The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Job 21

Job 21:2

Vv 2,3: Plural, ie to all 3 friends.

Job 21:3

MOCK ON: In ct to other verbs in vv 2,3, this is singular -- directed at Zophar alone.

Job 21:4

"I am not calling you in question -- so why are you so angry with me?"

Job 21:5

Vv 5,6: "My remarks will completely confound you. In fact, they bothered me when I first recognized them..."

Job 21:7

INCREASING IN POWER: "Comforted in riches" (LXX).

Job 21:11

AS A FLOCK: A multitude, carefree, secure, and exuberant (Psa 107:14).

Job 21:13

IN PEACE (IN AN INSTANT): A quick, easy death; no misery of a protracted illness, as Job must suffer.

Job 21:14

The wicked did openly what Job had refused to do, even under extreme provocation: ie "Renounce God" (Job 2:9,10).

Job 21:16

"Behold, is not their prosperity in their own hands?" -- a question in RSV.

Job 21:17

Vv 17,18 are questions: "How often?" The expected answer is: "Not very often".

GOD: God is not in the original.

Job 21:20

Each man should be punished for his own sins.

Job 21:21

To punish a man's house after his death would be unfair.

Job 21:22

CAN ANYONE TEACH KNOWLEDGE TO GOD?: When one attempts to say how God should act, he is in effect "improving upon" God!

SINCE HE JUDGES EVEN THE HIGHEST: A foolish suggestion, since God controls even the most highly-exalted of His creatures.

Job 21:26

Only in the dust do the wicked and righteous meet equally (cp Ecc 2:14-16).

Job 21:27

Vv 27-34: In listening to the crude and insulting words of Zophar, it becomes apparent to Job that his friends are not interested in objective truth, and certainly not in comforting him, but rather in attacking him, personally and individually. They have obviously envied him from a distance, and now that he is in "trouble", they mock his previous wealth ("the great man's house": v 28). And in their limited and narrow view of things, they generalize from their supposed "wisdom" in observation of the very specific. If only they had talked with those who had traveled and thus had wider knowledge of human affairs (v 29), then they would know that -- contrary to their theory -- suffering often overtakes the righteous, while the wicked live long and prosperous lives (vv 30-33).

"I realize you are pointing the finger at me!"

Job 21:33

SWEET TO HIM: As sweet as it is to the righteous...

ALL MEN FOLLOW AFTER HIM: That is, he has many imitators (Ecc 4:15,16).

Job 21:34

NONSENSE: "Empty nothings" (RSV).

FALSEHOOD: "Faithlessness" (RV mg).

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