Job 11

Zophar

1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?
3 Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock?
4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’
5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you
6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
9 Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him?
11 Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note?
12 But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.[a]
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.”

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 41

  • 1. S Job 2:11
  • 2. S Job 8:2; S Job 16:3
  • 3. S Genesis 41:6; S Job 6:29
  • 4. Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 5:4
  • 5. Job 12:4; Job 16:10; Job 17:2; Job 21:3; Job 30:1; Psalms 1:1
  • 6. Job 9:21; Job 6:10
  • 7. S Job 10:7
  • 8. Exodus 20:19; Job 23:5; Job 32:13; Job 38:1
  • 9. S Job 9:4; 1 Corinthians 2:10
  • 10. S Ezra 9:13; S Job 15:5
  • 11. S Job 5:9; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Romans 11:33
  • 12. Ephesians 3:18
  • 13. S Genesis 15:5; Job 22:12; Job 25:2; Psalms 57:10; Isaiah 55:9
  • 14. S Job 7:9
  • 15. Job 15:13,25; Job 33:13; Job 40:2; Psalms 139:8
  • 16. Ephesians 3:19-20
  • 17. Job 22:12; Job 35:5; Job 36:26; Job 37:5,23; Isaiah 40:26
  • 18. S Job 9:12; Revelation 3:7
  • 19. S Job 10:4; Job 31:37; Job 34:11,25; Job 36:7; Job 34:21-25; Psalms 10:14
  • 20. S Genesis 16:12
  • 21. S 2 Chronicles 6:36
  • 22. 1 Samuel 7:3; Psalms 78:8
  • 23. S Exodus 9:29
  • 24. S Job 5:8,27; Psalms 88:9
  • 25. S Joshua 24:14
  • 26. Psalms 101:4
  • 27. Job 22:23
  • 28. Job 22:26; 1 John 3:21
  • 29. S 1 Samuel 2:9; Psalms 20:8; Psalms 37:23; Psalms 40:2; Psalms 119:5; Ephesians 6:14
  • 30. S Genesis 4:7; S Psalms 3:6
  • 31. Isaiah 26:16; Isaiah 37:3; Isaiah 65:16
  • 32. Joshua 7:5; Job 22:11; Psalms 58:7; Psalms 112:10; Ezekiel 21:7
  • 33. Job 22:28; Psalms 37:6; Isaiah 58:8,10; Isaiah 62:1
  • 34. Job 17:12; Job 18:6; Job 29:3; Psalms 18:28; Psalms 112:4; Psalms 119:105; Isaiah 5:20; John 8:12
  • 35. Psalms 3:5; Psalms 4:8; Psalms 127:2; Ecclesiastes 5:12
  • 36. S Leviticus 26:6; Proverbs 3:24; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 14:3; Isaiah 28:12; Isaiah 30:15; Isaiah 32:18; Zechariah 3:10
  • 37. S Leviticus 26:6
  • 38. Isaiah 45:14
  • 39. Deuteronomy 28:65; Job 17:5
  • 40. Job 12:10; Job 18:18; Job 27:22; Job 34:22; Job 36:6; Psalms 139:11-12; Jeremiah 11:11; Jeremiah 23:24; Jeremiah 25:35; Amos 2:14; Amos 9:2-3
  • 41. S Job 8:13

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "wild donkey can be born tame"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 11

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