Eliphaz’s Legacy (Job #10)

Text: Job 15:1

We’re going to take a closer look at one of Job’s accusers today.  The book of Job is certainly not about Eliphaz, but the history Eliphaz has with Job’s family is very instructive in regards to the type of heritage a father leaves his children.

Family history

  • Jacob and Esau are the twin sons of Issac.  God’s promise of blessing and land goes through Abraham to Isaac and from Isaac to Jacob, not Esau.
    • Job is Jacob’s grandson – Genesis 46:13 And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.
    • Eliphaz is Esau’s son – Genesis 36:4 And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
    • Their common ancestor is Isaac.
      • Isaac is Job’s great grandfather and Eliphaz’s grandfather.
      • Abraham is Job’s great great grandfather and Eliphaz’s great grandfather.
      • Eliphaz and Job are like second cousins.
  • Three seeds of bitterness in Eliphaz’s life
    • #1 – His dad profaning God’s blessing and forfeiting the inheritance to Job’s grandfather.
      • Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
      • Jacob also steals the blessing pretending to be Esau.
      • Hebrews 12:14-16 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
    • #2 – His dad’s relationships with many strange women
      • Eliphaz is the firstborn son of Esau in Genesis 36:15, and is the product of one of his dad’s many Canaanite marriages.
      • Esau, Eliphaz’s dad, is a fornicating polygamist who enters into several relationships just to spite his parents – Genesis 28:1, 6-9, 26:34-35
    • #3 – His dad’s worldly perspective
      • The worldly view is that physical attributes and amassing possessions are what make kings.  Compare that to David who God made king of Israel because of his heart.
      • Esau becomes very wealthy and established.  Note in his genealogy in Genesis 36:15 the mention of “Duke”s.  In royal order it is King, Prince, then Duke. All of Esau’s grandchildren are dukes which makes his children princes which makes Esau king.
      • It’s not really a surprise that Eliphaz’s philosophy on life didn’t fall far from dad’s tree.  If you have a bunch of stuff, God’s on your side. If you don’t have a bunch of stuff, God’s against you and you’re pitiful.

First to speak

  • Eliphaz is probably the oldest of Job’s “friends” and the first to accuse Job.
    • If Eliphaz hadn’t spoken the other men may not have spoken either.  But it just takes one to break down the wall and the others pile on.
    • Don’t you think all that family history, perceived betrayal, a carnal father, a belief in a god that was equal to riches, all that came into play when Eliphaz sees Job suffering.  Eliphaz must think, YES! Finally that side of the family is getting what it deserves.
  • Eliphaz picks up where the devil left off in Job’s life and continues the devil’s work but he feels justified about it.  He has no idea he’s doing the devil’s work because his own bitterness is his guide.

Father’s heritage

  • Go back to Genesis 36:11.  Amalek is Eliphaz’s son.
  • The Amalekites become bitter enemies of Israel
    • Numbers 14:41-45
    • Judges 6:3
    • 1 Samuel 15:1-23, 32
    • 1 Samuel 30:18
    • 1 Chronicles 4:43
  • Father’s legacy of carnality and opposition to God
    • Exodus 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
    • Numbers 24:20 And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
    • Obadiah – Obadiah 1:1, 3-4, 6-10 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. … 3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? 4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. … 6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! 7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him. 8 Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? 9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. 10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
  • Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
    • The word “but” is contrasting two ways a father can father his children.  One way is to provoke them with hypocrisy in the home, a worldly philosophy, and disregard for God’s correction. The other is to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
    • Youth violence today
    • This is how the devil does it with his children, John 8:44.  He incites and excites the flesh.
    • God said it was an unbalanced, ungodly childhood that brings frustration and wrath.
    • Bringing children up  …bring them up…
      • BRING means you walk the walk and bring them along.  
      • If I’m bringing someone up, then I’m taking them where I’m already going.
      • So that means I don’t ask them about serving God, I show them how to do it.
      • I don’t send them to church, I bring them.
      • I don’t pray for them to be godly, I show them what godliness looks like.
    • Bring them up.  I think of the example of little tender plant growing up.  And if it’s a tomato plant, you may put a straight stick beside it or a wire frame around it.  Because you want it to grow up straight, be supported. But in order to get it to grow up straight, you’ve got to have something straight to tie it to.  That’s a father.