“Yahweh said to Job.
‘Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty Shaddai?
Anyone who argues with God must respond.’”
Yahweh now asked Job to respond. He had been complaining about what was just and right. He now has the chance to present his arguments to the almighty Shaddai.
“No one can look on the light
When it is bright in the skies,
When the wind has passed and cleared them.
Out of the north comes golden splendor.
Around God is awesome majesty.
The Almighty Shaddai!
We cannot find him.
He is great in power and justice.
He is great in abundant righteousness.
He will not violate.
Therefore mortals fear him.
He does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
The light of the sun is like God, we cannot look at it directly when it is bright in the sky. The wind and the clouds help us to see it. The almighty Shaddai comes in his awesome majesty from the north. This was a common Canaanite theory that God came from the north. We cannot find him. He is great in power, justice, and righteousness. He will never violate justice so that mortals fear him. However, beware of the people who think that they are wise and conceited in their own eyes.
“Therefore, hear me!
You men of understanding!
Far be it from God
That he should do wickedness.
Far be it from the Almighty Shaddai
That he should do wrong.
According to their deeds
He will repay them.
According to his ways
He will make it befall them.
Of a truth,
God will not do wickedly.
The Almighty Shaddai will not pervert justice.
Who gave him charge over the earth?
Who laid on him the whole world?
If he should take back his Spirit to himself,
If he should gather to himself his breath,
All flesh would perish together.
All mortals would return to dust.”
Once again, Elihu turned to the 3 wise men. They should listen to him. God cannot do wickedness. He does not do wrong things. Thus according to your deeds you will be repaid. You will get what you deserve. The almighty God will not pervert justice. He is in charge of the earth and the whole world. If he wanted to take his Spirit back, then all humans would perish and return to dust. The all powerful God had control of everything even human lives.
Hear my speech, O Job!
Listen to all my words!
I open my mouth.
The tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart.
What my lips know,
They speak sincerely.
The Spirit of God has made me.
The breath of the Almighty Shaddai gives me life.
If you can!
Set your words in order before me!
Take your stand!
I am as you are.
I too was formed from a piece of clay.
No fear of me need terrify you.
My pressure will not be heavy upon you.”
Then Elihu turned on Job himself. He almost sounded like an Israelite prophet, but he was not an Israelite. He wanted Job to listen to him. His mouth and tongue were going to speak. His heart was upright. His lips were sincere. The Spirit of the almighty Shaddai was given to him. Elihu wanted Job to answer him if he could. He wanted Job to take the stand. He like Job came from clay. He seemed to ignore the mother’s womb concept here. He was not going to pressure Job too hard, but already he asked Job to answer him.
“Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered.
‘I am young in years.
You are aged.
Therefore I was timid and afraid
To declare my opinion to you.
‘Let days speak!
Let many years teach wisdom!’
But truly it is the Spirit in a mortal,
The breath of the Almighty Shaddai,
That makes him understand.
It is not the old that are wise.
The aged do not understand what is right.
Therefore I say.
‘Listen to me!
Let me also declare my opinion!’”
Elihu said that he was young, which is why he had not spoken yet. The others were older so that he was timid and afraid to insert his opinion. He had hoped that he could learn from their wisdom. However, their so-called aged wisdom was lacking. It was the breath and the Spirit of the almighty Shaddai that brought understanding and wisdom. Elihu went on the offensive as he said that old people are not wise. They do not understand what is right. He wanted them to listen to him and his opinion.
“O that I had one to hear me!
Here is my signature!
Let the Almighty Shaddai answer me!
O that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
Surely I would carry it on my shoulder.
I would bind it on me like a crown.
I would give him an account of all my steps.
Like a prince I would approach him.”
Job wanted God, the almighty Shaddai to listen to him. Job was willing to give his signature which would have been the Hebrew “taw,” the last letter of Semitic alphabets. More than listening, Job wanted an answer to his prayers and petitions. He wanted a written indictment against him so that he could defend himself. This sounds like he lived in a time where legal documents were disputed. He wanted to explain his whole life. He had nothing to hide. He would wear this indictment on his shoulders or like a crown on his head.
“Job again took up his discourse.
‘O that I were as in the months of old.
As in the days when God watched over me,
When his lamp shone over my head,
By his light I walked through darkness.
As I was in my prime,
When the friendship of God was upon my tent,
When the Almighty Shaddai was still with me,
When my children were around me,
When my steps were washed with milk,
The rock poured out for me streams of oil!’”
Now it is back to the old complaining Job. Once again this is a solemn discourse, not a mere complaint with his friends. This time he was reminiscing about the “good old days.” God was watching over him as his head had something like a lamp around it. Job was able to walk through darkness because God liked him in his tent. He was in the prime years of his life. The friendship of the almighty Shaddai was still with him. His children were all around him. His steps were washed with milk, while oil gushed out of rocks. In other words, these were metaphors for the fact that he was prosperous and happy.
“May my enemy be like the wicked ones!
May my opponents be like the unrighteous!
What is the hope of the godless?
When God cuts them off?
When God takes away their lives?
Will God hear their cry?
When trouble comes upon them?
Will they take delight in the Almighty Shaddai?
Will they call upon God at all times?
I will teach you concerning the hand of God.
What is with the Almighty Shaddai?
I will not conceal it.
All of you have seen it yourselves.
Why then have you become altogether vain?”
Job or is it Zophar described the lot of the wicked. His enemies should be like the wicked and unrighteous. The godless people have no hope. When God cut them off, he takes their lives. God did not hear their cry when trouble came to them. They did not delight in the almighty Shaddai. Job knew about the almighty God, but they did not know him. Job did not hide so that anyone can see what is vain.
“Job again took up his discourse.
‘As God lives,
He has taken away my right.
The Almighty Shaddai has made my soul bitter.
As long as my breath is in me,
As long as the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
My lips will not speak falsehood.
My tongue will not utter deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right.
Until I die,
I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast to my righteousness.
I will not let it go.
My heart does not reproach me for any of my days.”
Once again, Job proclaimed his innocence before God. This is a discourse, a very solemn statement, like an oath. He maintained that the almighty Shaddai had made his soul bitter. He seemed to be talking to the living God. He said that as long as he was breathing and the spirit of God was in his nose, he would not speak falsehood or utter deceitful things. “Far be it from me” is a kind of oath. He would maintain his integrity and righteousness until his death. This righteousness often appears to be a form of self-righteousness.
“If I go forward,
He is not there.
If I go backward,
I cannot perceive him.
On the left, he hides.
I cannot behold him.
I turn to the right.
But I cannot see him.
But he knows the way that I take.
When he has tested me,
I shall come out like gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps.
I have kept his way.
I have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips.
I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.
But he stands alone.
Who can dissuade him?
What he desires,
That he does.
He will complete what he appoints for me.
Many such things are in his mind.
Therefore I am terrified at his presence.
When I consider,
I am in dread of him.
God has made my heart faint.
The Almighty Shaddai has terrified me.
If only I could vanish in darkness,
Thick darkness would cover my face.”
Whether Job went forwards, backwards, left, or right, he could not find God. No matter what direction, east, west, north, or south, he could not see God. Yet he would be like gold when tested. His steps were in line since he followed God’s way and commandments. Here is the problem. He was not a Jew following the Torah. Who could change God? He does what he desires. Whatever he has appointed for him, it will come to pass. Thus Job was terrified in his presence and feared the almighty Shaddai. If he could vanish into darkness that would cover his face, he would be fine.