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Job_26-42 (1).docx

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Boston College
Honors Program
HONR 1101

Emily McClure Job 26-42 In the second half of Job, Elihu enters the picture to try to resolve Job’s question of why there is the innocent sufferer/undeserved suffering.At first, his speech seems promising. He declares that he is much wiser than Job’s other three friends and that he will most definitely relieve Job of his pending question. Elihu insists, “Therefore I say, listen to me; I also will declare my knowledge!” (Job 32:10). He then goes on to say that Job is incorrect in thinking that God does not hear or listen to his outcries. He asserts that God indeed does listen and does reply, although not with spoken words. Instead, God responds and forewarns humans (like Job) through dreams and through dealing out pain: “Why, then, do you make complaint against him that he gives no reply to their words? For God does speak, once, even twice, though you do not see it. In a dream, in a vision of the night… It is then he opens their ears and with a warning, terrifies them… Or he is chastened on a bed of pain, suffering continually in his bones” (33:13-16, 19). Maybe, he offers, God is replying to Job though the pain He is causing him. However, this doesn’t realize address why God is punishing him, and it seems to revert to the same conclusion that the other friends had – that Job must have erred because God is never cruel or unjust. Yet, unlike Job’s other friends, Elihu genuinely appears as though he want to help Job and to relieve his suffering. He begs Job, “Speak out! I should like to see you justified” (33:32). He later offers Job a new thought that the earlier friends did not. He suggests that God is so almighty that humans cannot even comprehend His wisdom or reasoning. Elihu adds, “See, God is great beyond our knowledge, the number of his years past searching out” (36:26). Elihu seems to say that it is impossible for humans to understand His doings and that Job should accept this. Next, God shows up to Job and enters the big debate. God addresses Job and demands him to listen and answer Him. Then, He basically begins to chastise Job and asks him endless patronizing, reproaching (and basically rhetorical) questions in order to establish His power. God uses these questions to assert His mightiness and remind Job how amazing His powers are as Creator. For example, He asks Job, “Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its size? Surely you know? Who stretched out the measuring line
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