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Job 11

CHAPTER 11

FIRST SERIES.

Job 11:1-20 . FIRST SPEECH OF ZOPHAR.

2. Zophar assails Job for his empty words, and indirectly, the two friends, for their weak reply. Taciturnity is highly prized among Orientals ( Proverbs 10:8 Proverbs 10:19 ).

3. lies--rather, "vain boasting" ( Isaiah 16:6 , Jeremiah 48:30 ). The "men" is emphatic; men of sense; in antithesis to "vain boasting."
mockest--upbraidest God by complaints, "shall no man make thee ashamed?"

4. doctrine--purposely used of Job's speeches, which sounded like lessons of doctrine ( Deuteronomy 32:2 , Proverbs 4:2 ).
thine--addressed to God. Job had maintained his sincerity against his friends suspicions, not faultlessness.

6. to that which is!--Rather, "they are double to [man's] wisdom" [MICHAELIS]. So the Hebrew is rendered ( Proverbs 2:7 ). God's ways, which you arraign, if you were shown their secret wisdom, would be seen vastly to exceed that of men, including yours ( 1 Corinthians 1:25 ).
exacteth--Rather, "God consigns to oblivion in thy favor much of thy guilt."

7. Rather, "Penetrate to the perfections of the Almighty" ( Job 9:10 , Psalms 139:6 ).

8. It--the "wisdom" of God ( Job 11:6 ). The abruptness of the Hebrew is forcible: "The heights of heaven! What canst thou do" (as to attaining to them with thy gaze, Psalms 139:8 )?
know--namely, of His perfections.

10. cut off--Rather, as in Job 9:11 , "pass over," as a storm; namely, rush upon in anger.
shut up--in prison, with a view to trial.
gather together--the parties for judgment: hold a judicial assembly; to pass sentence on the prisoners.

11. ( Psalms 94:11 ).
consider--so as to punish it. Rather, from the connection, Job 11:6 , "He seeth wickedness also, which man does not perceive"; literally, "But no (other, save He) perceiveth it" [UMBREIT]. God's "wisdom" ( Job 11:6 ), detects sin where Job's human eye cannot reach ( Job 11:8 ), so as to see any.

12. vain--hollow.
would be--"wants to consider himself wise"; opposed to God's it ( Romans 1:22 ).
wild ass's colt--a proverb for untamed wildness ( Job 39:5 Job 39:8 , Jeremiah 2:24 , Genesis 16:12 ; Hebrew, "a wild-ass man"). Man wishes to appear wisely obedient to his Lord, whereas he is, from his birth, unsubdued in spirit.

13. The apodosis to the "If" is at Job 11:15 . The preparation of the heart is to be obtained ( Proverbs 16:1 ) by stretching out the hands in prayer for it ( Psalms 10:17 , 1 Chronicles 29:18 ).

14. Rather, "if thou wilt put far away the iniquity in thine hand" (as Zaccheus did, Luke 19:8 ). The apodosis or conclusion is at Job 11:15 , "then shalt thou," &c.

15. Zophar refers to Job's own words ( Job 10:15 ), "yet will I not lift up my head," even though righteous. Zophar declares, if Job will follow his advice, he may "lift up his face."
spot--( Deuteronomy 32:5 ).
steadfast--literally, "run fast together," like metals which become firm and hard by fusion. The sinner on the contrary is wavering.

16. Just as when the stream runs dry ( Job 6:17 ), the danger threatened by its wild waves is forgotten ( Isaiah 65:16 ) [UMBREIT].

17. age--days of life.
the noon-day--namely, of thy former prosperity; which, in the poet's image, had gone on increasing, until it reached its height, as the sun rises higher and higher until it reaches the meridian ( Proverbs 4:18 ).
shine forth--rather, "though now in darkness, thou shall be as the morning"; or, "thy darkness (if any dark shade should arise on thee, it) shall be as the morning" (only the dullness of morning twilight, not nocturnal darkness) [UMBREIT].

18. The experience of thy life will teach thee there is hope for man in every trial.
dig--namely, wells; the chief necessity in the East. Better, "though now ashamed ( Romans 5:5 , opposed to the previous 'hope'), thou shalt then rest safely" [GESENIUS];

19. ( Psalms 4:8 , Proverbs 3:24 , Isaiah 14:30 ); oriental images of prosperity.
make suit--literally, "stroke thy face," "caress thee" ( Proverbs 19:6 ).

20. A warning to Job, if he would not turn to God.
The wicked--that is, obdurate sinners.
eyes . . . fail--that is, in vain look for relief ( Deuteronomy 28:65 ). Zophar implies Job's only hope of relief is in a change of heart.
they shall not escape--literally, "every refuge shall vanish from them."
giving up of the ghost--Their hope shall leave them as the breath does the body ( Proverbs 11:7 ).

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