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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Zo´phar (sparrow?), one of Job's three friends and opponents in argument (; ; ; ). He is called a Naamathite, or inhabitant of Naamah, a place whose situation is unknown, as it could not be the Naamah mentioned in . Wemyss, in his Job and his Times (p. 111), well characterizes this interlocutor—'Zophar exceeds the other two, if possible, in severity of censure, he is the most inveterate of the accusers, and speaks without feeling or pity. He does little more than repeat and exaggerate the arguments of Bildad. He unfeelingly alludes () to the effects of Job's disease as appearing in his countenance. This is cruel and invidious. Yet in the same discourse how nobly does he treat of the divine attributes, showing that any inquiry into them is far beyond the grasp of the human mind! And though the hortatory part of the first discourse bears some resemblance to that of Eliphaz, yet it is diversified by the fine imagery which he employs. He seems to have had a full conviction of the providence of God, as regulating and controlling the actions of men; but he limits all his reasoning to a present life, and makes no reference to a future world. This circumstance alone accounts for the weakness and fallacy of these men's judgments. In his second discourse there is much poetical beauty in the selection of images, and the general doctrine is founded in truth; its fallacy lies in its application to Job's peculiar case. The whole indicates great warmth of temper, inflamed by misapprehension of its object and by mistaken zeal.'

It is to be observed that Zophar has but two speeches, whereas the others have three each. When Job had replied (Job 26-31) to the short address of Bildad (Job 25), a rejoinder might have been expected from Zophar; but he said nothing, the three friends, by common consent, then giving up the contest in despair () [JOB, THE BOOK OF].





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Zophar'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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