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Job reacts to the preceding exhortations of his three friends, stresses the frailty and transience of mans life, and pleads for God’s mercy, with striking examples.
On hearing of Job’s afflictions, his friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, come to offer their condolences. When Job laments his sorry plight, his friends censure him for failing to accept that his suffering is only a just punishment from God for his transgressions: whatever they may be. Job, confident in the strength of his piety and adherence to God’s laws, is indignant at this unjustified criticism. He excoriates his friends for the injustice of their attitude, holds fast to his innocence, and commands them to be silent. He firmly asserts that the circumstances of his ordeal are to be debated between himself and God alone, and addresses himself to God. He tenaciously asserts that he has done nothing to merit God’s punishment.
Job’s plea to God in Chapter 14 is a moving admission of his weakness and need for God’s indulgence. Job draws God’s attention to man’s weakness, inherited from the frailty of women. Man’s life is short and filled with tribulation. His life is as transient as that of a flower, which blooms but for a short while before it dies. His life is but an evanescent shadow, which lasts momentarily, before melting into the night. Does such a frail being merit the strict scrutiny of the Almighty God? Will God subject such a weak mortal to harsh judgment? Job, referring to every man’s inheritance of the original sin, points out to God that no son of Adam and Eve can escape the taint of impurity. The period of man’s lifetime is irrevocably determined, and absolutely controlled, by God. In this context of the shortness, uncertainty and calamitousness of life, Job pleads with God to cease dealing harshly with him. He asks God to leave him to deal with his predetermined lot in life to his best
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