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1. Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #9 "Does TV Ever Triggers my Desires?"

Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #9

This week's question on the Ask The Needyhelper Podcast comes from Francesco in Milan. "Does TV Ever Triggers my Desires?"

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2. Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #6

Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #6

In this weeks Ask Needy Helper Podcast Richard Blakeborough from New Zealand wants to know: "Why after 3 weeks of not drinking do I still have the urge and then succumb to it?"

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3. Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #7

Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #7

In this weeks Ask Needy Helper Podcast Alin Ivanov from Romania wants to know: “Why do we do certain things even though we know they are bad for us? You think about it, you know it will end badly but you still do it anyway?”

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4. Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #10 "Do I ever suffer from FOMO when my friends drink around me."

Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #10

This week's question comes from Peter in Oxford, UK. "Do I ever suffer from FOMO when around my friends that drink?"

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5. Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #8 "Do I Miss Alcohol?"

Ask Needy Helper Podcast: Episode #8

This week's question on the Ask The Needyhelper Podcast comes from Rachel in Orange County. "Do I miss Alcohol?"

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7. needy helper 9

  • Published: 2017-11-06T11:13:18Z
  • By Sue
needy helper 9

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8. surah baqara p 2

surah baqara p 2

Surah Al-Baqara In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Alif. Lam. Mim. (1) This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). (2) Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them; (3) And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. (4) These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful. (5) As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. (6) Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. (7) And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not. (8) They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not. (9) In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie. (10) And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only. (11) Are not they indeed the mischief-makers ? But they perceive not. (12) And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: Shall we believe as the foolish believe? Beware! They indeed are the foolish? But they know not. (13) And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock. (14) Allah (Himself) doth mock them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their contumacy. (15) These are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, so their commerce doth not prosper, neither are they guided. (16) Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindleth fire, and when it sheddeth its light around him Allah taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness, where they cannot see, (17) Deaf, dumb and blind; and they return not. (18) Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death, Allah encompasseth the disbelievers. (in His guidence) (19) The lightning almost snatcheth away their sight from them. As often as it flasheth forth for them they walk therein, and when it darkeneth against them they stand still. If Allah willed, He could destroy their hearing and their sight. Lo! Allah is able to do all things. (20) O mankind! worship your Lord, Who hath created you and those before you, so that ye may ward off (evil). (21) Who hath appointed the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causeth water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you. And do not set up rivals to Allah when ye know (better). (22) And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside Allah if ye are truthful. (23) And if ye do it not - and ye can never do it - then guard yourselves against the Fire prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is of men and stones. (24) And give glad tidings (O Muhammad) unto those who believe and do good works; that theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow; as often as they are regaled with food of the fruit thereof, they say: this is what was given us aforetime; and it is given to them in resemblance. There for them are pure companions; there for ever they abide. (25) Lo! Allah disdaineth not to coin the similitude even of a gnat or anything above that. Those who believe know that it is the truth from their Lord; but those who disbelieve say: What doth Allah wish (to teach) by such a similitude? He misleadeth many thereby, and He guideth many thereby; and He misleadeth thereby only miscreants; (26) Those who break the covenant of Allah after ratifying it, and sever that which Allah ordered to be joined, and (who) make mischief in the earth: Those are they who are the losers. (27) How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then He will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return. (28) He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things. (29) And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not. (30) And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful. (31) They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise. (32) He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. (33) And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (34) And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (35) But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. (36) Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. (37) We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (38) But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (39) O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you, and fulfil your (part of the) covenant, I shall fulfil My (part of the) covenant, and fear Me. (40) And believe in that which I reveal, confirming that which ye possess already (of the Scripture), and be not first to disbelieve therein, and part not with My revelations for a trifling price, and keep your duty unto Me. (41) Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth. (42) Establish worship, pay the poor-due, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship). (43) Enjoin ye righteousness upon mankind while ye yourselves forget (to practise it)? And ye are readers of the Scripture! Have ye then no sense? (44) Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded, (45) Who know that they will have to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are returning. (46) O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures. (47) And guard yourselves against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped. (48) And (remember) when We did deliver you from Pharaoh's folk, who were afflicting you with dreadful torment, slaying your sons and sparing your women: that was a tremendous trial from your Lord. (49) And when We brought you through the sea and rescued you, and drowned the folk of Pharaoh in your sight. (50) And when We did appoint for Moses forty nights (of solitude), and then ye chose the calf, when he had gone from you, and were wrong-doers. (51) Then, even after that, We pardoned you in order that ye might give thanks. (52) And when We gave unto Moses the Scripture and the criterion (of right and wrong), that ye might be led aright. (53) And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship) so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful. (54) And when ye said: O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly; and even while ye gazed the lightning seized you. (55) Then We revived you after your extinction, that ye might give thanks. (56) And We caused the white cloud to overshadow you and sent down on you the manna and the quails, (saying): Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you - They wrong us not, but they did wrong themselves. (57) And when We said: Go into this township and eat freely of that which is therein, and enter the gate prostrate, and say: "Repentance." We will forgive you your sins and will increase (reward) for the right-doers. (58) But those who did wrong changed the word which had been told them for another saying, and We sent down upon the evil-doers wrath from heaven for their evil-doing. (59) And when Moses asked for water for his people, We said: Smite with thy staff the rock. And there gushed out therefrom twelve springs (so that) each tribe knew their drinking-place. Eat and drink of that which Allah hath provided, and do not act corruptly, making mischief in the earth. (60) And when ye said: O Moses! We are weary of one kind of food; so call upon thy Lord for us that He bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth - of its herbs and its cucumbers and its corn and its lentils and its onions. He said: Would ye exchange that which is higher for that which is lower? Go down to settled country, thus ye shall get that which ye demand. And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah's revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression. (61) Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabians - whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (62) And (remember, O Children of Israel) when We made a covenant with you and caused the mount to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil). (63) Then, even after that, ye turned away, and if it had not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy ye had been among the losers. (64) And ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated! (65) And We made it an example to their own and to succeeding generations, and an admonition to the God-fearing. (66) And when Moses said unto his people: Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make game of us? He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish! (67) They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith, Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature; (she is) between the two conditions; so do that which ye are commanded. (68) They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders. (69) They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. Lo! cows are much alike to us; and Lo! if Allah wills, we may be led aright. (70) (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark. They said: Now thou bringest the truth. So they sacrificed her, though almost they did not. (71) And (remember) when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding. (72) And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand. (73) Then, even after that, your hearts were hardened and became as rocks, or worse than rocks, for hardness. For indeed there are rocks from out which rivers gush, and indeed there are rocks which split asunder so that water floweth from them. And indeed there are rocks which fall down for the fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what ye do. (74) Have ye any hope that they will be true to you when a party of them used to listen to the word of Allah, then used to change it, after they had understood it, knowingly? (75) And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe. But when they go apart one with another they say: Prate ye to them of that which Allah hath disclosed to you that they may contend with you before your Lord concerning it? Have ye then no sense? (76) Are they then unaware that Allah knoweth that which they keep hidden and that which they proclaim? (77) Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. They but guess. (78) Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands and then say, "This is from Allah," that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby. (79) And they say: The Fire (of punishment) will not touch us save for a certain number of days. Say: Have ye received a covenant from Allah - truly Allah will not break His covenant - or tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not? (80) Nay, but whosoever hath done evil and his sin surroundeth him; such are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein. (81) And those who believe and do good works: such are rightful owners of the Garden. They will abide therein. (82) And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and establish worship and pay the poor-due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse. (83) And when We made with you a covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of your people nor turn (a party of) your people out of your dwellings. Then ye ratified (Our covenant) and ye were witnesses (thereto). (84) Yet ye it is who slay each other and drive out a party of your people from their homes, supporting one another against them by sin and transgression-and if they came to you as captives ye would ransom them, whereas their expulsion was itself unlawful for you - Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom. For Allah is not unaware of what ye do. (85) Such are those who buy the life of the world at the price of the Hereafter. Their punishment will not be lightened, neither will they have support. (86) And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay? (87) And they say: Our hearts are hardened. Nay, but Allah hath cursed them for their unbelief. Little is that which they believe. (88) And when there cometh unto them a scripture from Allah, confirming that in their possession - though before that they were asking for a signal triumph over those who disbelieved - and when there cometh unto them that which they know (to be the truth) they disbelieve therein. The curse of Allah is on disbelievers. (89) Evil is that for which they sell their souls: that they should disbelieve in that which Allah hath revealed, grudging that Allah should reveal of His bounty unto whom He will of His bondmen. They have incurred anger upon anger. For disbelievers is a shameful doom. (90) And when it is said unto them: Believe in that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We believe in that which was revealed unto us. And they disbelieve in that which cometh after it, though it is the truth confirming that which they possess. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Why then slew ye the prophets of Allah aforetime, if ye are (indeed) believers? (91) And Moses came unto you with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), yet, while he was away, ye chose the calf (for worship) and ye were wrong-doers. (92) And when We made with you a covenant and caused the Mount to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast by that which We have given you, and hear (Our Word), they said: We hear and we rebel. And (worship of) the calf was made to sink into their hearts because of their rejection (of the covenant). Say (unto them): Evil is that which your belief enjoineth on you, if ye are believers. (93) Say (unto them): If the abode of the Hereafter in the providence of Allah is indeed for you alone and not for others of mankind (as ye pretend), then long for death (for ye must long for death) if ye are truthful. (94) But they will never long for it, because of that which their own hands have sent before them. Allah is aware of evil-doers. (95) And thou wilt find them greediest of mankind for life and (greedier) than the idolaters. (Each) one of them would like to be allowed to live a thousand years. And to live (a thousand years) would be no means remove him from the doom. Allah is Seer of what they do. (96) Say (O Muhammad, to mankind): Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah's leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers; (97) Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers. (98) Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them. (99) Is it ever so that when they make a covenant a party of them set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not. (100) And when there cometh unto them a messenger from Allah, confirming that which they possess, a party of those who have received the Scripture fling the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they knew not, (101) And follow that which the devils falsely related against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic and that which was revealed to the two angels in Babel, Harut and Marut. Nor did they (the two angels) teach it to anyone till they had said: We are only a temptation, therefore disbelieve not (in the guidance of Allah). And from these two (angles) people learn that by which they cause division between man and wife; but they injure thereby no-one save by Allah's leave. And they learn that which harmeth them and profiteth them not. And surely they do know that he who trafficketh therein will have no (happy) portion in the Hereafter; and surely evil is the price for which they sell their souls, if they but knew. (102) And if they had believed and kept from evil, a recompense from Allah would be better, if they only knew. (103) O ye who believe, say not (unto the Prophet): "Listen to us" but say "Look upon us," and be ye listeners. For disbelievers is a painful doom. (104) Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture nor the idolaters love that there should be sent down unto you any good thing from your Lord. But Allah chooseth for His mercy whom He will, and Allah is of Infinite Bounty. (105) Such of our revelation as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things? (106) Knowest thou not that it is Allah unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and ye have not, beside Allah, any friend or helper? (107) Or would ye question your messenger as Moses was questioned aforetime? He who chooseth disbelief instead of faith, verily he hath gone astray from a plain road. (108) Many of the people of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them. Forgive and be indulgent (toward them) until Allah give command. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. (109) Establish worship, and pay the poor-due; and whatever of good ye send before (you) for your souls, ye will find it with Allah. Lo! Allah is Seer of what ye do. (110) And they say: None entereth paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their own desires. Say: Bring your proof (of what ye state) if ye are truthful. (111) Nay, but whosoever surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good, his reward is with his Lord; and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (112) And the Jews say the Christians follow nothing (true), and the Christians say the Jews follow nothing (true); yet both are readers of the Scripture. Even thus speak those who know not. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they differ. (113) And who doth greater wrong than he who forbiddeth the approach to the sanctuaries of Allah lest His name should be mentioned therein, and striveth for their ruin. As for such, it was never meant that they should enter them except in fear. Theirs in the world is ignominy and theirs in the Hereafter is an awful doom. (114) Unto Allah belong the East and the West, and whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah's Countenance. Lo! Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (115) And they say: Allah hath taken unto Himself a son. Be He glorified! Nay, but whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth is His. All are subservient unto Him. (116) The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. (117) And those who have no knowledge say: Why doth not Allah speak unto us, or some sign come unto us? Even thus, as they now speak, spake those (who were) before them. Their hearts are all alike. We have made clear the revelations for people who are sure. (118) Lo! We have sent thee (O Muhammad) with the truth, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And thou wilt not be asked about the owners of hell-fire. (119) And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah (Himself) is Guidance. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then wouldst thou have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper. (120) Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers. (121) O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures. (122) And guard (yourselves) against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will compensation be accepted from it, nor will intercession be of use to it; nor will they be helped. (123) And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with (His) commands, and he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have appointed thee a leader for mankind. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring (will there be leaders)? He said: My covenant includeth not wrong-doers. (124) And when We made the House (at Mecca) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship). (125) And when Abraham prayed: My Lord! Make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day, He answered: As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey's end! (126) And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed): Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower. (127) Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Relenting, the Merciful. (128) Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, Wise. (129) And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous. (130) When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds. (131) The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him). (132) Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One God, and unto Him we have surrendered. (133) Those are a people who have passed away. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do. (134) And they say: Be Jews or Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters. (135) Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. (136) And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and Allah will suffice thee (for defence) against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (137) (We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring. We are His worshippers. (138) Say (unto the People of the Scripture): Dispute ye with us concerning Allah when He is our Lord and your Lord? Ours are our works and yours your works. We look to Him alone. (139) Or say ye that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know best, or doth Allah? And who is more unjust than he who hideth a testimony which he hath received from Allah? Allah is not unaware of what ye do. (140) Those are a people who have passed away; theirs is that which they earned and yours that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do. (141) The foolish of the people will say: What hath turned them from the qiblah which they formerly observed? Say: Unto Allah belong the East and the West. He guideth whom He will unto a straight path. (142) Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you. And We appointed the qiblah which ye formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard (test) save for those whom Allah guided. But it was not Allah's purpose that your faith should be in vain, for Allah is Full of Pity, Merciful towards mankind. (143) We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad). And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces (when ye pray) toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that (this revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do. (144) And even if thou broughtest unto those who have received the Scripture all kinds of portents, they would not follow thy qiblah, nor canst thou be a follower of their qiblah; nor are some of them followers of the qiblah of others. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then surely wert thou of the evil-doers. (145) Those unto whom We gave the Scripture recognise (this revelation) as they recognise their sons. But lo! a party of them knowingly conceal the truth. (146) It is the Truth from thy Lord (O Muhammad), so be not thou of those who waver. (147) And each one hath a goal toward which he turneth; so vie with one another in good works. Wheresoever ye may be, Allah will bring you all together. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. (148) And whencesoever thou comest forth (for prayer, O Muhammad) turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord. Allah is not unaware of what ye do. (149) Whencesoever thou comest forth turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship; and wheresoever ye may be (O Muslims) turn your faces toward it (when ye pray) so that men may have no argument against you, save such of them as do injustice - Fear them not, but fear Me! - and so that I may complete My grace upon you, and that ye may be guided. (150) Even as We have sent unto you a messenger from among you, who reciteth unto you Our revelations and causeth you to grow, and teacheth you the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth you that which ye knew not. (151) Therefore remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me. (152) O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast. (153) And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah "dead." Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not. (154) And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast, (155) Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are Allah's and lo! unto Him we are returning. (156) Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided. (157) Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is). And he who doeth good of his own accord, (for him) lo! Allah is Responsive, Aware. (158) Lo! Those who hide the proofs and the guidance which We revealed, after We had made it clear in the Scripture: such are accursed of Allah and accursed of those who have the power to curse. (159) Except such of them -as repent and amend and make manifest (the truth). These it is toward whom I relent. I am the Relenting, the Merciful. (160) Lo! Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of men combined. (161) They ever dwell therein. The doom will not be lightened for them, neither will they be reprieved. (162) Your God is One God; there is no God save Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful. (163) Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for people who have sense. (164) Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allah, loving them with a love like (that which is the due) of Allah (only) - Those who believe are stauncher in their love for Allah - Oh, that those who do evil had but known, (on the day) when they behold the doom, that power belongeth wholly to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment! (165) (On the day) when those who were followed disown those who followed (them), and they behold the doom, and all their aims collapse with them. (166) And those who were but followers will say: If a return were possible for us, we would disown them even as they have disowned us. Thus will Allah show them their own deeds as anguish for them, and they will not emerge from the Fire. (167) O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you. (168) He enjoineth upon you only the evil and the foul, and that ye should tell concerning Allah that which ye know not. (169) And when it is said unto them: Follow that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers were wholly unintelligent and had no guidance? (170) The likeness of those who disbelieve (in relation to the messenger) is as the likeness of one who calleth unto that which heareth naught except a shout and cry. Deaf, dumb, blind, therefore they have no sense. (171) O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship. (172) He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (173) Lo! those who hide aught of the Scripture which Allah hath revealed and purchase a small gain therewith, they eat into their bellies nothing else than fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He make them grow. Theirs will be a painful doom. (174) Those are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of pardon. How constant are they in their strife to reach the Fire! (175) That is because Allah hath revealed the Scripture with the truth. Lo! those who find (a cause of) disagreement in the Scripture are in open schism. (176) It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God-fearing. (177) O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painful doom. (178) And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding, that ye may ward off (evil). (179) It is prescribed for you, when death approacheth one of you, if he leave wealth, that he bequeath unto parents and near relatives in kindness. (This is) a duty for all those who ward off (evil). (180) And whoso changeth (the will) after he hath heard it - the sin thereof is only upon those who change it. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower. (181) But he who feareth from a testator some unjust or sinful clause, and maketh peace between the parties, (it shall be) no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (182) O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off (evil); (183) (Fast) a certain number of days; and (for) him who is sick among you, or on a journey, (the same) number of other days; and for those who can afford it there is a ransom: the feeding of a man in need - but whoso doeth good of his own accord, it is better for him: and that ye fast is better for you if ye did but know - (184) The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and (He desireth) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful. (185) And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. (186) It is made lawful for you to go unto your wives on the night of the fast. They are raiment for you and ye are raiment for them. Allah is Aware that ye were deceiving yourselves in this respect and He hath turned in mercy toward you and relieved you. So hold intercourse with them and seek that which Allah hath ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall and touch them not, but be at your devotions in the mosques. These are the limits imposed by Allah, so approach them not. Thus Allah expoundeth His revelation to mankind that they may ward off (evil). (187) And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that ye may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully. (188) They ask thee, (O Muhammad), of new moons, say: They are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage. It is not righteousness that ye go to houses by the backs thereof (as do the idolaters at certain seasons), but the righteous man is he who wardeth off (evil). So go to houses by the gates thereof, and observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful. (189) Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. (190) And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. (191) But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (192) And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers. (193) The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil). (194) Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! Allah loveth the beneficent. (195) Perform the pilgrimage and the visit (to Mecca) for Allah. And if ye are prevented, then send such gifts as can be obtained with ease, and shave not your heads until the gifts have reached their destination. And whoever among you is sick or hath an ailment of the head must pay a ransom of fasting or almsgiving or offering. And if ye are in safety, then whosoever contenteth himself with the visit for the pilgrimage (shall give) such gifts as can be had with ease. And whosoever cannot find (such gifts), then a fast of three days while on the pilgrimage, and of seven when ye have returned; that is, ten in all. That is for him whoso folk are not present at the Inviolable Place of Worship. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is severe in punishment. (196) The pilgrimage is (in) the well-known months, and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein (let him remember that) there is (to be) no lewdness nor abuse nor angry conversation on the pilgrimage. And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it. So make provision for yourselves (Hereafter); for the best provision is to ward off evil. Therefore keep your duty unto Me, O men of understanding. (197) It is no sin for you that ye seek the bounty of your Lord (by trading). But, when ye press on in the multitude from 'Arafat, remember Allah by the sacred monument. Remember Him as He hath guided you, although before ye were of those astray. (198) Then hasten onward from the place whence the multitude hasteneth onward, and ask forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (199) And when ye have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as ye remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance. But of mankind is he who saith: "Our Lord! Give unto us in the world," and he hath no portion in the Hereafter. (200) And of them (also) is he who saith: "Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire." (201) For them there is in store a goodly portion out of that which they have earned. Allah is swift at reckoning. (202) Remember Allah through the appointed days. Then whoso hasteneth (his departure) by two days, it is no sin for him, and whoso delayeth, it is no sin for him; that is for him who wardeth off (evil). Be careful of your duty to Allah, and know that unto Him ye will be gathered. (203) And of mankind there is he whoso conversation on the life of this world pleaseth thee (Muhammad), and he calleth Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart; yet he is the most rigid of opponents. (204) And when he turneth away (from thee) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loveth not mischief. (205) And when it is said unto him: Be careful of thy duty to Allah, pride taketh him to sin. Hell will settle his account, an evil resting-place. (206) And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah; and Allah hath compassion on (His) bondmen. (207) O ye who believe! Come, all of you, into submission (unto Him); and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you. (208) And if ye slide back after the clear proofs have come unto you, then know that Allah is Mighty, Wise. (209) Wait they for naught else than that Allah should come unto them in the shadows of the clouds with the angels? Then the case would be already judged. All cases go back to Allah (for judgment). (210) Ask of the Children of Israel how many a clear revelation We gave them! He who altereth the grace of Allah after it hath come unto him (for him), lo! Allah is severe in punishment. (211) Beautified is the life of the world for those who disbelieve; they make a jest of the believers. But those who keep their duty to Allah will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. Allah giveth without stint to whom He will. (212) Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path. (213) Or think ye that ye will enter paradise while yet there hath not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with earthquake, till the messenger (of Allah) and those who believed along with him said: When cometh Allah's help? Now surely Allah's help is nigh. (214) They ask thee, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say: that which ye spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good ye do, lo! Allah is Aware of it. (215) Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. (216) They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein. (217) Lo! those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape the persecution) and strive in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (218) They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. And they ask thee what they ought to spend. Say: that which is superfluous. Thus Allah maketh plain to you (His) revelations, that haply ye may reflect. (219) Upon the world and the Hereafter. And they question thee concerning orphans. Say: To improve their lot is best. And if ye mingle your affairs with theirs, then (they are) your brothers. Allah knoweth him who spoileth from him who improveth. Had Allah willed He could have overburdened you. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (220) Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His grace, and expoundeth His revelations to mankind that haply they may remember. (221) They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness. (222) Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad). (223) And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind. Allah is Hearer, Knower. (224) Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths. But He will take you to task for that which your hearts have garnered. Allah is Forgiving, Clement. (225) Those who forswear their wives must wait four months; then, if they change their mind, lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (226) And if they decide upon divorce (let them remember that) Allah is Hearer, Knower. (227) Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (228) Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah. And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself. These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah's limits: such are wrong-doers. (229) And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorce her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge. (230) When ye have divorced women, and they have reached their term, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. Retain them not to their hurt so that ye transgress (the limits). He who doeth that hath wronged his soul. Make not the revelations of Allah a laughing-stock (by your behaviour), but remember Allah's grace upon you and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture and of wisdom, whereby He doth exhort you. Observe your duty to Allah and know that Allah is Aware of all things. (231) And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not. (232) Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling. The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child. No-one should be charged beyond his capacity. A mother should not be made to suffer because of her child, nor should he to whom the child is born (be made to suffer) because of his child. And on the (father's) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they desire to wean the child by mutual consent and (after) consultation, it is no sin for them; and if ye wish to give your children out to nurse, it is no sin for you, provide that ye pay what is due from you in kindness. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is Seer of what ye do. (233) Such of you as die and leave behind them wives, they (the wives) shall wait, keeping themselves apart, four months and ten days. And when they reach the term (prescribed for them) then there is no sin for you in aught that they may do with themselves in decency. Allah is informed of what ye do. (234) There is no sin for you in that which ye proclaim or hide in your minds concerning your troth with women. Allah knoweth that ye will remember them. But plight not your troth with women except by uttering a recognised form of words. And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run. Know that Allah knoweth what is in your minds, so beware of Him; and know that Allah is Forgiving, Clement. (235) It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them, nor appointed unto them a portion. Provide for them, the rich according to his means, and the straitened according to his means, a fair provision. (This is) a bounden duty for those who do good. (236) If ye divorce them before ye have touched them and ye have appointed unto them a portion, then (pay the) half of that which ye appointed, unless they (the women) agree to forgo it, or he agreeth to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie. To forgo is nearer to piety. And forget not kindness among yourselves. Allah is Seer of what ye do. (237) Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah. (238) And if ye go in fear, then (pray) standing or on horseback. And when ye are again in safety, remember Allah, as He hath taught you that which (heretofore) ye knew not. (239) (In the case of) those of you who are about to die and leave behind them wives, they should bequeath unto their wives a provision for the year without turning them out, but if they go out (of their own accord) there is no sin for you in that which they do of themselves within their rights. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (240) For divorced women a provision in kindness: a duty for those who ward off (evil). (241) Thus Allah expoundeth unto you His revelations so that ye may understand. (242) Bethink thee (O Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and then He brought them back to life. Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks. (243) Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower. (244) Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may give it increase manifold? Allah straiteneth and enlargeth. Unto Him ye will return. (245) Bethink thee of the leaders of the Children of Israel after Moses, how they said unto a prophet whom they had: Set up for us a king and we will fight in Allah's way. He said: Would ye then refrain from fighting if fighting were prescribed for you? They said: Why should we not fight in Allah's way when we have been driven from our dwellings with our children? Yet, when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, all save a few of them. Allah is aware of evil-doers. (246) Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. They said: How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, since he hath not been given wealth enough? He said: Lo! Allah hath chosen him above you, and hath increased him abundantly in wisdom and stature. Allah bestoweth His Sovereignty on whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (247) And their Prophet said unto them: Lo! the token of his kingdom is that there shall come unto you the ark wherein is peace of reassurance from your Lord, and a remnant of that which the house of Moses and the house of Aaron left behind, the angels bearing it. Lo! herein shall be a token for you if (in truth) ye are believers. (248) And when Saul set out with the army, he said: Lo! Allah will try you by (the ordeal of) a river. Whosoever therefore drinketh thereof he is not of me, and whosoever tasteth it not he is of me, save him who taketh (thereof) in the hollow of his hand. But they drank thereof, all save a few of them. And after he had crossed (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: We have no power this day against Goliath and his hosts. But those who knew that they would meet Allah exclaimed: How many a little company hath overcome a mighty host by Allah's leave! Allah is with the steadfast. (249) And when they went into the field against Goliath and his hosts they said: Our Lord! Bestow on us endurance, make our foothold sure, and give us help against the disbelieving folk. (250) So they routed them by Allah's leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willeth. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures. (251) These are the portents of Allah which We recite unto thee (Muhammad) with truth, and lo! thou art of the number of (Our) messengers; (252) Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty) and We supported him with the holy Spirit. And if Allah had so wiled it, those who followed after them would not have fought one with another after the clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed, some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another; but Allah doeth what He will. (253) O ye who believe! spend of that wherewith We have provided you ere a day come when there will be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor intercession. The disbelievers, they are the wrong-doers. (254) Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous. (255) There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower. (256) Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (257) Bethink thee not of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: My Lord is He Who giveth life and causeth death, he answered: I give life and cause death. Abraham said: Lo! Allah causeth the sun to rise in the East, so do thou cause it to come up from the West. Thus was the disbeliever abashed. And Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. (258) Or (bethink thee of) the like of him who, passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaimed: How shall Allah give this township life after its death? And Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life. He said: How long hast thou tarried? (The man) said: I have tarried a day or part of a day. (He) said: Nay, but thou hast tarried for a hundred years. Just look at thy food and drink which have not rotted! Look at thine ass! And, that We may make thee a token unto mankind, look at the bones, how We adjust them and then cover them with flesh! And when (the matter) became clear unto him, he said: I know now that Allah is Able to do all things. (259) And when Abraham said (unto his Lord): My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: Dost thou not believe? Abraham said: Yea, but (I ask) in order that my heart may be at ease. (His Lord) said: Take four of the birds and cause them to incline unto thee, then place a part of them on each hill, then call them, they will come to thee in haste, and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise. (260) The likeness of those who spend their wealth in Allah's way is as the likeness of a grain which groweth seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah giveth increase manifold to whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (261) Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah and afterward make not reproach and injury to follow that which they have spent; their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve. (262) A kind word with forgiveness is better than almsgiving followed by injury. Allah is Absolute, Clement. (263) O ye who believe! Render not vain your almsgiving by reproach and injury, like him who spendeth his wealth only to be seen of men and believeth not in Allah and the Last Day. His likeness is as the likeness of a rock whereon is dust of earth; a rainstorm smiteth it, leaving it smooth and bare. They have no control of aught of that which they have gained. Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. (264) And the likeness of those who spend their wealth in search of Allah's pleasure, and for the strengthening of their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on a height. The rainstorm smiteth it and it bringeth forth its fruit twofold. And if the rainstorm smite it not, then the shower. Allah is Seer of what ye do. (265) Would any of you like to have a garden of palm-trees and vines, with rivers flowing underneath it, with all kinds of fruit for him therein; and old age hath stricken him and he hath feeble offspring; and a fiery whirlwind striketh it and it is (all) consumed by fire. Thus Allah maketh plain His revelations unto you, in order that ye may give thought. (266) O ye who believe! Spend of the good things which ye have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad (with intent) to spend thereof (in charity) when ye would not take it for yourselves save with disdain; and know that Allah is Absolute, Owner of Praise. (267) The devil promiseth you destitution and enjoineth on you lewdness. But Allah promiseth you forgiveness from Himself with bounty. Allah is All-Embracing, All-knowing. (268) He giveth wisdom unto whom He will, and he unto whom wisdom is given, he truly hath received abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding. (269) Whatever alms ye spend or vow ye vow, lo! Allah knoweth it. Wrong-doers have no helpers. (270) If ye publish your almsgiving, it is well, but if ye hide it and give it to the poor, it will be better for you, and will atone for some of your ill-deeds. Allah is Informed of what ye do. (271) The guiding of them is not thy duty (O Muhammad), but Allah guideth whom He will. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, it is for yourselves, when ye spend not save in search of Allah's Countenance; and whatsoever good thing ye spend, it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged. (272) (Alms are) for the poor who are straitened for the cause of Allah, who cannot travel in the land (for trade). The unthinking man accounteth them wealthy because of their restraint. Thou shalt know them by their mark: They do not beg of men with importunity. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, lo! Allah knoweth it. (273) Those who spend their wealth by night and day, by stealth and openly, verily their reward is with their Lord, and their shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (274) Those who swallow usury cannot rise up save as he ariseth whom the devil hath prostrated by (his) touch. That is because they say: Trade is just like usury; whereas Allah permitteth trading and forbiddeth usury. He unto whom an admonition from his Lord cometh, and (he) refraineth (in obedience thereto), he shall keep (the profits of) that which is past, and his affair (henceforth) is with Allah. As for him who returneth (to usury) - Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (275) Allah hath blighted usury and made almsgiving fruitful. Allah loveth not the impious and guilty. (276) Lo! those who believe and do good works and establish worship and pay the poor-due, their reward is with their Lord and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (277) O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah, and give up what remaineth (due to you) from usury, if ye are (in truth) believers. (278) And if ye do not, then be warned of war (against you) from Allah and His messenger. And if ye repent, then ye have your principal (without interest). Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged. (279) And if the debtor is in straitened circumstances, then (let there be) postponement to (the time of) ease; and that ye remit the debt as almsgiving would be better for you if ye did not know. (280) And guard yourselves against a day in which ye will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full that which it hath earned, and they will not be wronged. (281) O ye who believe! When ye contract a debt for a fixed term, record it in writing. Let a scribe record it in writing between you in (terms of) equity. No scribe should refuse to write as Allah hath taught him, so let him write, and let him who incurreth the debt dictate, and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord, and diminish naught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if one of the two erreth (through forgetfulness) the one of them will remind. And the witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned. Be not averse to writing down (the contract) whether it be small or great, with (record of) the term thereof. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah and more sure for testimony, and the best way of avoiding doubt between you; save only in the case when it is actual merchandise which ye transfer among yourselves from hand to hand. In that case it is no si

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9. Job 4-7 (Job’s 1st friend Counsels Him; Job Cries Out to God)

Job 4-7 (Job’s 1st friend Counsels Him; Job Cries Out to God)

Job 4 – The First Speech of Eliphaz This begins a long section in the Book of Job where Job’s friends counsel him and he answers them. His friends speak in more or less three rounds, with each speech followed by a reply from Job. At the end of these speeches, God answers Job and his friends and settles the matter. A. The opening comments of Eliphaz. 1. (1-6) Eliphaz calls upon Job to remember the advice he has given to others as a helper of the weak. Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: “If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking? Surely you have instructed many, And you have strengthened weak hands. Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, And you have strengthened the feeble knees; But now it comes upon you, and you are weary; It touches you, and you are troubled. Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope?” a. Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: Eliphaz was from Teman, an Edomite city that was known as a center of wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7). b. If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? With this tactful beginning, Eliphaz began his speech. We may say that he had earned the right to speak to Job because, in a remarkable display of friendship, he sat wordless with Job through whole week to show his sympathy and brotherhood with the afflicted man (Job 2:11-13). c. But who can withhold himself from speaking? Eliphaz felt compelled to speak; his love and concern for Job strongly motivated him to help his suffering friend. Nevertheless, it will be later found that the advice of Eliphaz and the rest of Job’s counselors was wrong (Job 42:7-8). d. Surely you have instructed many . . . now it comes upon you, and you are weary: Eliphaz began to confront Job with what he saw as his problem. This took a great deal of courage on the part of Eliphaz; he was the first one to speak, and he spoke to a man with an enviable reputation for godliness and one suffering from terrible calamity. i. Yet he pointed at this apparent contradiction in Job’s lament recorded in the previous chapter: That this man who had taught and comforted many in their time of need now seems to despair in his own time of need. ii. “Already there is insinuation that Job is unable to apply to himself what he preached to others.” (Andersen) iii. “This is galling. But hitherto Eliphaz had commended Job; now he dasheth all, and draweth a black line over that he had spoken once. To commend a man with a but is a wound instead of a commendation . . . it sprinkleth black upon white, and so smutteth a man’s good name, which is slander in a high degree.” (Trapp) e. Is not your reverence you confidence? This has the idea of, “Job, does not your despair show that you have lost confidence in your reverence and lost hope in the integrity of your ways?” i. “Men are best known by affliction, and this now showeth of what metal thou art made; for now thou doth cast off thy fear of God, and all thy confidence and hope in him.” (Trapp) ii. This begins a section where Eliphaz (and others) will try to make Job see that his problems have come upon him because of some sin on his part, and that he should confess and repent of his sin in order to be restored. iii. Eliphaz began on the basis of Job’s complaint as recorded in Job 3. He reasoned that Job would not complain in this way unless he was in some way guilty; that his guilty conscience was the root of his suffering. As it turned out, this was a false assumption. Job’s complaint was simply the cry of a life in pain and not because Job consciously or unconsciously understood that he deserved this calamity because of his sin. 2. (7-11) Eliphaz explains what he believed to be the source of Job’s troubles. “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, And by the breath of His anger they are consumed. The roaring of the lion, The voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. The old lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered.” a. Who ever perished being innocent? Here Eliphaz came to the heart of his argument. He boldly said that Job was guilty of some sin because the innocent do not suffer as he had, and the upright are not cut off as he was. i. In this context, cut off means to be forsaken by God and goodness. In later Israel it would often mean to be executed. b. Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same: Eliphaz spoke convincingly from his own experience (Even as I have seen). Job was reaping trouble, so he must have plowed sin (iniquity) and sown the seeds of trouble. i. The counsel of Eliphaz is full of common sense and rooted in his own observations and experience. We might even say that it is mostly true and can be commonly seen as true. Nevertheless, we also know that in Job’s case he was wrong and this was the wrong counsel (remembering God’s assessment of Eliphaz and Job’s counselors in Job 42:7). ii. Many people today believe the counsel of Eliphaz, and believe it as an absolute spiritual law instead of a general principle. Some take the passage from Galatians 6:7: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Yet it is important to understand the context of Paul’s statement, which was encouragement and exhortation for Christians to give materially for the support of their ministers. It is true that the principle of Galatians 6:7 has application beyond giving and supporting teachers and ministers. It has a general application in life; what we get out is often what we put in. Yet Paul did not promote some law of spiritual karma that ensures we will get good when we do good things or always get bad when we do bad things. If there were such an absolute spiritual law it would surely damn us all. Instead, Paul simply related the principle of sowing and reaping to the way we manage our resources before the Lord. He used the same picture in 1 Corinthians 9:11 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-10. iii. Job and his friends have built their whole life on the belief that God helps the good and hinders the bad; that in fact God can be seen as morally good in the affairs of men. “The friends must infer from Job’s suffering that he has sinned; Job must infer from his innocence that God is unjust.” (Andersen) c. By the blast of God they perish: Eliphaz here clearly implied that Job’s suffering came as the judgment of God against him; that the breath of His anger burned against Job. i. The idea is also that the mere breath of His anger is enough to destroy God’s foes. “He puts himself to no great pain to punish them; but blows them away as so many dust-heaps.” (Trapp) d. The teeth of the young lions are broken: Eliphaz painted the picture of how strong the anger of God is, that it is strong enough to humble and defeat even strong young lions. The idea is that the anger of God has also brought Job low. B. A revelation regarding the frailty of man. 1. (12-16) A spirit comes to Eliphaz by night. “Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, Which made all my bones shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my body stood up. It stood still, But I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; There was silence; Then I heard a voice saying: a. A word was secretly brought to me: Eliphaz claimed that he received this word in a dream, when deep sleep falls on men, and he received it by a spirit that passed before his face in his dream. i. “Eliphaz bolstered the authority of his words by an appeal to the supernatural – an eerie and hair-raising experience in which he received a divine oracle.” (Smick) b. A spirit passed before my face: The words in the following section came to Eliphaz from this strange and mysterious spirit. i. “Whether it came from heaven or hell, we know not, for its communication shows and rankles a wound, without providing a cure.” (Clarke) 2. (17-21) What the spirit said. ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? If He puts no trust in His servants, If He charges His angels with error, How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before a moth? They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one regarding. Does not their own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom.’ ” a. Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Eliphaz called attention to the common sinfulness of man. The idea is clear: “Job, we all sin. There is no great shame in admitting that you have sinned and that is why this calamity has come upon you.” b. If He charges His angels with error, how much more those who dwell in houses of clay: Eliphaz made this interesting comment to point out man’s spiritual and moral frailty. He noted that even angels had fallen into error, therefore it should surprise no one that man – including Job – has also fallen into error. i. This statement hit closer to the real truth than Eliphaz could know. It was one of these angels charged with error – Satan himself – who was the real cause of Job’s calamity. Satan also led a large number of angelic beings into rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4, 12:9). The Bible also says that in the age to come, redeemed man will in some way judge these fallen angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). Eliphaz was correct on this point: He charges His angels with error. ii. “It is all very beautiful, but absolutely short-sighted. Eliphaz had no knowledge of those secret councils in heaven, and was making the mistake of attempting to press all things into the compass of his philosophy.” (Morgan) iii. “The speaker seems serenely unconscious that he was saying anything that could drive a knife into the tortured man. He is so carried along on the waves of his own eloquence, and so absorbed in the stringing together the elements of an artistic whole, that he forgets the very sorrows which he came to comfort.” (Maclaren) Job 5 – Eliphaz Explains the Cause of Job’s Troubles A. The fate of the foolish man. 1. (1-7) Eliphaz appeals to common wisdom. “Call out now; Is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? For wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a simple one. a. Call out now; is there anyone who will answer you? Eliphaz begged his friend Job to listen to reason and to agree with the common wisdom regarding Job and his problem. If he would merely consult any godly person, they would tell him the same as Eliphaz did (to which of the holy ones will you turn?) b. For wrath kills a foolish man: Eliphaz did not directly accuse Job; he more suggested that Job do all he could to not be like a foolish man who would be killed by wrath. 2. (3-7) The fate of the foolish man. I have seen the foolish taking root, But suddenly I cursed his dwelling place. His sons are far from safety, They are crushed in the gate, And there is no deliverer. Because the hungry eat up his harvest, Taking it even from the thorns, And a snare snatches their substance. For affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble spring from the ground; Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward.” a. His sons are far from safety: These were backhanded references to Job and his own sons. Eliphaz argued that the fact that such great disaster fell upon them proves that they were foolish and in sin. i. Again, we notice Eliphaz’s frame of reference: I have seen. He speaks from his own experience and observation on life. ii. His sons are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate, and there is not deliverer: “There is reference here to a custom which I have often had occasion to notice, that in the Eastern countries the court-house, or tribunal of justice, was at the GATE of the city; here the magistrates attended, and hither the plaintiff and defendant came for justice.” (Clarke) b. Affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground: Eliphaz believed that this trouble did not come to Job from nowhere; it didn’t just spring from the ground. The implication is clear: this affliction came upon Job from God. i. “Trouble does not sprout up like weeks in the field. He was implying that one must sow and cultivate trouble.” (Smick) c. Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward: This point connects with the one Eliphaz just made. Trouble doesn’t come to man from nowhere; it comes as a judgment from God, or at least because man has sown trouble so now he reaps it. Since just as it is true that as the sparks fly upward, it is also true that man is born to trouble, then it can also be said that all men sin and deserve the affliction and trouble that comes to them. i. As the sparks fly upward: Literally, the Hebrew can be translated, as the sons of Resheph fly upward. “We cannot hope for further progress until we can find out who ‘the sons of Resheph’ are. Since Resheph is a Canaanite god about whom we now know a great deal, the possibility must now be faced that we have here another scrap of imagery from old myths.” (Andersen) B. Eliphaz defends God. 1. (8-16) Eliphaz praises God’s omnipotence and justice. “But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause; Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number. He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields. He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety. He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans. He catches the wise in their own craftiness, And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them. They meet with darkness in the daytime, And grope at noontime as in the night. But He saves the needy from the sword, From the mouth of the mighty, And from their hand. So the poor have hope, And injustice shuts her mouth.” a. As for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause: Eliphaz said it tactfully, yet he still said it – that Job was not seeking God and was not committing his cause to God in his affliction. b. Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number: According to the counsel of Eliphaz, this is why Job should seek God and commit his way to Him. It is because God is a great God, great in both His power over creation (He gives rain on the earth) and in His moral justice (he frustrates the devices of the crafty . . . injustice shuts her mouth). i. Again, the implication is clear. Eliphaz believed that the justice of God, at this present time, worked against Job because Job was in sin and refused to see it. Yet if Job would only see this and repent, perhaps the justice of God would once again work on his behalf. ii. “These lines are a fine example of hymn genre in OT poetry. A similar creedal hymn appears in Isaiah 44:24-28. That is why the apostle Paul could cite a line from Job 5:13 in 1 Corinthians 3:19: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness.’ But in Eliphaz’s case what is absolutely true is misapplied – the sick from is not the place for theological strictures that may turn out to do more harm than good. . . . Great truths misapplied only hurt more those who are already hurting.” (Smick) iii. He saves the needy from the sword, from the mouth of the mighty: “Thus the meaning is the same as in Psalm 57:4; 55:21; 64:3. . . . ‘Mouth’ is put for the edge of the sword.” (Bullinger) 2. (17-26) Eliphaz attributes Job’s suffering to God’s chastening for sin in his life. “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. In famine He shall redeem you from death, And in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. You shall laugh at destruction and famine, And you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth. For you shall have a covenant with the stones of the field, And the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. You shall know that your tent is in peace; You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss. You shall also know that your descendants shall be many, And your offspring like the grass of the earth. You shall come to the grave at a full age, As a sheaf of grain ripens in its season.” a. Happy is the man whom God corrects: With poetic power, Eliphaz emphasized his point that Job’s problems are because God corrects His sinful children, and Job is one of those sinful children. b. Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty: Eliphaz did not wish to push Job into despair. He believed that Job should not despise this correcting work in his life, but instead humble himself under it, forsake his sin, and learn from it. c. He bruises, but He binds up . . . He shall deliver you in six troubles: Eliphaz wanted to encourage Job further. “Job, God will heal your wounds and deliver you if you will confess your sin and turn to Him.” Eliphaz continued and described in detail all the blessings of restoration that would come to Job’s life if he would only repent and turn to God (you shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue . . . you shall laugh at destruction and famine . . . you shall know that your tent is in peace, and so on). i. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue: “Perhaps no evil is more dreadful than the scourge of the tongue: evil-speaking, detraction, backbiting, calumny, slander, tale-bearing, whispering, and scandalizing, are some of the terms which we use when endeavouring to express the baleful influence and effects of that member, which is a world of fire, kindled from the nethermost hell.” (Clarke) ii. Spurgeon preached this sermon on the words “You shall come to the grave at a full age, as a sheaf of grain ripens in its season.” These were his points of development regarding the death of a Christian: · Death is inevitable (You shall come) · Death is acceptable (You shall come) · Death is timely (at a full age) · Death is honorable (as a sheaf of grain ripens in its season) iii. “Even as the color of the wheat is golden, so that it looks more beauteous than when the greenness of its verdure is on it, so the gray-headed man has a crown of glory on his head. He is glorious in his weakness, more than the young man in his strength, or the maiden in her beauty. Is not a shock of corn a beautiful picture of the state of man, moreover, because very soon it must be taken home? The reaper is coming.” (Spurgeon) 3. (27) Eliphaz declares his confidence in his words. “Behold, this we have searched out; It is true. Hear it, and know for yourself.” a. Behold, this we have searched out: Eliphaz wanted to persuade Job, so he gave his statement the authority of communal knowledge (we have searched out). “Job, we all together here – your friends and counselors – have investigated this carefully and know what we are talking about.” i. It is worthy to remember that the Lord singled Eliphaz out at the end of the book for a special rebuke: the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (Job 42:7). “Eliphaz’s fault is not that his doctrine is unsound; it is his ineptness as a counselor. True words may be thin medicine for a man in the depths.” (Andersen) ii. “One thing is clear. The words of Eliphaz, however well meant, fall wide of their mark. Truth after truth has been uttered by him. But these truths bring no comfort or conviction to his afflicted friend. To him this wholesome food seems poison.” (Bradley) b. It is true: Eliphaz said this with absolute confidence. “Job, God’s principle of cause and effect together with your reaction to your calamity proves that you were and are in sin and you must repent to be restored.” To Eliphaz and the rest of Job’s friends this was so obvious that it did not need to be proven; he simply confidently explained, “It is true.” i. “It is not what Eliphaz knew that is wrong; it is what he was ignorant of – God’s hidden purpose – that made all his beautiful poetry and grand truth only a snare to Job.” (Smick) ii. “Aspirin is a good and effective medicine. But it is useless against cancer. Similarly, so much of the advice that Eliphaz and the other friends dole out is, in its own right, correct and good and true. But because it is wrongly applied it becomes useless. More than useless, it is a lie.” (Mason) iii. Eliphaz preaches a God who can be figured out. For Eliphaz, there are no unknowns behind the scenes; there is no drama or purpose in the heavens that motivate what God does and what He allows to be done. However, we know this heavenly drama from the first two chapters, and we see how shallow and unknowing the counsel of Eliphaz was. Job didn’t know what we know, but he could feel that the counsel of Eliphaz was wrong in his situation. iv. “Preconceptions exist in our own head; if we start out with the preconception that God will never allow the innocent to perish and then we see a righteous man perishing, we will have to say, ‘You cannot be a righteous man, because my preconception tells me that if you were, God would not allow you to suffer; therefore you are proved to be a bad man.’ ” (Chambers) It was this exact reasoning on the part of the religious authorities of Jesus’ day that motivated them to put him on the cross, and to mock Him at His crucifixion. v. The famous atheist Huxley said, “I object to Christians – they know too much about God.” So did Eliphaz and his friends. “If the study of the Book of Job is making us reverent with what we don’t understand, we are gaining insight. There is suffering before which you cannot say a word . . . all you can do is remain dumb and leave room for God to come in as He likes.” (Chambers) c. Hear it, and know for yourself: In the mind of Eliphaz, Job only needed to accept these obvious truths in order to find the answers to his current crisis. i. “Their persistent mistake was that of attempting to explain everything by their knowledge which, spacious as it was, was altogether too narrow.” (Morgan) ii. “The speech ends with a somewhat self-complacent exhortation to the poor, tortured man: ‘We have searched it, so it is.’ We wise men pledge our wisdom and our reputation that this is true. Great is authority. An ounce of sympathy would have done more to commend the doctrine than a ton of dogmatic self-confidence.” (Maclaren) iii. “It is one of the supreme ironies of this book that only after the arrival of these three bosom friends of his does Job really lose a grip on himself and fall off the edge into despair. Their pedantic theology, their reforming zeal, and their subtle slights are more than the poor man can take, and undoubtedly this backhanded betrayal by his friends is Job’s final and most severe trial.” (Mason) Job 6 – Job Replies to Eliphaz: “What Does Your Arguing Prove?” A. Job laments his affliction. 1. (1-7) Job explains his rash words. Then Job answered and said: “Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, And my calamity laid with it on the scales! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; Therefore my words have been rash. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass, Or does the ox low over its fodder? Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? My soul refuses to touch them; They are as loathsome food to me.” a. Then Job answered and said: Job’s friends were kind enough to sit with him in sympathetic silence for some seven days (Job 2:13). Job broke his the silence with an anguished rant (Job 3), and Eliphaz responded with a poetic call to repentance (Job 4-5). Now Job will answer the words of Eliphaz the Temanite. b. Oh, that my grief were fully weighed: Job’s first response to the words of Eliphaz were to complain about the greatness of his suffering, because Eliphaz only made his suffering worse, with his well-intentioned but wrong analysis of Job’s problem. i. This was not only Job’s feeling; it was also the judgment of God as revealed at the end of the Book of Job, where He said of Eliphaz and Job’s other counselors: You have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has (Job 42:7). c. Therefore my words have been rash: Job’s outburst in Job 3 did not curse God, but it did come close. Job here admitted that his words were indeed rash, but explained that it was because of the excessive heaviness of his grief. i. “Job declared, in effect, that he did not understand the cry because he did not know the pain.” (Morgan) d. The arrows of the Almighty are within me: Job explained why his suffering was so deep and his words were so rash. It was because he felt that God Himself had attacked and cursed him. He felt that God had shot arrows at him; had sent poison against him; and had arrayed His terrors against Job. i. Job both opened (Job 6:4) and closed (Job 7:20) this speech with the picture of God shooting arrows in him. “There is an evident reference here to wounds inflicted by poisoned arrows, and to the burning fever occasioned by such wounds, producing such an intense parching thirst as to dry up all the moisture in the system, stop all the salivary ducts, thicken and inflame the blood, induce putrescency, and terminate in raging mania, producing the most terrifying images, from which the patient is relieved only by death.” (Clarke) ii. “Arrows; so fitly calls his afflictions, because, like arrows, they came upon him swiftly and suddenly, one after another, and that from on high, and they wounded him deeply and deadlily.” (Poole) e. Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? Job described how the words of Eliphaz “tasted” to him. They were weak and flavorless, and certainly did not give Job any health or strength. i. “The speech, also, to which Job had listened from Eliphaz the Temanite did not put much sweetness into his mouth; for it was devoid of sympathy and consolation. If you read it at home you will see that it was worthy to be the first of a singular selection of galling utterances. . . . He had spoken as harshly and severely as if he were a judge addressing a criminal who was suffering no more than he deserved.” (Spurgeon) f. Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass? Job insisted that he had reason for his grief. The donkey doesn’t bray and the ox doesn’t low when they have enough food; in the same analogy, Job’s isn’t complaining without reason. i. “The wail is always evident of a want. The wild ass does not bray when he has grass, nor the ox over his fodder.” (Morgan) 2. (8-10) Job longs for God to grant the escape of death. “Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the thing that I long for! That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off! Then I would still have comfort; Though in anguish, I would exult, He will not spare; For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.” a. That it would please God to crush me: Job returns to the theme of his complaint from Job 3, where he mourned the day of his birth and believed he would be better off day. Though Job never seems to have contemplated suicide, he wished God Himself would end his life. i. “When the answer does not come, when instead of the release of cutting off, we have the continuity of pain, and a great silence, then let us remember this story: and remain confident that there is some explanation, and that when it comes, we shall thank God that He did not give us our request.” (Morgan) b. That He would loose His hand and cut me off: The idea may again have God as an archer shooting arrows at Job. He pleads that God might simply launch more arrows and end his life (cut me off). c. I have not concealed the words of the Holy One: Here Job again insists on his basic innocence before God. The calamity in his life was not due to some sin such as concealing the words of the Holy One (perhaps better translated as that I had not denied the words of the Holy One, as in the NIV). i. “With the sense that I have not denied or disobeyed the words of the Holy One. I should die calmly, for I should die innocent.” (Bradley) ii. “He would have one consolation left before he died – that he had not denied the words of the Holy One, though he emphatically rejected the words of Eliphaz.” (Smick) iii. If Job sensed a responsibility to not deny or conceal the words of the Holy One, we have an even greater responsibility. “Did you listen to that splendid sermon? What rhetoric! What oratory! But those poor people in the aisles did not understand a word, or if they did they only comprehended disconnected sentences, and lost the soul of the discourse. Is this right? Is this according to the Scriptural idea of preaching? . . . If the next generation should become more wicked than the present, and still more ignorant of the gospel, the fact will be chargeable upon those who conceal the words of God today.” (Spurgeon) 3. (11-13) Job laments his weakness. “What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh bronze? Is my help not within me? And is success driven from me?” a. What strength do I have, that I should hope? Job reflected the sense of hopelessness of the severe and chronic sufferer. Sensing no inner strength to meet the present and future challenges, he felt no hope at all. i. We can sense the depth of Job’s anguish: Is my strength the strength of stones? Is my flesh bronze? b. Is my help not within me? We should not think that Job is like a motivational self-help speaker encouraging himself to looking within for a hidden resource of help. Instead these words from the pain-wracked man sitting on a burned-out place in a garbage dump indicate Job’s absolute sense of helplessness. If Job’s only help is within him, then he has no help. Indeed, all success is driven from him. i. The NIV translation of Job 6:13 is helpful: Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me? ii. “The words of Job can bring immense comfort for the simple reason that many sufferers have felt rage but have been too ashamed to express it.” (Smick) B. Job challenges Eliphaz. 1. (14-23) Job criticizes Eliphaz and defends himself. “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, Like the streams of the brooks that pass away, Which are dark because of the ice, And into which the snow vanishes. When it is warm, they cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. The paths of their way turn aside, They go nowhere and perish. The caravans of Tema look, The travelers of Sheba hope for them. They are disappointed because they were confident; They come there and are confused. For now you are nothing, You see terror and are afraid. Did I ever say, ‘Bring something to me’? Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth’? Or, ‘Deliver me from the enemy’s hand’? Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of oppressors’?” a. Kindness should be shown by his friend: Job here made his most basic accusation against Eliphaz. “You should show me kindness, even if were true that I had forsaken the fear of the Almighty.” b. My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook: Even though only Eliphaz had previously spoken, Job addressed his brothers collectively. Either this was out of politeness (not wanting to single out Eliphaz), or because Job believed that the attitude and silence of his other companions meant they agreed with Eliphaz. Job accused them of being as unreliable as a snow-fed stream that vanishes when it is hot. i. “Incidentally this touch supports our suspicion that Job’s homeland was to the east of the Lebanon complex, rather than near Edom, where snow waters would not be seen.” (Andersen) ii. “How great a contrast to the love and friendship of Jesus! Not like a brook that dries in the time of drought, but like a well of water springing up within the heart for ever.” (Meyer) iii. For now you are nothing, you see terror and are afraid: “Verse 21 is the climax of Job’s reaction to his friends’ counsel. They offered no help. The verse is like a sermon about the special strength needed to be willing to make oneself available when we see others in a truly dreadful condition. The risk involved makes us afraid.” (Smick) c. Did I ever say: Job wasn’t asking his friends to pay him money or to ransom him from kidnappers. All he wanted was some words of comfort, and he heard none. 2. (24-30) Job challenges his friends to point out his error and lack of discernment. “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; Cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forceful are right words! But what does your arguing prove? Do you intend to rebuke my words, And the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind? Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless, And you undermine your friend. Now therefore, be pleased to look at me; For I would never lie to your face. Yield now, let there be no injustice! Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands! Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern the unsavory?” a. Do you intend to rebuke my words, and the speeches of a desperate one: Job believed that Eliphaz was unduly harsh in his reply and failed to see that his Job’s rant recorded in chapter 3 was made up only of words from a desperate one. i. “Throughout the dialogue they make veiled accusations, deliver general moral pronouncements, hum and haw, and equivocate. But all their insinuations are without substance, and by way of actually identifying and getting at the root of Job’s problem . . . the best they can do is suggest that his ‘attitude’ is all wrong.” (Mason) ii. Eliphaz, in his insensitivity, acted as if Job’s words were as wind. “Do you take me for a desperate and distracted man, who knows not or cares not what he saith, but only speaks what comes first into his mind and mouth? The wind is oft used to express vain words, as Job 15:2; Jeremiah 5:13; and vain things, Job 7:7; Proverbs 11:29.” (Poole) iii. Instead of comforting Job, Eliphaz was as bad as someone who would overwhelm the fatherless and undermine his friend. “Now he seems to retaliate with charges of his own: You would even gamble over an orphan and bargain over your friend. This is pretty rough stuff. There is no more indication that the friends gambled for orphans than there is that Job asked for bribes. Perhaps this is what Job is getting at. But their relationship has certainly deteriorated if they are already swopping insults like this.” (Andersen) b. Now therefore, be pleased to look at me: “Here it appears that throughout Job’s speech the friends have been hanging their heads and refusing to meet his gaze, while in an odd reversal of roles the sick man now holds his head high and looks his sleek and healthy inquisitors straight in the eye.” (Mason) c. Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands! Job very much wanted Eliphaz and his other friends to see that his present calamity was not judgment for some grievous (though hidden) sin. i. The words “teach me,” “cause me,” “what does your arguing prove,” and “concede” are all demands for evidence and proof. “He turns to Eliphaz and says, ‘You say that I’m suffering because of sin, but you’ve never pointed anything out specifically. Teach me and tell me what my sin is. But until you do, there’s no proof of your argument.” (Lawson) ii. Because we know the story-behind-the-story from Job 1 and 2, we understand this to be true. Yet Job’s friends have a very hard time believing this, and will continue the contention with Job over this point. d. Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern the unsavory? Previously in this chapter Job has represented the words of Eliphaz as bits of food; bits that were very unsatisfying to Job in his present suffering. · According to the analogy of animals, if the words of Eliphaz had comforted and satisfied Job, he would not have cried out as he did in Job 3 (Job 6:5) · The words of Eliphaz were like flavorless food (Job 6:6) · The words of Eliphaz were like rotten, loathsome food (Job 6:7) · Job can discern the unsavory character of the words of Eliphaz (6:30) Job 7 – In Response to Eliphaz, Job Cries Out to God A. The comfortless suffering of Job. 1. (1-5) The hard service of Job’s suffering. “Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth? Are not his days also like the days of a hired man? Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade, And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages, So I have been allotted months of futility, And wearisome nights have been appointed to me. When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise, And the night be ended?’ For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn. My flesh is caked with worms and dust, My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.” a. I have been allotted months of futility: Job saw his present suffering like the futile, discouraging work of a servant or a hired man. He felt there was no hope or reward, only weariness. i. The words hard service in Job 7:1 are (according to Adam Clarke and others) descriptive of military service. The Latin Vugate translates, The life of man is a warfare upon earth. The early English Coverdale translation has it, Is not the life of man upon earth a very battle? With this Job communicated both the struggle of life, together with the idea that he has been drafted unwillingly into this battle. b. Wearisome night have been appointed to me: Job described his physical condition in painful terms. He suffered from insomnia and his skin affliction came back again and again. i. Clarke on My flesh is caked with worms: “The figure is too horrid to be farther illustrated.” 2. (6-10) Job mourns the futility of life. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope. Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will never again see good. The eye of him who sees me will see me no more; While your eyes are upon me, I shall no longer be. As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, So he who goes down to the grave does not come up. He shall never return to his house, Nor shall his place know him anymore.” a. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle: Job did not mean this in a positive sense, as in saying “My, look how fast the time is going by.” As described in the previous verses, in this season of affliction time is dragging by for Job through his sleepless and painful nights. Yet when he looked at his life in totality, it seemed to be a meaningless blur, spent without hope and as a breath. i. “Ibn Ezra noted long ago the play on the word [tiqwah, ‘hope’], which can also mean ‘thread.’ Job’s days move fast like a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end through want of thread. Both meanings were equally intended. This is the kind of overtone in meaning that cannot be reflected in a translation without a footnote.” (Smick) ii. “Worse than the disease itself, Job lost all hope of being healed. He believed his only release from pain was death.” (Smick) b. So he who goes down to the grave does not come up: This is one of Job’s statements about the afterlife that are sprinkled throughout the book. These statements are a combination of uncertainty (as here) and triumphant confidence (as in Job 19:25-26). B. Job’s complaint to God. 1. (11-16) Job’s anguish: “My soul chooses strangling.” “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I a sea, or a sea serpent, That You set a guard over me? When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, My couch will ease my complaint,’ Then You scare me with dreams And terrify me with visions, So that my soul chooses strangling And death rather than my body. I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone, For my days are but a breath.” a. I will speak in the anguish of my spirit: Job here cried out to God, first wondering if he were not a dangerous creature (as sea, or a sea serpent) that needed to be guarded and restrained by God. i. “We hear of persons being ‘shadowed’ by the police, and certain people feel as if they were shadowed by God; they are mysteriously tracked by the great Spirit, and they know and feel it. Wherever they go, an eye is upon them, and they cannot hide from it.” (Spurgeon) ii. “Listen. To argue from our insignificance is poor pleading; for the little things are just those against which there is most need to watch. If you were a sea, or a whale, God might leave you alone; but as you are a feeble and sinful creature, which can do more hurt than a sea, or a whale, you need constant watching. . . . Do not say, ‘Am I a sea, or a sea-monster, that thou settest a watch over me?’ for the Lord may answer, ‘You are more capacious for evil than a sea, and more wild than a sea-monster.’” (Spurgeon) iii. Indeed, we are more like the sea or the sea-monster than we would like to admit. · The sea is restless, and so is our nature. · The sea can be furious and terrible, and so can we. · The sea can never be satisfied, and neither can sinful man. · The sea is mischievous and destructive, and so is sinful man. · The sea will not obey, and neither will sinful man. iv. Job’s words here remind us of something remarkable. Though his physical suffering was intense and prolonged, as John Trapp wrote, “His greatest troubles were inward.” Job’s spiritual crisis was deeper than his physical or material crisis. b. You scare me with dreams: Job was denied even the comfort of sleep and rest. When he did lay down to sleep (upon his bed or couch), he was disturbed with nightmarish dreams and terrifying visions. i. “He needed rest by sleep, but was afraid to close his eyes because of the horrid images which were presented to his imagination. Could there be a state more deplorable than this?” (Clarke) c. So that my soul chooses strangling . . . I loathe my life: Job’s condition is so miserable that, at this point, his soul would prefer the release of death. i. Job was so miserable that he just said to God, “Let me alone.” “At this moment it appears to Job that God is the tormentor. The reader knows God was using in secondary means and that Job’s conception of God as tormentor was askew.” (Smick) 2. (17-21) Job appeals to God: “Have I sinned?” “What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him, That You should visit him every morning, And test him every moment? How long? Will You not look away from me, And let me alone till I swallow my saliva? Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself? Why then do You not pardon my transgression, And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust, And You will seek me diligently, But I will no longer be.” a. What is man, that You should exalt him . . . And test him every moment?: Job felt at this moment that God’s attention was unwelcome. If all his calamity was from the hand of God, Job wondered why God could not simply leave him alone. i. “The language of verse 17 is too similar to that of Psalm 8 to be a coincidence. Scholars are divided as to which came first.” (Andersen) It would seem best to say that the lines from Job came first, and that David in Psalm 8 re-worked Job’s painful theme into one filled with praise. ii. Job asked, “What is man?” but he didn’t wait for the answer. “Man is more than we guess, else God would never take such time and pains with him. When a lapidary spends years over a single diamond, the most careless observer begins to appraise properly its intrinsic value.” (Meyer) iii. Till I swallow my saliva: “An Arabic idiom, for one instant; Just as we say ‘The twinkling of an eye’ to express the same idea.” (Bullinger) Job wondered why God could not look away from him for just the smallest moment. b. What have I done to You, O watcher of men? “Please God, just leave me alone. How have I wronged You?” Job could not understand why he seemed to be God’s target; and if Job had sinned to cause all his suffering, he asked God “Why then do You not pardon my transgression?” i. Job was so honest with God in passages like Job 7:20 seem to have been altered by Jewish scribes who were uncomfortable with his bold honesty with God. According to Smick, “Ancient scribal tradition and the LXX show the original reading” to be Have I become a burden to you? Most translations, following later Hebrew manuscripts, have it I am burden to myself. Yet the probably original text shows how deep Job’s grief is, feeling himself to be a burden to what feels like an unloving and uncaring God. ii. Job wondered why God bothered with him at all. “Its simple meaning was that God is so great that even if a man did sin, it cannot affect Him. The answer is that this was an altogether too small a thought of God: the truth being that God is so great that He is affected, wounded, robbed by human sin. Job was, like his friends, hindered by a philosophy too narrow.” (Morgan) iii. Once more we benefit from know the story-behind-the-story, which Job and his friends do not know at this point in the narrative. Job believed that God was against him and was punishing him, but it wasn’t true. “Job was not being punished; he was being honored. God was giving to him a name like that of the great ones of the earth. The Lord was lifting him up, promoting him, putting him into the front rank, making a great saint of him, causing him to become one of the fathers and patterns in the ancient Church of God. He was really doing for Job such extraordinarily good things that you or I, in looking back upon his whole history, might well say, ‘I would be quite content to take Job’s afflictions if I might also have Job’s grace, and Job’s place in the Church of God.’” (Spurgeon) c. Now I will lie down in the dust, and You will seek me diligently, but I will no longer be: Job wished he could escape both life and God by going to the dust (his grave). This is one of his obviously pessimistic passages about the afterlife. i. “All Job has known about God he still believes. But God’s inexplicable ways have his mind perplexed to the breaking-point. Job is in the right; but he does not know that God is watching with silent compassion and admiration until the test is fully done and it is time to state His approval publicly (Job 42:8).” (Andersen) ii. “We like to talk about ‘having the faith to be healed,’ but what about having the faith to be sick?” (Mason)

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10. Job 29-31 (Job Remembers The Past, His Present Problems, and Innocence)

Job 29-31 (Job Remembers The Past, His Present Problems, and Innocence)

Job 29 – Job Remembers Better Days A. Job’s blessed relationships. 1. (1-6) Job was blessed in his relationship with God. Job further continued his discourse, and said: “Oh, that I were as in months past, As in the days when God watched over me; When His lamp shone upon my head, And when by His light I walked through darkness; Just as I was in the days of my prime, When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; When the Almighty was yet with me, When my children were around me; When my steps were bathed with cream, And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!” a. Oh, that I were as in months past, as in the days when God watched over me: Job longed not only for the days before he lost his children and health and wealth; he especially longed for the days before he lost his sense of God’s closeness. There was a time when he felt that God watched over him; and those days were gone. i. “His keenest sorrow is discovered. It was that of the feeling that, in some way, and for some reason, God no longer watched over him.” (Morgan) ii. Job further continued his discourse: “Probably, after a pause, Job resumed his speech. This second address was not so much an answer to his friends as a statement of his whole case as he saw it.” (Morgan) b. When His lamp shone upon my head . . . when the friendly counsel of God was over my tent . . . when the Almighty was yet with me: Job fondly remembered the days when it seemed that God was for him rather than against him. It reminds us of the fact that Job’s great crisis after his catastrophic losses was primarily spiritual, in that he did not sense the support and succor of God in the aftermath of his loss. i. “It is a great thing for a man to be near to God; it is a very choice privilege to be admitted into the inner circle of communion, and to become God’s familiar friend. Great as the privilege is, so great is the loss of it. No darkness is so dark as that which falls on eyes accustomed to the light.” (Spurgeon) ii. Spurgeon went on to describe the ways that Job sensed this great loss from God. · “First, he complains that he had lost the consciousness of divine preservation” (as in the days when God watched over me). · “Job had also lost divine consolation, for he looks back with lamentation to the time when God’s candle shone upon his head” (when His lamp shone upon my head). · “Moreover, Job deplored the loss of divine illumination. ‘By his light,’ he says, ‘I walked through darkness,’ that is to say, perplexity ceased to be perplexity” (by His light I walked through darkness). · “Moreover, Job had lost divine communion: so it seems, for he mourned the days of his youth, when the secret of God was upon his tabernacle” (when the friendly counsel of God was over my tent). c. When my children were around me; when my steps were bathed with cream, and the rock poured out rivers of oil for me: Job painted a beautiful (if exaggerated) picture of his former happy life. He genuinely felt that he was in fellowship with God and the blessing flowed in to every area of his life. 2. (7-17) Job was blessed in the relationships with people. “When I went out to the gate by the city, When I took my seat in the open square, The young men saw me and hid, And the aged arose and stood; The princes refrained from talking, And put their hand on their mouth; The voice of nobles was hushed, And their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth. When the ear heard, then it blessed me, And when the eye saw, then it approved me; Because I delivered the poor who cried out, The fatherless and the one who had no helper. The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, And I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, And I searched out the case that I did not know. I broke the fangs of the wicked, And plucked the victim from his teeth.” a. I went out the gate . . . I took my seat in the open square: In this and the following verses Job remembered how greatly he was respected in the community. He had a position of community leadership and was feared by the young me and honored by the aged. Even princes and nobles stopped talking and listened to him. i. “We have no idea what this city was, but any city that had a gate and a public square was a major urban center.” (Smick) b. When the ear heard, then it blessed me, and when the eye saw, then it approved me: Not only did Job gain the attention of the people and leaders of the city in days past; they also liked him and what he had to say. He was blessed and approved by those who heard him. c. Because I delivered the poor who cried out . . . I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy . . . I was eyes to the blind, and I was feet to the lame: Job described how his reputation for wisdom and goodness was deserved. He was a man full of good and noble works, especially to the poor and disadvantaged. i. It reminds us that though Job was a man of great wealth and influence (Job 1:1-3), he used his wealth and influence to do good instead of simply being greedy and selfish with his wealth. ii. “In Job’s conscience, sins are not just wrong things people do, disobeying known laws of God or society; to omit to do good to any fellow human being, of whatever rank or class, would be a grievous offence to God.” (Andersen) iii. “It was not ambition, popularity, or self-interest that put Job upon these and the following good practices and proceedings, but the care he had of discharging his trust, and the pure love he bare to justice and upright dealing.” (Trapp) iv. “Not once before this has he pointed to any of his good deeds as evidence of his faith, but rather he has taken his stand squarely upon faith alone and not upon works. The fact that Job waited so long to introduce any hard evidence into this debate with his friends shows enormous restraint on his part.” (Mason) B. Job reflects on former times. 1. (18-20) Job’s former sense of security and confidence. “Then I said, ‘I shall die in my nest, And multiply my days as the sand. My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch. My glory is fresh within me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.’ ” a. I shall die in my nest, and multiply my days as the sand: In his former confidence, Job felt that he would die happy and secure in his nest, after a good long life. i. Smick mentions an unlikely approach taken by some translators, thinking that Job made a reference to the mythical creature known as the phoenix in Job 29:18: “Some translators accept the old rabbinic opinion that the second half of the line speaks of the phoenix. The question seems to hinge on whether the word hol (usually ‘sand’) can mean ‘phoenix’ at all.” b. My root is spread out to the waters . . . My glory is fresh within me: We can sense Job’s prior sense of blessing and abundance of life. His former blessed life made his present crisis all the more unbearable and seemingly unjust. i. Root is spread out to the waters: “A metaphor taken from a healthy tree growing beside a rivulet where there is plenty of water; which in consequence flourishes in all seasons, its leaf does not wither, nor its fruit fall off. See Psalm 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8.” (Clarke) 2. (21-25) Job’s former authority and leadership in the community. “Men listened to me and waited, And kept silence for my counsel. After my words they did not speak again, And my speech settled on them as dew. They waited for me as for the rain, And they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain. If I mocked at them, they did not believe it, And the light of my countenance they did not cast down. I chose the way for them, and sat as chief; So I dwelt as a king in the army, As one who comforts mourners.” a. Men listened to me and waited . . . After my words they did not speak again: Job again remembered how greatly he was respected and esteemed in the community. He was a man honored for his wise words. i. Even if Job had mocked at them, then they did not believe it. “They believed it not; it was so acceptable to them to see me well pleased with them, that they could scarce believe their eyes and ears that it was so.” (Poole) b. I chose the way for them, and sat as chief: This highlights the tremendous contrast between the former esteem Job enjoyed and the terrible criticism he had endured from his friends. There was a time when no one would have criticized Job the way his friends now did. i. Job is also a tremendous example of how a wealthy and powerful man should live his life; not in selfish indulgence, but in care and concern for the less fortunate. “Noble Job! Look at him, ye nobles of the earth, ye lieutenants of counties, ye generals of armies, and ye lords of provinces. Look at JOB! Imitate his active benevolence, and be healthy and happy. Be as guardian angels in your particular districts, blessing all by your example and your bounty. Send your hunting horses to the plough, your game cocks to the dunghill; and at last live like men and Christians.” (Clarke) Job 30 – Job Reflects on His Current Misery A. Job’s loss of respect in the community. 1. (1-8) The low character of the men who now mock Job. “But now they mock at me, men younger than I, Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock. Indeed, what profit is the strength of their hands to me? Their vigor has perished. They are gaunt from want and famine, Fleeing late to the wilderness, desolate and waste, Who pluck mallow by the bushes, And broom tree roots for their food. They were driven out from among men, They shouted at them as at a thief. They had to live in the clefts of the valleys, In caves of the earth and the rocks. Among the bushes they brayed, Under the nettles they nestled. They were sons of fools, Yes, sons of vile men; They were scourged from the land.” a. Now they mock at me, men younger than I, whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock: Job was tortured by the irony of it all. The sons of men whom Job would not even put with the dogs of his flock were now his mockers and critics. i. “Not confidential enough to be made shepherds, ass-keepers, or camel-drivers; nor even to have the care of the dogs by which the flocks were guarded. This saying is what we call an expression of sovereign contempt.” (Clarke) ii. “Dogs are every where mentioned with contempt, as filthy, unprofitable, and accursed creatures; as 2 Samuel 16:9; 2 Kings 8:13; Philippians 3:2; Revelation 22:15.” (Poole) b. They are gaunt from want and famine . . . They had to live in the clefts of the valleys . . . They were the sons of fools: Job thought of what worthless men were now his loud critics, and how unjust it all was. i. “This lengthy description of these good-for-nothing fathers is a special brand of rhetoric. . . . To define every facet of their debauchery, to state it in six different ways, is not meant to glory in it by to heighten the pathetic nature of his dishonor.” (Smick) 2. (9-15) The mocking Job must endure. “And now I am their taunting song; Yes, I am their byword. They abhor me, they keep far from me; They do not hesitate to spit in my face. Because He has loosed my bowstring and afflicted me, They have cast off restraint before me. At my right hand the rabble arises; They push away my feet, And they raise against me their ways of destruction. They break up my path, They promote my calamity; They have no helper. They come as broad breakers; Under the ruinous storm they roll along. Terrors are turned upon me; They pursue my honor as the wind, And my prosperity has passed like a cloud.” a. I am their taunting song; yes I am their byword: Job was now low in the eyes of these worthless men. i. “He did not slink out of town; he was run out on a rail. Why else would he be sitting on an ash heap and scraping his pustules with a shard of pottery? Obviously his neighbors had forcibly removed him to quarantine in the town dump, where he would have been exposed to more disease, to the elements, to rats and lice – and worst of all, perhaps, to further public humiliation.” (Mason) b. Terrors are turned upon me; they pursue my honor as the wind, and my prosperity has passed like a cloud: Job mourned the agony of his present state of being despised among men, when before he was respected and honored. His honor and prosperity had vanished. i. They come as broad breakers; under the ruinous storm they roll along: “Verse 14 is very vivid. Job thought of himself as a city with a wide, gapping breach in its wall. The stones come crashing down, and amid the rubble the instruments of siege warfare roll through. The tranquility and dignity he had so enjoyed have vanished like a cloud.” (Smick) B. Job’s present misery. 1. (16-23) The misery of his present pain, both spiritual and physical. “And now my soul is poured out because of my plight; The days of affliction take hold of me. My bones are pierced in me at night, And my gnawing pains take no rest. By great force my garment is disfigured; It binds me about as the collar of my coat. He has cast me into the mire, And I have become like dust and ashes.” “I cry out to You, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You regard me. But You have become cruel to me; With the strength of Your hand You oppose me. You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it; You spoil my success. For I know that You will bring me to death, And to the house appointed for all living.” a. And now my soul is poured out because of my plight: Job again described his present crisis. He described the persistent, gnawing pains that were ever with him; but for him it was first a crisis of the soul. b. My bones are pierced . . . my gnawing pains take no rest . . . my garment is disfigured: With poetic power and eloquence, Job described the physical agony of his suffering. i. The New Living Translation has a helpful rendering of Job 30:18-19: In his great power God clutches at my clothing; he grabs me by the collar of my coat. He throws me into the mud. ii. “In a final burst of grief, Job wrestles with the sheer pain of his disease as if it were objectively a terrifying monster, chewing at his flesh day and night.” (Andersen) iii. Mason commented on the long and intense struggle Job had with God, and on the ultimate outcome for Job: “Classically there are two ways of soliciting the favor of God. One way is by trying very hard to be very very good and hoping that God will take notice. The other way is to beg God for His blessing and to refuse to let Him off the hook until He comes through. . . . It is those who refuse to give up on God who end up with His blessing.” c. I cry out to You, but You do not answer me: This was the worst aspect of Job’s suffering, the sense that God had forsaken him. He undeniably felt that God was against him (with the strength of Your hand You oppose me . . . You spoil my success). Indeed, Job felt that God wanted to and would destroy him (I know that You will bring me to death). i. “God’s constant attack, his ruthless might (Job 30:21), was so completely the opposite of Job’s ‘intimate friendship’ with God in those bygone days when he had still perceived that God was on his side (Job 29:4-5).” (Smick) ii. I know that You will bring me to death: “Under depression of spirit he felt sure that he must very soon die; he feared that God would not relax the blows of his hand until his body became a ruin, and then he would have rest. But he did not die at that time. He was fully recovered, and God gave him twice as much as he had before. A life of usefulness, and happiness, and honor lay before him; and yet he had set up his own tombstone, and reckoned himself a dead man.” (Spurgeon) 2. (24-31) The misery of the injustice done to Job. “Surely He would not stretch out His hand against a heap of ruins, If they cry out when He destroys it. Have I not wept for him who was in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? But when I looked for good, evil came to me; And when I waited for light, then came darkness. My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest; Days of affliction confront me. I go about mourning, but not in the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help. I am a brother of jackals, And a companion of ostriches. My skin grows black and falls from me; My bones burn with fever. My harp is turned to mourning, And my flute to the voice of those who weep.” a. Surely He would not stretch out His hand against a heap of ruins: Job felt, “God, you are more merciful than this. You would not afflict a pitiful heap of ruins if only it would cry out to You.” Job wondered why God did not respond to his cries. i. “The supreme sorrow was that when he cried to God, there was no answer. He claimed that in such suffering as he endured, there was ample justification for all his complaining.” (Morgan) ii. “As is our natural tendency, Job misinterprets God’s silence as lack of concern and indifference. Job assumes that God’s silence means God’s displeasure.” (Lawson) b. Have I not wept for him who was in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? Job wondered why God did not treat him with the same kindness Job had often shown to others. i. “It is impossible to read this section without feeling that protest was approaching revolt in the soul of this man. He did definitely charge God with cruelty (see verse 21), and his questions, ‘Did I not weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved for the needy?’ (verse 25), he was contrasting God’s attitude toward him with his own attitude toward suffering men in the days of his prosperity and strength.” (Morgan) ii. The sensitive soul of Job was another demonstration of his godliness and appropriate for any servant of God. “I know that a man in the ministry who cannot feel had much better resign his office. We have heard some hold forth the doctrines of grace, as if they were a nauseous medicine, and men were to be forced to drink thereof by hard words and violent abuse. We have always thought that such men did more hurt than good, for while seeking to vindicate the letter, they evidently missed the spirit of the faith once delivered unto the saints. Cold and impassive are some of our divines; they utter truth as though it were no concern of theirs whether men received it or no. To such men heaven and hell, death and eternity, are mere themes for oratory, but not subjects for emotion.” (Spurgeon) c. My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest: Perhaps Job tried to just take it easy and not get so troubled over his problems, but for him it was impossible. His physical and spiritual agony was more than it seemed he could bear or his friends could relate to. i. “By my mournful and continual cry I resemble the jackals or hyenas. . . . To the daughters of howling: generally understood to be the ostrich; for both the jackal and the female ostrich are remarkable for their mournful cry, and for their attachment to desolate places.-Dodd.” (Clarke) Job 31 – Job Proclaims His Purity and Innocence “This whole chapter is occupied with Job’s solemn oath of innocence. It was his final and explicit answer to the line of argument adopted by his three friends.” (G. Campbell Morgan) A. Job proclaims his innocence 1. (1-4) He was not guilty of lust. “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?” a. I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman? In this section, Job protested that he was a godly and blameless man, at least on a human scale. His larger context was to explain the sense of injustice he felt at his suffering and humiliation, and to make a final defense before his friends who accused him of special sin deserving of special judgment. i. This chapter has an interesting similarity to ancient “defense documents.” “The material is similar in form, if not in content, to the negative confession given by the deceased who stands before Osiris in the Egyptian Book of the Dead . . . Under oath the subject lists the evil things he has not done with the hope he will be vindicated and pass through the portals unscathed.” (Smick) ii. “It is an oath of clearance in the form of a negative confession. The procedure was well known in ancient jurisprudence. A crime could be disowned by calling down a curse on oneself if one had committed it.” (Andersen) iii. Yet it also has a clear connection to the Sermon on the Mount. “Chapter 31 is Job’s Sermon on the Mount, for in it he touches on many of the same issues of spiritual ethics that Jesus covers in Matthew 5-7, including the relationship between lust and adultery (Job 31:1, 9-12), loving one’s neighbor as oneself (Job 31:13-15), almsgiving and social justice (Job 31:16-23), and the love of money and other idolatries (Job 31:24-28).” (Mason) iv. We are clearly told in Job 1 that Job was a blameless and upright man; this is the chapter that most clearly explains what that godly life looked like. “The chapter that we now open breathes, almost or quite throughout, a spirit that belongs rather to the New than to the Old Covenant. It is a practical anticipation of much of the teaching that was to come from Him Who ‘sat down and taught’ His disciples on the mountain. It is the picture of one perfect and upright, who feared God, and eschewed evil.” (Bradley) b. I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman? In defending his righteous life, Job began with explaining that he was a morally pure man who did not look upon a young woman in impure and inappropriate ways. i. It is significant that in this long section where Job explained his righteous life, he began with noting that he guarded his eyes from lustful looks upon a young woman. This rightly suggests that a man’s ability to not look upon lustful images is an important indicator of his general righteousness and blamelessness. ii. This also suggests that the eyes are a gateway for lust, especially for men. This is demonstrated over and over again by both personal experience and empirical study. When a man places enticing, sensual, lust-inducing images before his eyes, it is a form of foreplay, especially considering that it often or frequently causes some level of sexual arousal in the man. iii. “In Hebrew the same word signifieth both an eye and a fountain; to show, saith one, that from the eye, as a fountain, floweth both sin and misery.” (Trapp) iv. “Lustfully consider her beauty, till my heart be hot as an oven with lawless lusts, and my body be moiled with that abominable filth. . . . Look upon the woeful chain of David’s lust, and remember how many died of the wound in they eye.” (Trapp) c. A covenant with my eyes: Job’s ability to control himself was connected with a covenant he made. He made a vow, a promise, a commitment with his own eyes that he would not look upon a young woman in a sinful way. i. Bullinger says that the Hebrew does not literally say that Job made a covenant with his eyes. “Not ‘made with’ . . . The covenant here was made with God, against his eyes, which are regarded as an enemy likely to lead him astray.” ii. “When Job says the he has made a covenant with his eyes to abstain from lust, he does not mean that he has stopped experiencing lust altogether. What he means is that he refuses to dwell upon the lustful feelings which, as the normal red-blooded male he is, come to him very naturally.” (Mason) iii. Job insisted that he would not look upon a young woman – a maiden in this way. This was especially meaningful, because in that culture it would be somewhat accepted for a rich and powerful man like Job to seduce or ravish a maiden, and then add her as either a wife or a concubine. Job restrained himself from women that others in his same circumstances would not restrain themselves from. iv. “He restrained himself from the very thoughts and desires of filthiness with such persons, wherewith the generality of men allowed themselves to commit gross fornication, as deeming it to be either none, or but a very little sin.” (Poole) d. For what is the allotment of God from above: In the context of Job’s self-control when it came to lust, he considered what the allotment of God from above was. He understood that the young woman he would be enticed to look upon was not the allotment of God for him; she and her nakedness did not belong to Job in any sense. i. Leviticus 18:1-18 reinforces this Biblical principle. It relates how the nakedness of an individual “belongs” to that individual and to their spouse, and it does not “belong” to anyone else. Therefore, when a man looks upon the nakedness of woman who is not his wife, he takes something that does not belong to him. ii. There certainly existed some type of pornography in Job’s day; some of the earliest artistic images are of women and men in highly sexualized motifs. Nevertheless, Job certainly did not have to contend with the sophisticated, gigantic, and far-reaching modern pornography industry. The availability of modern pornography has made it a significantly greater challenge for men to confine their visual arousal to the allotment of God from above for them. iii. In this context, it is helpful for a man to ask himself: “Whose nakedness belongs to me, and whose does not?” Only a proud and depraved man would think that every woman’s nakedness belongs to him. A moment of thought reinforces the clear principle: only the nakedness of his own wife is the allotment of God from above for a man; only his own wife is the inheritance of the Almighty from on high for his visual arousal. iv. “Hereby we plainly see that the command of Christ, Matthew 5:29, was no new command peculiar to the gospel, as some would have it, but the very same which the law of God revealed in his word, and written in men’s hearts by nature.” (Poole) e. Is it not destruction for the wicked, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? In the context of Job’s self-control when it came to lust, he also considered the destructive nature of allowing one’s self to be aroused by alluring images. He perhaps considered the lives of others that had been destroyed by lust and sexual sin that began with visual arousal. i. “For in those days, he knew well, he tells us, that God had assigned his heaviest judgments as the sure inheritance of those who infringed that noble law of purity which lifts man above the brute.” (Bradley) ii. The potential for destruction is all the more real in the modern world because the challenges to Biblical purity are all the more formidable. By some research, comparing the world of a man in the year A.D. 1500 to the world A.D. 2000: · In 1500 the average age of a man’s economic independence was 16; today it is 26. · In 1500 the average age of marriage for a man was 18; today it is 28. · In 1500 the average age of male puberty was 20; today it is 12. iii. “The ruin of impure souls is infallible, unsupportable, unavoidable; if God hath aversion from all other sinners, he hath hatred and horror for the unchaste; such stinking goats shall be set on the left hand, and sent to hell; where they shall have so much the more of punishment as they had here of sensual and sinful pleasure, as sour sauce to their sweet meats.” (Trapp) iv. This means that there are many biological, cultural, economic, social, and technological factors that make it much more difficult for a man today to make a covenant with his eyes, to not look upon a young woman in the sense meant here by Job. It is much more difficult for a man to choose satisfaction with the allotment of God from above and to avoid the destruction and disaster Job spoke of. Nevertheless, by the power of God’s Spirit, it can be done and obedience to God in this arena is a precious, wonderful sacrifice made unto Him; a genuine way to present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto Him, not being conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2). f. Does He not see all my ways, and count all my steps? In the context of Job’s self-control when it came to lust, it was helpful for him to consider that God’s eye was upon him all the time. Most men indulge in ungodly visual arousal with the (at least temporary) delusion that their conduct is unseen by God. It helped Job to know that God did see all his ways. 2. (5-8) He was not guilty of falsehood. “If I have walked with falsehood, Or if my foot has hastened to deceit, Let me be weighed on honest scales, That God may know my integrity. If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart walked after my eyes, Or if any spot adheres to my hands, Then let me sow, and another eat; Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.” a. If I have walked with falsehood: Job also proclaimed his blameless life because he lived an essentially truthful life. He was not afraid to be weighed on honest scales, and have his life examined in an honest way. i. “The self-curse of crop failure (Job 31:8) suggests that verse 5 refers to shady business practices.” (Andersen) b. If my step has turned from the way . . . Then let me sow, and another eat: Job was not afraid to call a curse upon himself, if he indeed was not an honest man. He was willing to be deprived of the fruit of his own labor if it was true that he was found lacking on the honest scales of God’s judgment. i. The confidence Job hand in calling curses upon himself if he were not truthful is impressive. It is as if he said to his friends, “Do you think that I am trying to make out before God that I am what I have not been? Would I talk to God with what would be blatant insolence if I had not the facts to back me up?” (Chambers) 3. (9-12) He was not an adulterer. “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door, Then let my wife grind for another, And let others bow down over her. For that would be wickedness; Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment. For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction, And would root out all my increase.” a. If my heart as been enticed by a woman: The next area of integrity Job proclaimed had to do with faithfulness to his wife within the marriage. He understood that this had more than a sexual aspect (perhaps first mentioned in Job 31:1-4), but also included the heart being enticed. i. Job touched upon a significant truth; that it is entirely possible to allow one’s heart to be enticed by another. These things happen because of choices one makes, not merely because one has been acted upon by the mystical or magical power of romantic love. ii. Instead, Job insisted that for him to have his heart enticed by another would be wickedness, and indeed it would be iniquity deserving of judgment. He understood that he had control over whom he would allow his heart to be enticed by. iii. “The phrase is very emphatical, taking from himself and others the vain excuses wherewith men use to palliate their sins, by pretending that they did not design the wickedness, but were merely drawn in and desuced by the strong enticements and provocations of others; all which Job supposeth, and yet nevertheless owns the great guilt of such practices even in that case, as well knowing that temptation to sin is no justification of it.” (Poole) b. Then let my wife grind for another: Job insisted that if he had been unfaithful in heart or in action towards his wife, then he would deserve to have his wife taken from him and given to another. i. “Let her be his slave . . . or rather, let he be his whore; and may my sin, which hath served her for example, serve her also for excuse.” (Trapp) ii. “Let others bow down upon her; another modest expression of a filthy action; whereby the Holy Ghost gives us a pattern and a precept to avoid not only unclean actions, but also all immodest expressions.” (Poole) iii. “Job is so conscious of his own innocence, that he is willing it should be put to the utmost proof; and if found guilty, that he may be exposed to the most distressing and humiliating punishment, even to that of being deprived of his goods, bereaved of his children, his wife made a slave, and subjected to all indignities in that state.” (Clarke) c. For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction: Job also understood that allowing his heart to be enticed by a woman other than his wife would bring a destructive, burned-over result. i. And root out all my increase: Many men who feel themselves under oppressive alimony or child support payments because they allowed their heart to be enticed by another woman have lived this statement by Job, and have seen all their increase rooted out. ii. In this we can see that Job was tempted to adultery, but resisted the temptation. “The devil’s fire fell upon wet tinder; and if he knocked at Job’s door, there was nobody at home to look out at the window and let him in; for he considered the punishment both human, Job 31:11, and divine, Job 31:12, due to this great wickedness.” (Trapp) 4. (13-15) He did not treat his servants cruelly. “If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant When they complained against me, What then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?” a. If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant: Job continued the presentation of his own righteousness by noting the good and compassionate treatment of his servants. The goodness of a man or a woman is often best indicated by how they treat those thought to be inferior to them, not how they treat their peers or those thought to be superior to them. b. What then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him? One reason Job treated his servants well was because he understood that he would have to answer to God for his actions towards others, including his servants. He understood that God cared about his servants and would avenge ill-treatment of them. i. “This section embodies a human ethic unmatched in the ancient world.” (Andersen) ii. Job again breathed much the same heart as later clearly explained in the New Testament. Paul gave much the same idea in Ephesians 6:9, where he told masters to treat their servants well: And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. c. Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Another reason Job treated his servants well was because he recognized their essential humanity. This was both remarkable and admirable in a time when it was almost universally understood that servants and slaves were sub-human next to those whom they served. i. “Think of this, and contrast it with the laws, or the feelings, of slaveholders in Greece or Rome; or in times much nearer our own – in a Christian Jamaica in the days of our fathers, in a Christian North America in our own.” (Bradley, writing in 1886) 5. (16-23) He did not victimize the poor or the weak. “If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail, Or eaten my morsel by myself, So that the fatherless could not eat of it (But from my youth I reared him as a father, And from my mother's womb I guided the widow); If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or any poor man without covering; If his heart has not blessed me, And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have raised my hand against the fatherless, When I saw I had help in the gate; Then let my arm fall from my shoulder, Let my arm be torn from the socket. For destruction from God is a terror to me, And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.” a. If I have kept the poor from their desire, or caused the eyes of the widow to fail: As a further testimony to his righteousness, Job insisted that he had been good and kind to the poor and to the helpless (such as the widow and the fatherless). b. If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing . . . Then let my arm fall from my shoulder: In the same manner as before, Job called for a curse upon himself it if was true that he had not cared for the poor and helpless as he claimed he had. He knew that if he had been cruel and oppressive to the poor and needy, he knew that he would indeed deserve punishment, and this was part of his motivation to care the way that he did (for destruction from God is a terror to me). i. “Most of the good deeds that Job presents as evidence of his righteousness are simple, ordinary things . . . More than any one of these acts alone, it is the accumulation of them that is impressive.” (Mason) 6. (24-28) He was not greedy or a seeker of false gods. “If I have made gold my hope, Or said to fine gold, ‘You are my confidence’; If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, And because my hand had gained much; If I have observed the sun when it shines, Or the moon moving in brightness, So that my heart has been secretly enticed, And my mouth has kissed my hand; This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment, For I would have denied God who is above.” a. If I have made gold my hope: Job knew that wealthy men often found it easy to trust in riches. Therefore he again insisted that he had not made riches his hope or his confidence, and also had not rejoiced because his wealth was great. b. If I have observed the sun when it shines: Job meant that he had not engaged in the common practice of sun-worship. His heart was not secretly enticed to idolatry, which was apparently sometimes worshipped with the kissing of the hand. i. If I have observed the sun: “Not simply, nor only with admiration; (for it is a glorious work of God, which we ought to contemplate and admire;) but for the end here following, or so as to ascribe to it the honour peculiar to God.” (Poole) ii. “And when the idols were out of the reach of idolaters, that they could not kiss them, they used to kiss their hands, and, as it were, to throw kisses at them; of which we have many examples in heathen writers.” (Poole) c. This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment, for I would have denied God who is above: It is probable (though not certain) that Job wrote this before any of the other received books of Scripture were given. Therefore, he knew that idolatry was wrong by both natural revelation and by conscience. He knew that since there was a true, living God enthroned in the heavens, it was an iniquity deserving of judgment to deny the God who is above and to worship any other. 7. (29-34) He was generally without blame. “If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me, Or lifted myself up when evil found him (Indeed I have not allowed my mouth to sin By asking for a curse on his soul); If the men of my tent have not said, ‘Who is there that has not been satisfied with his meat?’ (But no sojourner had to lodge in the street, For I have opened my doors to the traveler); If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, Because I feared the great multitude, And dreaded the contempt of families, So that I kept silence And did not go out of the door; a. If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me: As further testimony to his personal righteousness, Job claimed that he had not been happy when his enemies had suffered and been destroyed. This is certainly one mark of a man after God’s heart, who also takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11) b. By asking for a curse on his soul: Job did not even curse his enemies. He kept himself from this most natural reaction. c. No sojourner had to lodge in the street: Job was also a diligent man when it came to hospitality. He would not allow a visitor to sleep on the street and instead he opened his doors to the traveler. d. If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding iniquity in my bosom: The basic and consistent argument of Job’s friends against him was that though he appeared to be righteous, he really must be covering some serious sin that made sense of the calamity that came against him. Therefore, Job insisted that he was not covering his sins as Adam, who blamed Eve and vainly tried to cover his sin. i. “Job has never dissembled, attempting to conceal his sin ‘like Adam.’” (Andersen) e. Because I feared the great multitude: Here Job answered the accusation that he was motivated to hide his sin because of the fear of how it would appear before the public. Job’s friends had probably known many seemingly righteous people who had hidden their sins and were destroyed when they were eventually exposed, and they assumed Job was like them. Job here rightly protested that he was not like such men who hide their sin out of fear of public humiliation and contempt. B. Job concludes his plea. 1. (35-37) Job demands an audience with God. Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me, That my Prosecutor had written a book! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, And bind it on me like a crown; I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.” a. Oh, that I had one to hear me! It seems that Job interrupted his defense of the morality and righteousness of his life. He probably had much more he could say to defend himself, but broke off that line of reasoning and made a final, dramatic appeal to be heard before the throne of God. i. “Job strategically brought his oration to its climax with a sudden change in tone. . . . He was now sure of his innocence, so confident of the truthfulness of these oaths that he affixed his signature and presented them as his defense with a challenge to God for a corresponding written indictment.” (Smick) ii. The finality of his words are demonstrated by the phrase, “Here is my mark.” “Job’s statement means literally, ‘Here is my taw.’ Some versions translate this, ‘Here is my signature,’ since taw, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, could be used like our letter ‘X’ to denote a person’s ‘mark’ or ‘signature.’ Yet even more interesting is the fact that in the ancient Hebrew script used by the author of Job, this letter taw was a cross-shaped mark. In a sense, therefore, what Job was saying is, ‘Here is my cross.’” (Mason) b. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me: Job was absolutely convinced that what he needed was vindication (or at least an answer) from God. His friends thoroughly analyzed his situation and came to completely wrong conclusions. Job couldn’t make sense of it himself. Here he called God out to answer for what He had done. i. This is the demand that Job would later repent of in Job 42:5-6. Job would come to find that he had no right to demand an answer from God, and indeed had to be content when God seemed to refuse an answer. c. That my Prosecutor had written a book! This shows the profound (yet understandable) spiritual confusion of Job. He felt that God was his accuser (my Prosecutor), when really it was Satan. We sympathize with Job, knowing that he could not see behind that mysterious curtain that separated earth from heaven; yet we learn from what Job should have known. i. “There is the consummate irony of Job’s daring his ‘accuser’ (whom he believes to be God) to put something in writing. . . . Of course all along the reader knows that Job’s real accuser is not God but Satan. But Job does not know this.” (Mason) d. Surely I would carry it on my shoulder: Here Job, stepping over bound he would later repent of, longed to have the accusation of God against him written out so he could refute it as he had so effectively refuted his friends. He so confident in what he knew of himself that he said he would approach God like a prince. i. Job was indeed confident in what he did know; that he was a blameless and upright man who did not bring the catastrophe upon himself by his own special sin. What he was much too confident about were the things he could not see; the things that happened in the spiritual realm, known to the reader of Job 1-2 but unknown to Job in the story. Somewhat like his friends, Job thought he had it all figured out, but he didn’t. ii. “Upon my shoulder; as a trophy or badge of honour. I should not fear nor smother it, but glory in it, and make open show of it, as that which gave me the happy and long-desired occasion of vindicating myself.” (Poole) iii. I would declare to Him the number of my steps: “Far from being abashed, Job is belligerent to the last, eager to have his case settled, confident of the outcome. He is capable of giving a full account of all his steps.” (Andersen) 2. (38-40) The conclusion of Job’s words. “If my land cries out against me, And its furrows weep together; If I have eaten its fruit without money, Or caused its owners to lose their lives; Then let thistles grow instead of wheat, And weeds instead of barley.” The words of Job are ended. a. If my land cries out against me: In this chapter Job testified to his own integrity in the most solemn of terms, calling repeated curses upon himself if his friends could indeed demonstrate that he was a conspicuous sinner worthy of conspicuous judgment or discipline from God. Now, he called one more witness on his behalf: his own land and property. i. This was not unusual in the ancient thinking. “The land is personified as the chief witness of the crimes committed on it. . . . Job is prepared to accept the primaeval curses on Adam (Genesis 3:17) and Cain (Genesis 4:11).” (Andersen) b. The words of Job are ended: It isn’t that there are no more words from Job in this Book of Job; he will speak again briefly in later chapters. Yet Job is definitely done arguing his case. He is finished; one more man will try in vain to fix the problem; and then God will appear. We might rightly say that God – silent to this point – could not (or would not) appear and speak until all the arguments of man were exhausted. i. “This is not a mere epigraph of a writer, or editor. They are the concluding words which Job uttered: by which he informed his friends that he did not intend to carry the controversy any further; but that he had now said all he meant to say. So far as he was concerned, the controversy was ended.” (Bullinger) ii. “At this point, then, we have reached the end of Job’s expressions of pain. The end is silence. That is God’s opportunity for speech. He often waits until we have said everything: and then, in the silence prepared for such speech, He answers.” (Morgan)

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11. Ronit Chamani on the Benefits of the Raw Food Diet

Ronit Chamani on the Benefits of the Raw Food Diet

Ronit Chamani is a professional poker player, diamond dealer and, most importantly, a raw food enthusiast to the highest degree. Here she is talking to the Needy Helper about the benefits of the raw food diet and her plans to change the world through food.

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12. Ep 95: The Truth About Alcohol

Ep 95: The Truth About Alcohol

Welcome to Episode 95 of the Alcohol & Addiction Podcast the show designed to expose the truth about alcoholism, and raises awareness in the hope that people will quit and find a new way of living free of those particular shackles. In this week’s podcast, Lee Davy explains why there is no guest, and why he has decided to rebrand from the Needy Helper to the Truth About Alcohol, and what that means for the future. Podcast Takeaways The Truth About Alcohol Forum - https://needyhelper.mykajabi.com/ How to rate and review the AA Podcast on iTunes - http://www.needyhelper.com/how-to-submit-an-itunes-podcast-review/

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13. Ep 76: David Burns on Melting Resistance

Ep 76: David Burns on Melting Resistance

Welcome to Episode # 76 of The Alcohol & Addiction Podcast the show designed to help you reduce the leverage that alcohol has in your life and your relationships. Today’s guest is David D. Burns the author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, a book that has sold well over five million copies in America, alone. David is an adjunct clinical professor emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Stanford. He is the Gandalf of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In this episode, David and I talk about the role that tears and laughter play in therapy, Resistance and some tips and techniques to melt it, the importance of developing metrics to understand if therapy is working, relapse prevention, the human condition, how a cat taught him about low self esteem, and much more. Podcast Takeaways Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0380810336) The Feeling Good Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/feeling-good-podcast/id1171155453?mt=2) David D. Burns Website (https://feelinggood.com/about/) The World Transformation Movement (https://www.humancondition.com/) David D. Burns Ted Talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1T5uMeYv9Q) 10 Days to Great Self-Esteem by David D. Burns (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0091825628) Overcoming Low-Self Esteem by Melanie Fennell (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1472119290) Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1405159294) Outro Thanks for listening. If you want to help support the Alcohol & Addiction Podcast; keep it free of sponsors and adverts, and to help me focus on helping people reduce the leverage alcohol has on their lives on a full time basis, then please join the Needy Helper Hub Movement. You can find details at www.needyhelper.com. If you find the AA Podcast a valuable resource, then please subscribe on iTunes, tell your friends about it and share the love. You would make me a very happy man indeed if you could rate us on iTunes.

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14. Ep 89: Gary John Bishop Helping Us to Calm The F*ck Down

Ep 89: Gary John Bishop Helping Us to Calm The F*ck Down

Welcome to Episode # 89 of The Alcohol & Addiction Podcast the show designed to help you reduce the leverage that alcohol has in your life and your relationships. I first heard about my next guest when my wife, Liza, bought me a book for Christmas called Unf*ck Your Life. I love books, but I think I have suffered a literary overdose because I can't remember the last time I read a decent one until I picked up this little gem from Gary John Bishop. As a working class Northerner, I loved his direct language. There was no frills, no hidden meanings, he just spoke from the heart, and I understood every single word. Gary is not only an author of a great book. He is a world class coach, facilitator, and has a very sexy Scottish accent, which is quite handy when listening to a podcast. This guy can change your life, and so I would pay serious attention to him. During our conversation, Gary talks about his love for ontology, why we are all perfect and whole but don’t even realise it, why we live life through our personae, why it’s important to be relentless, and he kindly points out that I have a few Mummy and Daddy issues. Podcast Takeaways Gary John Bishop Website - http://garyjohnbishop.com/ Gary John Bishop Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/OneInSevenBillion/ Gary John Bishop Twitter - https://twitter.com/garyjohnbishop?lang=en Gary John Bishop Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/garyjohnbishop/ Unfu*ck Yourself - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1539393828 John Locke - http://www.biography.com/people/john-locke-9384544 Martin Heidegger - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br1sGrA7XTU John Paul Sartre - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bQsZxDQgzU The Needy Helper Forum - https://needyhelper.mykajabi.com/ How to rate and review the AA Podcast on iTunes http://www.needyhelper.com/how-to-submit-an-itunes-podcast-review/

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15. Ep 93:Laura Silverman shares her struggles with addiction & giving back with the Sobriety Collective

Ep 93:Laura Silverman shares her struggles with addiction & giving back with the Sobriety Collective

Laura Silverman belongs to a group of young American women who are making a big difference in the world of sobriety. They truly are a sobriety collective. After being hospitalised for the second time in 2007, Silverman decided enough was enough and ventured down the sober path so many of us are so frightened to step foot on. A decade later, after battling through anxiety, OCD, and frequent panic attacks, Silverman is a proud sober woman doing all she can to help others find the route back to life through her work at The Sobriety Collective. During this interview we talk about that fateful night in 2007, how she stays sober despite still suffering from anxiety, OCD, and panic attacks, and a whole lot more. Enjoy. Podcast Takeaways The Sobriety Collective Website http://www.thesobrietycollective.com/ The Sobriety Collective Twitter https://twitter.com/wearesober The Bad Story Podcast https://soundcloud.com/badstorypod The Sobriety Collective Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sobrietycollective The Sobriety Collective Instagram https://www.instagram.com/wearesober/ The Needy Helper Forum - https://needyhelper.mykajabi.com/ How to rate and review the AA Podcast on iTunes - http://www.needyhelper.com/how-to-submit-an-itunes-podcast-review/

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16. Ep 74: Jennifer Matesa on Sex in Recovery

Ep 74: Jennifer Matesa on Sex in Recovery

Jennifer Matesa on Sex in Recovery Welcome to Episode # 74 of The Alcohol & Addiction Podcast the show designed to help you reduce the leverage that alcohol has in your life and your relationships. Today’s guest is Jennifer Matesa, the founder of the addiction and recovery blog Guinevere Gets Sober and the author of four non-fiction books about body, mind, and human Wellbeing Including the most recent Sex in Recovery: A Meeting Between The Sheets. Jennifer speaks and writes widely, and teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her commitment to removing the stigma from addiction and recovery earned her a fellowship at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In this podcast episode, we talk about sex, sex, and more sex. Podcast Takeaways Guinevere Gets Sober (http://guineveregetssober.com/) Jennifer Matesa Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.matesa) Jennifer Matesa Twitter (https://twitter.com/Guinevere64) Outro Thanks for listening. Are you in a relationship that’s suffering because of alcohol? If so, then why not join the Needy Helper movement, the purpose of which is to lessen the negative effects alcohol has on your relationships by working on communication, connection and curating a new life. We achieve this through the creation of a community forum of like-minded people and training course designed to help you move away from a life of alcohol. When signing up you will receive my new course: “Finding Your Sober Voice in Relationships.” - https://needyhelper.mykajabi.com/store/biQtFTc7 If you find the AA Podcast a valuable resource, then please subscribe on iTunes, tell your friends about it and share the love. You would make me a very happy man indeed if you could rate us on iTunes.

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17. Ep 35: The Vow

Ep 35: The Vow

In Episode #35 of the Alcohol & Addiction podcast I try something different. Think of this as an audio blog. My subject matter is one I think is vital for achievement of sobriety. It’s called ‘The Vow’. As it’s a new format I would be grateful if you could post a comment giving me feedback. It would also be a great help if you could head over to Stitcher (http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/needy-helper/the-alcohol-addiction-podcast) and give me a 5-Star review (if you think I’m worth it that is). Other ways you can support the podcast is by purchasing your Amazon products through my link, and sharing the post with as many people as you can. Other Nuggets Mentioned During The Podcast The Internet Business Mastery Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcast-internet-business/id101697944?mt=2) The Vow (http://www.needyhelper.com/the-vow/) The Easyway to Control Alcohol by Allen Carr - (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1848374658/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1848374658&linkCode=as2&tag=needhelp06-21) The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz - (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0930641000/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0930641000&linkCode=as2&tag=needhelp06-21) James Altucher: How to Have Great Ideas (http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2012/04/how-to-have-great-ideas/)

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18. Ep 80: A Vegan Diet Isn’t Necessarily a Healthy Diet

Ep 80: A Vegan Diet Isn’t Necessarily a Healthy Diet

A Vegan Diet Isn’t Necessarily a Healthy Diet Welcome to Episode # 80 of The Alcohol & Addiction Podcast the show designed to help you reduce the leverage that alcohol has in your life and your relationships. In this episode, I continue from where I left of last week, talking about veganism. The content was inspired by visiting my third vegan fair in recent months and finding a theme - most of the stalls sell nothing but cakes! So why turn vegan? Is it to be healthy? I’m not so sure. Outro Thanks for listening. If you are lonely or feel like nobody understands your desire to quit drinking, then you need a like-minded community of people quickly. If this is you then head over to the Needy Helper Hub where we offer a free community forum where you get to talk to people who are in your position. Here is the link: https://needyhelper.mykajabi.com/pages/forum If you are struggling with an addiction and you want help quitting and moving on with your life then why not work with me one-to-one. I have quit smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, sugar, gambling, pornography, meat and dairy. I have also quit a 20-year career, started a new business from scratch, went through a painful divorce where I literally lost everything. If you feel I can help you then email me at [email protected] to book your free consultation. If you find the AA Podcast a valuable resource, then please subscribe on iTunes, tell your friends about it and share the love. You would make me a very happy man indeed if you could rate us on iTunes. Click on this link for a quick and easy guide on how to do that. http://www.needyhelper.com/how-to-submit-an-itunes-podcast-review/

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19. Do You Find it Harder to Connect and Relate to People if You Never Have a Wild Night Out?

Do You Find it Harder to Connect and Relate to People if You Never Have a Wild Night Out?

In Episode #5 of Ask the Needy Helper Sarah from Las Vegas asks "Do you ever find it harder to connect and relate to people if you never get to have a wild night out? I often find that after a night out, or a few drinks with a new person, I’m able to get to know them more intimately and a little bit quicker than if we have a more sober time together? How do you bridge those gaps with people who are more inverted?"

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20. What are your regrets from drinking?

What are your regrets from drinking?

Episode #4 of the 'Ask Needy Helper Podcast' Samantha from Newport, South Wales asks the following question: “I feel like I’ve wasted so much of my life, and am full of regret. I think I would have been a different person had I not touched alcohol. I don’t mean hangovers, blacking out, or making a fool of myself. I’m talking about the different friends I would have had, the motivation, ambition, and how better of financially I would have been. More importantly I think I would have had more self control and a clearer focus in my life. What are your regrets from drinking?”

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