- 9:33. ‘Someone to arbitrate’ (the ‘umpire’ RSV) is mentioned for the first time in the book. Keep a list of the occurrences, noticing what new features each fresh mention brings. Suggest ways in which Jesus Christ has made Job’s great wish a reality for us.
- What is jopb’s main desire in chapter 10? Do you think God is angered by such plain speaking? Cf. Pss. 55:1-8, 22; 62:8.
- 9:35. ‘Deep in my heart I have no guilty fears.’
- 10:12. An extraordinary verse to find in a long complaint. Either it means ‘Even in deep misery I am aware od an overriding loving purpose’; or ‘Even my past happiness was designed as a prelude to my present misery.’
Job 11 and 12
- Observe (a) the rebuke in 11:6; (b) the steps to repentance in 11:13, 14; (c) the picture of blessing in 11:15-19. Why do you think Zophar failed to help Job?
- Eliphaz spoke of visions, and research, Bildad of the wisdom of the ancients. To what authority does Zophar appeal to support his conviction that sin and suffering are inevitably lined?
- Zophar and Job each speak of divine wisdom. Compare the various examples of it which they cite.
Notes. 12:5-12. Perhaps Job is ironically quoting Zophar’s views back at him. Job’s point is that these platitudes are irrelevant to his situation. He does not deny them.
Job 13 and 14
For convenience the first cycle has been considered as ending at 14. It could equally finish at 12, with 13 and 14 beginning the fresh round of opposing speeches.
- What is Job’s chief accusation against his friends? What two demands does he now make to God?
- In the long dirge on man’s uncertainties in chapter 14 there is one small but significant gleam of hope. What is it? Compare and contrast the Christian’s view of this hope with Job’s. (Note, however, the in chapter 18 Job relapses into a deeper pessimism still.)