Job 11

The First Speech of Zophar   (11:1-20)

Zophar was the last of Job’s friends to speak. He offered his words in a negative, abrasive, obnoxious, and angry tone. Zophar said, “Job, I’m tired of sitting here listening to you run off at the mouth (11:2). It’s time somebody answered you concerning your claims of innocence (11:3-4). You think you’re innocent Job? You are wrong. If God were to speak He would put you in your place by showing you that you are not as innocent as you claim to be and understand that you have only received half the punishment you deserve” (11:5-6).

After his opening critical remarks, Zophar began to bully and intimidate Job. He began to beat him with a God-club. Zophar asked Job, “Can you discover the depths of God?” (11:7). The answer is no. . .but neither can Zophar discover those depths. Zophar then told Job that God sees and knows everything that man does (11:11), insinuating that Job might as well confess his sin. Zophar then turned to insulting Job (11:12). He called Job an idiot and said Job would become intelligent when a donkey is born a man (or in our terms, “when hell freezes over”).

Finally, like his companions, Zophar assumed Job was guilty until proven innocent. He told Job that the best course of action would be for him to just confess his sin. Then, and only then, would things get better for him (11:13-19). Failure to confess sin, however, would result in a dismal future filled with troubles (11:20). With friends like Zophar, who needs enemies?

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