4

Two related verses in Job seem to place God in an unexpected relationship with his angels:

'He puts no trust even in His servants; And against His angels He charges error.

Job 4:18 (NASB)

Is the verse telling us that good angels who did not fall are not good enough.

Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in his sight;

Job 15:15 (ESV)

Why does God have no trust to his angels? Why are the heavens not pure in God's sight?

  • The assumption is that the verse is referring to good angels as opposed to bad angels (cp. 2 Pet. 2:4). – user862 Oct 2 '15 at 8:28
  • @H3br3wHamm3r81, If it is about fallen angels, then, why did it call them 'his servants' and 'his angels' ? – Radz C. Brown Oct 2 '15 at 8:35
  • 1
    Because He created them, and therefore, they are still His servants and His angels. God still uses them for His purposes. Is not Satan a fallen angel, and yet God uses him in that very book to test Job, right? – user862 Oct 2 '15 at 8:59
  • 1
    @H3br3wHamm3r81, Exactly. – Radz C. Brown Oct 2 '15 at 9:09
  • 1
    Could it possibly be hyperbole used to compare God's holiness with creation, making God out to be that much better than that which is already good? – sbunny Oct 5 '15 at 21:02
2

The answer to your question would seem quite simple.

Since Job 4:1 identifies the speaker whose statement is found at Job 4:18, as Eliphaz:

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,


and Job 15:1 identifies the speaker whose statement appears at job 15:15, as the same:

Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,


and God says to that man at the conclusion of the story:

... My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
-- Job 42:7 (KJV)


then a prudent reader would suspect the views of Eliphaz are flawed.

Conclusion

One can trust the words of Eliphaz in regard to God's angels and the heavens, or one can trust the words of God who said Eliphaz had "not spoken of me the thing that is right"?

As for me, I stand with God.

  • "The answer to your question would seem quite simple." No, it is not. Oversimplifying that "the views of Eliphaz are flawed" is a mistake. That generalization inevitably encompasses Eliphaz's other views such as "[God] doeth great things [...]; marvellous things without number", Job 5:8-9, thereby leading to a multitude of contradictions. Moreover, 4:18 is not even Eliphaz's view, but his quote of the spirit, 4:15. If we were to disqualify everything that Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar said merely by virtue of 42:7, we would be essentially suppressing and mutilating much of the Book of Job. – Iñaki Viggers Nov 19 '18 at 0:53
  • So, you'd rather trust Eliphaz' words concerning God, than trust God's words concerning Eliphaz. That is your prerogative. – enegue Nov 19 '18 at 2:20
  • You are misinterpreting and misapplying Job 42:7 by using it as your "prudent" method for discarding anything Eliphaz said. The sense of 42:7 is that, among Eliphaz's statements, he missed the specific "thing" God expected him to assert. By striking Eliphaz's every view as flawed, you impliedly distrust his words concerning God at 5:8-9! The substantial overlap between (1)Eliphaz's words concerning God, and (2)God's speech puts you in the untenable position of having to trust something because God said it and simultaneously distrust the exact same idea because "flawed" Eliphaz asserted it too. – Iñaki Viggers Nov 19 '18 at 10:56
  • @IñakiViggers I am not implying anything about Eliphaz' words other than those quoted by the OP. I really don't see anything profitable being born of further discussion of the matter. – enegue Nov 19 '18 at 12:58
  • Exactly, the OP asked about 4:18, and a bare allusion to 42:7 does not address the core of her question whatsoever. By that token, 42:7 could be (mis-)applied to each and every question of that type: If/when another user asks "why did Bildad say that 'xyz' in Job n1:n2?", answering that "well, according to 42:7 he is wrong after all, so it is prudent for us to suspect that his views are flawed" eludes the user's inquiry altogether. – Iñaki Viggers Nov 19 '18 at 13:46
0

Why does God have no trust to his angels?

The Book of Job does not provide a portrait of God's mind that is comprehensive or detailed enough to allow identifying God's specific reasons(s) for putting no trust in his angels.

What one can answer, though, is whether God's distrust in his angels is epistemologically and factually supported (as per the narrative in chapters 1 & 2). And the answer is in the affirmative, notwithstanding that God's distrust in his angel(s) is notoriously inconsistent: In line with one of the comments, God actually trusted Satan at least twice to unjustifiably harm Job under pretext of the wager between God and Satan.

God's concept of Job was that of "a perfect and an upright man" (Job 1:8, KJV). Satan was given the opportunity to prove that Job's devotion to God is conditional on profit. Satan's proposition turned out to be wrong, for "[i]n all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (1:22) and "[i]n all this did not Job sin with his lips" (2:10). Thus, it was epystemologically correct for God to distrust his angel.

(Apropos of --and contrary to-- the other answer, this epystemological accuracy validates Eliphaz's declarations in 4:18 and 15:15, whence one cannot categorically state that Eliphaz's views "are flawed").

Why are the heavens not pure in God's sight?

Without foreclosing alternative explanations beforehand, the Tanakh might shed light on the latter half of 15:15:

וְ֝שָׁמַ֗יִם לֹא־זַכּ֥וּ בְעֵינָֽיו

The וּ appended to זַכּ֥ suggests allusion to His purity (זך: pure), whence I posit that the clause could be paraphrased as: And in His eyes, the heavens are not [at the level of] His purity.

Thus, rather than labeling the heavens as impure in themselves, the intended meaning of 15:15 might be to expresses God's superiority over any thing (or something) He has created: in this case, the heavens.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.