The Book of Job is a difficult book for many reasons. It is a book that cries out for slow, careful reading. It is a book that, like none other, requires us to begin with prayer and asking for God's spirit to assist us. The book is a difficult fit in the Tannakh or Old Testiment. It isn't a Jewish book speaking of a time BEFORE the chosen people came into being. It is an old book, perhaps the oldest in scripture. The book itself seems to be a tedious debate between Job and his three 'friends'.
It's a book many people may have read once or twice or merely glanced at. It's said that every page in scripture points to Jesus Christ but non discerning reading of Job finds – without the spirit – this hard to find in Job.
Job is not so much the story of Job and his three so called friends. It is a one sided contest between the creator himself and the adversary. Note first that God initiates the action. He calls the adversary, i.e., satan himself, and initiates the action. God sets the stage, directs the action. Satan is the main actor and Job is the man chosen to be the vehicle for what follows.
Job is a long book. Many chapters are he discussions between Job and his three so called friends. Note that in these discussions, the three friends are learned and wise men. Put the stress on MEN. Each pretends to offer wisdom. But the wisdom is man's wisdom. Note very carefully that the three men never once pray. In each section, the only prayer comes from Job. They offer the wisdom of man, he responds always in prayer. They pretend to interpret wisdom, but all fall short. We are reminded of Matthew 23:18, i.e., “call no MAN rabbi (authority)”. This is precisely the point: there is only one authority, only one rabbi, and that is God. Job's three 'friends' act as authority – man's authority.
As we study Job, we are reminded of the rabbi's approach to the Word. See first the plain and simple meaning, the pshat. Then don't stop there. Go on to the secondary meaning (remez), and the third (drash) and the fourth (remez). The three wise men are men, not inspired, their approach to wisdom is not prayerfully sought, they are superimposing themselves on their friend Job, in effect seeking to become a “mediator” between Job and God. We know now from the New Testament that God has rented the veil that separates God from man, that we need no intercessor (no pope, no bishop, no Mary, no pastor, no teacher) between us and the Lord. The three wise men were attempting to be mediators, go betweens.
One might say that yes that is okay now, AFTER Yeshua ha Meshiach, Jesus Christ, has come and obediently sacrificed Himself for us. But this argument or position deals with the issue from our sense of time, our watch. We must think of this from God's time. He is outside time, His watch is better than even our best Rolex. They are different. And scripture, Job included, is the word of God, written in His time – not ours.When, in who's “time”, was a non-Godly mediator ever required?
Was not satan himself, the “adversary” God is calling to task in Job trying to act as the mediator between man and God in the Garden? Surely he was. Fallen men setting themselves up as “mediators” are merely surrogates for satan in the world over which, he, satan, has dominion.
This is essentially while Job's three friends fall short.
Satan asks God to be allowed to tempt Job. God gives him limited permission. Note that satan asks for unlimited power. God gives him some but NEVER power over Job's life. Now here, we might be reminded that the purposes of God and the purposes of satan differ. God is willing, even eager, to TEST us. Satan, on the other hand, the left one, wants to TEMPT us. The end point of testing and tempting are different. God wants us to WIN, satan wants us to LOSE.
Job isn't perfect. He is after all, like us, merely a man. Job's geneology points that out. He was a descendent of Noah. He was in fact a nephew of Abraham. He was a descendent of Adam. He carried the defective gene of fallen man. He was born to die. He speaks about death all the time in his statements.
Job wants God to explain to him, man, why he, God, is treating Him so. Here is his weakness. Job wants God to justify Himself to man. And here is one of the key messages in Job. God is God, His ways are His ways. He is the creator who does what He wants. The potter does what He wants and is not required to explain to the clay what He is doing. Job, clay, wants an explanation. None is necessary or required. Secondly, the message for us today is this: we are not to try to remake God in OUR image. Rather it is, and always has been, the other way around. We are to constantly try to remake ourselves, through Jesus's perfect sacrifice and the Holy Spirit's come-fortifying in God's image. Job, like new age religions today, like satan in the garden, want to equate ourselves as gods, to become equal to God Himself. That is pride, the root of sin. And in that respect Job, always praying, prays for the wrong thing.
Job was righteous – in man's terms. He handled God's blessings easily. He had problems dealing with God's curses. He would acknowledge God's right to curse, but he wants an explanation.
Job does very well telling his three 'friends' why they come up short. He acknowledges the Lord, he prays, he submits, he trusts – but he does grumble. He wants an explanation as it he is entitled to one.
2. Elihu ben Barakh'el
In chapter 32 of the Book of Job, we meet one of the most amazing persons in all of Scripture, Elihu ben Barahk'el.
Who he is has become a matter of the widest conjecture by bible commentators and teachers, particularly in the west and most particularly in believers stuck in the English language, and grievously so by those with limited knowledge of the original text and original languages.
In Genesis when the Creator created man, the Hebrew says Elohim made man in our image.
Elohim, a substitute for Yahweh, is a PLURAL noun– clearly pointing to he trinity. Note also that the plural noun is followed by a SINGULAR verb.
Note well the closeness of ELOHIM and ELIHU.
Elihu in Hebrew, the language in which Moses wrote the Book of Job means MY GOD IS HE.
Ben in Hebrew means “son of”
Barahk'el in Hebrew means WHOM GOD HAS BLESSED.
Here we have it. Elihu ben Barahh'el means: MY GOD IS HE WHOM GOD HAS BLESSED.
Elihu talks to Job in Chapters 32-37.
Next, let us remember that throughout scripture when a prophet speaks, it is ALWAYS preceded with the declaration “thus sayeth the Lord”. Whenever a person – Isaiah, Ezekiel, John et.al. come in the presence of God Almighty, they fall on their face in the presence of God. Also notice that the prophets ALWAYS refrain from using the first person singular when speaking. They always refrain from using the words “I am” the holy name of God. Anytime a person comes into contact with an angel or a messenger of God, when they kneel, the angel or messenger ALWAYS take great and immediate care to say, quickly say stand up, I am not God, I am only a messenger.
In scripture, only TWO persons use the first person singular without any qualifications – thereby stating they are entitled to deference. They are Yeshua ha Messhiach (Jesus Christ) AND ELIHU BEN BARAKH'EL in the Book of Job.
Take the real meaning of Elihu's name. Take his use of “I AM” throughout chapters 32-37. And you must come to the conclusion that Elihu MAY BE an appearance of Yeshua, of God Himself.
When Jesus used I AM, and He did so repeatedly, you can only come to the conclusion that He was (a) either a blasphemer or (b) exactly who He said He was. We might use the same yardstick in approaching whe Elihu was.
Jesus appeared several (or more) times in the Tannakh (old tesament). When references are made to “an” angel of the Lord, is was probably exactly that, an angel. When the reference is to “the” angel of the Lord, it is traditionally meant to mean it was Yeshua. It was Yeshua who wrestled with Jacob. It was Yeshua, not Joshua, who waged and won the battle of Jericho. And so on.
So it is not to think, if Elihu may have been an old testament appearance of Yeshua, it was the one and only time Yeshua did so.
Now, let us look at Elihu's words in chapters 32-37 in the Book of Job. Elihu doesn't merely “reason” as Job's three friends did. Elihu TESTIFIES. Elihu REVEALS. Elihu PROCLAIMS.
He just doesn't comment on things already declared for that hadn't been revealed yet. Remember Job is the oldest book in the word of God. Elihu speaks to Job (and to us) with the authority of the author Himself. He is talking as a rabbi or authority (go back to Matthew 23, where Yeshua says there is only ONE authority and He, Yeshua, is one with God, He is the living Word.
Count the use of the first person singular, without any qualifiers, in Elihu's teachings in chapters 32-37. Some get around the quite clear statements by saying well, he might be a precurser of John the Baptist. But even John the Baptist was very clear to point out he was not the annointed one, but merely came to point the way. Elihu makes no such qualification.
Some say Elihu was much more argumentative than Jesus. But following Elihu, Yahweh Himself speaks to Job.And this Yahweh is also combative and argumentative. Those who dwell on this style miss the point that the Jesus of the gospels was the First appearance, as saviour, and there will be a second appearance as judge. They also miss the point that Jesus DID speak about judgment. He said more about hell then any other writer or speaker.
Who was/is Elihu? It is for each of us to pray about and seek God's spirit to guide us. There are many views. We have ours and feel it is pretty conclusive.
As always, remember Paul's admonition to the Berean's in Acts 17-11, i.e., don't believe anybody but take it to the scriptures for verification.
Our point in relooking and rethinking the Book of Job is this: put away what you have been taught, almost always by others, and wipe your mind clear. Begin your rereading of the Book of Job with prayer for spirit filled strengthening. Start with the beginning where it clearly states God does the ijnitiating. Reread the three friends and note that never once they never once pray. Then get ready for the experience of a lifetime when you get to chapter 32 and Elihu.
You will end up with a new appreciation of the Book of Job. It contains uncountable richness.
And also remember this: Job is the oldest and earliest book in the Word of God. Man on earth has had this rich exposition of God's word from earliest times. From the time of Moses, man has had both Torah and Job for teaching, for strength.
Job includes teaching about eternity, about science, about salvation, about man's works vs God's works, about repentence, about trust and obedience. Look at Chapter 19:25.
We pray that each of you may grow in knowledge in the Word of the Lord.
What a joy we have received in this study. May it be the same with each of you.
p.s. This is my first cut on this topic and surely it will be rewritten and upgraded as time goes by.
We will study the Book of Job at our bible study next week (sister Rita will inform you whether it will be Tuesday or Thursday. As you know, it will be the last study I personally will be at before our trip back to America for medical visitations. I do plan on preparing alternating old testament and new testament weekly studies as a suggestion for your studies during the hopefully brief time we will be away.
I'm sending this to you in two different formats so any computer should be able to download it.
Jesus was A Jew ?
A Murder of Crows Salvation Download the first chapter by clicking on here