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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Job 11



Verse 1

Job 11:1-20. First speech of Zophar.

Verse 2

Zophar assails Job for his empty words, and indirectly, the two friends, for their weak reply. Taciturnity is highly prized among Orientals (Proverbs 10:8, Proverbs 10:19).

Verse 3

lies — rather, “vain boasting” (Isaiah 16:6; Jeremiah 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?”

Verse 4

doctrine — purposely used of Job‘s speeches, which sounded like lessons of doctrine (Deuteronomy 32:2; Proverbs 4:2).

thine — addressed to God. Job had maintained his sincerity against his friends suspicions, not faultlessness.

Verse 6

to that which is! — Rather, “they are double to [man‘s] wisdom” [Michaelis]. So the Hebrew is rendered (Proverbs 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 (1 Corinthians 1:25).

exacteth — Rather, “God consigns to oblivion in thy favor much of thy guilt.”

Verse 7

Rather, “Penetrate to the perfections of the Almighty” (Job 9:10; Psalm 139:6).

Verse 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, Psalm 139:8)?

know — namely, of His perfections.

Verse 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 trial.

gather together — the parties for judgment: hold a judicial assembly; to pass sentence on the prisoners.

Verse 11

(Psalm 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.

Verse 12

vain — hollow.

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 (Romans 1:22).

wild ass‘s colt — a proverb for untamed wildness (Job 39:5, Job 39:8; Jeremiah 2:24; Genesis 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.

Verse 13

The apodosis to the “If” is at Job 11:15. The preparation of the heart is to be obtained (Proverbs 16:1) by stretching out the hands in prayer for it (Psalm 10:17; 1 Chronicles 29:18).

Verse 14

Rather, “if thou wilt put far away the iniquity in thine hand” (as Zaccheus did, Luke 19:8). The apodosis or conclusion is at Job 11:15, “then shalt thou,” etc.

Verse 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.”

spot — (Deuteronomy 32:5).

steadfast — literally, “run fast together,” like metals which become firm and hard by fusion. The sinner on the contrary is wavering.

Verse 16

Just as when the stream runs dry (Job 6:17), the danger threatened by its wild waves is forgotten (Isaiah 65:16) [Umbreit].

Verse 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 (Proverbs 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].

Verse 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 (Romans 5:5, opposed to the previous ‹hope‘), thou shalt then rest safely” [Gesenius];

Verse 19

(Psalm 4:8; Proverbs 3:24; Isaiah 14:30); oriental images of prosperity.

make suit — literally, “stroke thy face,” “caress thee” (Proverbs 19:6).

Verse 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 (Deuteronomy 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 (Proverbs 11:7).


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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