Biblical People

Biblical People: Zophar

Zophar the Naamathite is the third of Job’s friends to speak. But unlike them, he only talks twice. Might he have realized that their words were only causing their friend distress? Could he have concluded that, sometimes, saying nothing is better than saying something?

In his first monologue, Zophar says that Job thinks his beliefs are flawless. Ironically, Zophar acts the same way about his.

Like his two friends, Zophar does nothing to offer Job comfort or clarity. Instead, Zophar uses the logic of an incomplete theology to conclude Job is suffering so much because he has sinned.

The second time Zophar speaks, he shares his view that God always punishes the wicked, making them suffer for what they’ve done. Zophar concludes by saying that Job’s deep suffering confirms he’s an especially wicked man.

Do we equate suffering with divine punishment? How can we use our words to help people rather than hurt them?

[Read what Zophar says in Job 11 and 20. Discover more in Job 2:11 and 42:7.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at