days when God [preserved/watched over] me;

Job 29:3 When his [candle/lamp] shined upon my head,
 and when by his light I walked through darkness;

Job 29:4 As I was in [the days of my youth/the prime of my days/my most productive time],
when the [secret/intimate friendship] of God was [upon/experienced in] my [tabernacle/tent];

Job 29:5 When the Almighty was [yet/still] with me,
 when my children were [about/around] me;

Job 29:6 When [I washed my steps/my steps were bathed] with butter,
and the rock poured me out rivers of [olive…] oil;

Job 29:7 When I went out to the gate [through/of] the city,
 when I [prepared/took/secured] my seat in the [street/public square]!

So, Job used to experience unparalleled blessings from God.

Job 29 Summary of Verses 8-10

Job was respected by all | Job 29:8-10

And as a result of God’s blessings, Job was respected by everyone – verses 8-10…

Job 29:8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves:
and the [aged/old men] [arose, and stood up/would get up and remain standing].

Job 29:9 The [princes/chief men] [refrained/stopped] talking,
and laid their hand on their mouth.

Job 29:10 The nobles [held their peace/voices were hushed/voices fell silent],
and their tongue [cleaved/stuck] to [the roof of their mouth/their palate].

Well, what earned Job this respect in the eyes of everyone?

Job 29 Summary of Verses 11-17

Job was blessed as an enforcer of justice for the needy | Job 29:11-17

It’s this – that Job was blessed as an enforcer of justice for the needy – verses 11-17…

Job 29:11 When the ear heard [me/these things], then it blessed me;
and when the eye saw [me/them], it [gave/bore] witness to me: {why?…}

Job 29:12 [Because/For] I delivered the poor that cried [for help…],
and the fatherless, [and him/(blank)] that had none to help him.

Job 29:13 The blessing of [him that was ready to perish/the dying man] came upon me:
and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. {because of how he treated the widow’s dying husband and/or the widow herself…}

Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me:
my [judgment/justice] was as a robe and a [diadem/turban].

Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind,
and feet was I to the lame.

Job 29:16 I was a father to the [poor/needy]:
and the [cause/case] [of the person…] which I knew not I [searched out/investigated].

Job 29:17 And I [brake/broke] the [jaws/fangs] of the wicked,
and [plucked/snatched away/made him drop] the spoil [out of/from] his teeth.

So, Job both fought for the needy and fought against the wicked who would abuse and oppress those needy individuals.

Job 29 Summary of Verses 18-20

Job thought he’d always be blessed | Job 29:18-20

And Job admits that he came to the point where – because things were so good in his life – he thought it would always be this way – verses 18-20… 

Job 29:18 Then I [said/thought],

I shall die in my [nest/own home],
and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

Job 29:19 My root [was spread out by/is spread out to/reaches] the waters,
and the dew [lay/lies] all night upon my [branch/branches].

Job 29:20 My glory [was/is ever/will always be]fresh in me,
and my bow [was renewed/ever new] in my hand.

Job 29 Summary of Verses 21-23

People actually used to listen to Job | Job 29:21-23

Now, we’ve seen up to this point in this book that Job’s friends have not really listened to him. But that’s so different from what Job used to experience – as Job goes on to point out. People actually used to listen to him! – verses 21-23…

Job 29:21 Unto me men [gave ear/listened], and waited [silently…],
and kept silence [at/for] my [counsel/advice].

Job 29:22 After [my words/I had spoken] they [spake not again/did not respond];
and my [speech/words] [dropped/fell drop by drop] upon them.

Job 29:23 And they waited for me as [people wait…] for the rain;
and they opened their mouth wide as for the [latter/spring] rain.

Job 29 Summary of Verses 24-25

People used to welcome Job’s attention and leadership | Job 29:24-25

And not only did people wait longingly to hear what Job had to say – they also greatly desired Job’s attention and leadership – verses 24 and 25…

Job 29:24 If I [laughed on/smiled at] them, they believed it [not/hardly];
and the light of my countenance they [cast not down/did not cause to darken].

Job 29:25 I chose out [their way/the way for them], and sat [as their…] chief,
and dwelt as a king [in the army/among his troops],
[as/I was like] one that comforteth the mourners.

So, Job remembers with great fondness this former time in his life when God was blessing him in ways that he could see and perceive naturally and tangibly.

Job 28 Summary

Job 28 Summary

And that leads Job to crave wisdom. He wants to see reality as God sees it and understand God’s ways in his life.

And so, for 28 verses in chapter 28, Job is going to speak of this wisdom that he needs so badly right now.

To summarize chapter 28, Job observes three realities. First, mankind is able to find all sort of precious hidden treasures. But, second, no one is able to naturally find wisdom. And third, God alone gives the wisdom that we all so desperately need.

Job 28 Summary of Verses 1-11

Mankind can find all sorts of precious hidden treasures | Job 28:1-11

So, to begin, Job takes 11 verses describing all sorts of things that mankind is able to find in this earth – verses 1-11…

KJV Job 28:1 Surely there is a [vein/mine] for [the silver/silver],
and a place for gold [where they fine/to refine] it.

Job 28:2 Iron is taken [out of/from] the [earth/dust/ground],
and [brass/copper] is [molten/smelted] [out of the/from] [stone/rock].

Job 28:3 [He/Man] [setteth/puts] an end to darkness,
and searcheth out [all perfection/to the farthest limit/the farthest recesses]:

the [stones/rock/ore] [of darkness/in gloom],
and [the shadow of death/deep shadow/the deepest darkness].

Job 28:4 [The flood breaketh/He sinks a shaft] {i.e., someone breaks a channel down into the ground… } [out/far] from [the inhabitant/habitation/where people live];
 [even the waters forgotten of the foot/in places forgotten by travelers]:

they [are dried up/hang and swing to and fro/dangle and sway], {1x in OT…}
[they are gone away/far] from men. {or, men move back and forth far from mankind in the caves…}

Job 28:5 [As for the earth/The earth], [out of/from] [it/which] cometh [bread/food]:
and under it is [turned up/overturned] as it were [by…] fire.

Job 28:6 [The stones of it/Its rocks] are the [place/source] of sapphires:
and it [hath/contains] dust of gold.

Job 28:7 [There is a path/The path/A hidden path] which no [fowl/bird of prey] knoweth,
and which the [vulture’s/falcon’s] eye hath not seen:

Job 28:8 [The lion’s whelps/Proud beasts] have not [trodden/set foot on] it,
nor the fierce lion passed [by/over/along] it.

Job 28:9 {He/Mankind} putteth forth his hand upon the [rock/flint] [to work…];
he overturneth the mountains [by/at] the [roots/bases].

Job 28:10 He [cutteth/hews/has cut] out [rivers/channels] [among/through] the rocks;
and his eye [seeth/have spotted] every precious thing.

Job 28:11 He [bindeth/dams up/has searched] the [floods from overflowing/streams from flowing/sources of the rivers];
and [the thing that is hid/what was (is) hidden] bringeth he [forth to/out into the] light.

So, there’s all sorts of activities by mankind to discover the precious materials that are inside of the earth – and even the animals, along with most humans beings – don’t know about those activities.

Job 28 Summary of Verses 12-19

But mankind cannot find wisdom | Job 28:12-19

But what a contrast there is between finding hidden earthly treasures – and finding real wisdom. Job says that mankind is unable in-and-of-ourselves to find wisdom – verses 12-19…

Job 28:12 But where [shall/can] wisdom be found?
and where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:13 [Man/Mankind] knoweth not [the price thereof/its value/its place];
neither [is/can] it found in the land of the living. {i.e., naturally…}

Job 28:14 The [depth/deep] saith,
It is not [in/with] me:

and the sea saith,
 It is not with me.

Job 28:15 It cannot be [gotten/given] [for/in exchange for] [pure/fine…] gold,
neither [shall/can] silver be weighed for the price thereof.

Job 28:16 It cannot be [valued/measured out for purchase] with the gold of Ophir,
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

Job 28:17 The gold and the crystal cannot [equal/be compared with] it:
and the exchange of it shall not be for [jewels/articles/a vase] of fine gold.

Job 28:18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of [pearls/crystal/jasper]:
for the price of wisdom is above [rubies/pearls].

Job 28:19 The topaz of Ethiopia [shall/cannot] [not equal/be compared with] it,
neither shall it be [valued/purchased] with pure gold.

So, wisdom is infinitely more valuable – and more elusive – than any earthly treasure. So elusive and valuable is it – that mankind is utterly unable to find or obtain it naturally with our own resources.

Job 28 Summary of Verses 20-28

God alone has and can give access to wisdom | Job 28:20-28

So, how can anyone get this precious commodity? That’s what Job goes on to ask – and then answer.

It’s God who alone gives wisdom to mankind – he is the only true source of wisdom – verses 20-28 to end the chapter….

Job 28:20 [Whence/From where] then cometh wisdom?
and where is the place of understanding? {a refrain repeated from verse 12…}

Job 28:21 [Seeing/Thus/For] it [is hid/has been hidden] from the eyes of [all/every] living [creature…],
and [kept close/concealed] from the fowls of the air.

Job 28:22 [Destruction/Abaddon] and death say,
We have heard [the fame thereof/a report of it/a rumor about where it can be found] with our ears.

Job 28:23 {but here’s how to get it…} God understandeth the way [thereof/to it],
and he [alone…] knoweth the place thereof.

Job 28:24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth,
 and [seeth/observes] [everything…] under the [whole heaven/heavens];

Job 28:25 [To/When he] [make/imparted/made] [the weight/weight/the force] [for/to/of] the winds;
and he [weigheth/meted out/measured] the waters [by measure/with a gauge].

Job 28:26 When he [made a decree/set a limit/imposed a limit] for the rain,
and a [way/course/path] for the [lightning of the thunder/thunder bolt]:

Job 28:27 Then did he see [it/wisdom], and [declare/assessed the value of] it;
he [prepared/established] it, yea, and [searched it out/examined it closely].

Job 28:28 And unto [man/mankind] he said,

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to [depart/turn away] from evil is understanding.

So, those guys back in chapter 27 – the wicked – they don’t have this wisdom and they never will. Even though God is telling them all to fear him and to turn from their evil, they are set in their ways and will die that way.

But Job is different. He hasn’t found wisdom by his own cleverness or natural resourcefulness. He says that he has been given wisdom by God. He does fear the Lord – he fears displeasing God. And he turns from evil and has been doing so for a long time.

And yet, that wisdom hasn’t seemed to help him very much. Because he seems to be receiving punishment from God in the form of suffering.

Job 27 Summary

Job 27 Summary

Let’s turn to Job chapter 27.

We’re picking up in this book right after we saw last time the last speech given by one of Job’s so-called friends. Bildad spoke for just 6 short verses last time and now Job has had enough of his friends’ speeches.

And so, Job has entered into a very long monologue that extends from chapter 26 through to the end of chapter 31. We’re going to endeavor to understand chapters 27-30 this morning.

Probably the first two chapters today – chapters 27 and 28 – are Job’s response to his friends. But then in chapters 29 and 30, Job seems to not have his friends in mind at all as he gives more of a soliloquy where he wouldn’t care if no other human could hear him. He just wants God to hear.

All the while we’ll see Job struggle to try to understand God’s ways in his life. And since he’s not able to do that, he ought to just come to the place where he trusts God’s wisdom. But he’s not going to get to that point yet.

Job Continues | Job 27

So, Job picks up from last time in chapter 27 where – for 23 – verses he asserts his own innocence of any supposed wickedness that his friends have accused him of. And then he goes on to state what he really thinks happens to the wicked in this life.

Job 27 Summary Verses 1-6

I will not lie about my righteousness | Job 27:1-6

Job begins in verses 1 through 6 declaring that he will not lie about his own righteousness and personal integrity…

KJV Job 27:1 [Moreover/Then/And] Job [continued/took up] his [parable/discourse (again)], and said,

Job 27:2 As God liveth, who hath [taken away/denied] [my judgment/my right/me justice];
and the Almighty, who hath [vexed my soul/embittered my soul/made my life bitter];

Job 27:3 [All the while/For as long as/For while] my [breath/life/spirit] is [still…] in me,
and the [spirit/breath] [of/from] God is in my nostrils;

Job 27:4 {for as long as that’s the case…} My lips shall not speak wickedness,
nor my tongue [utter/mutter/whisper] deceit.

Job 27:5 [God forbid/Far be it from me] that I should [justify you/declare you to be in the right]: [I will never do it!…]
till I die I will not [remove/put away/set aside] mine integrity from me.

Job 27:6 My righteousness I [hold fast/maintain],
and will not let it go:

my heart [shall/does/will] not reproach me
so long as I live.

In other words, Job’s friends have been completely wrong in labeling Job as an unrighteous man in order to explain why bad things are happening in his life. That’s not the correct interpretation of God’s ways in Job’s life.

Job 27 Summary Verses 7-10

Job utters a curse against the friends | Job 27:7-10

And Job feels so strongly about this that he’s now going to utter a curse against these wicked friends of his – verses 7-10…

Job 27:7 Let mine enemy be as the wicked,
and [he that riseth up against me/my opponent/my adversary] as the unrighteous.

Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the [hypocrite/godless], [though/when] he [hath gained/is cut off],
when God taketh away his [soul/life]?

Job 27:9 Will God [hear/listen to] his cry
when [trouble/distress] [cometh upon/overtakes] him?

Job 27:10 Will he [delight himself/take delight/find delight] in the Almighty?
will he [always/at all times] call [upon/out to] God?

So, you know that your attempts to comfort someone else have completely failed when you’ve said all you have to say to comfort that person – and he turns around and utters a curse against you!

Job 27 Summary Verses 11-12

Job generally agrees with the friends about the wicked | Job 27:11-12

But actually, Job is going to finally admit that he does agree with the friends – generally speaking – about the typical fate of the wicked – verses 11 and 12…

Job 27:11 I will teach you [by/about] the [hand/power] of God:
 that which is [with/on the mind of] the Almighty will I not conceal.

Job 27:12 Behold, all [ye yourselves/of you/of this you have] have seen it;
[why then/why in the world] [are ye thus altogether vain/do you act foolishly/do you continue this meaningless talk]?

Job 27 Summary Verses 13-23

The ultimate fate of the wicked | Job 27:13-23

So, what do these friends already know that Job also knows – and yet, which Job also needs to teach to – and not conceal from – them? It’s the ultimate and typical fate of the wicked in this world. Job states it in verse 13 and then elaborates on this point for the rest of this chapter…

Job 27:13 This is the portion of a wicked man [with/from/allotted by] God,
and the [heritage/inheritance] of [oppressors/tyrants/evildoers], which they shall receive of the Almighty.

And it breaks down like this – the families of the wicked suffer, the hoarded wealth of the wicked departs from him, the wicked man is temporary and his departure is sudden, he can’t escape from God, and all of this causes men to react against him.

Job 27 Summary Verses 14-15

His family suffers | Job 27:14-15

First, Job says, typically the families of the wicked suffer – verses 14 and 15…

Job 27:14 [If/Though] his children [be multiplied/are many/increase], [it is/they are destined]for the sword:
and his offspring [shall not be satisfied with bread/never have enough to eat].

Job 27:15 Those that [remain of/survive] him shall be buried [in death/because of the plague]:
and [his/their] widows shall not [will not/are not able to…] weep [for them…].

Job 27 Summary Verses 16-17

His hoarded wealth departs from him | Job 27:16-17

The wicked hoard wealth in this life, but it typically and ultimately is given to others – verses 16 and 17…

Job 27:16 [Though/If] he [heap/piles] up silver as the dust,
and prepare [raiment/garments] as [the/mounds of] clay;

Job 27:17 He may prepare it,

but [the just/a righteous man] shall [put it on/wear it],
and the innocent shall [divide the/inherit his] silver.

Job 27 Summary Verses 18-19

The wicked is temporary | Job 27:18-19

The wicked man is temporary in this life – verses 18 and 19…

Job 27:18 He buildeth his house as a moth[‘s cocoon…],
and as a [booth/hut] that the [keeper/watchman] maketh.

Job 27:19 The rich man shall lie down, [he goes to bed rich…]
but he shall not be gathered: [and will never do so again…]

he openeth his eyes,
and [he/it] is [not/all gone].

So, his house and his wealth can disappear overnight.

Job 27 Summary Verses 20-21

His departure is sudden | Job 27:20-21

And just like his wealth departs suddenly, so does the wicked man himself – typically – verses 20 and 21… 

Job 27:20 Terrors [take hold on/overtake/overwhelm] him as [waters/a flood],
a [tempest/whirlwind] stealeth him away in the night.

Job 27:21 The east wind carrieth him away, and he [departeth/is gone]:
and as a storm [hurleth/it whirls/it sweeps] him out of his place.

So, the departure of the wicked from this world can be sudden, unexpected, and violent.

Job 27 Summary Verse 22

He can’t escape from God | Job 27:22

The wicked meet with all of this disaster because ultimately they can’t escape from God – verse 22…

Job 27:22 For [God shall cast upon/it will hurl at(against)] him, [and not spare/without pity]:
he would [fain/try to] flee [out of/from] [his hand/its power].

Job 27 Summary Verse 23

Man’s reaction | Job 27:23

So, that’s been all God’s doing in the life of a wicked man. And here’s the reaction from fellow humans – verse 23 to end the chapter…

Job 27:23 [Men/It]shall clap their hands at him [in derision…],
and shall hiss him out of his place.

So, Job has – in this chapter – given his opinion about what tends to happen to wicked people in this life. But that’s why he started off the chapter by defending his own personal integrity. Job acknowledges that God does tend to deal with the wicked in this life. But that’ what’s so confusing to Job – because he knows himself to be a righteous man!  And he’s having a hard time trying to reconcile these two realities of … 1) a righteous man … 2) supposedly being punished by God. Really, it’s an impossible feat for Job.

Job 26 Summary

Job 26 Summary

What we saw Bildad say in Job 25 summary is maybe all that Job would allow that man to say.

Because in chapter 26, Job begins the lengthiest response he’s given in this book to this point.

Bildad’s speech was unusually short and Zophar doesn’t even get to speak a third time. Instead, Job speaks for 161 verses over 6 chapters from chapter 26 to chapter 31. We’ll deal with only 14 of those verses this time in chapter 26.

Job 26 Summary of Verses 1-4

Sarcastic questions to Bildad | Job 26:1-4

Job begins his speech – in which he’s probably cutting off Bildad because he doesn’t want to hear any more from him or the other friends. And Job asks several sarcastic questions of Bildad – verses 1-4…

KJV Job 26:1 [But/Then] Job [answered and said/responded/replied],

Job 26:2 [How hast thou helped/What a help you are to/How you have helped] [him that is without power/the weak/the powerless] [?/!]
[how savest thou/How you have saved] [the arm/the person] that hath no strength [?/!]

Job 26:3 [How hast thou counselled/What counsel you have given to/How you have advised] him that hath no wisdom [?/!]
[and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is/what helpful insight you have abundantly provided] [?/!] {which is kind of humorous because Bildad’s speech was so short…}

Job 26:4 To whom hast thou uttered words?
and whose spirit [came from/was expressed through/has come forth from the mouth of] thee?

In other words, you don’t really know me and you don’t even know what you’re saying.

Job 26 Summary of Verses 5-14

God is incredibly powerful | Job 26:5-14

And Job is going to take the rest of this chapter to declare that God is incredibly powerful. He’s not at all denying God’s power. And some of what Job starts declaring sounds an awful lot like what God is going to say when he comes at the end of this book.

Job 26 Summary of Verses 5-6

God has power over death | Job 26:5-6

First, God has power over the dead and death itself – verses 5 and 6…

Job 26:5 [Dead things/The departed spirits/The dead][are formed from/tremble/fear/shake]
[under/those beneath] the waters, and [the inhabitants thereof/all that live in them].

Job 26:6 [Hell/Sheol/The underworld] is naked before [him/God],
and [destruction/Abaddon/the place of destruction] [hath no covering/lies uncovered].

Job 26 Summary of Verses 7-9

God’s power is in the heavens | Job 26:7-9

God shows his power in how he deals with the sky above us – verses 7-9…

Job 26:7 [He/God] [stretcheth/spreads] out the [north/northern skies] over [the empty place/empty space],
 and [hangeth/He suspends] the earth upon nothing.

Job 26:8 He [bindeth up/wraps up/locks] the waters in his thick clouds;
and the cloud [is not rent/does not burst] [under/with the weight of] them.

Job 26:9 He [holdeth back/obscures/conceals] the face of [his throne/the full moon], {כִסֵּה vs. כֵּסֶה}
 and spreadeth his cloud [upon/over] it. [thereby shrouding it…]

Job 26 Summary of Verse 10

God has power over day and night | Job 26:10

God’s power determines on this earth where night ends and day begins – verse 10…

Job 26:10 He [hath compassed the waters with bounds/has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters/marks out the horizon on the surface of the waters],
[until the day and night come to an end/at (or as) the boundary of (or between) light and darkness].

Job 26 Summary of Verses 11-13

God’s power is multi-faceted in its effect | Job 26:11-13

And Job points out how God’s power is multifaceted in its effect. It can be destructive and dangerous. Or it can be beautiful and calming – verses 11-13…

Job 26:11 The pillars of heaven tremble {i.e., mountains…}
and are [astonished/amazed] at his [reproof/rebuke].

Job 26:12 He [divideth/quieted/stills] the sea [with/by] his power,
and by his [understanding/wisdom] he [smiteth through/shattered/cut to pieces] [the proud/Rahab/the great sea monster].

Job 26:13 By his [spirit/breath] he hath [garnished/cleared/made fair] the [heavens/skies];
his hand hath [formed/pierced] the [crooked/fleeing] serpent.

The references to “the proud” and to “the crooked serpent” some people think is Job declaring that God – the true God – has power over mythical pagan deities.

At any rate, Job is declaring that God’s power is multifaceted – able to destroy and able to create beauty.

Job 26 Summary of Verse 14

Just the beginning | Job 26:14

And Job says that this is just the beginning of considering God’s awesome and powerful ways – verse 14…

Job 26:14 [Lo/Behold/Indeed], these are [parts/the fringes/the outer fringes] of his ways:
[but how/and how/how] [little/faint] a [portion/word/whisper] is heard of him [?/!]
but [the thunder of his power/his mighty thunder] who can understand?

So, Job is getting close to truly learning the message of this book – which is When You Can’t Understand God’s Ways, You Must Trust His Wisdom. Job just acknowledged that God’s ways are ultimately beyond our fathoming.

And that’s fine enough to observe in the natural world around us. But it’s an entirely different matter to acknowledge this in your own life where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

And that’s exactly what we’ll see next time as Job transitions from admiring God’s powerful ways in nature … to lamenting God’s painful ways in his own life.

Job 25 Summary

Job 25 Summary

Job did lay down a challenge for his friends to prove him wrong in Job 24 summary. And so the next friend – Bildad – will try just that for a mere 6 verses in chapter 25. And this will be the last response of any of these friends that we see in this book.

Job 25 Summary of Verses 1-3

God’s martial rule establishes peace in heaven | Job 25:1-3

Bildad begins by asserting that God’s martial rule establishes peace in heaven – verses 1-3…

KJV Job 25:1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

Job 25:2 Dominion and [fear/awe/awesome might] [are with/belong to] [him/God],
[he maketh/who establishes/he establishes] peace in his [high places/heights].

Job 25:3 Is there any number of his armies? [Can his armies be numbered?…]
and upon whom doth not his light arise?

Job 25 Summary of Verses 4-6

God’s not impressed with heaven nor mankind | Job 25:4-6

And this God who imposes his military rule over heaven isn’t all that impressed with heaven – or with mankind – verses 4-6…

Job 25:4 How then can man be [justified/just/righteous] [with/before] God?
or how can he be [clean/pure] that is born of a woman?

Job 25:5 Behold even [to the moon, and it shineth not/the moon has no brightness/the moon is not bright]; [in God’s sight…]
yea, the stars are not pure [in his sight/as far as he is concerned].

Job 25:6 How much less man, [that is a/that/who is but a] [worm/maggot]?
[and the/a] son of man, [which is a/that/who is only a] worm?

So, if God dominates heaven – which is so apparently beautiful and perfect – then how could he ever accept a worm like mankind as being righteous?

This presupposition that Bildad is expressing is what fuels his Retribution Theology. You have to impress God with your good deeds and maybe then he’ll bless you. Bildad’s theology has no place for a man being truly righteous in God’s eyes.

And that’s all that Bildad has to say.

Job 24 Summary

Job 24 Summary

After Job 23 summary, Job continues speaking in the 24th chapter for 25 verses before he allows his friends to speak one last time.

Job 24 Summary of Verse 1

Why doesn’t God always punish the wicked immediately? | Job 24:1

And Job pivots the conversation to get back to what really is the case for the wicked. The friends say that God pretty much always punishes the wicked immediately in this life. So then, why does Job see instances where that doesn’t happen? – verse 1…

KJV Job 24:1 Why, [seeing times are not/are times not] [hidden {as a treasure}/stored up/appointed] [from/by] the Almighty, [why does the Almighty not punish?…]
[and why…] do they that know him not see his [own…] days?

Why doesn’t God store up times of recompense for the wicked and of deliverance for those who know him? Job’s not seeing that happen in his life.

Job 24 Summary of Verses 2-4

The wicked abuse the powerless | Job 24:2-4

And even though that verse was a bit difficult to translate and interpret, the message becomes very clear in the next several verses – as Job declares that the wicked abuse the powerless – and go unpunished! – verses 2-4…

Job 24:2 [Some/Men][remove/move] [the landmarks/boundary stones];
they [violently take away/seize] flocks, and [feed thereof/devour them/pasture them].

Job 24:3 They drive away the [ass/donkey] of the [fatherless/orphan],
they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.

Job 24:4 They [turn/push] the needy [out of/aside from/from] the [way/road/pathway]:
the poor of the [earth/land] [hide/are made to hide] themselves [together/altogether].

Job 24 Summary of Verses 5-6

The powerless people’s plight | Job 24:5-6

And then Job reviews the plight of the powerless who are abused by the wicked – verses 5 and 6…

Job 24:5 Behold, [as/like]wild [asses/donkeys] in the [desert/wilderness], go {they/the powerless} forth to their work;
[rising betimes/seeking diligently] for [a prey/food]: {because they’re not getting paid by their wicked master…}

the [wilderness/desert/wasteland] yieldeth food for them
 and for their children.

Job 24:6 They [reap/harvest] [every one his corn/their fodder] in the field:
and they gather [the/in the] [vintage/vineyard] of the wicked.

In other words, the powerless serve the wicked but they themselves go unpaid from the harvest they’re helping to reap for the wicked.

Job 24 Summary of Verses 7-8

The wicked don’t clothe those without necessary clothing | Job 24:7-8

So, the wicked don’t feed the powerless who serve them. They also don’t clothe or house them – verses 7 and 8…

Job 24:7 They [cause the naked to lodge/spend the night naked] [without/because they lack] clothing,
[that they have/and they have]no covering [in/against] the cold.

Job 24:8 They are [wet with/soaked by] [the showers of the mountains/mountain rains],
and [embrace the rock/hug the rock/huddle in the rocks] [for want of a/because they lack] shelter.

Job 24 Summary of Verses 9-11

More abuse from the wicked against the powerless | Job 24:9-11

And Job continues to review the abuse of the powerless at the hands of the wicked – verses 9-11…

Job 24:9 [They/Others] [pluck/snatch] the [fatherless/orphan/fatherless child] from the breast, {maybe as a pledge or surety…}
and take a pledge [of/against] the poor.

Job 24:10 They [cause him to go/cause the poor to go about/go about] naked without clothing,
and they take away the sheaf from the hungry; [or, someone goes hungry while carrying sheaves…]

Job 24:11 [Which/They][make/produce/press out] oil [within/between] [their walls/the rows of olive trees],
 and tread their winepresses, [and suffer thirst/but thirst/while they are thirsty].

They are carrying sheaves but don’t get to eat the grain. They press wine but don’t get to drink.

Job 24 Summary of Verse 12

But where is God as this is all happening? | Job 24:12

And if we’ve understood what Job has been arguing here, we ought to be outraged at what the wicked does to the powerless in this life. And our response will probably be like Job’s – where is God as all of this is happening? – verse 12…

Job 24:12 [Men/Dying men] groan [from out of/from] the city,
and the soul of the wounded crieth out [for help…]:

yet God [layeth not folly to them/does not pay attention to folly/charges no one with wrongdoing].

Job 24 Summary of Verses 13-17

The wicked clothe themselves in darkness | Job 24:13-17

Now, in Eliphaz’s last speech, he accused Job of assuming that physical darkness would hide his presumed evil deeds from God. And of course, Job denies that. But he doesn’t deny the fact that the wicked do engage in their evil behaviors in the dark – verses 13-17…

Job 24:13 [They are of/Others have been with/There are] those that rebel against the light;
they know not the ways thereof, [and don’t want to …]
nor [abide/stay] in the paths thereof. {here are two or three examples of these people…}

Job 24:14 The murderer rising [with the light/at dawn/before daybreak]
killeth the poor and needy,
and in the night is as a thief.

Job 24:15 The eye also of the adulterer [waiteth/watches] for the twilight,
saying, No eye [shall/will/can] see me:
and [disguiseth/covers with a mask] his face.

Job 24:16 In the dark [they/robbers] [dig through/dig into/breaks into] houses,
which they [had marked for themselves/shut themselves in] in the daytime:
they know not the light.

Job 24:17 For the morning is to them [even/the same] as [the shadow of death/thick darkness/deep darkness]:
[if one know them, they are in/he knows/they are friends with]the terrors of [the shadow of death/thick darkness].

Job 24 Summary of Verses 18-24

Yet the friends make facile claims about the wicked | Job 24:18-24

And yet, despite these realities that Job is pointing to, Job is amazed that these friends of his keep making facile claims about the wicked that just aren’t true – verses 18-24…

Job 24:18 [You say…] He is [swift/insignificant/foam] [as/on] the waters;
their portion is cursed [in the earth/of land]: {i.e. Job isn’t all of a sudden agreeing with the friends. He’s saying that this is what they are saying…}
[he beholdeth not/they do not turn toward/so that no one goes] the way of [the/their] vineyards.

Job 24:19 Drought and heat [consume/carry away] the snow waters:
so doth the grave those which have sinned.

Job 24:20 [The womb/A mother] shall forget him;
the worm shall [feed sweetly/feast] on him;

he shall be no more remembered; [because of the worm’s work…]
and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.

Job 24:21 He [evil entreateth/wrongs/preys on] the barren that beareth not:
and doeth not good to the widow.

Job 24:22 [He/The wicked] [draweth/drags off] [also/but] the [mighty/valiant] [with/by] his power:
[he/the wicked] riseth up, and no man is sure of life.

Job 24:23 Though it be given [him/the wicked] [by God…] to be in safety, whereon [he/the wicked] resteth;
[yet/but] [his/God’s] eyes are upon [their/the wicked’s] ways.

Job 24:24 They are exalted for a little while,
but are gone and brought low;

they are [taken out of the way/gathered up/gathered in] as all other,
and cut off as the tops of the [ears of corn/heads of grain].

So, this is how Job draws his response to a close. Despite much evidence to the contrary, the friends continue giving their debunked theories as to how God deals swiftly with the wicked in this life.

Job 24 Summary of Verse 25

A challenge for the friends to consider what Job said | Job 24:25

And Job ends with a challenge to the friends to prove him wrong – verse 25…

Job 24:25 And if it be not so now, who will [make/prove] me a liar,
and make my speech [nothing worth/worthless]?

So, Job has reviewed his inability to find God and to dispute with him concerning how God is treating him. He’s also overviewed the reality of how God works with the wicked in this life – and that reality doesn’t line up with what his friends have so adamantly claimed.

Job 23 Summary

Job 23 Summary

So, in response to what Eliphaz said in Job 22 summary, Job is going to respond with 17 verses in chapter 23 and with 25 verses in chapter 24.

But I’m not sure that you can classify it as much of a “response”.  At least, it’s not as direct of a response as what we’ve seen him do thus far. The only time he seems to directly address his friends is at the very end of chapter 24.

Job is more and more focused on God and on getting a hearing with him.

Job 23 Summary of Verses 1-2

Job briefly laments his situation generally | Job 23:1-2

And so, we see Job open chapter 23 with a very brief lament concerning his situation – verses 1 and 2…

KJV Job 23:1 Then Job answered and said,

Job 23:2 Even to day is my complaint [bitter/rebellion]:
[my stroke/his hand] is [heavier than/heavy despite] my groaning.

Job 23 Summary of Verses 3-7

Job fantasizes pleading his case before God | Job 23:3-7

And because Job feels like God is striking him, he goes on and starts to fantasize about him being able to plead his case before God – verses 3-7…

Job 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him!
 that I might come even to his [seat/place of residence]! {What would Job do if he could find God?…}

Job 23:4 I would [order/present/lay out] my [cause/case] before him,
and fill my mouth with arguments.

Job 23:5 I would [know/learn] the words which he would answer me,
and [understand/perceive] what he would say unto me.

Job 23:6 [Will/Would] he [plead against/contend with] me with his great power?
No; [but/surely/only] he would [put strength/pay attention][in/to] me.

Job 23:7 There [the righteous/the upright/an upright person] [might/would/could] [dispute with/reason with/present his case before] him;
[so/and] [should/would] I be delivered for ever from my judge.

Because in the mind of these men, God punishes the wicked and blesses the righteous, and God seems to be punishing the righteous Job. So Job has come to the point where he feels that perhaps God is a little mistaken – and all that God needs is for Job to argue the case to him that Job is righteous.

Job 23 Summary of Verses 8-9

Currently Job can’t find God | Job 23:8-9

But one big problem with that is that Job can’t seem to find God anywhere – verses 8 and 9…

Job 23:8 Behold, I go [forward/to the east], but he is not there;
and [backward/to the west], but I [cannot/do not] perceive him:

Job 23:9 [On the left hand/In the north], [where he doth work/when he acts/when he is at work], but I [cannot behold/do not see] him:
he [hideth/turns] himself [on/to] the [right hand/south], that I cannot see him:

Job 23 Summary of Verses 10-12

God knows that Job is innocent | Job 23:10-12

And yet, though Job doesn’t know where God is, Job is convinced that God knows that Job is innocent – verses 10-12…

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the [way/pathway] that I take:
[when/if]he [hath tried/tested] me, I [shall/would] come forth as gold.

Job 23:11 My foot hath [held/held fast to/followed closely] his [steps/path],
his way have I kept, and not [declined/turned aside].

Job 23:12 Neither have I [gone back/departed] from the commandment of his lips;
I have [esteemed/treasured] the words of his mouth more than my [necessary food/allotted portion].

So, this is in contrast to Eliphaz’s accusations against Job back in chapter 22 to the effect that Job doesn’t love God’s word. Job says that he loves it more than the food that’s necessary for him to physically survive.

Job 23 Summary of Verses 13-14

God is unchangeable and unstoppable | Job 23:13-14

And yet, though Job loves God’s word, and he’s not acting wickedly, yet God seems to be unchangeable and unstoppable in his determination to wrongfully punish Job – verses 13 and 14…

Job 23:13 But he is [in one mind/unique/unchangeable], and who can [turn/change] him?
and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Job 23:14 For he [performeth/fulfills] [the thing that is appointed/his decree] [for/against] me:
and many such [things/decrees] are [with him/his plans].

And I’ve heard that last verse used as a comfort for people. The general truth that God is sovereign in our lives is comforting, but it wasn’t comforting to Job, considering his circumstances.

Job 23 Summary of Verses 15-17

God’s ways in Job’s life are fearful and dark | Job 23:15-17

And that’s because God’s ways in Job’s life are fearful and dark – verses 15-17…

Job 23:15 [Therefore/That is why] [am/would be] I [troubled/dismayed/terrified] [at/in] his presence:
when I consider, I am [afraid/terrified] [of/because of] him.

Job 23:16 [For/It is/Indeed] God maketh my heart [soft/faint],
and the Almighty [troubleth/who has dismayed/has terrified] me:

Job 23:17 [Because/But/Yet] I [was not cut off/am not silenced/have not been silent] [before/by/because of] the darkness,
[neither/(blank)]hath [he/(the darkness)] covered [the darkness/deep gloom/thick darkness] [from/(blank)] my face.

Job 22 Summary

Job 22 Summary

Let’s open our Bibles to the 22nd chapter of the book of Job.

At this point in the book, Job and his friends are all trying to understand God’s ways without a direct message from God himself. As a result they’re all getting it wrong. What they need to do – and what we need to do – is to trust his wisdom when we can’t understand God’s ways.

Job is getting closer and closer to that point – but he’s not there yet.

As for Job’s friends, we’ll see in this last of three cycles of arguments between Job and his friends – that Eliphaz is not at all closer to trusting God’s wise workings in Job’s life.

Eliphaz Speaks | Job 22

So, Eliphaz speaks for 30 verses in chapter 22 – where he accuses Job of secret unrighteousness – and urges him to get right with God.

Job 22 Summary of Verses 1-3

Even if Job is righteous, God doesn’t care | Job 22:1-3

To begin, Eliphaz says that even if Job were righteous – and that’s a very big “if” in Eliphaz’s mind – well, God wouldn’t even care – verses 1-3…

KJV Job 22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite [answered and said/responded/answered],

Job 22:2 Can a [man/vigorous man/strong man] be [profitable/of use/of benefit] unto God,
[as/or] he that is wise may be [profitable/useful] unto [himself/him]?

Job 22:3 Is it any [pleasure/special benefit] to the Almighty, that thou art righteous?
or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways [perfect/blameless]?

So, it’s not like Job is doing God any favors by being righteous. God’s not impressed.

Job 22 Summary of Verses 4-5

Job really isn’t righteous | Job 22:4-5

But three verses is all the time that Eliphaz will allow himself to pretend like Job is hypothetically righteous. Because in reality, Eliphaz knows without a doubt that Job isn’t really righteous – verses 4 and 5…

Job 22:4 [Will/Does] he [reprove/rebuke] thee for [fear of thee/your reverence/your piety]?
[i.e., and…] [will he enter/enters] with thee into judgment? {i.e., is your righteousness what’s causing God to rebuke and judge you like he’s doing? On the contrary…}

Job 22:5 Is not thy wickedness great?
and thine iniquities [infinite/without end]?

That’s why God is rebuking and judging Job – for his great wickedness.

Job 22 Summary of Verses 6-9

Examples of Job’s alleged unrighteousness | Job 22:6-9

And Eliphaz has fabricated in his mind a few examples of Job’s alleged unrighteousness – verses 6-9…

Job 22:6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother [for nought/without cause/for no reason],
and stripped the naked of their clothing.

Job 22:7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink,
and thou hast withholden [bread/food] from the hungry.

Job 22:8 [But as for/Although you were]the mighty man {i.e., Job…}, [he/and] [had/owned] [the earth/land];
and [i.e., you were…] the honourable man {i.e., Job…} [i.e., who…] dwelt in it.

Job 22:9 Thou hast sent widows away empty[-handed],
and the [arms/strength] of the [fatherless/orphans] have been [broken/crushed] [by you…].

So, Job used his power and position to abuse those who were helpless.

Job 22 Summary of Verses 10-11

Job is being punished for his unrighteousness | Job 22:10-11

Certainly that’s why God is punishing you! – says Eliphaz – verses 10 and 11…

Job 22:10 [Therefore/That is why] snares [are round about/surround] thee,
and [why…] sudden [fear/dread] [troubleth/terrifies] thee;

Job 22:11 Or [why…]darkness [surrounds you…], [that/so that]thou canst not see;
and [abundance/why a flood] of waters cover thee.

It’s surely not because Job is righteous that God is punishing him. He must be wicked. Because according to the thinking of the three friends – wickedness is always punished swiftly in this life. If Job is being punished, therefore, he must be wicked.

Job 22 Summary of Verses 12-14

Job thinks God is ignorant of his unrighteous deeds | Job 22:12-14

And Eliphaz goes on to accuse Job of assuming that God is ignorant of all of his secret wickedness – verses 12-14…

Job 22:12 Is not God in the height of heaven?
and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

Job 22:13 [And/But/Because of that distance] thou sayest,

[How/What] doth God know?
can he judge through [the dark cloud/such deep darkness]?

Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a [covering to/veil for] him, that he seeth not [us…];
and he [walketh/goes back and forth] in the [circuit/vault] of heaven.

So, Eliphaz slanderously imagines Job saying to himself, “God’s up there and I’m down here doing my secret wickedness. God won’t see what I’m up to.”

Job 22 Summary of Verses 15-17

Will Job repeat the error of wicked men of old? | Job 22:15-17

But Eliphaz wants Job to know that if he continues in these wicked ways of his, he’ll end up just like all the wicked people down through the ages whom God punished – just like he’s punishing Job – verses 15-17…

Job 22:15 [Hast/Will] thou [marked/keep to] the [old/ancient] [way/path]
which wicked men have trodden?

Job 22:16 Which were [cut down/snatched away/carried off] [out of/before their] time,
whose foundation was overflown with [a/the] flood: {i.e., could be a reference to Noah’s flood…}

Job 22:17 Which said unto God,

[Depart/Turn away] from us:
and what can the Almighty do for [them/us]?

Job 22 Summary of Verses 18-20

God was good to those wicked men and the righteous mock their demise | Job 22:18-20

And Eliphaz starts showing some willingness to admit that God is sometimes good to the wicked – but after a few words of that he’ll revert back to the thought of the righteous mocking the demise of the wicked in this life – verses 18-20…

Job 22:18 Yet he filled their houses with good things:
but the counsel of the wicked is far from me. {like Job said earlier – this seems to be a pivot away from this thought and back toward his typical message…}

Job 22:19 The righteous see [it/their destruction], and [are glad/rejoice]:
and the innocent [laugh/mock] them [to scorn/scornfully] [saying…].

Job 22:20 [Whereas/Truly/Surely] our [substance/adversaries/enemies] [is not cut down/are cut off/are destroyed],
but [the remnant of them/their abundance/their wealth] the fire consumeth.

So, the righteous end up being fine in this life. But not so for the wicked – of whom Job is surely one – according to Eliphaz.

Job 22 Summary of Verses 21-24

Return to God | Job 22:21-24

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Eliphaz is going to once again hold out to Job hope. There’s still time for Job to return to God from his supposed secret wickedness – verses 21-24…

Job 22:21 [Acquaint now/Yield now/Reconcile] thyself with [him/God], and be at peace:
thereby good shall come unto thee.

Job 22:22 [Receive/Accept], I pray thee, [the law/instruction] from his mouth,
and [lay up/establish/store up] his words in thine heart.

Job 22:23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be [built up/restored],
[thou shalt/if you] [put away/remove] [iniquity/unrighteousness/wicked behavior] far from thy tabernacles.

Job 22:24 [Then shalt thou lay up/and place your/and throw your] gold [as/in the] dust,
and the gold of Ophir [as/among] the stones of the brooks.

So, return all that money you stole and stop relying on it as your idol, Job!

Job 22 Summary of Verses 25-30

Promised blessings for returning to God | Job 22:25-30

And of course, Eliphaz promises Job wonderful blessings for him once he stops all of his secret wickedness and returns to God – verses 25-30…

Job 22:25 [Yea/Then], the Almighty shall be thy [defence/gold],
and thou shalt have [him as…] [plenty of/choice] silver.

Job 22:26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty,
and shalt lift up thy face unto God.

Job 22:27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him,
and he shall hear thee,
and thou shalt [pay/fulfill to him] thy vows.

Job 22:28 [Whatever…] Thou shalt also [decree/decide on] a [thing/matter], and it shall be established [unto/for] thee:
and the light shall shine upon thy ways.

Job 22:29 When men are [cast down/brought low], then thou shalt say, [There is lifting up/Lift them up!];
and he shall save the [humble/downcast] person.

Job 22:30 He shall deliver the [island of the/one who is not/someone who is not] innocent:
and [it is/he will be] delivered [by/through] the [pureness/cleanness] of thine hands.

So, once Job gets on the Retribution Theology bandwagon, he’ll be able to pray for other people who are in his current situation – and God will hear him and restore them – like Job is in need of currently…

And that’s the end of Eliphaz’s speech. Job is wicked. That’s the only explanation as to why he’s suffering so much at God’s hands. But if he turns from his wickedness, then God will bless him once more.

Eliphaz has come to completely and fully understand God’s ways in Job’s life… Or has he? (No, of course he hasn’t.)