David Clines on Omniscience of Zophar

7 Can you uncover the mystery of God? Can you attain to the perfection of Shaddai’s knowledge? It is higher than heaven— what can you do? It is deeper than Sheol— what can you know? Longer than the earth is its measure, a and broader, than the sea.

7– 9 Job is of course not in the least interested in discovering the totality of God’s knowledge; and it comes as no surprise to him to learn that it is beyond human comprehension. “High as heaven is that wisdom, and thy reach so small; deep as hell itself, and thy thought so shallow” (Knox). The only relevance of this statement of God’s unfathomable wisdom is that God’s knowledge must be presumed to contain specific knowledge of Job’s guilt. Zophar does not himself lay claim to any superior acquaintance with God’s wisdom than Job has; he only argues that, since God’s knowledge is immense, there is room in it for knowledge of sins which Job himself does not remember or acknowledge. It would be going too far to insist that Zophar preaches a doctrine of God’s “omniscience.” God’s is a knowledge beyond human knowledge, one that cannot be probed to its fullest extent (cf. 5: 9, where God does “marvelous deeds, that cannot be fathomed”; there it was said that there was no possibility of fathoming it [], whereas here means the object of fathoming). Humans can “do” nothing to acquire full knowledge of God’s wisdom; they cannot “know” God’s wisdom in its entirety (though they can of course know it in part). But that does not mean that God’s knowledge is viewed primarily as an accumulation of data (though obviously it must include that); in the book generally “knowledge” is so often linked with “power” that we must suppose

Clines, David J. A.. Job 1-20, Volume 17 (Word Biblical Commentary) (p. 263). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.

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