The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Job 11

Job 11:1

ZOPHAR (Job 11; 20) is content with mere assumption, dogmatism (Job 11:6; 20:4). He also has a too rigid view of providence (Job 11:13-20; 20:5): ie "the triumphing of the wicked is short" (Job 20:5).

Job 11: Beginning from his two premises -- (1) the law of exact retribution, and (2) personal innocence, Job's argument was unassailable.

Zophar can only contend that Job is unaware of his sins. (Job's guilt is still assumed, not proven.)

Job 11:3

WILL YOUR IDLE TALK REDUCE MEN TO SILENCE?: At last, in the 3rd cycle, the blustery Zophar does hold his peace.

Job 11:5

OH, HOW I WISH THAT GOD WOULD SPEAK...: "Zophar was agitated that Job said that he hadn't sinned and that he was pure in God's sight. Zophar was sure that Job was wrong -- after all, he thought, God must be punishing Job for his sin. So Zophar voiced a wish. He said, 'Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open His lips against you and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides.'

"Zophar's wish did eventually come true. But the result wasn't what he had expected. God did answer Job and he put him back in his rightful, humble place. But God also told Job to pray for his friends -- including Zophar, so that He would not deal with them as their sins deserved. He told them that He was angry with them because they had not spoken the truth about Him as Job had.

"God can see the big picture. The men in the story of Job may have thought they could see the whole picture of what was going on, but in actual fact their view was very lopsided. We too can have the same problem when we judge another person and wish a judgement on them. But beware: If we haven't seen the big picture that same judgement might fall on us as it did to Zophar" (RP).

Job 11:14

IF YOU PUT AWAY SIN THAT IS IN YOUR HAND...: But how could Job repent of sins he did not know? A basic flaw in Zophar's argument.

Job 11:20

Eliphaz had held before Job a picture of unalloyed brightness (Job 5:19-26). Bildad referred to Job's enemies perishing, but Job was not included (Job 8:22). But Zophar said, 'If the shoe fits, wear it!'

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