Things are really heating up in Job. From my study Bible notes: “Bildad adds nothing new here, and Zophar, who has already admitted how emotionally disturbed he was (see 20:2), doesn’t even comment.” In chapter 26 (jumping ahead a tad) they say “With biting sarcasm, Job responds to Bildad alone (the Hebrew for the word ‘you’ in these verse is singular rather than plural), indicating that Eliphaz and Zophar have already been silenced.” Job is winning this ancient debate, this ancient apologetic. “Why does God allow innocent people to suffer?” is a very old question. Having no definite answer (because it is more about God showing to the Naysayer, through Job, that there is a motivation for loving God that is higher than brute selfishness), it reminds me of one of Plato’s dialogues.
In Genesis, we are again dealing with favoritism. Jacob was his mother’s favorite, and Joseph is Jacob’s favorite. But that isn’t Joseph’s fault, just like Jacob being his mother’s favorite wasn’t Jacob’s fault. So we shouldn’t react to these favorites the way their brothers did. But one wonders if Joseph wasn’t a bratty little brother, bragging about his “I’m going to rule over you, na-na-na-na-na” dreams. If older brothers back then were of the sort who sold young bratty brothers to the Ishmaelites, one would hope younger brothers would learn to keep their mouths shut. But Joseph can’t be that dumb…he goes on to be the governor of Egypt. Must be a God thing :-D Reuben sticks up for Joseph in this instance, maybe because in a different scene he had taken premature liberties w/ Jacob’s concubine and lost his legal status as firstborn…no more screw-ups for him. It’s Judah’s turn for screwin’ up…in the next chapter.