The First Speech of Zophar

Sometimes the way up is down. John Moorlach learned that lesson. In June of 1994, he ran against incumbent Robert L. Citron for the post of treasurer of Orange County, California. During the campaign, Moorlach condemned Citron’s risky investments. At the time, Moorlach’s … More


Job has heard two points of the sermon from his friends: Man is sinful (Eliphaz), and God is just (Bildad). Zophar, the youngest of Job’s three friends, now finishes the sermon with the third point. God punishes sin, but He gives us less punishment than we deserve. Zophar is very direct and cutting in his accusations, perhaps because he has already heard his two friends speak, and he has also heard Job’s bitter comments directed to them and to God. Things are either black or white to Zophar. He assumes that Job is suffering because of his sin, and he doesn’t like Job’s attitude and thinks he is a disrespectful, complaining old man.

Zophar could be characterized as a man full of worldly wisdom and common sense. He accuses Job of lying and hypocrisy, and can hardly wait for God to give him what he deserves (vv. 1-6). Job has been insisting that God has been too harsh with him, but Zophar feels that God has been too easy on him. This is a profound statement that Zophar makes (vv. 7-10). No man can discover God; God is revealed. The only way you can know about God is what He is pleased to reveal of Himself to us.

Zophar called Job a man who is empty in the head. He says that his chances of becoming wise were no greater than the possibility of a wild donkey giving birth to a man (vv. 11-12).  Zophar responded to Job’s words, not his feelings, and that was a mistake. He advises Job to repent and turn away from his wickedness. He says that if he does, God will forgive him, restore him, and banish all fear and suffering (vv. 13-20). He warned Job that if he did not repent he would die (v. 20).


Zophar explained quite accurately that God knows and sees everything. When I’m tempted to think  “No one will ever know,” I need to remember that I can do nothing without God knowing about it.

Job 11:1-20 (English Standard Version)

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