Job 11

1 Then Zophar, the Naamathite, answered, 2 “Shouldn’t the multitude of words be answered? Should a man full of talk be justified? 3 Should your boasting make men hold their peace? When you mock, shall no man make you ashamed? 4 For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure. I am clean in your eyes.’ 5 But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against you, 6 that he would show you the secrets of wisdom! For true wisdom has two sides. Know therefore that God exacts of you less than your iniquity deserves. 7 “Can you fathom the mystery of God? Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty? 8 They are high as heaven. What can you do? They are deeper than Sheol. What can you know? 9 Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. 10 If he passes by, or confines, or convenes a court, then who can oppose him? 11 For he knows false men. He sees iniquity also, even though he doesn’t consider it. 12 An empty-headed man becomes wise when a man is born as a wild donkey’s colt. 13 “If you set your heart aright, stretch out your hands towards him. 14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away. Don’t let unrighteousness dwell in your tents. 15 Surely then you shall lift up your face without spot; Yes, you shall be steadfast, and shall not fear: 16 for you shall forget your misery. You shall remember it like waters that have passed away. 17 Life shall be clearer than the noonday. Though there is darkness, it shall be as the morning. 18 You shall be secure, because there is hope. Yes, you shall search, and shall take your rest in safety. 19 Also you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid. Yes, many shall court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail. They shall have no way to flee. Their hope shall be the giving up of the spirit.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, Heb 10:22.

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