All three friends have spoken. They all gave their views from different angles. Job sees a pattern in this. The three friends all agree that Job’s suffering is the result of sins committed by him. They are also determined to convince him of his sins, despite the fact that they have no other proof than what they see as proof: his suffering. Job is very indignant about this.
Earlier, Job reacted especially to the way the friends approached him, to their lack of understanding and empathy (Job 6:14-2714“For the despairing man [there should be] kindness from his friend;
So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
15“My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi,
Like the torrents of wadis which vanish,
16Which are turbid because of ice
[And] into which the snow melts.
17“When they become waterless, they are silent,
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18“The paths of their course wind along,
They go up into nothing and perish.
19“The caravans of Tema looked,
The travelers of Sheba hoped for them.
20“They were disappointed for they had trusted,
They came there and were confounded.
21“Indeed, you have now become such,
You see a terror and are afraid.
22“Have I said, ‘Give me [something],’
Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth,’
23Or, ‘Deliver me from the hand of the adversary,’
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?24“Teach me, and I will be silent;
And show me how I have erred.
25“How painful are honest words!
But what does your argument prove?
26“Do you intend to reprove [my] words,
When the words of one in despair belong to the wind?
27“You would even cast [lots] for the orphans
And barter over your friend.
). But his words did not come across. Zophar has just added a bit more, and spoken to Job in an even louder and more insensitive way. In his reaction to this, Job does not so much deal with his style, but rather with the content. He refutes his so-called wisdom.
Job’s answer to Zophar in Job 12-14 can be divided into two parts:
1. His answer to his friends (Job 12:1-251Then Job responded,
2“Truly then you are the people,
And with you wisdom will die!
3“But I have intelligence as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
And who does not know such things as these?
4“I am a joke to my friends,
The one who called on God and He answered him;
The just [and] blameless [man] is a joke.
5“He who is at ease holds calamity in contempt,
As prepared for those whose feet slip.
6“The tents of the destroyers prosper,
And those who provoke God are secure,
Whom God brings into their power.7“But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
8“Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
9“Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
10In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
11“Does not the ear test words,
As the palate tastes its food?
12“Wisdom is with aged men,
[With] long life is understanding.
13“With Him are wisdom and might;
To Him belong counsel and understanding.14“Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt;
He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.
15“Behold, He restrains the waters, and they dry up;
And He sends them out, and they inundate the earth.
16“With Him are strength and sound wisdom,
The misled and the misleader belong to Him.
17“He makes counselors walk barefoot
And makes fools of judges.
18“He loosens the bond of kings
And binds their loins with a girdle.
19“He makes priests walk barefoot
And overthrows the secure ones.
20“He deprives the trusted ones of speech
And takes away the discernment of the elders.
21“He pours contempt on nobles
And loosens the belt of the strong.
22“He reveals mysteries from the darkness
And brings the deep darkness into light.
23“He makes the nations great, then destroys them;
He enlarges the nations, then leads them away.
24“He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth’s people
And makes them wander in a pathless waste.
25“They grope in darkness with no light,
And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.; 13:1-191“Behold, my eye has seen all [this],
My ear has heard and understood it.
2“What you know I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3“But I would speak to the Almighty,
And I desire to argue with God.
4“But you smear with lies;
You are all worthless physicians.
5“O that you would be completely silent,
And that it would become your wisdom!6“Please hear my argument
And listen to the contentions of my lips.
7“Will you speak what is unjust for God,
And speak what is deceitful for Him?
8“Will you show partiality for Him?
Will you contend for God?
9“Will it be well when He examines you?
Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man?
10“He will surely reprove you
If you secretly show partiality.
11“Will not His majesty terrify you,
And the dread of Him fall on you?
12“Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes,
Your defenses are defenses of clay.13“Be silent before me so that I may speak;
Then let come on me what may.
14“Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
And put my life in my hands?
15“Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
16“This also will be my salvation,
For a godless man may not come before His presence.
17“Listen carefully to my speech,
And let my declaration [fill] your ears.
18“Behold now, I have prepared my case;
I know that I will be vindicated.
19“Who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.).
2. His questions to God (Job 13:20-2820“Only two things do not do to me,
Then I will not hide from Your face:
21Remove Your hand from me,
And let not the dread of You terrify me.
22“Then call, and I will answer;
Or let me speak, then reply to me.
23“How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.24“Why do You hide Your face
And consider me Your enemy?
25“Will You cause a driven leaf to tremble?
Or will You pursue the dry chaff?
26“For You write bitter things against me
And make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27“You put my feet in the stocks
And watch all my paths;
You set a limit for the soles of my feet,
28While I am decaying like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.; 14:1-221“Man, who is born of woman,
Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
2“Like a flower he comes forth and withers.
He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.3“You also open Your eyes on him
And bring him into judgment with Yourself.
4“Who can make the clean out of the unclean?
5“Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.
6“Turn Your gaze from him that he may rest,
Until he fulfills his day like a hired man.7“For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
8“Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
9At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant.
10“But man dies and lies prostrate.
Man expires, and where is he?
11“[As] water evaporates from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dried up,
12So man lies down and does not rise.
Until the heavens are no longer,
He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep.13“Oh that You would hide me in Sheol,
That You would conceal me until Your wrath returns [to You],
That You would set a limit for me and remember me!
14“If a man dies, will he live [again]?
All the days of my struggle I will wait
Until my change comes.
15“You will call, and I will answer You;
You will long for the work of Your hands.
16“For now You number my steps,
You do not observe my sin.
17“My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You wrap up my iniquity.18“But the falling mountain crumbles away,
And the rock moves from its place;
19Water wears away stones,
Its torrents wash away the dust of the earth;
So You destroy man’s hope.
20“You forever overpower him and he departs;
[You] change his appearance and send him away.
21“His sons achieve honor, but he does not know [it];
Or they become insignificant, but he does not perceive it.
22“But his body pains him,
And he mourns only for himself.”).