"20 Only grant two things to me, then I will not hide myself from your face: 21 withdraw your hand far from me, and do not let dread of you terrify me."
A. What are the two preconditions Job sets out in order for trial to go forward? What is the difference between the two? Some scholars suggest that "withdraw your hand" means that Job requests God not to continue to inflict further ills upon him. What are your thoughts?
B. Job's second request is identically worded to Job's words in 9:34, where Job has just expressed his frustration that there was no arbitrator between God and him. Are the thoughts used in the same way or different way in the two contexts?
C. In law an injunction is what is referred to as an equitable action in which someone asks the court to compel the other side to stop doing what they are doing right now because s/he (the person complaining) is being irreparably (and unjustly) harmed by the other party's actions. Is that what Job is requesting?
"22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me."
A. What is the "courtroom procedure" that Job envisions?
B. The combination of "call and answer" also appears in 12:4 and 14:15. Both of those contexts are more "covenantal" than "legal." All three speak of Job's approach to God, however. Are legal (i.e., "call and answer" in a lawsuit) and relational (i.e., "call and answer" in prayer) at opposite ends of the speaking spectrum with respect to God or are they closer than one might expect?
C. Is Job's lawsuit an act of defiance or possibly an act of true faith?
"23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why do you hide your face, and count me as your enemy? 25 Will you frighten a windblown leaf and pursue dry chaff?"
A. Is verse 23 a real or a rhetorical question? That is, Job asked the friends to show him how he had sinned in 6:24. Is the argument here that the friends couldn't show this and so Job now "moves up the line" to ask God the same question? Or, is it really a statement Job is making (i.e., 'You can't show me my iniquities)?
B. Even if verse 23 is a rhetorical question, what is Job really interested in learning from God?
C. Job seemingly has more hope in a legal process in these verses than he did in ch. 9. There, he says, "If I summoned him and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to my voice (9:16)." Do you agree with my assertion? And, if so, to what do you attribute this greater confidence?
D. Verse 24 is the real nub of Job's lawsuit, his case in a nutshell, so to speak. What do you "hear" in Job's question? Describe some of Job's psychological struggles that are behind this question.
E. How does Job now feel when he asks the question in verse 25?
"26 For you write bitter things against me, and make me reap the iniquities of my youth. 27 You put my feet in the stocks, and watch all my paths; you set a bound to the soles of my feet. 28 One wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten."
A. What bitter things has God written against Job?
B. Verse 27 seems to contain an inner contradiction. If Job's feet are in the stocks, he has no paths to watch. How do you handle these contrary metaphors?
C. By the end of the chapter it seems like the image of trial is fading away for Job. Why do you think that is the case? What replaces it?
D. Do you see verse 28 as reflective of Job's mental condition at this time? Why does he put it in the 3rd person and not the 1st?