Job 11:1-20. First Speech of
2. Zophar assails Job for his empty words, and
indirectly, the two friends, for their weak reply. Taciturnity is
highly prized among Orientals (Pr 10:8, 19).
3. lies—rather, "vain boasting" (Isa
16:6; Jer 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 (De 32:2; Pr
thine—addressed to God. Job had
maintained his sincerity against his friends suspicions, not
6. to that which is!—Rather, "they are
double to [man's] wisdom" [Michaelis].
So the Hebrew is rendered (Pr 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 (1Co 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; Ps 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, Ps 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
gather together—the parties for
judgment: hold a judicial assembly; to pass sentence on the
11. (Ps 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.
would be—"wants to consider himself
wise"; opposed to God's "wisdom" (see on Job
11:11); refuses to see sin, where God sees it (Ro 1:22).
wild ass's colt—a proverb for untamed
wildness (Job 39:5, 8; Jer 2:24; Ge 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 (Pr 16:1) by
stretching out the hands in prayer for it (Ps 10:17; 1Ch
14. Rather, "if thou wilt put far away the
iniquity in thine hand" (as Zaccheus did, Lu 19:8). The apodosis or conclusion is at Job 11:15, "then shalt thou,"
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."
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 (Isa 65:16)
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 (Pr 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 (Ro 5:5, opposed to the previous 'hope'), thou
shalt then rest safely" [Gesenius];
19. (Ps 4:8; Pr 3:24; Isa
14:30); oriental images of
make suit—literally, "stroke thy
face," "caress thee" (Pr 19:6).
20. A warning to Job, if he would not turn to
The wicked—that is, obdurate
eyes … fail—that is, in vain
look for relief (De 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 (Pr 11:7).