וַיַּעַן צֹפַר הַנַּעֲמָתִי וַיֹּאמַר׃ 11:1
Job 11:1 Then Zophar, the Naamathite, responded and he said,
הֲרֹב דְּבָרִים לֹא יֵעָנֶה וְאִם־אִישׁ שְׂפָתַיִם יִצְדָּק׃ 11:2
Job 11:2 “Should such an abundance of words not be answered,
so one so loquacious would be thought right?”
Now Zophar lectures to Job. And he is apparently even more insulting and contemptuous of Job than the others.
בַּדֶּיךָ מְתִים יַחֲרִישׁו וַתִּלְעַג וְאֵין מַכְלִם׃ 11:3
Job 11:3 “Of your nonsense, men should be silent?
But you have mocked and there is none putting to shame.”
וַתֹּאמֶר זַךְ לִקְחִי וּבַר הָיִיתִי בְעֵינֶיךָ׃ 11:4
Job 11:4 “Now you have said,
'My insight is pure,
and I am pure in Your eyes.'”
Now I ask you, did Job ever really say something like this? Or has he instead been expressing doubt about his own
perception of his purity? So Zophar has introduced a straw man so he can deliver his diatribe.
וְאוּלָם מִי־יִתֵּן אֱלוֹהַּ דַּבֵּר וְיִפְתַּח שְׂפָתָיו עִמָּךְ׃ 11:5
Job 11:5 “But indeed! Would that God could offer a word,
and open His lips against you,
וְיַגֶּד־לְךָ תַּעֲלֻמֹות חָכְמָה כִּי־כִפְלַיִם לְתוּשִׁיָּה וְדַע כִּי־יַשֶּׁה לְךָ אֱלֹוהַ מֵעֲוֹנֶךָ׃ 11:6
Job 11:6 and declare to you the secrets of wisdom,
that there are levels to sound knowledge.
So know that God would claim a debt to you concerning your iniquity.”
Well now, Zophar here seems to appear the fool. He believes he knows what God would answer Job.
הַחֵקֶר אֱלוֹהַ תִּמְצָא אִם עַד־תַּכְלִית שַׁדַּי תִּמְצָא׃ 11:7
Job 11:7 “Can you discover a thing of God to be searched out?
Can you attain up to the ultimate purpose of the Almighty?”
גָּבְהֵי שָׁמַיִם מַה־תִּפְעָל עֲמֻקָּה מִשְּׁאוֹל מַה־תֵּדָע׃ 11:8
Job 11:8 “What can you make of the heights of heaven?
What can you know of the deepest part from sheol?”
אֲרֻכָּה מֵאֶרֶץ מִדָּהּ וּרְחָבָה מִנִּי־יָם׃ 11:9
Job 11:9 “Its measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.”
אִם־יַחֲלֹף וְיַסְגִּיר וְיַקְהִיל וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ׃ 11:10
Job 11:10 “Were He to pass by and deliver up, or gather in,
then who could hinder Him?”
כִּי־הוּא יָדַע מְתֵי־שָׁוְא וַיַּרְא־אָוֶן וְלֹא יִתְבּוֹנָן׃ 11:11
Job 11:11 “Indeed, He knows of men of vanity, and He sees iniquity.
Then would He not consider diligently?”
From this, we can surmise that Zophar sees Job at least as a man of vanity.
וְאִישׁ נָבוּב יִלָּבֵב וְעַיִר פֶּרֶא אָדָם יִוָּלֵד׃ 11:12
Job 11:12 “But an empty one will gain wisdom
when the ass of a wild ass will be born human.”
With an empty head at that!
אִם־אַתָּה הֲכִינֹותָ לִבֶּךָ וּפָרַשְׂתָּ אֵלָיו כַּפֶּךָ׃ 11:13
Job 11:13 “If you have prepared your heart
and you would extend to Him your hands,
אִם־אָוֶן בְּיָדְךָ הַרְחִיקֵהוּ וְאַל־תַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאֹהָלֶיךָ עַוְלָה׃ 11:14
Job 11:14 if iniquity is on your hand, put it far away,
and no injustice must be dwelling in your tents,
כִּי־אָז תִּשָּׂא פָנֶיךָ מִמּוּם וְהָיִיתָ מֻצָק וְלֹא תִירָא׃ 11:15
Job 11:15 then surely you could lift your face from blemish
and you would become reestablished and would not be afraid.”
כִּי־אַתָּה עָמָל תִּשְׁכָּח כְּמַיִם עָבְרוּ תִזְכֹּר׃ 11:16
Job 11:16 “Then you could forget trouble;
you would recall as water passed by.”
וּמִצָּהֳרַיִם יָקוּם חָלֶד תָּעֻפָה כַּבֹּקֶר תִּהְיֶה׃ 11:17
Job 11:17 “And a lifetime composed of noontimes would arise;
there may be gloom -- it would be as morning.”
וּבָטַחְתָּ כִּי־יֵשׁ תִּקְוָה וְחָפַרְתָּ לָבֶטַח תִּשְׁכָּב׃ 11:18
Job 11:18 “And you would be secure,
because there would be hope;
as you explore, you would lie down in safety.”
וְרָבַצְתָּ וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד וְחִלּוּ פָנֶיךָ רַבִּים׃ 11:19
Job 11:19 “And you could stretch out
and there would be no cause for terror,
and many would entreat your presence.”
וְעֵינֵי רְשָׁעִים תִּכְלֶינָה וּמָנֹוס אָבַד מִנְהֶם וְתִקְוָתָם מַפַּח־נָפֶשׁ׃ 11:20
Job 11:20 “And the eyes of the wicked would fail,
as refuge goes astray from them,
and their outcome would be the expiration of life.”
Whoa! Zophar goes too far. He has attributed much too much power to Job’s behavior. If Job does what Zophar
suggests in vss 13 and 14, the wicked will disappear? That’s too much exaggeration for me.
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