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Job 11 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Ch. 11. The Speech of Zophar

In ch. 3. Job did not assert his innocence, but only lamented his fate. And it was possible for Eliphaz tacitly to assume his guilt without alluding to it, and admonish him in regard to his complaints. Even in chaps. 6, 7. Job only threw out here and there a spasmodic affirmation of his innocence, being occupied with other things, and being deterred by his own sense of rectitude from condescending to clear himself. And Bildad could suppose himself entitled to disregard Job’s passing claims to innocence, they were natural but perhaps scarcely seriously meant. But in chaps. 9, 10. Job had denied his guilt with a vehemence which made it impossible not to take his denial into account. Here was a new element introduced into the strife, which the three friends had to reckon with. It was plain that Job seriously believed in his own innocence. But it was equally plain from his afflictions that God regarded him as guilty. This is the state of the question as Zophar feels he has to face it. Naturally he does not range himself on Job’s side. No, Job may be unaware of his sins, but the Divine Omniscience knows them and is bringing them to remembrance. And if God would appear and speak, as Job seems to wish, he too would be made to know them. This is the new application which Zophar makes of the doctrine of the three friends. Job is setting up his knowledge of himself against God’s knowledge of him.

The speech falls into three short sections:

First, Job 11:2-6, after some preliminary personalities of a more depreciatory kind than those used by Bildad (ch. Job 8:2), Zophar expresses his wish that God would appear and speak with Job, as he had desired (ch. Job 9:34), and reveal to him the depths of the Divine Wisdom or Omniscience, then Job would be made to know his sins.

Second, Job 11:7-12, this thought leads Zophar into a panegyric of the Divine wisdom; and this wisdom it is, which, detecting men’s hidden sin, accounts for the sudden calamities which they suffer.

Finally, Job 11:13-20, from this Zophar passes to an exhortation to Job to put away his evil, with a promise, if he will do so, of great prosperity and unclouded happiness in the time to come.

Consult other comments:

Job 11:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Job 11:0 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Job 11:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Job 11:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Job 11:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Job 11:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges