Eliphaz responded to Job’s defense even harsher than before by insinuating that he was a fool because a wise man would not have answered as he had with “empty knowledge.” He tried to show Job’s absurdity by sarcastically asking if he were older than the hills and if he knew more than the aged men before him. Eliphaz charged that wise men had stated that, “The wicked man writhes with pain all his days…” That again placed the cause of Job’s pain on his wickedness. A life of wealth lived in wickedness was described as a bitter disappointment in the end. Whatever prosperity Job may have possessed had been destroyed because of his sins. The truths of those ancient wise men had been misapplied to Job’s circumstances.
Job bluntly replied to Eliphaz with his own harsh words. He had expected comfort from his friends, but instead had received condemnation. Jesus commanded, “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Mt. 7:12) Job expressed that same sentiment as he spoke to Eliphaz. He stated that if Eliphaz had been in his position, he could have spoken against him, but he would have strengthened and comforted him instead. Job was worn out. Nothing he said helped and to remain silent brought no ease either. His body even spoke against him by revealing the torment that seemed to be evidence of a sinful man’s punishment. However, Job knew that his conscience was clean and he was confident that God also knew of his innocence.
Most people have a sympathetic feeling for those who are near death. Job felt that the end was near for him, but instead of sympathy, his friends were heaping mockery upon him. In prayer to God, Job lamented that his life was over and his only future was a bed in the darkness of the grave.