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The First Speech of Bildad
Holding the same doctrine about sin and suffering as Eliphaz, Bildad supports the views of his friend by an appeal to the teaching of antiquity. He shows less sympathy and more narrowness of mind than Eliphaz.
1-7. Bildad maintains the justice of God’s actions. Since Job’s children have perished it must have been for their sins. As for Job, if he would but repent he would be restored to prosperity.
2. Like a strong wind] violent, headstrong.
3. Can there be injustice with God as Job seems to think is possible? Bildad thinks the All-powerful must in the nature of things be righteous. Job does not deny the omnipotence, but he questions the righteousness.
4. And he have cast, etc.] RV ’he delivered them into the hand of their transgression,’ i.e. abandoned them to the consequences of their sins. This conclusion about the death of Job’s sons was quite unjustifiable (cp. Luke 13:4; John 9:2-3), but is in accordance with the general views about retribution. The catastrophe had fallen on the very day on which their father had offered the sacrifice: see on Job 1:13.
6. Awake for thee] LXX reads ’hearken unto thee.’
8-22. Bildad appeals to the experience of antiquity to show that God uproots the wicked, though they seem firmly established, and does not cast away the upright.
8. To the search of their fathers] RV ’to that which their fathers have searched out.’
9. We] the men of his own day.
11-15. As surely as a water-plant perishes without water so surely will the sinner perish when God turns from him.
11. The rush] RM ’the papyrus,’ a reed from which the Egyptians made paper, light boats, etc.
13. Hope] of prosperity.
15. Hold it fast] RV ’hold fast thereby.’
16-18. The sinner is compared to a fastgrowing weed which flourishes under the heat of the sun, and whose roots plant themselves firmly in the earth (seeth the place of stones), but when destroyed it passes at once into oblivion. A slight correction of the Heb. would give for 17b, ’It lives in a house of stones.’
17. Heap] The Heb. also means ’fountain,’ and possibly the sense may be that the plant lives in the stone erection over the fountain in the garden.
19. The joy of his way] the short-lived prosperity of the sinner. Others grow] who fill his place.
21. Till he] RV ’He will yet.’ Bildad, sharing the view of Eliphaz that while Job must have fallen into some heinous sin he was nevertheless a pious and upright man at heart, bases on this his prophecy that God will restore him. He must be chastened, but he cannot be cast away.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 8". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent