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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Job 11

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The Book of Job

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET

CHAPTER 11

FIRST SERIES.

Job 11:1-20. FIRST SPEECH OF ZOPHAR.

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

      3. lies--rather, "vain boasting" ( Isa 16:6 Jer 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?"

      4. doctrine--purposely used of Job's speeches, which sounded like lessons of doctrine ( Deu 32:2 Pro 4:2 ).
      thine--addressed to God. Job had maintained his sincerity against his friends suspicions, not faultlessness.

      6. to that which is!--Rather, "they are double to [man's] wisdom" [MICHAELIS]. So the Hebrew is rendered ( Pro 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 ( 1Cr 1:25 ).
      exacteth--Rather, "God consigns to oblivion in thy favor much of thy guilt."

      7. Rather, "Penetrate to the perfections of the Almighty" ( Job 9:10 Psa 139:6 ).

      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, Psa 139:8 )?
      know--namely, of His perfections.

      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.

      11. ( Psa 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.

      12. vain--hollow.
      would be--"wants to consider himself wise"; opposed to God's "wisdom" (see on JF & B for Job 11:11); refuses to see sin, where God sees it ( Rom 1:22 ).
      wild ass's colt--a proverb for untamed wildness ( Job 39:5, 8 Jer 2:24 Gen 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.

      13. The apodosis to the "If" is at Job 11:15. The preparation of the heart is to be obtained ( Pro 16:1 ) by stretching out the hands in prayer for it ( Psa 10:17 1Ch 29:18 ).

      14. Rather, "if thou wilt put far away the iniquity in thine hand" (as Zaccheus did, Luk 19:8 ). The apodosis or conclusion is at Job 11:15, "then shalt thou," &c.

      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-- ( Deu 32:5 ).
      steadfast--literally, "run fast together," like metals which become firm and hard by fusion. The sinner on the contrary is wavering.

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

      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 ( Pro 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].

      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 ( Rom 5:5, opposed to the previous 'hope'), thou shalt then rest safely" [GESENIUS];

      19. ( Psa 4:8 Pro 3:24 Isa 14:30 ); oriental images of prosperity.
      make suit--literally, "stroke thy face," "caress thee" ( Pro 19:6 ).

      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 ( Deu 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 ( Pro 11:7 ).

Commentary on Esther 1 ← Prior Book
Introduction to the Psalms Next Book →
Commentary on Job 10 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Job 12 Next Chapter →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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