Job – Chapter 13

No, YOU Shut Up

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Job continues his reply to Tzofar the Naamasite:

“When it comes to G-d’s works, I’ve seen, heard and understood more than you. You say you wish G-d would talk with me personally; well, I’d like to talk with Him myself! By accusing me of sin, you three reveal yourselves as liars. Why don’t you just shut up and make yourselves look smart? If you claim to speak what G-d would say, then it reflects poorly on your argument to lie about me. You’re just ‘sucking up’ to Him. What will you do when He calls you on it? Will you try to justify by saying that you lied for Him? He won’t go for that. So just keep quiet and let me talk, come what may.”

“Look at the sorry state I’m in; why would I possibly refrain from speaking the truth? Let G-d kill me, I will still place my hope in Him. Nevertheless, what I say is true and G-d does not abide liars. I will present my case before Him and I know that I am innocent. If I let you accuse me without replying, I might as well die. I only ask two things of G-d so that we can discuss this matter: that He not coerce me and that He not terrify me so that I may speak freely. So, let’s talk, G-d. You can start or, if You prefer, I’ll go first.”

“Tell me what sins I’ve allegedly committed,” Job asks. “Why do You, G-d, afflict me long-distance? I’m nothing before You, like a dry leaf, so why persecute me? You must be punishing me for things I did as a child, before I understood my actions. You’ve permanently engraved all my actions and are causing me to rot away like a moth-ridden garment.”

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