Job 22:3
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3  Does Shaddai gain if you are righteous? Does He profit if your conduct is blameless?

ha-KHAY-fetz l’-sha-DAI KEE titz-DAK v’-im BE-tza kee ta-TAYM d’-ra-KHE-kha

ג  הַחֵפֶץ לְשַׁדַּי כִּי תִצְדָּק וְאִם־בֶּצַע כִּי־תַתֵּם דְּרָכֶיךָ׃

22:3   Does Shaddai gain if you are righteous?

Eliphaz states that Hashem does not desire piety, but rather good deeds. This is reminiscent of the first chapter of Sefer Yeshayahu. In Sefer Yeshayahu, God is angry at the inhabitants of Yerushalayim because they are engaged in unacceptable behavior towards their fellow men, such as murder, even as they continue to worship Hashem through prayer and sacrifice (Isaiah 1:11,15). Yeshayahu declares: “Alas, she has become a harlot, the faithful city that was filled with justice, where righteousness dwelt. But now [it is filled with] murderers” (1:21). While a righteous person might believe that his observance of the formal commandments is what brings Hashem close to him, what Hashem desires most is kindness to other human beings. The chapter in Yeshayahu continues: “I will restore your magistrates as of old, and your counselors as of yore… Tzion shall be saved in the judgment; Her repentant ones, in the retribution.” (1:26-27). It is through kindness, righteousness and justice towards others that the redemption of Tzion will come.

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Comment ( 1 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • If “…what HaShem desires most is kindness to other human beings” is true, then the theology espoused in the poem Abou Ben Adhem by Leigh Hunt would be totally accurate, wholly acceptable—to us, maybe. I contend that unless we have a right relationship with HaShem we can in no way have a right relationship with our fellow man. It becomes just another form of religious exercise or observance. The vertical has to established before the horizontal. The Abou Ben Adhem theology sounds good, but it becomes nothing more than service to the creation rather than to the Creator, a form of idolatry, if I may.

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Job 22:3

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