Notes: Job 16-18

English Language Study Guide for January 14, 2008

By now we see that Job’s friends are relentless in their analysis that Job has brought this evil upon himself; and Job is equally adamant that his troubles are no fault of his own doing. As in many discussions, reason is abandoned and heated words become the mainstay of the debate.

Job 16

Job answers.

2: You all are miserable comforters. Like "doctor of death", the irony of this expression is most telling.

3: What right have you to say such things? Why don’t you stop?

4: If you were in my place, I could do as well as you-no, I could do better than you;

5: At least I’d say something that would lighten your burden a little.

6-16: See how this stress has affected Job physically as well as emotionally

17: "It’s NOT my fault," he pleads.

20: My friends have abandoned me; but I appeal to God.

21: Oh how I need someone to plead my case with God. I need a mediator between God and me.


1 Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

22: One day soon I’ll die, be relieved of all this trouble, and I won’t be back.


Job 17

Job continues. At times it’s difficult to see whether he addresses all his friends, but one of his friends, or even God. Surely as the person(s) addressed changes, so also does the meaning.

1: I smell of death.

3: Will no one be my friend?

4. Has God hidden the truth from Job’s friends? Does God ever hide truth from anyone?

Matthew 11:25   At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

7: I’ve cried so much I can hardly see.

8-10: The truth will prevail; but as for you, my friends, not one of you understands the truth about my situation.

11-16: I’ll likely die without ever knowing why these horrible things have happened to me.


Job 18

Bildad speaks again, with more heat and less light.

2: Job, why don’t you stop talking and let us speak?

3: What have we done that has made you to despise us?

4: Job’s anger is tearing him apart-he thinks the whole world revolves about him.

5-21: Job, you don’t stand a chance of recovery because of your wickedness.

From "the light of the wicked shall be put out" (verse 5) to "this is the place of him that knoweth not God" (verse 21), Bildad describes the end of the unrighteous. While his description is accurate, his application of these thoughts to Job is absolutely wrong. Remember what God said about Job in chapter 1?