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 (Pr 10:8, 19).
3. lies--rather, "vain boasting"
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
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
God's ways, which you arraign, if you were shown their secret wisdom,
would be seen vastly to exceed that of men, including yours
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
The abruptness of the Hebrew is forcible: "The heights of
heaven! What canst thou do" (as to attaining to them with thy gaze,
know--namely, of His perfections.
10. cut off--Rather, as in
"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.
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.
15. Zophar refers to Job's own words
"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-- (De 32:5).
steadfast--literally, "run fast together," like metals which become firm and hard by fusion. The sinner on the contrary is wavering.
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];
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 (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).