Tuesday, March 5, 2024





No 45 Zophar 

Like a Lion on a Hunt
By virtue of age, it is given that Eliphaz should speak first. And he does. Conversely, by virtue of youth, Zophar should speak last. And he does. Whereas, Eliphaz apologized to Job before tearing him down, Zophar’s youthful rage immediately jumps in to tear Job to pieces. Zophar has no regard for sensitivity and feeling. Zophar is driven to fury from the outset.
I have often pondered why Zophar only has two speeches recorded, whereas, Eliphaz and Bildad have three speeches each recorded in the Sacred Writings. Was it because Zophar had no new thing under the sun (Eccl 1:9) to say? Or was it because, of Job’s three opponents, Zophar was the harshest and cruelest Did God cut Zophar short to spare Job’s battered feelings and sensitivities? We don’t know―it could have been all the above.  
It has been said that of the three, Zophar came out fighting. As the desert temperatures soared, Zophar’s temper raged even hotter as he lashed out at Job. Zophar’s two speeches were venomous enough. The hot-blooded Naamathite even dared call God down on Job. Zophar appealed to heaven to uphold his accusations against Job. But oh that God would speak, and open His lips against thee; And that He would shew thee the secrets of wisdom (Job 11:5,6). Zophar appeals to God to give Job some wisdom, because Job is utterly stupid without it. Job is ignorant. His boastfulness and arrogance mark him as insolent and disrespectful. He utters unfounded statements he calls truth, when, in fact, his statements are base lies. Yes, the King James version says lies. Should thy lies make men hold their peace? (Job 11:3). Zophar cuts to the bone when he says a stupid man [Job] is less likely to find wisdom than a pregnant donkey is likely to give birth to a human being. For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt (Job 11:12). How degrading, Mr. Zophar! As with Eliphaz and Bildad, the rift has become personal with Zophar.
Let me repeat Job 11:5,6: But oh that God would speak, and open His lips against thee; And that He would shew thee the secrets of wisdom. This was they very, very thing Job was asking of God. Please come and talk to me. Show me where I have done wrong. Why are You doing this to me? Job would have loved for God to come and give him the secrets of wisdom. He would welcome an opportunity to hear from God! And should he be given that opportunity, he would maintain (his) own ways before him―he would defend his ways to His face (Job 13:15). 
To rub salt into the wound, Zophar says, that Job deserved all that he got―and that he even deserved more than he got. Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth (Job 11:6) Zophar says as his anger flares. “God is being partial to you, Job. Your affliction is tempered only by His great and abundant mercy.”
What is Zophar Trying to Do?
Eliphaz and Bildad were softer in their approach, in that they appealed to Job to consider the truthfulness of their statements in a “come now, and let us reason together” kind of approach. Zophar tried to force Job into submission to his truths, and change his ways. Older men are may be more inclined to talk it out. Younger men may be more inclined to fight it out. And Zophar is in fighting mode. A blow to the side of his head, so to speak, may jolt, jar and shock Job into admitting his sin.
Consider this paraphrase of 11:2 and 3: You think that because you have a bunch of words, no one should answer you for your unnecessary words? You think that because you ramble on and on about nothing, that you are justified by your empty words? You think because of who you are you can mock God, and no one will stand up to you and challenge your lies and mockeries? Well, I am here to do just that!   
Should not the multitude of words be answered?
and should a man full of talk be justified?
Should thy lies make men hold their peace?
and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?
(Job 11:2,3). 
Why were They so Irate against Job?
Here’s the answer: Job 11:4  For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. "You, Job, have said,

            My teaching is sound, and I am pure in Your sight.
            My beliefs are flawless and I am clean in Your sight.
            My teaching is morally correct
and I am innocent in Your sight."

The audacity that a man would say that to God was more than they could chew. That Job would argue his innocence before God was blasphemous.


Their conclusion? Job must come to see that he is trying to pull the wool over God’s eyes (and everyone else’s eyes).

1) He must come to see the error of his thinking.

2) He must come to see his guilt before God.

3) He must stop making such assertions to God.

4) He must come to see his need for repentance.

5) He must come to see that he is deserving of his punishment.

6) He must come to see that God has brought a serious and vexatious test upon him.

7) He must come to see that he has represented God in a false light.


And Job wasn’t having it. Job would not swerve from his convictions. Job continued to defend himself and deny their charges. This irked their dander and fueled their anger to the max. This led to Zophar’s violent outburst. Zophar (and the other two) could in no way conceive that Job just might be upright and free from wrong as he was declaring himself to be. They said Job had neglected and turned his back away from God. But Job said he was consistently seeking after God. They said he was blatantly a sinning man (who had forgotten about, was overlooking, or was secretly hiding cherished sins). But Job said, “I am not!” 


And How did God Appraise Job?
They were not aware that this is exactly how God appraised his servant Job: There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil (Job 1:1).
And Who was It that was Misrepresenting God?
According to Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar (the three men of the opposition delegation),
This is exactly the motive Satan ascribed to Job in the beginning. 
Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 1:9-11).
And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 2:4,5). 
Consequently, Job rejects their kind of wisdom. When they tried to convince him he was at fault and wrong, he fortified his claim of innocence. Therefore, they resounded more and more loudly to prove him a sinner. Can a suffering man be innocent? “No.” they cried loudly―”No! No ! No!” 
This was the obvious point of controversy between Job and the delegation of three. They believed goodness, wealth and prosperity came as a reward for righteous living. Conversely, they believed all adversity (sickness, misfortune, disaster) came as a judgment from God because of sin in a man’s life. When he is about to fill his belly [just when he thinks he’s got it good], God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating [and it all will be taken away from him] (Job 20:23).
The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him. The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God (Job 20:27-29). 
These were the final words of Zophar’s last speech. This was the last speech of the three comfort-killing friends.
Zophar’s haughty response showed how unwilling the three opponents were to change their attitude or thinking. Job was just as unwilling to change his attitude and way off thinking. Stalemate. But not checkmate.
And How Will it Be in the last Days?
Job’s three friends were demanding Job change his ways for his own good. In the last days it will be demanded of believers that they change their ways for the common good of the people. “Your sins are keeping God from protecting us,” the religious leaders cry as the world is literally falling apart at the seams. “We all need to come together and appease an angry God,” they say. 
I do not believe God is angry nor does He desire to be appeased. How about you?
Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359 or use the comments via Google section below. (You must be signed in to Google to do so).

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