Job 11


‘Then Zophar the Naamathite replied: “Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated? Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock? You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ 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. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.’ Job 11:1-6

Zophar’s Response

Zophar explodes into his argument on Job. As Eliphaz and Bildad did, Zophar also comes forth to defend the justice of God. In a nutshell, he is saying, ‘shame on you Job, what talk is this’.

Zophar falls into the trap, when many are challenged and that is, instead of getting down and giving a rational subjective answer, he attacks him, it is a sinful reaction.

He begins name-calling, he calls Job a babbler, not only that he mocks Job’s words, calling him a joker and empty talker and a hypocrite.

He seems to be one excited with emotion, if steam were logic, he would be an Aristotle. He laughs at Job in his face and denies that Job is seen pure in the eyes of God, Job 42:7.

He wishes God would come, as Job himself wants him to, but he says Job would be exposed then and his wisdom would be seen to be folly.

He says if God were to do that he would stop moaning because in fact what he says is that Job is getting less than he really deserves. He had no proof of any sin in Job’s life, but still asserted his accusations against him.

‘Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. “If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him? Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note? But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.’ Job 11:7-12

Zophar now goes on to present a marvellous picture of God’s wisdom and perfection. He is accurate in what he says here, unfortunately, his application of what he says is based on another theological premise that is wrong, that is, if you sin, you suffer, if you don’t sin, you prosper.

He says Job in comparison to God cannot do anything or know anything because mere mortals never reach the perfect level of God, Isaiah 55:8-9.

If God came along and arrested people and put them on trial nobody could stop Him anyway, nor could anyone argue with what is wrong and make it right. God knows everything, He knows the sins they commit, he says to Job.

Zophar proverbially calls Job a stupid or vain man who can no more become wise than a donkey be born human. From Zophar’s point of view he says, before someone like you, that is Job, will have understanding, a man will give birth to a colt.

‘Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favour. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.” Job 11:13-20

Here he appears to be the least considerate of Job’s three friends with his insults to Job put aside.

His theme is good but the application is bad. He stresses like the rest, that Job brings all out in the open and repents, Job 7:20. He even gives a stirring review of what repentance involves.

1. Change of mind, set the heart right, Job 5:17-27.

2. Ask God for forgiveness, stretch out your hand towards Him, 1 Timothy 2:8.

3. And finally reform conduct, Luke 19:8.

For the rest of the chapter, he predicts the great prosperity that will be Job’s again if he listens to his advice. Also by implication, he gives a warning.

If you don’t repent, there will be no hope, no way of escape. He says Job will be destroyed because he is guilty and doesn’t want to do anything about it.

Go To Job 12