“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place – Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.” (Job 2:11, NKJV)
Zophar is the third of Job’s three (3) friends who came to mourn with Job in light of the great tragedy’s that had come upon Job. Scholars are unsure and even undivided over what his name means. Some have suggested that “zophar” means “young bird.”
Scholars also are unsure as to where his home was. Naamah cannot be located with absolute certainty. Zophar was probably from across the Jordan River.
Zophar is considered to be a wise man. Since he was always mentioned last and his seemingly mercilessness attitude toward Job suggests he may have been the youngest of Job’s friends. He was certainly a man who favored common sense. Zophar liked to choose and use words very carefully:
“Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated.” (Job 11:2, NKJV)
Zophar was the first of Job’s three (3) friends to suggest that Job’s troubles might be a result of the fact that Job had “sinned.” He even suggests that Job did not receive what he actually deserved. Listen to him:
“But oh, that God would speak, and open His lips against you, that He would should you the secrets of wisdom! For they would double your prudence, know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity (sin) deserves.” (Job 11:5-6, NKJV) (emphasis is mine)
Zophar was harsh in his judgment. He seemed to have hope that Job could be restored to a “right” relationship with God. However, his speech seemed to make a mockery of this idea. Read very carefully Job 11:13-19.
Zophar only speaks to Job twice. He speaks in chapters eleven (11) and in chapter twenty (20). Scholars seem to think that his penchant for little words and his common sense held him back from speaking more to Job. It seems that Zophar thought Job might be “unteachable” since Job didn’t seem to heed Zophar’s counsel.
What can we really learn from Zophar? It seems that Zophar typifies the man that although possesses common sense who lets facts take the back seat to his preconceived ideas. It is dangerous to have a preconceived notion and ruthlessly hang on to it in spite of facts and truths.