Job – Chapter 27

An Innocent Man

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Job continues:

“I swear by G-d that He is the One Who has deprived me of my rights and made my life miserable. As long as I may live, I will not recant . I will not give into your words because I am innocent. I know I have acted properly, so those who oppose me are in the wrong. It won’t help a thief to flatter G-d; He will still cast him down. If G-d won’t help an innocent man like me, He certainly won’t help a guilty one! Such a person will never know joy in G-d.”

“I will tell you what’s in G-d’s hand,” Job says. “We’ve all seen what happens to evil people, so how can you be so smug as to suggest that I have chosen that path? Here’s what G-d does to the wicked: if he has many children, he will lose them to violence and his grandchildren will starve. Those who survive will perish while he dies and his wife will be relieved to see him gone. If he gathers money and possessions, they will go to the righteous when the wicked man is destroyed. The wicked man builds his house as frail as a moth hole, or at best temporary like a watchman’s booth. He dies wealthy, but he goes unburied. As soon as he becomes ill, he just has to blink and people will run off with his wealth. He is terrorized by night and swept away, as if by a storm. Those who overpower this wicked person will have no mercy on him and his advisors will defect. Those who formerly supported him jeer at him in his downfall.”

As an example of supporters turning on the wicked when things go sour, Rashi cites Charbonah from the Book of Esther. Charbonah had been a supporter of Haman, but when the tables turned, Charbonah sold him out and told Ahashuerus about the gallows Haman had made to use on Mordechai. (See Esther 7:9.)

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