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Asbury Bible Commentary – 5. Zophar (11:1–20)
5. Zophar (11:1–20)
5. Zophar (11:1-20)

Zophar begins by charging Job with glibness. Job will later acknowledge that he has been verbose and that his language has been strong (42:3). But Zophar fails to recognize that while his words are theoretical, Job's are existential. By challenging the theology of the comforters, Job seems to them to claim both purity and superior understanding (Rowley, 88). Zophar is mistakenly convinced that, if God should speak, the comforters will be vindicated (v. 5; cf. 42:7), for God knows both the hidden and the manifest sides of every matter (Pope, 84).

Zophar seems to deny to Job what he allows for himself—the ability to fathom the mysteries of God (v. 7). He describes Job as witless and having no more chance of becoming wise than a wild ass's colt has the chance of being born a human (v. 12).

Assuming the role of the evangelist, Bildad calls on Job to repent. By doing so he would experience the peaceful life, be delivered from shame (v. 15) and find rest (v. 18) and freedom from fear (v. 19). The importance of repentance must never be minimized, but it must not be seen as a panacea for life's problems.