Job 11

Listen to Job 11

Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse

1 Then 1Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2 "Should 2a multitude of words go unanswered, and a man full of talk be judged right?
3 Should your babble silence men, and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
4 For 3you say, 'My 4doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God's[a] eyes.'
5 But oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you,
6 and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in 5understanding.[b] Know then that God 6exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7 7"Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
8 It is 8higher than heaven[c]--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know?
9 Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.
10 If he 9passes through and 10imprisons and summons the court, who can 11turn him back?
11 For he knows 12worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12 But a stupid man will get understanding when 13a wild donkey's colt is 14born a man!
13 "If you 15prepare your heart, you will 16stretch out your hands toward him.
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
15 Surely then you will 17lift up your face without 18blemish; you will be secure and will not fear.
16 You will 19forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17 And your life will be 20brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.
18 And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and 21take your rest in security.
19 You will 22lie down, and none will make you afraid; many will 23court your favor.
20 But 24the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is 25to breathe their last."

Job 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

Zophar reproves Job. (1-6) God's perfections and almighty power. (7-12) Zophar assures Job of blessings if he repented. (13-20)

Verses 1-6 Zophar attacked Job with great vehemence. He represented him as a man that loved to hear himself speak, though he could say nothing to the purpose, and as a man that maintained falsehoods. He desired God would show Job that less punishment was exacted than he deserved. We are ready, with much assurance, to call God to act in our quarrels, and to think that if he would but speak, he would take our part. We ought to leave all disputes to the judgment of God, which we are sure is according to truth; but those are not always right who are most forward to appeal to the Divine judgment.

Verses 7-12 Zophar speaks well concerning God and his greatness and glory, concerning man and his vanity and folly. See here what man is; and let him be humbled. God sees this concerning vain man, that he would be wise, would be thought so, though he is born like a wild ass's colt, so unteachable and untameable. Man is a vain creature; empty, so the word is. Yet he is a proud creature, and self-conceited. He would be wise, would be thought so, though he will not submit to the laws of wisdom. He would be wise, he reaches after forbidden wisdom, and, like his first parents, aiming to be wise above what is written, loses the tree of life for the tree of knowledge. Is such a creature as this fit to contend with God?

Verses 13-20 Zophar exhorts Job to repentance, and gives him encouragement, yet mixed with hard thoughts of him. He thought that worldly prosperity was always the lot of the righteous, and that Job was to be deemed a hypocrite unless his prosperity was restored. Then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; that is, thou mayst come boldly to the throne of grace, and not with the terror and amazement expressed in ch. 9:34 . If we are looked upon in the face of the Anointed, our faces that were cast down may be lifted up; though polluted, being now washed with the blood of Christ, they may be lifted up without spot. We may draw near in full assurance of faith, when we are sprinkled from an evil conscience, ( Hebrews 10:22 ) .

Cross References 25

  • 1. Job 2:11
  • 2. Proverbs 10:19; Ecclesiastes 5:3
  • 3. Job 10:7
  • 4. Deuteronomy 32:2; Proverbs 4:2; Isaiah 29:24
  • 5. Job 5:12(Heb.)
  • 6. [Ezra 9:13]
  • 7. Job 5:9; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Ecclesiastes 8:17; [Psalms 145:3; Romans 11:33]
  • 8. [Job 22:12; Psalms 139:8]
  • 9. See Job 9:11-16
  • 10. See Job 12:14
  • 11. Job 9:12; Job 23:13
  • 12. Psalms 26:4
  • 13. See Job 39:5-8
  • 14. [Psalms 73:22; Ecclesiastes 3:18]
  • 15. Psalms 78:8; See 1 Samuel 7:3
  • 16. Psalms 44:20; Psalms 88:9; Psalms 143:6
  • 17. Job 22:26; [Genesis 4:5; Psalms 119:6; 1 John 3:21]
  • 18. Job 31:7; 2 Peter 3:14
  • 19. [Isaiah 65:16]
  • 20. [Psalms 37:6; Isaiah 58:8, 10]
  • 21. Leviticus 26:5, 6; Psalms 4:8; Proverbs 3:24; Isaiah 17:2; Zephaniah 3:13
  • 22. [See ver. 18 above]
  • 23. Psalms 45:12
  • 24. Job 17:5; Job 31:16
  • 25. Jeremiah 15:9

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Hebrew your
  • [b]. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  • [c]. Hebrew The heights of heaven

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Zophar the Naamathite, Job's third friend, attacks him, and the with great acrimony and severity, and with much indecency; he charges him not only with loquacity, and vain babbling, but with lying, and with scoffing at God, and good men, Job 11:1-3; which he attempts to support by some things Job had said, misrepresented by him, Job 11:4; and wishes that God would take him in hand, and convince him of the wisdom of the divine proceedings with him, and of his lenity and mercy to him, Job 11:5,6; and then discourses of the unsearchableness of God in his counsels, and conduct; of his sovereignty, and of his power, and of the vanity and folly of men, Job 11:7-19; and as his friends before him, having insinuated that Job was guilty of some heinous sin, or sins, and especially of hypocrisy, advises him to repentance and reformation, and then it would be well with him; and he should enjoy much comfort, peace, and safety, even to old age, Job 11:13-19; and concludes it should go ill with the wicked man and the hypocrite, such as he suggests Job was, Job 11:20.

Job 11 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.