The Effect of the Friends' Speeches Upon Job
Job 12:1-5
And Job answered and said,…

The whole world, Job feels, is against him, and he is left forlorn and solitary, unpitied in his misery, unguided in his perplexity. And he may well feel so. All the religious thought of his day, all the traditions of the past, all the wisdom of the patriarchal Church, if I may use, as I surely may, the expression, is on one side. He, that solitary sufferer and doubter, is on the other. And this is not all, or the worst. His own habits of thought, his own training, are arrayed against him. He had been nursed, it is abundantly clear, in the same creed as those who feel forced to play the part of his spiritual advisers. The new and terrible experience of this crushing affliction, of this appalling visitation, falling upon one who had passed his life in the devout service of God, strikes at the very foundation of the faith on which that life, so peaceful, so pious, and so blessed, as it has been put before us in the prologue to the tragedy, has been based and built up. All seems against him; his friends, his God, his pains and anguish, his own tumultuous thoughts; all but one voice within, which will not be silenced or coerced. How easy for him, had he been reared in a heathen creed, to say, "My past life must have been a delusion; my conscience has borne me false witness. I did justice, I loved mercy, I walked humbly with my God. But I must in some way, I know not how, have offended a capricious and arbitrary, but an all-powerful and remorseless Being. I will allow with you that that life was all vitiated by some act of omission or of commission of which I know nothing. Him therefore who has sent His furies to plague me, I will now try to propitiate." But no! Job will not come before his God, a God of righteousness, holiness, and truth, with a lie on his lips. And so he now stands stubbornly at bay, and in this and the following two chapters he bursts forth afresh with a strain of scorn and upbraiding that dies away into despair, as he turns from his human tormentors, once his friends, to the God who seems, like them, to have become his foe, but to whom he clings with an indomitable tenacity.

(Dean Bradley.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Job answered and said,

WEB: Then Job answered,

Independency of Thought in Religion
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