Job 20: Zophar (2/2): All about the folly of wickedness
Comments: Zophar doesn't appear to apply what he describes
to Job but the inference must be there. Even as Bildad had poured
our negative pictures of the things that happen to the wicked
[implying they apply to Job] so now Zophar, in defensive mode
[v.1-3] just speaks about ‘the wicked' and all that will happen
to them, how they may appear to briefly prevail [v.4-11] but they
will suffer physically in this world [v.12-17], they will suffer
economically [v.18-23] and they will eventually be destroyed [v.24-29].
As we said, it isn't specifically applied to Job but the implication
is lurking there clearly!]
Zophar feels defensive and forced to reply
Zophar the Naamathite replied:
thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed.
I hear a rebuke
that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply.
His declarations that the wicked WILL perish
know how it has been from of old, ever since mankind was
placed on the earth,
the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts
but a moment.
pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens and his head
touches the clouds,
he will perish
forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say,
‘Where is he?'
Like a dream
he flies away, no more to be found, banished like a vision of
that saw him will not see him again; his place will look on him
children must make amends to the poor; his own hands must give
back his wealth.
youthful vigor that fills his bones will lie with him in the dust.
The physical decline of the wicked
evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue,
cannot bear to let it go and lets it linger in his mouth,
yet his food
will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents
He will spit
out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them
He will suck
the poison of serpents; the fangs of an adder will kill him.
will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and
The financial decline of the wicked
he toiled for he must give back uneaten; he will not enjoy the
profit from his trading.
For he has
oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses
he did not build.
he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself
by his treasure.
left for him to devour; his prosperity will not endure.
the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him; the full
force of misery will come upon him.
When he has
filled his belly, God will vent his burning anger against him
and rain down his blows on him.
The Destruction awaiting the wicked
he flees from an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him.
He pulls it
out of his back, the gleaming point out of his liver. Terrors
will come over him;
lies in wait for his treasures. A fire unfanned will consume him
and devour what is left in his tent.
will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him.
will carry off his house, rushing waters on the day of God's
Such is the
fate God allots the wicked, the heritage appointed for them by
Comments: The chapter is what might be described as a
gentle rant about the wicked without specifically naming Job –
but it is clearly for his benefit!!!
has Zophar been saying? He
like Bildad goes
on about the outcome of the wicked [v.4-11],
extends that that
include physical breakdown [v.12-17],
and economic breakdown
with death being
their outcome [v.24-29].
he does not specifically apply it to Job, it is clear he means
Job and so it is yet another chapter, like chapter 18, of accusation