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.)
The Second Cycle of Speeches (15-21)
Unable to persuade Job that he is wrong; his friends now use blunter accusation and scarcely-veiled threats. They dwell on the fate of the wicked. Job, by this time very upset, sinks into repeated moaning about his troubles. Then, quite suddenly, at the deepest point of misery he revives a little (16:19; 19:25), and in 21 attacks this antique idea of his friends that ‘It’s always the bad who get the pain’, and accuses them of preaching a dogma denied by life. Their observations are inaccurate.