“Valiente consuelo el de todos ustedes!/you are miserable comforters, all of you!” Job 16:2.
It appears at this point, Job is giving zero cares about the feels of his frenemies. He is even playing the card we hear in politics so often: This would be completely different if things were reversed. He says that if they were suffering his mouth would offer words of comfort not blame.
Job’s friends, meanwhile, have resorted to absurd arguments like, no one is perfect. True enough. No one is perfect, but are they really suggesting–they are btw–that Job may have deserved to have all of his children killed because of some tiny sin that none of them can identify?
It is easy to focus on how dumb Job’s friends are. It is also important to read Job as a response to the idea–primarily focused at the people of Israel as a whole not individuals–that if you walk in the way of the Lord you’ll be blessed. But it is less clear to me what affirmative lesson one can derive from Job.
It does not seem to be the case that his faith provides him comfort in his time of need. Rather, it pisses him off that he knows (1) he did nothing wrong and (2) it is total BS that God is letting/causing his calamities. If someone was grieving and he or she said, “What did God cause this?” I wouldn’t say, “you probably sinned or something,” but I also wouldn’t say, “sometimes God lets Satan walk the Earth and test your faith,” either. Finally, I would not say –SPOILER ALERT– “who the hell are you to question God,” which turns out to be the moral of this story.
The Spanish isn’t the only thing that is tricky about this whole Bible reading business.