Job 20 Summary

Job 20 Summary

Zophar Speaks his Last |  Job 20

Well, even though Job explicitly stated that his problem is ultimately with God and not the three friends, the next friend is now provoked to speak. Zophar takes his second – and last – turn at trying to convince Job that he is indeed wicked and that that’s why God is punishing him – in chapter 20.

Job 20 Summary of Verses 1-3

I’ve been insulted! | Job 20:1-3

Zophar begins his last speech to Job by admitting to feeling insulted by Job – verses 1-3…

KJV Job 20:1Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,

Job 20:2 [Therefore do/This is why] my [thoughts/troubled thoughts/disquieting thoughts] cause me to ,
[and for this/even because of ][I make haste/my inward agitation/my feelings within me].

Job 20:3 I have heard the [check/reproof] [of my reproach/that insults me/that dishonors me],
and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.

Job 20 Summary of Verses 4-5

Get ready for wisdom! | Job 20:4-5

Then – as you’d expect by now – Zophar asserts the supposed fact that the wicked is always immediately punished in this life – and that this has been a settled fact since the beginning of this world – verses 4 and 5 …

Job 20:4 Knowest thou not this of old,
since man was placed upon earth,

Job 20:5 That the [triumphing/elation] of the wicked is [short/brief],
and the joy of the [hypocrite/godless] but for a moment?

Job 20 Summary of Verses 6-29

What always happens to the wicked | Job 20:6-29

And essentially for the rest of chapter 20 we see Zophar describing what he believes always happens to the wicked in this life – and that is, of course, unrelenting and constant punishment.

And pay attention to all of the references to food and eating (… and also, vomit and dung – sorry) that Zophar makes in this chapter.

Here are Zophar’s main contentions concerning the wicked…

Job 20 Summary of Verses 6-9

The wicked will perish | Job 20:6-9

The wicked will perish and be seen no more despite the fact that at one point he looked like he was doing well – verses 6-9…

Job 20:6 Though his [excellency/loftiness/stature] [mount up/reaches] to the heavens,
and his head [reach unto/touches] the clouds;

Job 20:7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung:
they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?

Job 20:8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found:
yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.

Job 20:9 The eye also which saw him shall see him no more;
neither shall his place any more behold him.

Job 20 Summary of Verse 10

Repays the poor oppressed | Job 20:10

And everything the wicked man stole from those who are vulnerable will be restored to those same people – either by himself or by his children – verse 10…

Job 20:10 His children [shall seek to please/must recompense] the poor,
and {his/the child’s} hands shall [restore/give back] [their goods/his wealth].

Job 20 Summary of Verse 11

Vigor ended | Job 20:11

And even though the wicked may be full of youthful vigor, he’ll die – and that vigor will come to an end – verse 11…

Job 20:11 His bones are full [of the sin of his youth/of his youthful vigor],
which [i.e., vigor…] shall lie down with him in the dust.

Job 20 Summary of Verses 12-18

Food metaphor | Job 20:12-18

Then Zophar takes several verses speaking of food and eating and vomiting as he describes how the wicked always have a reversal of fortune in this life – verses 12-18…

Job 20:12 Though [wickedness/evil] be sweet in his mouth,
 though he hide it under his tongue;

Job 20:13Though he [spare/desires/retains for himself] it, and [forsake it not/won’t let it go];
but keep it still within his mouth:

Job 20:14 Yet his [meat/food] in his [bowels/stomach] is turned [i.e., sour…],
 it is {or becomes…} the [gall/venom] of [asps/cobras/serpents] within him.

Job 20:15 He hath swallowed down riches,
and he shall vomit them up again:
God shall cast them out of his belly. {And in place of riches and good food…}

Job 20:16 He shall suck the poison of [asps/cobras/serpents]:
the viper’s [tongue/fangs] shall slay him.

Job 20:17 He shall not [see/look at (or on)] the [rivers/streams],
the [floods/rivers], [the brooks of/flowing with/which are torrents of] honey and butter.

Job 20:18 That which he [labored for/attained] shall he [restore/give back],
and shall not [swallow it down/assimilate it]:

according to his substance shall the restitution be,
and he shall not rejoice therein.

So, with all this talk of food, I do wonder if Zophar is getting pretty hungry at this point. It seems that it would have been over 7 days since these men would have eaten last. Maybe that’s why we don’t hear from Zophar a third time like the other two friends. He went to find some food. It’s a possibility.

Job 20 Summary of Verses 19-22

Retribution for oppressing the poor | Job 20:19-22

But for now, Zophar is going to once more speak of the retribution that comes to people who oppress the poor – which apparently he thinks that Job has secretly done – verses 19-22…

Job 20:19 Because {he/the wicked} hath oppressed and hath [forsaken/abandoned] the poor;
 because he hath [violently taken away/seized] an house which he builded not;

Job 20:20 Surely he shall not feel [quietness/satisfaction] in his [belly/appetite],
he shall not [save/retain anything] of that which he desired.

Job 20:21 There shall [none of his meat/nothing for him to devour] be left;
therefore shall [no man look for/it not last (or endure)] his [goods/prosperity].

Job 20:22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be [in straits/cramped/distressed]:
[every hand of the wicked/the hand of everyone who suffers/the full force of misery] shall come [upon/against] him.

So, Zophar says, surely Job is suffering punishment from God because he oppressed the poor. That’s why the Sabeans and Chaldeans came and took away his possessions.

Job 20 Summary of Verses 23-25

Surprising and graphic disaster | Job 20:23-25

Zophar goes on to say that the wicked always encounter surprising and graphic disaster in this life – verses 23-25…

Job 20:23 When {he/the wicked} is about to fill his belly,
 God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him,
and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.

Job 20:24 He [shall/may] flee from the iron weapon,
 and the bow of [steel/bronze] shall [strike/pierce] him through.

Job 20:25 It is drawn, and cometh out of [the body/his back];
yea, the glittering [sword/point] cometh out of his [gall/liver]:
terrors [are/come]upon him.

Job 20 Summary of Verse 26

Darkness and fire | Job 20:26

Darkness and fire will destroy the wicked and his children – in this life – verse 26…

Job 20:26 [All/Complete/Total] darkness [shall be hid/is held in reserve/waits to receive] [in his secret places/for his treasures]:
a fire [not blown/unfanned/that hasn’t been kindled] shall consume him;
it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.

Job 20 Summary of Verses 27-29

Wicked’s sin evident by God’s punishment | Job 20:27-29

And Zophar’s conclusion is that the wicked’s sin will be made evident by the fact that God punishes him and takes all of his possessions – just like God apparently did to Job – verses 27-29 to end the chapter…

Job 20:27 The heaven shall reveal his iniquity;
and the earth shall rise up against him.

Job 20:28 The increase of his house shall depart,
 and his goods shall flow away in the day of [his/God’s] wrath.

Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God,
and the heritage [appointed/decreed] unto him by God.

So, Zophar wants Job to know without a doubt that he’s suffering as punishment from God for being wicked. Job has apparently oppressed the poor and been a glutton. That’s why God is punishing him.

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