The last response of Job (Job 42:1-42:6)

“Then Job answered Yahweh.

‘I know that you can do all things.

No purpose of yours can be thwarted.

‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’

Therefore I have uttered

What I did not understand,

Things too wonderful for me,

That I did not know.

‘Hear!

I will speak.

I will question you.

You declare to me.’

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear.

But now my eye sees you.

Therefore I despise myself.

I repent in dust and ashes.’”

Job responded to Yahweh. He recognized that Yahweh was all powerful. No one could go against God but Job lacked the knowledge so that he never understood this correctly. These were wonderful things. Now he wanted Yahweh to listen to him. Job was willing to listen to Yahweh since he had not only heard Yahweh, he had seen him. The conclusion for Job was repentance. He had not understood the will of God. He had proudly protested his righteousness. Now he realized that he was wrong. He hated himself and was going to go into formal repentance with dust and ashes.

Zophar chimes in (Job 11:1-11:6)Zophar chimes in (Job 11:1-11:6)

“Then Zophar the Naamathite answered.

‘Should a multitude of words go unanswered?

Should one full of talk be vindicated?

Should your babble put others to silence?

When you mock,

Shall no one shame you?

You say.

‘My conduct is pure.

I am clean in God’s sight.’

But O that God would speak!

If he would open his lips to you!

He would tell you the secrets of wisdom!

Wisdom is many-sided.

Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.’”

Finally we hear from Zophar. He cannot let so many words go unanswered. He seems to chide Job harsher than the other 2 comforters. Talk does not itself vindicate. If Job continued to babble, was everyone to be silent? Someone had to speak out. Job had protested that he was innocent in God’s sight. But has he heard God say that? God could tell you in his secret wisdom the many sides of things. God is merciful and exacts less than the guilty deserve. Notice the link between God and wisdom, which is key to the wisdom or sapiential biblical literature.