I find myself wondering, as I force myself to read endless, repetitive arguments between Job and his friends, how many people have resolved to read this wretched book from cover to cover, only to get bogged down right about here and give up.
Zophar. Blah blah blah. He insists that god punishes the wicked and they're forgotten like dung, contrary to every empirical observation ever. Then he'll punish their children and make them pay back all their ill-gotten gains. Tell that to the Bushes. We're also told that wealth without god brings no joy, because it oppresses the poor and takes their houses. Funny, I never heard that passage cited in the bailout debates. Nor the next one that informs us greed is insatiable. Of course then it's right back to BS, saying that melancholy strikes the rich right in the middle of their prosperity, then god takes it away. Obviously Zophar never watched Ducktales.
Job points out that his friends are talking crap, because evil people live long and prosper all the fricking time, as do their children and grandchildren. They live in safety, without punishment from god. Their bulls breed, and their children dance to harp music. This was before My Super Sweet 16, I guess, so harp music was all they had. Then they die without ever accepting god. He points out that their religion unfairly punishes the children for their fathers' sins and challenges god to punish men directly for their transgressions. He points out that righteous people die poor and the wicked die rich, their houses untouched, their sins uncriticized. Apparently there were yes-men even then.