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Job and the Three Kings

Job recognized and the kings astonished

After I spent twenty years under the plague, the kings also heard about what happened to me. They arose and came to me, each from his own country, so that they might encourage me by a visit. But as they approached from a distance, they did not recognize me. And they cried out and wept, tearing their garments and throwing dust. They sat beside me for seven days and nights. And not one of them spoke to me. It was not due to their patience that they were silent, but because they knew me before these evils when I lived in lavish wealth.

For when I used to bring out for them the precious stones, they would marvel, clapping their hands, and say, "If the goods of our three kingdoms were gathered into one at the same place, they would be no equal to the glorious stones of your kingdom." For I was more noble than those of the east.

But when they came to Ausitis asking in the city, "Where is Jobab, the king of all Egypt?" they said to them about me, "He sits on a dung heap outside the city. For twenty years he has not returned to the city." Then they asked about my goods and the things which had befallen me were shown to them.

When they heard that, they left the city together with the citizens. And my fellow citizens showed me to them, but the remonstrated, saying that I was not Jobab. Since they were still quite in doubt, Eliphas - the king of the Temanites - turned to me and said, "Are you Jobab, our fellow king?" And I wept, shaking my head and throwing dust on it. And I said to them, "I am indeed."

When they saw me shaking my head, they dropped to the ground in a faint. And their troops were disturbed at seeing their three kings collapsed on the ground as if dead, for three hours. Then they arose and began saying to one another, "We do not believe that this is he!" Then they sat for seven days reviewing my affairs, recalling my herds and goods saying, "Have we not known about the many good things sent out by him into the cities and the surrounding villages to be distributed to the poor, besides those established at his house? How then has he now fallen into such a deathly state?"

Eliphas: Laments Job's Losses

Eliphas confirms Job's identity

And after seven days of such considerations, Eliphas spoke up and said to his fellow kings, "Let us approach him and question him carefully to see if it is really he himself or not."

But since they were about a half stadion distant (about 304 feet) from me because of the stench of my body, they arose and approached me with perfumes in their hands, while their soldiers accompanied them scattering incense around me so they would be able to approach me. And they spent three days furnishing the incense.

And when they had come near me, Eliphas spoke up and said to me,

Are you Jobab, our fellow king?
Are you the one who once had vast splendor?
Are you the one who was like the sun by day in all the land?
Are you the one who was like the moon and the stars that since at midnight?"

And I said to him, "I am indeed."

A lament of Eliphas for Job

And so, after he had wept with a loud wailing, he called out a royal lament while both the other kings and their troops sang in response.

Hear then the lament of Eliphas as he celebrates for all the wealth of Job:

"Are you the one who appointed 7,000 sheep for the clothing of the poor?
Where then is the splendor of your throne?

Are you the one who appointed 3,000 camels for the transport of goods to the needy?
Where then is the splendor of your throne?

Are you the one who appointed the thousand cattle for the needy to use when plowing?
Where then is the splendor of your throne?

Are you the one who had golden couches but now sits on a dung heap?
Now where is the splendor of your throne?

Are you the one who had a throne of precious stones, but now sits in ashes?
Now where is the splendor of your throne?

Who opposed you when you where in the midst of your children? For you were blooming as a sprout of a fragrant fruit tree!
Now where is the splendor of your throne?

Are you the one who established the sixty tables set for the poor?
Now where is your throne?

Are you the one who had the censers of the fragrant assembly, now you live amid a foul stench?
Are you the one who had golden lamps on silver stands, but now you await the light of the moon?
Where is the splendor of your throne?

Are you the one who had the ointment of frankincense, but now you are in straits?
Where then is the splendor of your throne?

Are you the one who jeered at the unjust sinners, but now you too have become a joke?
Now where is the splendor of your throne?

Are you Job, the one who had vast splendor?
Now where is the splendor of your throne?"

Job's psalm of affirmation

After Eliphas finished wailing while his fellow kings responded to him all in a great commotion, when the uproar died down, I said to them, "Quiet! Now I will show you my throne with the splendor of its majesty, which is among the holy ones.

"My throne is in the upper world, and its splendor and majesty come from the right hand of the Father. The whole world shall pass away and its splendor shall fade. And those who heed it shall share in its overthrow.
But my throne is in the holy land, and its splendor is in the world of the changeless one. Rivers will dry up,And the arrogance of their waves goes down into the depths of the abyss. But the river of my land, where my throne is, do not dry up nor will they disappear, but they will exist forever.
These kings will pass away, and rulers come and go; but their splendor and boast shall be as in a mirror.

But my kingdom is forever and ever, and its splendor and majesty are in the chariots of the Father.

Eliphas' rejoinder

As I was saying these things to them so they would be quiet, Eliphas became enraged and said to the other friends, "What good has it done that we have come here with our armies to comfort him? Look, now he accuses us! Let us then go back to our countries. Here he sits in the misery of worms and foul odors: and yet he is piqued at us. 'Kingdoms pass away and so do their sovereigns. But as for my kingdom,' he says, 'it shall last forever.' " So Eliphas, arising with great consternation, turned away from them in deep sadness and said, "I am leaving: We came to cheer him, and yet he demeans us in the presence of our troops."

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