I know You talk to people, like Moses for example, You spoke to him as though it was face-to-face (Ex 33:11-23).
When You talk to me, even though I understand it, I am unable to explain it to others. It’s like You are speaking a foreign language that I understand, but can’t speak, nor can I interpret it.
Aren’t You going to talk to Job?
Elihu Declares His Opinion
Part 3 of 5
Having emphasized the importance of the chastening aspect of suffering, a point mentioned only briefly by Eliphaz (see 5:17), Elihu now moves on to the possibility of redemption based on a mediator. He further allows for God’s gracious response of forgiveness where sincere repentance is present.
But Elihu is still ignorant of the true nature of Job’s relationship to God, known only in the divine council (chs 1-2).
“If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth.
He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.
He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light” (Job 33:29-28).
“Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living” (Job 33:29-30).
To bring back his soul from the pit – Elihu teaches that God’s apparent cruelty in chastening human beings is in reality an act of love, since man is never punished in his life in keeping with what he fully deserves (see v 27).
light of the living – Spiritual well-being (see Ps 49:19). In some contexts the phrase refers to resurrection.
“Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.
If thou hast anything to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.
If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom” (Job 33:31-33).
I desire to justify thee – But this will happen, Elihu insists only if Job repents.
The Sennacherib Prism
Upon his ascension to the Assyrian throne, Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) had to quell numerous revolts throughout his domain.
The Sennacherib Prism, a monumental text recorded in Akkadian, recounts his campaign to the region now known as Palestine in 701 B.C.
Comparing Biblical accounts (2 Kgs 18:13-22; 2 Chr 32:1-22; Is 36-37) to Assyrian annals and other archaeological data helps us to make sense of the sequence of events:
*Second Chronicles records a massive invasion against the cities in Judah (32:1, 9), and Sennacherib, in his prism, claims to have laid siege to 46 of Hezekiah’s fortified, walled cities and surrounding towns.
*Archaeological data supports these accounts, with evidence of widespread destruction throughout Judah (e.g., at Beersheba and Lachish.
+The prism describes, in general terms, Sennacherib’s advance through the coastal cities of Phoenicia and Philistia toward Jerusalem. This ferocious assault, in which he “slew… nobles who had provoked rebellion to and hung their bodies on watchtowers,” vividly illustrated the threats made by the Assyrian messengers (vv. 13-19).
Even so, Sennacherib never claimed to have captured Jerusalem but rather to have “shut up Hezekiah in Jerusalem like a bird in a cage.” This boast tacitly admits his failure to capture Jerusalem and agrees with the Biblical account.