|Job 15 |
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite said,
2 "Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?1
3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? Or with speeches with which he can do no good?
4 Yes, you cast off fear, and restrain prayer before God.
5 For your mouth utters your iniquity, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I. Yes, your own lips testify against you.
7 Are you the first man who was born? Or were you made before the hills?
8 Do you possess the secrets of God? And do you confine wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand, which is not in us?
10 With us are both the gray headed and very aged men, much older than your father.
11 Are the consolations of God too small for you? Is there any secret thing with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away? And what do your eyes wink at,
13 That you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth?
14 What is man, that he should be clean? What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 If he [God] puts no trust in his Holy ones [saints]; if even the heavens are not clean in his sight;
16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinks iniquity like water?2
17 I will show you, hear me; and what I have seen I will declare;
18 What wise men have been told from their fathers, and have not hidden it.
19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no alien intruded or passed among them.3
20 The wicked man travails with pain all his days, the oppressor through all the number of years appointed to him.
21 A dreadful sound is in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.
22 He knows that he shall not escape from darkness, and he anticipates his destruction by the sword.
23 He wanders abroad for [spiritual bread, God's help] bread, saying, "Where is it?" He knows that the day of darkness is already at hand.
24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
25 For he stretches out his hand against God, and strengthens himself against the Almighty.
26 Running against him with the ornaments of his [imaginary] shield;
27 Because he covers his face with his fatness, and makes heavy slices of fat on his thighs,
28 And he dwells in desolate cities, and in houses which no man should inhabit, which are destined to become ruins.
29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall his possessions last on the earth.
30 He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of His mouth shall he go away.4
31 Let not him who is deceived trust in vanity, for vanity shall be his recompense.
32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.
33 He shall drop his grapes before they ripen on the vine, and shall cast off his flower like the olive tree.
34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of the corrupt.5
35 They conceive trouble and bring forth iniquity, and their womb prepares deceit."
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1 Uttering vain knowledge increases your pride, which increases your evil. Filling his belly with the east wind, is to fill yourself with evil. The east wind (Khamsin, khamseen, chasing, or ham sin), refers to an evil wind from the desert, bringing evil spirits, the plague, depression, etc. Aside from being physically debilitating to people, animals, and crops, the winds also bring increased crime and death. The winds are thought to carry demonic spirits from the hot, dry, stark places in the wilderness deserts where demons are believed to prefer to live. Jesus tells us that evil spirits walk in dry places. The Spanish called these winds from the desert: vientos de Satán ("winds of Satan"). Burial tombs situated in the outlying areas and often bordering the desert, were also believed to be haunted by demons. These same effects appear world wide; even in Los Angeles, the desert winds, called Santa Annas, bring unruliness, depression, and crime. When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Luke 11:24, Mat 12:43. Joan Didon writes from Slouching Towards Bethlehem:
There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension. What it means is that tonight a Santa Ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through the Cajon and San Gorgonio Passes, blowing up sand storms out along Route 66, drying the hills and the nerves to flash point. For a few days now we will see smoke back in the canyons, and hear sirens in the night.
I have neither heard nor read that a Santa Ana is due, but I know it, and almost everyone I have seen today knows it too. We know it because we feel it. The baby frets. The maid sulks. I rekindle a waning argument with the telephone company, then cut my losses and lie down, given over to whatever it is in the air. To live with the Santa Ana is to accept, consciously or unconsciously, a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior.
I recall being told, when I first moved to Los Angeles and was living on an isolated beach, that the Indians would throw themselves into the sea when the bad wind blew. I could see why. The Pacific turned ominously glossy during a Santa Ana period, and one woke in the night troubled not only by the peacocks screaming in the olive trees but by the eerie absence of surf. The heat was surreal. The sky had a yellow cast, the kind of light sometimes called "earthquake weather." My only neighbor would not come out of her house for days, and there were no lights at night, and her husband roamed the place with a machete. One day he would tell me that he had heard a trespasser, the next a rattlesnake.
"On nights like that," Raymond Chandler once wrote about the Santa Ana, "every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen." That was the kind of wind it was. I did not know then that there was any basis for the effect it had on all of us, but it turns out to be another of those cases in which science bears out folk wisdom.
The Santa Ana, which is named for one of the canyons it rushers through, is foehn wind, like the foehn of Austria and Switzerland and the hamsin of Israel. There are a number of persistent malevolent winds, perhaps the best know of which are the mistral of France and the Mediterranean sirocco, but a foehn wind has distinct characteristics: it occurs on the leeward slope of a mountain range and, although the air begins as a cold mass, it is warmed as it comes down the mountain and appears finally as a hot dry wind. Whenever and wherever foehn blows, doctors hear about headaches and nausea and allergies, about "nervousness," about "depression."
In Los Angeles some teachers do not attempt to conduct formal classes during a Santa Ana, because the children become unmanageable. In Switzerland the suicide rate goes up during the foehn, and in the courts of some Swiss cantons the wind is considered a mitigating circumstance for crime. Surgeons are said to watch the wind, because blood does not clot normally during a foehn.
A few years ago an Israeli physicist discovered that not only during such winds, but for the ten or twelve hours which precede them, the air carries an unusually high ratio of positive to negative ions. No one seems to know exactly why that should be; some talk about friction and others suggest solar disturbances. In any case the positive ions are there, and what an excess of positive ions does, in the simplest terms, is make people unhappy. One cannot get much more mechanistic than that.
Easterners commonly complain that there is no "weather" at all in Southern California, that the days and the seasons slip by relentlessly, numbingly bland. That is quite misleading. In fact the climate is characterized by infrequent but violent extremes: two periods of torrential subtropical rains which continue for weeks and wash out the hills and send subdivisions sliding toward the sea; about twenty scattered days a year of the Santa Ana, which, with its incendiary dryness, invariably means fire. At the first prediction of a Santa Ana, the Forest Service flies men and equipment from northern California into the southern forests, and the Los Angeles Fire Department cancels its ordinary non-firefighting routines. The Santa Ana caused Malibu to burn as it did in 1956, and Bel Air in 1961, and Santa Barbara in 1964. In the winter of 1966-67 eleven men were killed fighting a Santa Ana fire that spread through the San Gabriel Mountains.
Just to watch the front-page news out of Los Angeles during a Santa Ana is to get very close to what it is about the place. The longest single Santa Ana period in recent years was in 1957, and it lasted not the usual three or four days but fourteen days, from November 21 until December 4. On the first day 25,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains were burning, with gusts reaching 100 miles an hour. In town, the wind reached Force 12, or hurricane force, on the Beaufort Scale; oil derricks were toppled and people ordered off the downtown streets to avoid injury from flying objects. On November 22 the fire in the San Gabriels was out of control. On November 24 six people were killed in automobile accidents, and by the end of the week the Los Angeles Times was keeping a box score of traffic deaths. On November 26 a prominent Pasadena attorney, depressed about money, shot and killed his wife, their two sons and himself. On November 27 a South Gate divorcée, twenty-two, was murdered and thrown from a moving car. On November 30 the San Gabriel fire was still out of control, and the wind in town was blowing eighty miles an hour. On the first day of December four people died violently, and on the third the wind began to break.
It is hard for people who have not lived in Los Angeles to realize how radically the Santa Ana figures in the local imagination. The city burning is Los Angeles's deepest image of itself. Nathaniel West perceived that, in The Day of the Locust, and at the time of the 1965 Watts riots what struck the imagination most indelibly were the fires. For days one could drive the Harbor Freeway and see the city on fire, just as we had always known it would be in the end.
Los Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse, and, just as the reliably long and bitter winters of New England determine the way life is lived there, so the violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability. The winds shows us how close to the edge we are.
2 What is man, that he should be clean? What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? If he [God] puts no trust in his Holy ones [saints]; if even the heavens are not clean in his sight; How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinks iniquity like water? These verses are often quoted by ministers in Christendom to prove that man cannot be righteous, which scriptures totally contradict:
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Cor 15:34.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. Acts 10:34-35.
Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7-10.
You are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be of sin, which leads to death,
or of obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God) Rom 6:16
Notice obedience leads to righteousness. First you have to be obedient; over time, being obedient results in righteousness.
What is man, that he should be clean?
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. James 4:8.
Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor 7:1.
Also Note! It is Eliphaz is speaking, not Job, whom God has called upright and perfect twice; and Eliphaz is severely criticizing Job. But it was Eliphaz that made God angry: As God says in Job 42:7, "I am angry with you [Eliphaz] and your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, like my servant Job has."
3 What wise men have been told from their fathers, and have not hidden it. Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no alien [spiritual] intruded or passed among them. Now the only time that the earth was given alone to wise men without an "alien" to intrude or pass among them, was immediately after the great flood. All the godless men had been destroyed from the earth by the flood, and so there was no one around who was different; not one man to preach a different philosophy, a different opinion, or to doubt a God who had recently destroyed all evil men. God's ways would be very, very important to such a group of survivors. It would take several generations for the fear of God to be forgotten. This is why there is so much knowledge about God spoken by all these men.
4 Despite Job's friends' mistake in assuming that God would never afflict a righteous man, they show more understanding of the ways of God than the entirety of Christendom, which is totally ignorant on the light of Christ vs. the darkness of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:4-5. The darkness of Christendom does not comprehend the light; none of the wicked shall understand. Examine below Eliphaz's understandings with New Testament scriptures:
Eliphaz said: He shall not depart out of darkness;
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was god. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and there was nothing made without him. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4.
And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19.
But the children [Jewish heirs] of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mat 8:12
Bind him hand and foot, and take him away and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mat 22:13
And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mat 25:30
Eliphaz said: the flame shall dry up his branches.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Mat 7:19
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:6
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Mat 3:9-11
Eliphaz said: and by the breath of His [God's] mouth shall he go away.
And then that wicked one [the man of sin within you] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming. 2 Thes 2:8.
5 Eliphaz said: the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate. A congregation of hypocrites is a people who talk about God and continue to sin — they profess religion, but continue to sin. They honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. Mark 7:6-7,Isa 29:13. It appears that the wise men of that age had seen the future of congregations of hypocrites; when a man finds God, to dwell in his presence continually, the Lord shows a man some events of the future. Later, the Jews were deceived many, many times and had many congregations of hypocrites. Still later, Christianity was confused by perverse men preaching a false salvation, resulting in congregations of hypocrites that were pervasive.
Eliphaz said: Fire shall consume the tabernacles [bodies are spiritual houses or tabernacles] of the corrupt. Fire shall consume the spiritual houses [their bodies] of those who are still sinning when they die.
All man's work shall be exposed. For the day [of the Lord] shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work survives, which he has built upon the foundation, he shall receive a reward.
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Cor 3:13-15.
Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 1 Cor 15:50.
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