Job 20-21

Talks for Growing Christians

Zophar’s Second Speech to Job; Job’s Second Response to Zophar

Job 20-21

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Lesson Number 14

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. In his second speech, Zophar angrily points the finger at Job.
  2. In his second response to Zophar, Job systematically proves that Zophar is wrong.

Practical Application

  1. Refute false theories with irrefutable evidence!


  1. In the first three verses of chapter 20, Zophar expresses his anger toward Job, feeling that he has been insulted. What specifically was Zophar referring to in verse 3, when he says he has been insulted? See chapter 19, verses 28 and 29.
  2. Zophar is clearly referring to Job as he angrily describes the life and fate of the wicked (vs 4-11). How does Zophar describe Job’s circumstances before his period of suffering? What is the accusation that Zophar makes against Job in verses 11 and 19?
  3. In verses 11-25 of chapter 20, what are three of Zophar’s absolute conclusions about the fate of the wicked?
  4. In chapter 21, Job proceeds to show that Zophar is clearly wrong in his stated conclusions. How does Job refute Zophar’s claims?
  5. What is the main truth about God that Job is trying to convince Zophar and his two friends of in verses 22-26? What is Job’s conclusion about their answers to Job?


  1. Zophar, feeling that he has been insulted by Job, is referring to Job’s statements in the last two verses of chapter 19. Job warned his three friends that if they continued to wrongly persecute Job, they themselves were in danger of God’s judgment.
  2. Zophar describes Job as having been a proud and wealthy man. Zophar then points out that Job has lost his pride and wealth because of his wickedness, particularly his oppression of the poor and needy. We know these accusations are false because God described Job as blameless (chapter 1:1).
  3. Zophar had declared that the lives of the wicked are always short (v 11), that their pleasures are always temporary (vs 12-19), and that their deaths are always painful (vs 24-25).
  4. Job refutes Zophar’s claims about the wicked by presenting obvious evidence. Job states the truths that should be clearly evident to his three friends: many of the wicked do live to be old (v 7), they do often live long, prosperous lives (vs 9-13), and many times they do die in peace without suffering (v 13).
  5. Job is trying to convince his three friends that they need to realize the truth of God’s sovereignty in the life of every person. Because of their lack of understanding of this truth, Job points out that their premise and their answers continue to contain empty words and falsehoods (v 34).


  1. Discuss the differences in the introductory comments made by Zophar (chapter 20), and the opening comments made by Job (chapter 21). Consider how each man approached the dialog and discussion, and through this, identify the personal characteristics displayed by their words. Discuss the lessons that can be learned from them regarding proper discourse among believers.


  1. Have you been able to refute erroneous biblical assumptions made by friends? Do you realize that you must have a solid understanding of Scripture in order to refute and correct their claims? Take time starting today to study God’s Word and make every effort to sit under the instruction of trusted and sound Bible teachers. Study the Word, know the truth and refute false claims confidently.

Key Verses

  • “Then Job answered and said, ‘Listen carefully to my speech, and let this be your consolation. Bear with me that I may speak, and after I have spoken, keep mocking. How can you comfort me with empty words, since falsehood remains in your answers?’” Job 21:1-3, 34

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