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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Job 21

 

 

Verses 1-34

CHAPTER 21 Job’s Reply

1. Hear my solemn words--then mock on (Job 21:1-6)

2. His testimony concerning the experiences of the wicked (Job 21:7-26)

3. Your answers are nothing but falsehoods (Job 21:27-34)

Job 21:1-6. This answer shows that Job gets the upper hand over his accusing friends in this controversy. In a masterly way he meets their arguments. He wants them to hear diligently, and if they choose, after he has spoken, they may mock on. He is not complaining to man, or making his appeal to these human friends. He begins to look for another helper, even to God.

Job 21:7-26. Zophar’s eloquent words concerning the wicked are taken up by Job and he proves that experience shows another side besides the one Zophar had made so prominent. The wicked often live to a ripe old age and possess great power. They have large families and their houses are safe from fear; nor is the chastening hand of God upon them. They prosper and all goes well with them; their cattle increase. They sing to the timbrel and to the harp and rejoice at the sound of the pipe. They love pleasure and have a good time. Then suddenly Job changeth the description. They spend their days in prosperity--but in a moment they go down to Sheol. It reminds us of Asaph’s great Psalm (73) in which he describes the prosperity of the wicked: “When I thought to know this it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places; Thou castedst them down to destruction.”

Job declares they reject and defy God; they laugh at the thought of praying to Him. Then he gives his own, personal testimony “the counsel of the wicked is far from me.” In this he shows his friends that they are wrong in classing him with the wicked. Then he continues in unfolding the problem of the wicked and how God deals with them.

Job 21:27-34. Without enlarging upon the final statements of his answer, we only remark that Job shows that his friends have not only failed to convince him, but their answers are insincere and nothing but falsehoods. The victory is on his side; yet the problem, “why do the righteous suffer and how can their suffering be harmonized with a righteous God,” remains as unsolved as before.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Job 21:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/job-21.html. 1913-1922.

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