Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 370
Context: Job, a righteous and God-fearing man of the land of Uz, is put to the test by Satan, with the acquiescence of God. First Satan takes away Job's prosperity and kills Job's seven sons and three daughters. Then Satan visits physical misery on Job, in the form of boils that cover his body from crown to sole. Still Job does not curse God, but neither does he blame himself; he maintains that he is a good man, as he is, and that he has not sinned in any way to justify such miseries and unhappiness. When Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar come to visit Job, however, they maintain that he must have done something to deserve his miseries. When the three friends, who give little or no comfort to Job, have finished, Elihu, a fourth man, speaks up. Elihu, too, maintains that God never afflicts a man without cause; he tells Job that God always hears a submissive cry, but that He sends adversity to a man either as a discipline or as a warning. He tells Job that God does great things that mere human beings cannot comprehend. He reminds Job that God causes the snow and the rains, as He causes the winds to blow and the seasons to move in their cycle. And he ends with a terrible warning for Job:
Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?
Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?
How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?
Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?
Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness.
Shall it be told him I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.
And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth and cleanseth them.
Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.
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