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So You Say

Written by The Colson Center - Worldview Bible on . Posted in The Colson Center - Worldview Bible

So You Say

So You Say

Job 24:18-20
““You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters;
their portion is cursed in the land;
no treader turns toward their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
so does Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
the worm finds them sweet;

they are no longer remembered,

so wickedness is broken like a tree.’”

The Story: Here the ESV translators are accurate in interpreting “You say” (not in the Hebrew) as introducing part of the argument of Job’s friends. They have been saying that the wicked always come to judgment. Their lands are cursed; no wine to tread; drought and Sheol; worms and empty wombs; and blah, blah, blah. Isn’t this what you said? Job implies. Of course it is, a ludicrous assertion, as now seen in retrospect. And since it’s not true that the wicked always get their comeuppance, then it isn’t necessarily true that Job’s sufferings are the result of some wickedness in him. He is taking them apart, and they will be left with nothing more to say.

The Structure: An underlying message of Job’s final words to his friends is that because problems can be so complex and mysterious, we need to steer clear of facile explanations. We can’t know everything, and if we make up our minds on matters before we’ve thought and prayed them through, we’ll end up looking as foolish and unbelievable as Job’s friends.

How does Job’s response to his friends counsel you as you think about the sinfulness of our world?


For a deeper look at the book of Job, order Carol A. Newsom’s The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations from our online store.

The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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