Thinking Suicide? Consider Job!


Job’s Soliloquy (3)


1) To consider Job’s soliloquy, which starts the “great controversy”
between Job and his friends

2) To appreciate the depth of Job’s complaint, why he wished that he
had never been born

3) To note the questions he raised as he sought to understand the
problem of suffering


Having sat in silence for seven days in the presence of his friends who
had come to comfort him, Job finally speaks. In the form of a
soliloquy, he begins by cursing the day of his birth and the night of
his conception for failing to prevent his sorrow (3:1-10). He then
bemoans why he did not die at birth or even be stillborn, for then at
least he would be at rest, just like those who were great in their
lifetime, or like those who had been oppressed (3:11-19). Job also
wonders why the suffering who long for death are allowed to linger. He
concludes by stating that what he most greatly feared has now come upon
him: trouble, from which there seems to be no rest (3:20-26).


I. JOB’S CURSE (3:1-10)

1. Not just the day of his birth, but also the night of his
2. Because of the sorrow that has come his way
— I.e., he wished he had never been born

1. Who had an unpopular ministry – Jer 20:14-18
2. Who experienced much suffering like Job

1. Both expressed a desire never to have been born
2. Yet neither Job or Jeremiah for a moment considered the
possibility of suicide
3. They might have questioned the Lord’s wisdom, but they did not
dare take the precious gift of life with which He endowed them
(Wayne Jackson)


1. Then he would have been at rest
2. He would be with those who were great and powerful in their

1. Then he would have been at rest, free from those who trouble
2. He would be like those at rest, who were troubled in their

1. Job’s view of death applies only to those who die in the Lord
– cf. Re 14:13
2. For the wicked, death is no rest! – cf. Lk 16:19-31


1. Why is life given to those who linger in suffering?
2. Even to those who long for death?

1. He dreaded the suffering that has come to him
2. And now he is troubled and no longer at ease


1) What are the three main points of this section?
– Job’s curse (3:1-10)
– Job’s questions (3:11-19)
– Job ponders the problem of suffering (3:20-26)

2) As Job begins his soliloquy, what two things does he curse? (1-3)
– The day of his birth
– The night of his conception

3) Why did he did he curse the day of his birth? (10)
– Because it did not keep him from experiencing sorrow

4) Why did he wish he had died at birth? (11-15)
– Then he would be at rest, just like those who had been great in
their lifetime

5) Why did he wish he had been stillborn? (16-19)
– Then he would be at rest, like those who had been oppressed in
their lifetime

6) As Job ponders the problem of suffering, what does he ask? (20-21)
– Why is life given to those who suffer and long for death?

7) What had come upon Job? (25)
– That which he greatly feared and dreaded (i.e., trouble and


The Great Debate: First Cycle Of Speeches (4-14)


1) To examine the counsel of Job’s friends, what their observations
were, and upon what they based their conclusions regarding Job’s

2) To consider Job’s response to his friends, how he took their
“advice”, and how he continued to vent his complaint over his


Following Job’s outburst in which he cursed the day of his birth and
wondered why those who long for death continue to live, his three
friends begin offering their counsel. Eliphaz the Temanite starts with
expressing his view that the innocent don’t suffer, the wicked do. As
support for his position, he refers to a vision that he had.
Chastening Job, Eliphaz then directs Job to seek God’s forgiveness,
reminding him of the blessings that would come if Job repented
(4:1-5:22). Job defends his rash words as being prompted by his grief,
and again expresses his desire for death. Reproaching his friends as
being a “deceitful brook”, he challenges them to show him where he has
sinned. He then resumes his complaint, asking God a multitude of
questions (6:1-7:21).

Bildad the Shuhite now steps in and rebukes Job for his strong words.
Maintaining that God is just, he implies that Job’s sons died because
of their own transgressions, and if Job were only pure and upright he
would be blessed by God. Appealing to wisdom of the ancients, he
contends the wicked are without support, and that God will not cast
away the blameless. If Job would only repent, God would fill him once
again with laughter and rejoicing (8:1-22). Job basically agrees, but
wonders who can really be righteous in God’s sight in view of His
wisdom and strength. He then complains of God’s inaccessibility, and
maintains his own integrity while concluding that God destroys the
blameless along with the wicked. Feeling hopeless, Job bemoans the
lack of a mediator between him and God. Once again, he gives free
course to his complaint as he lashes out with more questions directed
toward God (9:1-10:22).

Finally, Zophar the Naamathite enters the dialogue with his own rebuke
of Job for his rash words. Indicating that Job has actually received
less suffering than he deserves, he reproaches Job trying to search out
the deep things of God. Instead, Job should be putting away iniquity
and wickedness, for then he would abide in brightness, security and
hope (11:1-20). In response, Job chides his friends for their attempt
to impart wisdom but succeeding only in mocking him. Affirming the
wisdom of God, Job says the advice of his friends has been of little
help. He calls them “forgers of lies” and “worthless physicians” who
have only given him “proverbs of ashes” and “defenses of clay”.
Confident of his own integrity, Job again expresses his desire to speak
with God to ask Him what he has done to deserve such suffering. Once
again despairing of hope, he longs for death (12:1-14:22).



1. Introductory remarks (4:1-6)
a. Though he does not wish to weary Job, he cannot refrain
from speaking
b. Job has strengthened others in the past, now he needs
c. Is Job not trusting in his own confidence and integrity?
2. Eliphaz’s view: The innocent don’t suffer, the wicked do
a. When have the innocent ever perished?
b. But I have seen the wicked perish by the blast of God, just
like the lions
3. In support of his view: Eliphaz appeals to a vision (4:12-21)
a. A terrifying vision, in which he heard a voice
b. A revelation that man cannot be more righteous than God
c. If angels can be charged with error, how much more so men
of clay?
d. Note: Eliphaz is appealing to “subjective revelation”
1) His example shows the error of appealing to such to
determine truth
2) “Nothing is more essential than testing experience by an
objective standard of reality. When God has spoken
concerning a matter, that is decisive for all the issues
involved. His word must be the court of appeal for all
thoughts, impressions, and views.” (Newton Wray)
4. Eliphaz warns Job (5:1-7)
a. There is danger in the anger of a foolish man
b. Such a one will see his sons crushed and his harvest
c. Affliction comes because man is born to trouble
5. Eliphaz directs Job (5:8-16)
a. Seek God and commit your cause to Him
b. For God does great things, catching the wise in their own
craftiness, saving the needy and giving hope to the poor
6. Job reminded of God’s blessings on those who accept His
chastening (5:17-26)
a. Happy is the man God corrects; don’t despise His chastening
b. God will make him whole, and protect him in times of
c. God will give him peace, many descendants, and long life
— Eliphaz’s conclusion: “This we have searched out; it is true.
Hear it and know for yourself.” (5:27)

B. JOB’S REPLY (6:1-7:21)
1. He justifies his rash words (6:1-7)
a. They are prompted by his heavy grief
b. He is experiencing the poisonous arrows and terrors of the
c. Animals don’t complain when well fed; but food has become
loathsome to him
2. He longs for death, while his integrity is still intact
a. He wishes that God would go ahead and crush him
b. Then he would have some comfort in knowing that he had not
concealed (or denied) the words of God
c. How long can he hope to endure?
3. Job reproaches his friends (6:14-23)
a. They should have shown proper kindness
b. They have been like a deceitful brook, that disappoints
those who come to it
c. They have been afraid of what they have seen
d. He had not asked for their assistance
4. He challenges them to show him where he has sinned (6:24-30)
a. Show him his error and he will be quiet
b. Reproving him with no proof is of no benefit, it is like
overwhelming the fatherless and undermining one’s friend
c. Look at him again and treat him justly, there is no
injustice in him
5. Job now resumes his complaint (7:1-10)
a. His life is one of hard servitude, with months of futility
and wearisome nights
b. The condition of his flesh makes him toss all night
c. His days swiftly go by with no hope of ever seeing good
d. He expects to descend to the grave and soon forgotten
6. Job speaks out in the anguish of his soul (7:11-21)
a. Why does God terrify him with dreams and visions, so that
he longs for death?
b. Why is God testing him every moment? How long will this go
c. Why can’t God just leave him alone?
d. How has he sinned? What has he done to become a target for
e. If he has sinned, why doesn’t God pardon his transgression?
f. As it is, he will just go ahead and die, and then God won’t
have to bother with him anymore (the sort of foolish
statement for which Job later repents, 42:3,6)


1. Introductory remarks (1-7)
a. He rebukes Job for his words
b. He maintains that God deals justly
c. If Job’s sons sinned, they were killed for their
d. Restoration would occur if Job would only seek God and
2. Bildad appeals to the wisdom of the ancients (8-18)
a. Heed what others have already learned, for our time is
b. The wicked are like the papyrus with no support, for they
soon wither
c. God will not cast away the blameless, nor will He uphold
the evildoers (the implication is “Job, you are not
d. God will yet restore Job (assuming he repents)

B. JOB’S REPLY (9:1-10:22)
1. He agrees with Bildad, but who can truly be righteous before
God? (9:1-13)
a. No one can contend with God, He is too wise and strong
b. Job provides numerous examples of God’s power
2. Because of such power, Job’s complains of God’s inaccessibility
a. Even if he were righteous (perfect?), Job would be unable
to answer God
b. For even now God multiplies his wounds without cause
c. His own mouth would condemn him under the weight of God’s
3. Maintaining his claim to innocence, he concludes that God
destroys the blameless along with the wicked (9:21-24)
a. Job professes to be blameless, but has lost his will to
b. He knows of no other conclusion but that God looks lightly
at the plight of the innocent
4. Feeling hopeless, Job bemoans the lack of a mediator (9:25-35)
a. His days go by, with no good to be seen
b. Why even try, if God has chosen to condemn him?
c. He knows there is no way to reason with God, and there is
no one to mediate between them
d. If God would only take His rod from him, but such is not
the case
5. In pain, Job gives free course to his complaint (10:1-22)
a. God, why do You condemn Me? Tell me why!
b. Does it seem good for You to despise the work of Your
c. Are You having to search for my iniquity, like a mortal
d. Have You made me, just to destroy me?
e. Whether I am wicked or righteous, Your indignation
increases toward me!
f. Why then did You let me be born? How I wish I had died at
g. Can’t You leave me alone so I can have a little comfort
before I die and enter the “land of darkness”?


1. Affirms that Job has received less than he deserves (11:1-6)
a. The multitude of Job’s words call for refutation
b. Job claims innocence; if only God would speak and show his
true guilt
c. God has exacted less from Job than he deserves
2. Reproaches Job for desiring to search out God’s hidden ways
a. Can Job find that which is beyond his ability to know?
b. God cannot be hindered, and considers the wickedness of man
c. A not-so-subtle rebuke of Job as a foolish empty-headed man
3. Promises restoration upon repentance and confession of sin
a. Seek the Lord and put away sin if you wish to be pure and
b. You would forget your misery and abide in brightness,
security and hope
c. But the wicked will not escape, and their only hope is loss
of life

B. JOB’S REPLY (12:1-14:22)
1. He chides his accusers (12:1-12)
a. Mocking their wisdom, he also has wisdom
b. Though just and blameless, he has been mocked; meanwhile
the wicked prosper
c. Wisdom is not limited to Job’s friends; all nature
testifies of wisdom and it comes with age
2. He affirms God’s own wisdom and strength (12:13-25)
a. God can do what He wants, and none can stop Him
b. He can overpower the wise and mighty, even the nations
3. The advice of his friends has been no help (13:1-12)
a. He already knows what they know; he desires to reason with
b. They claim to speak for God, but they are worthless
physicians and forgers of lies
c. Their platitudes and defenses are worthless
4. Confident of his own integrity, Job again wishes to speak with
God (13:13-19)
a. Let him speak, for he is willing to take what comes
b. Even if God slays him, he will continue to trust Him
c. He desires to defend himself before God, he cannot remain
5. Job appeals to God for an audience (13:20-28)
a. Upon the conditions of removing His hand and not
overwhelming him with dread, Job would speak with God
b. He desires to know where he has sinned, and why God regards
him as an enemy
c. Why has God so punished him?
6. He expresses hopelessness in this life (14:1-12)
a. Life is brief and troublesome, his days are numbered
b. Cut down a tree, and it will sprout again; but when man
dies, he is no longer here as long as the heavens last
7. He longs for death (14:13-22)
a. That God would so hide him from His wrath until it is past
b. Man’s hope is slowly eroded as he goes through life, until
he knows no more of this life


1) Which of his three friends first responded to Job? (4:1)
– Eliphaz the Temanite

2) What was his main argument? (4:7-8)
– Who ever perished being innocent?
– Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same

3) To what did he appeal in support of his argument? (4:12-13)
– A dream or vision

4) What does he encourage Job to do? (5:8)
– To seek God and commit his cause to Him

5) What does he encourage Job not to do? (5:17)
– Despise the chastening of the Almighty

6) How does Job justify his rash words? (6:2-3)
– They were prompted by his troubles and heavy grief

7) For what does Job long? (6:8-9)
– That God would go ahead and crush him (i.e., he longed for death)

8) How does Job describe his friends? (6:14-15)
– Like a deceitful brook

9) What challenge does Job give his friends? (6:24)
– Show him his error and he will be quiet

10) As Job resumes his complaint, what does he say has been given to
him? (7:3,5)
– Months of futility and wearisome nights
– Flesh caked with worms and dust, skin which cracks and breaks

11) How does he describe his days? (7:6)
– Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, spent without hope

12) In such anguish, what does Job say he will do? (7:11)
– Complain in the bitterness of his soul

13) What does he ask of God? (7:20-21)
– Have I sinned? What have I done to You?
– If so, why don’t you pardon my transgression?

14) Who is the second person to respond to Job? (8:1)
– Bildad the Shuhite

15) For what does he rebuke Job? (8:2)
– His strong words

16) What does he counsel Job to do? (8:5-7)
– Earnestly seek God and be pure if he desires restoration

17) To what did he appeal in support of his argument? (8:8-10)
– Things discovered by their ancestors (i.e., the wisdom of the

18) What does Bildad conclude concerning God? (8:20)
– God will not cast away the blameless, nor uphold the evildoers

19) How does Job initially respond to Bildad? (9:2)
– He basically agrees, but how can one be righteous before God?

20) What does Job bemoan? (9:32-33)
– The lack of a mediator between him and God

21) As Job gives continues his complaint, what does he ask of God?
– Show him why He contends with him
– Why did God bring him out of the womb?
– Why can’t God just leave him alone and let him die?

22) Who is the third person to respond to Job? (11:1)
– Zophar the Naamathite

23) What does he affirm concerning Job? (11:6)
– He had received less than his iniquity deserved

24) For what does he reproach Job? (11:7)
– Trying to search out the deep things of God

25) What does Zophar say would be true of Job if he repented?
– He would be pure, steadfast, free of fear and misery

26) How does Job mock his friends? (12:2)
– By saying that wisdom will die with them

27) How did Job feel he was being treated by his friends? (12:4)
– That they were mocking him

28) How does Job describe his friends? (13:4)
– As forger of lies and worthless physicians

29) How does Job describe their speeches? (13:12)
– As proverbs of ashes, and defenses of clay

30) What two things does Job request if God should grant him an
audience? (13:20-21)
– For God to withdraw His hand far from him
– For God not to make him afraid

31) What does Job wish God would reveal to him? (13:23-24)
– How many are his iniquities and sins
– Why God hides His face and regards Job as an enemy

32) How does Job view the life of man? (14:1-2)
– Of few days and full of trouble
– Like a flower that soon fades away, as a fleeting shadow that is
quickly gone

33) From his earthly perspective, how does Job compare himself with a
tree? (14:7-12)
– There is more hope for a tree, for a tree cut down will rise again

34) What request does Job make again? (14:13)
– That God would go ahead and allow him to die

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