To understand, let us review what happenned
Jehovah calls attention to his faithful servant Job, but Satan challenges Job’s integrity, charging that Job serves God because of material benefits received. If God will allow Satan to take these away, Job will turn away from his integrity. Jehovah accepts the challenge, with the restriction that Satan must not touch Job himself.
Many calamities start to befall the unsuspecting Job. Raids by Sabeans and Chaldeans remove his great riches. A storm kills his sons and daughters. This severe test fails to make Job curse God or turn away from him. Rather, he says, “Let the name of Jehovah continue to be blessed.” (1:21)
Satan, defeated and proved a liar on this count, appears again before Jehovah and charges: “Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul.” (2:4) Satan claims that if he was permitted to touch Job’s body, he could make Job curse God to his face. With permission to do everything short of taking Job’s life, Satan strikes Job with a dreadful disease. His flesh becomes “clothed with maggots and lumps of dust,” and his body and breath become foul-smelling to his wife and relatives. (7:5; 19:13-20) Indicating that Job has not broken his integrity, his wife urges him: “Are you yet holding fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job rebukes her and does not “sin with his lips.”—2:9, 10.
Satan now raises up three companions, who come to “comfort” Job. They are Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.
Eliphaz accuses Job of lacking integrity. The upright have never perished, he declares. He recalls a night vision in which a voice told him that God has no faith in his servants, especially those of mere clay, the dust of the earth. He indicates that Job’s suffering is a discipline from Almighty God.
Job spiritedly replies to Eliphaz. He cries out as any creature would who was undergoing persecution and distress. Death would be a relief. He upbraids his companions for scheming against him and protests: “Instruct me, and I, for my part, shall be silent; and what mistake I have committed make me understand.” (6:24) Job contends for his own righteousness before God, “the Observer of mankind.”—7:20.
Bildad now voices his argument, implying that Job’s sons have sinned and that Job himself is not upright, otherwise he would be heard by God. He instructs Job to look to the former generations and to the things searched out by their forefathers as a guide.
Job replies, maintaining God is not unjust. Neither does God have to account to man, for He is “doing great things unsearchable, and wonderful things without number.” (9:10) Job cannot win against Jehovah as his opponent-at-law. He can only implore God’s favor. And yet, is there any benefit in seeking to do what is right? “One blameless, also a wicked one, he is bringing to their end.” (9:22) There is no righteous judgment in the earth. Job fears he will lose his case even with God. He needs a mediator. He asks why he is being tried and implores God to remember that he is made “out of clay.” (10:9) He appreciates God’s past kindnesses, but he says God will only be more greatly vexed if he argues, even though he is in the right. Could he but expire!
Zophar now enters the debate. He says, in effect: Are we children, to listen to empty talk? You say you are really clean, but if only God would speak, he would reveal your guilt. He asks Job: “Can you find out the deep things of God?” (11:7) He advises Job to put away hurtful practices, for blessings will come to those who do this, whereas “the very eyes of the wicked will fail.”—11:20.
Job cries out with strong sarcasm: “For a fact you men are the people, and with you wisdom will die out!” (12:2) He may be a laughingstock, but he is not inferior. If his companions would look to the creations of God, even these would teach them something. Strength and practical wisdom belong to God, who controls all things, even to “making the nations grow great, that he may destroy them.” (12:23) Job finds delight in arguing his case with God, but as for his three “comforters”—“you men are smearers of falsehood; all of you are physicians of no value.” (13:4) It would be wisdom on their part to keep silent! He expresses confidence in the justness of his case and calls on God to hear him. He turns to the thought that “man, born of woman, is short-lived and glutted with agitation.” (14:1) Man soon passes, as a blossom or a shadow. You cannot produce someone clean out of someone unclean. In praying that God would keep him secret in Sheol until His anger turns back, Job asks: “If an able-bodied man dies can he live again?” In answer he expresses strong hope: “I shall wait, until my relief comes.”—14:13, 14.
In a final dissertation, Job completely silences his companions. (32:12, 15, 16) With great sarcasm he says: “O how much help you have been to one without power! . . . How much you have advised one that is without wisdom!” (26:2, 3) Nothing, however, not even Sheol, can cover up anything from God’s sight. Job describes God’s wisdom in outer space, the earth, the clouds, the sea, and the wind—all of which man has observed. These are but the fringes of the Almighty’s ways. They are hardly a whisper of the Almighty’s greatness.
Job had asked God to speak to him. Now Jehovah majestically answers out of the windstorm. He sets before Job a series of questions that are in themselves an object lesson in man’s littleness and God’s greatness. “Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth? . . . Who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause?” (38:4, 6, 7) That was long before Job’s time! One after another, questions are raised that Job cannot answer, as Jehovah points to earth’s sea, its garment of cloud, the dawn, the gates of death, and light and darkness. “Have you come to know because at that time you were being born, and because in number your days are many?” (38:21) And what about the storehouses of snow and of hail, the storm and the rain and the dewdrops, the ice and the hoarfrost, the mighty heavenly constellations, the lightnings and cloud layers, and the beasts and the birds?
Job humbly admits: “Look! I have become of little account. What shall I reply to you? My hand I have put over my mouth.” (40:4) Jehovah commands Job to face the issue. He poses a further series of challenging questions that exalt his dignity, superiority, and strength, as displayed in his natural creations. Even Behemoth and Leviathan are much more powerful than Job! Completely humbled, Job acknowledges his wrong viewpoint, and he admits that he spoke without knowledge. Seeing God now, not by hearsay but with understanding, he makes a retraction and repents “in dust and ashes.”—42:6.
Jehovah next charges Eliphaz and his two companions with not speaking truthful things about Him. They must provide sacrifices and have Job pray for them. After this, Jehovah turns back the captive condition of Job, blessing him in double amount. His brothers, sisters, and former friends return to him with gifts, and he is blessed with twice as many sheep, camels, cattle, and she-asses as previously. He again has ten children, his three daughters being the prettiest women in all the land. His life is miraculously extended by 140 years, so that he comes to see four generations of his offspring. He dies “old and satisfied with days.”—42:17.
All Scriptures is Inspired of God...