Book of Job

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Zophar the Naamathite Character Analysis

Zophar is Job’s friend who, with Eliphaz and Bildad, visits Job with the alleged intention of comforting him in his suffering. The book gives no further details about Zophar, and the three companions don’t have very distinct personalities (or arguments, for that matter). At first, the friends commiserate with Job in silence, but after Job begins to lament his pain and to argue that he suffers unjustly, Zophar and the others begin to argue with Job in return. Like the others, Zophar argues that God only afflicts the wicked with miserable lives and condemns Job’s “babble” in contending otherwise.

Zophar the Naamathite Quotes in Book of Job

The Book of Job quotes below are all either spoken by Zophar the Naamathite or refer to Zophar the Naamathite. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Book of Job published in 2001.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

Page Number: 2:11-13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?

In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.

Related Characters: Job (speaker), God, Zophar the Naamathite
Page Number: 12:7-10
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.

Page Number: 32:1-5
Explanation and Analysis:
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Zophar the Naamathite Character Timeline in Book of Job

The timeline below shows where the character Zophar the Naamathite appears in Book of Job. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
...Job’s sufferings, three of Job’s friends come to visit—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. Their plan is to comfort Job. As they approach Job, they start weeping,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Next, Zophar the Naamathite speaks. He asks if Job’s “babble” should go unanswered. Sure, Job claims he... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
...Sheol, longer than the earth and broader than the sea. Who can hinder God’s judgment? Zophar tells Job that if he directs his heart the right way, he will reach out... (full context)
Chapter 12
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Job says that no doubt wisdom will die along with Zophar. However, he understands things, too. Though he used to be considered just and blameless, someone... (full context)
Chapter 13
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Job says he is not inferior to Zophar; he knows everything his friend knows. It’s God Job wants to speak to—even to “argue... (full context)
Chapter 20
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Zophar speaks up again. He feels agitated and insulted, so he can’t help himself. He argues... (full context)
Chapter 21
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Then Job answers, urging Zophar to listen to him before he mocks any further; he will offer his friend “consolation.”... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
...God won’t profit them. How often, Job wonders, do the wicked actually suffer God’s wrath? Zophar claims that God stores up their wickedness so that their children will suffer—but why shouldn’t... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
...when they die, they are buried with honor. In light of all this, how can Zophar “comfort [him] with empty nothings?” His claims are simply lies. (full context)
Chapter 42
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
...that he not deal with these men “according to [their] folly.” So Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar do this, and God accepts Job’s prayer on their behalf. (full context)