Monday, March 11, 2013

Job 32-33 and Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians 9-11

Job 32 – The three “friends” of Job now give up on him “because he kept insisting on his innocence” (32:1).

Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, now speaks to Job in anger. He is younger that all the others, so he has tried to hold his tongue, but now he is annoyed that the three “friends” have been so unsuccessful in convincing Job that he must have sinned. He thinks it is “the spirit in men, the breath of Shaddai, that gives them understanding” (32:8), not just age. He finds it disturbing that they will just “leave it to God” to censure Job.

“I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on  , , I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers” (32:18-20).

Job 33 – Elihu claims to be speaking with complete integrity. He sees himself a little differently from the others; the authority he claims is from the “spirit” not from age or experience or expertise in the wisdom handed down from generation to generation. “[T]he Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (32:4). And it is to this Spirit that Elihu tries to get Job to look: “God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night . . .He whispers in their ears and . . . makes them turn from doing wrong” (32:14-17). His advice hinges on an approach that is more Quakerly than that of the three “friends”; they rely more on the wisdom passed down to us from “tradition.”

He sees that he and Job are the same before God – but he thinks Job does not see the ascendancy of God before them both.
” (31:40).

Ignatius to the Philadelphians
9 – “The priests of old, I admit, were estimable men; but our own High Priest is greater, for He has been entrusted with the Holy of Holies, and to Him alone are the secret things of God committed. He is the doorway to the Father, and it is by Him that Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and the prophets go in, no less than the Apostles and the whole Church; for all these have their part in God’s unity. Nevertheless, the Gospel has a distinction all its own, in the advent of our Savor Jesus Christ, and His Passion and Resurrection. We are fond of the prophets, and they did indeed point forward to Him in their preaching; yet it is the Gospel that sets the coping-stone on man’s immortality. It is in all these different elements together that goodness resides, if you have a loving faith” (95).

10 – He reports that news has reached him that there is now peace in the church at Antioch. He encourages them to send an “ambassador” there to celebrate this peace.

11 – He speaks of two men – a deacon from Cilicia named Philo and another man named Rheus Agathopous – who have told him of a warm welcome they had from the Philadelphians. He thanks them. He says he is writing this letter from Troas and will send it with Burrhus, a man whom the Ephesians and Smyrnaeans sent to accompany Ignatius to Rome.

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