Chapter 15 When Eliphaz began the dialogue in chapter 4, he appeared much more temperate and concerned. Now he can no longer maintain his composure in the face of disagreement. In his second speech he becomes defensive and abusive as he impugns Job and brashly justifies his own wisdom. Eliphaz claims that age and experience are on his side, which would mean something if the facts were on his side too. Again he misrepresents God, mistaking His holiness for disdain, making Him out to be distrusting and implacable. As Eliphaz pursues his fixed ideas about suffering and retribution he strays further and further from reality (vs. 17-35). He overstates the plight of the wicked in this world and makes no mention of eternal judgment.
Chapter 16 Job's initial response encapsulates the frustration of being misjudged and the sting of cold counsel: 'Miserable comforters are you all!' Job says that he would at least show some sympathy if their roles were reversed. The description of Job's suffering in vs. 6-17 is set in language that is reminiscent of many messianic psalms (e.g. 6, 22, 69, 102). The wicked assail him and reproach him while God also chastises him, even though there is no apparent guilt in him (v. 17). Chapter 16 reaches its high point as Job's thoughts turn again to the need for a mediator or witness in heaven. He is confident that there is one, but he longs for Him at the same time. What Job longed for, we see clearly (1 John 2:1).