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Bible Commentaries
Job 18

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-21



Verses 1-21:


Verses 1, 2 begin Bildad’s second accusatory harangue against Job. The Shuhite from afar, a pretended friend of Job, assaults both Job and his other two friends from afar, accusing them of speaking on interminably, mouthing meaningless words. He inquires how long this will go on? When will they cut off or terminate, mark an end, so that he can speak out of his superior wisdom? He is sold on himself, "wise in his own conceit," Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 12:15; Romans 12:16.

Verse 3 recounts Bildad’s inquiry why he and the other two foreign friends were accounted as, or compared with, beasts by Job, Job 12:7; Isaiah 1:3; Psalms 49:12; Psalms 49:20. He inquires further just why they are considered by Job to be vile, filled with sewage, stopped up, unintelligent, Job 17:4; Job 17:10.

Verse 4 declares that Job is tearing himself, destroying his own flesh, in anger, in refusing to acknowledge his wickedness, Job 13:14; John 4:9; Mr 9:18. Then he inquires with sarcasm whether or not the earth and rocks will change their natural laws for his benefit. If not, he should not want to have the laws of retribution for his unconfessed sins set aside as retribution for sin, Job 8; Job 3-6; Isaiah 24:5-6; Exodus 20:4-5, though such is not true, John 9:2-3; John 11:4.

Verses 5, 6 declare that the light (of life) of the wicked, Job, will be extinguished and the spark of his fire (his life of tent-hospitality) would shine no more, Proverbs 3:9; Proverbs 20:20; Proverbs 24:20. And it was added that the light in his dwelling, the candle that burned all night, would go out with him, leaving all desolate and dark, Psalms 18:28; Job 21:17.

Verses 7, 8 prophecy that his strong step will be weakened until he could no longer walk, and his own counsel or plan would totally fail, Proverbs 4:12; Psalms 18:36; Job 5:13. Bildad projected that Job lets himself walk into an entrapping net, becomes a deluded, snared victim of his own wickedness and stupidity. He was walking into a pitfall of terminal calamity Bildad contended, as described Psalms 9:15; Psalms 35:8. This came from following his own counsel, v. 7.

Verse 9, 10 assert that the gin (snare or pitfall) would take Job by the heel as a victim of snared entrapment. And. the robber would prevail to become benefactor of all that he had, as in Job 5:5.

Verse 11 adds that terror (of an evil conscience nature) would make Job fearful on every side and "dog" his heels wherever he goes or seeks refuge, Job 24:17; Jeremiah 20:3; Habakkuk 3:5; Habakkuk 3:14. The image is that of a conqueror pursuing his enemies to exterminate them. Such was the comfort (?) this Bildad friend offered Job, in contrast with compassion that the afflicted should be shown, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Galatians 6:1-2.

Verse 12 adds further that Job’s strength would be hunger-bitten; He would be brought to starvation, wasted by disease that plagued his life. Bildad advised him that he was incurably afflicted, had destruction at hand, was without hope of survival, Proverbs 1:27; Job 15:23; Psalms 7:12-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 2 Peter 2:3. But he was wrong, Job 42:10-17.

Verse 13 states that this death would devour the strength of his skin, so that the "first-born" of death, death in its fiercest form, would devour or consume Job’s strength, till it was all gone. Some hold that Bildad was charging that Job would become so starved he would eat his own children, La 4:10. Such seems untrue for they seem to have been already slain, Job 1:19; James 1:15.

Verse 14 predicts that Job’s confidence will be shaken, uprooted; All that he had hoped for, a home of domestic peace and prosperity should be uprooted permanently, forever, from his lingering hope of release from his affliction and loss. Death is that "king of terrors," which Jesus came to conquer for every believer, Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:14-15; John 8:32; John 8:36; Romans 8:15; Job 11:20; Proverbs 10:28; Matthew 7:26-27.

Verse 15 adds that "it," the "king of terror" or fear of death, would dwell or reside in his tabernacle (of clay, his body) to haunt him, as it stalks, haunts all sinners, Hebrews 9:14-15. When Job’s residence is destroyed only fear can reside there for brimstone and ashes, like that of Sodom, is to haunt Job’s former dwelling according to the "gospel of Bildad," Genesis 19:24; Psalms 11:6. Bildad believed Job to be so wicked that fire and brimstone would be needed to purify his polluted tabernacle.

Verses 16, 17 continue to relate what Bildad prophesies will come upon Job as a just judgment. His roots from beneath and branches from above, his entire family tree is to be cut off, without family lineage, leaving them neither root nor branch, Bildad asserts, Job 8:12; Job 15:30; Malachi 4:1. Even any remembrance of him would perish from the earth; and no name or monument would be left in the street, any public place to honor him, or in the fields where shepherds met and talked. According to Bildad’s theology Job would soon be gone and forgotten, more than a "tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." But He was omnipotent, see? Psalms 34:6; Proverbs 2:22; Proverbs 10:7.

Verse 18 declared that he was driven like a beast that was dying, into the darkness, to die alone, to feed the vultures. He was to be chased like a crippled wild beast into the dark, hopeless wilderness to die, to leave the world better off without him, Bildad concluded, like a fool dies, Psalms 14:1.

Verse 19 falsely prophesied that he (Job) should neither have "son nor nephew among his people," nor any abiding in his dwellings, any more; This is attested to have been a false prophecy, Job 42:10-17; See also Isaiah 14:22; Jeremiah 22:30.

Verse 20 further prophesied that those who should come after Job would be astonished at his day, even as those who went before (or lived with him) and beheld his loss and afflictions were held in horror at what they saw befall him. Bildad judged Job harshly, ignorantly, and sinfully before his time, a very evil thing to do. Against such Jesus warned, Matthew 7:24; Romans 14:4; Psalms 37:13. See also Obadiah 1:12; Psalms 38:13; Psalms 137:7.

Verse 21 concludes Bildad’s second speech affirming that what he has affirmed and prophesied concerns the dwellings of the wicked, and anyone who knows not God. It summarized his feelings that Job was an incorrigible rebel or infidel, living wickedly before God, too stubborn to confess his sins, so that his afflictions might be removed. This is an example of sincere dogmatism of a false prophet, who knows but little about God, and how He deals with His own children, sometimes in chastening for sin, but sometimes permitting them to suffer in innocence for His glory, Exodus 20:4-5; Hebrews 12:5-10; John 9:23; John 11:4.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 18". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-18.html. 1985.
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