2. Zophar assails Job for his empty words, and indirectly, the two
friends, for their weak reply. Taciturnity is highly prized among
(Pr 10:8, 19).
3. lies--rather, "vain boasting"
The "men" is emphatic; men of sense; in antithesis to "vain boasting."
mockest--upbraidest God by complaints, "shall no man make thee
4. doctrine--purposely used of Job's speeches, which sounded like
lessons of doctrine
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
God's ways, which you arraign, if you were shown their secret wisdom,
would be seen vastly to exceed that of men, including yours
exacteth--Rather, "Godconsigns to oblivion in thy favor much of
7. Rather, "Penetrate to the perfections of the Almighty"
8. It--the "wisdom" of God
The abruptness of the Hebrew is forcible: "The heights of
heaven! What canst thou do" (as to attaining to them with thy gaze,
know--namely, of His perfections.
10. cut off--Rather, as in
"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.
consider--so as to punish it. Rather, from the connection,
"He seeth wickedness also, which man does not perceive";
literally, "But no (other, save He) perceiveth it" [UMBREIT]. God's "wisdom"
detects sin where Job's humaneye cannot reach
so as to see any.
would be--"wants to consider himself wise"; opposed to God's
"wisdom" (see on
refuses to see sin, where God sees it
wild ass's colt--a proverb for untamed wildness
(Job 39:5, 8;
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
The preparation of the heart is to be obtained
by stretching out the hands in prayer for it
14. Rather, "if thou wilt put far away the iniquity in thine hand"
(as Zaccheus did,
The apodosis or conclusion is at
"then shalt thou," &c.
15. Zophar refers to Job's own words
"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."
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
the danger threatened by its wild waves is forgotten
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
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
opposed to the previous 'hope'), thou shalt then rest safely" [GESENIUS];
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
Zophar implies Job's only hope of relief is in a change of heart.
they shall not escape--literally, "every refuge shall vanish from
giving up of the ghost--Their hope shall leave them as the breath
does the body