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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Job Chapter 11

Job 11:2

job 11:2


Zophar assails Job for his empty words, and indirectly, the two friends, for their weak reply. Taciturnity is highly prized among Orientals (Pro 10:8, Pro 10:19).

Job 11:3

job 11:3

lies--rather, "vain boasting" (Isa 16:6; Jer 48:30). The "men" is emphatic; men of sense; in antithesis to "vain boasting."

mockest--upbraidest God by complaints, "shall no man make thee ashamed?"

Job 11:4

job 11:4

doctrine--purposely used of Job's speeches, which sounded like lessons of doctrine (Deu 32:2; Pro 4:2).

thine--addressed to God. Job had maintained his sincerity against his friends suspicions, not faultlessness.

Job 11:6

job 11:6

to that which is!--Rather, "they are double to [man's] wisdom" [MICHAELIS]. So the Hebrew is rendered (Pro 2:7). God's ways, which you arraign, if you were shown their secret wisdom, would be seen vastly to exceed that of men, including yours (Co1 1:25).

exacteth--Rather, "God consigns to oblivion in thy favor much of thy guilt."

Job 11:7

job 11:7

Rather, "Penetrate to the perfections of the Almighty" (Job 9:10; Psa 139:6).

Job 11:8

job 11:8

It--the "wisdom" of God (Job 11:6). The abruptness of the Hebrew is forcible: "The heights of heaven! What canst thou do" (as to attaining to them with thy gaze, Psa 139:8)?

know--namely, of His perfections.

Job 11:10

job 11:10

cut off--Rather, as in Job 9:11, "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.

Job 11:11

job 11:11

(Psa 94:11).

consider--so as to punish it. Rather, from the connection, Job 11:6, "He seeth wickedness also, which man does not perceive"; literally, "But no (other, save He) perceiveth it" [UMBREIT]. God's "wisdom" (Job 11:6), detects sin where Job's human eye cannot reach (Job 11:8), so as to see any.

Job 11:12

job 11:12


would be--"wants to consider himself wise"; opposed to God's "wisdom" (see on Job 11:11); refuses to see sin, where God sees it (Rom 1:22).

wild ass's colt--a proverb for untamed wildness (Job 39:5, Job 39:8; Jer 2:24; Gen 16:12; Hebrew, "a wild-ass man"). Man wishes to appear wisely obedient to his Lord, whereas he is, from his birth, unsubdued in spirit.

Job 11:13

job 11:13

The apodosis to the "If" is at Job 11:15. The preparation of the heart is to be obtained (Pro 16:1) by stretching out the hands in prayer for it (Psa 10:17; Ch1 29:18).

Job 11:14

job 11:14

Rather, "if thou wilt put far away the iniquity in thine hand" (as Zaccheus did, Luk 19:8). The apodosis or conclusion is at Job 11:15, "then shalt thou," &c.

Job 11:15

job 11:15

Zophar refers to Job's own words (Job 10:15), "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."

spot-- (Deu 32:5).

steadfast--literally, "run fast together," like metals which become firm and hard by fusion. The sinner on the contrary is wavering.

Job 11:16

job 11:16

Just as when the stream runs dry (Job 6:17), the danger threatened by its wild waves is forgotten (Isa 65:16) [UMBREIT].

Job 11:17

job 11:17

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 (Pro 4:18).

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].

Job 11:18

job 11:18

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 now ashamed (Rom 5:5, opposed to the previous 'hope'), thou shalt then rest safely" [GESENIUS];

Job 11:19

job 11:19

(Psa 4:8; Pro 3:24; Isa 14:30); oriental images of prosperity.

make suit--literally, "stroke thy face," "caress thee" (Pro 19:6).

Job 11:20

job 11:20

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 (Deu 28:65). Zophar implies Job's only hope of relief is in a change of heart.

they shall not escape--literally, "every refuge shall vanish from them."

giving up of the ghost--Their hope shall leave them as the breath does the body (Pro 11:7).

Next: Job Chapter 12