“Do you think this is right? Do you say, ‘My righteousness is more than God’s’… Look to the heavens and see; And behold the clouds– They are higher than you. Job 35:2,5
“Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out; They cry out for help because of the arm of the mighty. But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night, Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ There they cry out, but He does not answer, Because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not listen to empty talk, Nor will the Almighty regard it. Job 35:9-13
Job’s Pride – Claiming that One Has the Right to Question God’s Righteousness
35:4-8 God was not under any obligation to Job for any work or deed. Therefore, it was logically inconsistent for Job to demand that God must appear in court.
4 “I will answer you, And your companions with you. 5 Look to the heavens and see; And behold the clouds– They are higher than you. 6 If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? 7 If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? 8 Your wickedness affects a man such as you, And your righteousness a son of man.
35:12, 13 One reason God does not answer when people cry out is that they are full of pride and devoid of pure motives. Elihu implies that Job’s prayers have not been heard because of his pride. This accurate perception prepares the way for the speeches of God.
Right (Heb. misphat)
The Hebrew term translated here as right represents an important idea in the understanding of the judicial side of government, whether by humans or by God. The central idea of most uses of the term in the Bible is “justice” (Ps. 72:1,2). The word can be used to designate the act (see “Judgment” in Josh. 20:6), the place (see “the Hall of Judgment” in 1 Kin. 7:7), or the process (see “judgment” in Is. 3:14) of a case of litigation, as well as the sentence (see “deserves” in Jer. 26:11) or the time of judgment (see “judgment” in Ps. 1:5). In the present passage, Elihu was asking whether Job had the legal right to question God’s righteousness. Elihu correctly perceived that Job was implying that his ethical standards were higher than God’s (see 29:12-17, 31:13, 16).