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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 18

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Job Chapter 18

Job 18:1 "Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,"

Job 18:2 "How long [will it be ere] ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak." Bildad was very angry at the things that Job had said about his friends. "Mark", in the verse above, means consider. He was saying that Job talked too much. I would say again, these friends were no comfort at all to Job. They were a thorn in his already wounded side. In a sense, he was saying, "Why don’t you hush defending yourself"?

Job 18:3 "Wherefore are we counted as beasts, [and] reputed vile in your sight?" Job had every right to speak of these so-called comforters as miserable, ungodly, and wicked. It would have been better, if they had just stayed home. Perhaps, God allowed them to come and do this, so Job’s fighting spirit would be stirred up.

Job 18:4 "He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?" Bildad said some of the most cruel things that had been said up until this point. He accused Job of tearing himself as a child does when he is having a temper tantrum. He said that Job actually wanted God to change the forces of nature to suit him. He accused Job of wanting to be the center of attention.

Job 18:5 "Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine." Bildad began to speak of all the horrible things that await the wicked man. He thought Job was a very wicked man. Bildad was saying here, that all the splendor and blessings that had come to Job had been taken away because of his sin. He said that Job’s fire and light had been put out. Job would not shine any more.

Job 18:6 "The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him." This darkening of the light of Job was extended to his family. It was saying the Light of the LORD would no longer be in any of Job’s descendants.

Job 18:7 "The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down." Job had great wealth and had controlled a wide area, before all of this calamity fell on him. Bildad said that Job would be in an isolated place where he could take only a few steps forward. He, also, said that Job would no longer have any influence on anyone.

Job 18:8 "For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare." Bildad said that Job brought all of this upon himself by his sin. He was snared in the net he had set for others.

Job 18:9 "The gin shall take [him] by the heel, [and] the robber shall prevail against him."

Job 18:10 "The snare [is] laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way." A "gin" is a metallic sheet pounded thin, or a spring. This was speaking of a trap that was set at night to catch robbers and thieves. They would be held tight until morning when they would be apprehended. Verse 10 is speaking of the two types. One above ground and one that was like a pit.

Job 18:11 "Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet." This was just saying that he had no peace of mind. Even imagined terrors made him very afraid, and caused him to run away.

Job 18:12 "His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction [shall be] ready at his side." He would be hungry and have no food to eat. His strength had waxed away. When a person does not eat, he becomes very weak. This leads to total destruction.

Job 18:13 "It shall devour the strength of his skin: [even] the firstborn of death shall devour his strength." This was just saying that the muscles of his body withered away. This was speaking of Job’s disease, which they thought would automatically lead to Job’s death.

Job 18:14 "His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors." Bildad wished the worst for Job, because he thought he was such an evil man. The tabernacle, here, could be speaking of the home of Job, which would generally have been a safe place. The king of terrors was speaking of death.

Job 18:15 "It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because [it is] none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation." "It" would make you think this was speaking of the terrors. He was saying that Job’s own house would be inhabited by terror. He was saying that God would rain down brimstone on Job’s house for Job’s sin.

Job 18:16 "His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off." It appears, that Bildad was speaking of Job’s ancestors being forgotten, and him not having any children to be his branches. We read of the tree which had no water at its roots drying up and dying.

Job 18:17 "His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street." Bildad was predicting that Job would not be remembered by anyone. We can tell that Bildad was speaking lies. Job was one of the best remembered people in the Bible. We can easily see, from this, how false Bildad’s predictions were.

Job 18:18 "He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world." Job was not dreading death, as Bildad thought. Job would have welcomed death. Bildad was saying death would be forced upon Job.

Job 18:19 "He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings." At the moment that Bildad said this, it appeared that this part of his condemnation of Job might come true. Job’s children were dead. Job had no idea that God would restore his children.

Job 18:20 "They that come after [him] shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted." This may be the first indication of why Bildad attacked Job so harshly. He was frightened of the same fate coming to him, if he took the part of Job. Job is an astonishment to all generations.

Job 18:21 "Surely such [are] the dwellings of the wicked, and this [is] the place [of him that] knoweth not God." Bildad said the reason he said all of this was to show Job what came to those who knew not God. He believed that Job was chief among sinners. He believed that Job deserved all of this punishment and even more, because he was not of God.

Job 18 Questions

1. What was Bildad angry about?

2. What did "mark", in Job 18:2, mean?

3. What does the author believe these friends have been to Job?

4. What was Bildad saying to Job, in a sense?

5. What did Job have every right to call his friends?

6. Why do you suppose God allowed them to attack Job?

7. What did Bildad accuse Job of doing in Job 18:4?

8. The light of the wicked shall be ______ _____.

9. Why did Bildad speak to Job of all the things that would come to a wicked man?

10. Who was the darkness of the Light extended to in Job 18:6?

11. Bildad said that Job _________ all of this upon himself by his sin.

12. What is the "gin" in Job 18:9?

13. What was Job 18:9 speaking of?

14. What are the two types of traps in Job 18:10?

15. Verse 11 was saying that Job had no ________ of ______. 16. What happens to a person when he does without food?

17. They thought Job’s illness would automatically lead to ________.

18. Why did Bildad wish the worst for Job?

19. What was the tabernacle, in Job 18:14, speaking of?

20. What did Bildad say would rain down on Job’s house?

21. In verse 16, the roots were whom?

22. In the same verse, who was the branch?

23. Bildad was predicting that Job woulds not be _________.

24. What is the actual truth about that?

25. Bildad believed that Job was chief among _________.

Verses 1-4

Job 18:1-4


Job 18


"Bildad’s second speech is no improvement on his first (Job 8). He has evidently been exceedingly nettled by Job’s contemptuous words regarding his `comforters’ (Job 16:2; Job 16:11 and Job 17:10); and Bildad’s aim here is simply that of venting his anger and terrifying Job with threats and denunciations. Job has become for Bildad `the wicked man’ (Job 18:5; Job 18:21), and one that `knoweth not God.’" In fact, Bildad consigned Job to hell with the bitterest language that he could command, suggesting that no punishment could be any worse than Job deserved.

Behind the cruel, vituperative language of this chapter, one should recognize the frustration of Satan at his inability to move Job from his integrity. If God had not forbidden it, Satan would no doubt have brought about Job’s murder.

Job 18:1-4


"Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

How long will ye hunt for words?

Consider, and afterward we will speak.

Wherefore are we counted as beasts,

And are become unclean in your sight?

That thou tearest thyself in thine anger,

Shall the earth be forsaken for thee?

Or shall the rock be removed out of its place?"

As Kline stated it, "These later speeches of Job’s friends degenerate into irrelevant harangues on the woes of the wicked." Bildad’s speech here, especially in Job 18:5-21, demonstrates this characteristic. "His speech has no significance." It is simply a description of what Bildad supposed would be the fate of the wicked; but, in that description, "He included many allusions that applied particularly to Job."

"Wherefore are we counted as beasts" (Job 18:3)? "This is an allusion to what Job had said about his comforters `gaping upon him with their mouths’ (Job 16:10)."

"Shall the earth be forsaken for thee" (Job 18:4)? Since Job is beating himself to death against the law of the whole creation (as Bildad viewed his law of retribution), he charged here that, "Job seemed to expect the whole universe to be redesigned just for him."

E.M. Zerr:

Job 18:1-2. It was Bildad’s turn next to speak. This paragraph means that he wants Job to keep still so the rest of them could speak.

Job 18:3. This was a false accusation. Job had even admitted many of the things they had said, but denied only that they pertained to the case.

Job 18:4. How absurd was the statement in the light of what we have read. Job has been meeting all the claims of the friends with sound reasoning. But such extravagant remarks as these of Bildad give evidence that he is at his limit of his words.

Verses 5-21

Job 18:5-21

Job 18:5-21


"Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out,

And the spark of his fire shall not shine.

The light shall be dark in his tent,

And his lamp above him shall be put out.

The steps of his strength shall be straightened

And his own counsel shall cast him down.

For he is cast into a net by his own feet,

And he walketh upon the toils.

A gin shall take him by the heel,

And a snare shall lay hold on him.

A noose is hid for him in the ground,

And a trap for him in the way.

Terrors shall make him afraid on every side,

And shall chase him at his heels.

His strength shall be hunger-bitten,

And calamity shall be ready at his side.

The members of his body shall be devoured,

Yea, the first-born of death shall devour his members.

He shall be rooted out of his tent where he trusteth;

And he shall be brought to the king of terrors.

There shall dwell in his tent that which is none of his:

Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.

His roots shall be dried up beneath,

And above shall his branch be cut off.

His remembrance shall perish from the earth,

And he shall have no name in the street.

He shall be driven from light into darkness,

And chased out of the world.

He shall have neither son nor son’s son among his people.

Nor any remaining where he sojourned.

They that come after shall be astonished at his day,

As they that went before were affrighted.

Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,

And this is the place of him that knoweth not God."

"Bildad here painted a dark picture of the fate of the wicked." The only thing wrong with it was that it bore no resemblance to the truth. How could he have thought that, "The remembrance of the wicked shall perish from the earth" (Job 18:17)? Even a fool should have known that the extremely wicked make up the vast majority of mankind whose names shine forever on the pages of history. Not for a moment can we agree with Blair that this wicked description of the fate of the wicked is, "More powerful than any other in the Bible." As Rawlinson noted, "Bildad was only stringing together a list of `ancient saws.’" But, as Watson wrote, "It is a cold creed indeed that is built on the wisdom of this world."

Again returning to Bildad’s ridiculous idea that the remembrance of the wicked shall perish (Job 18:17), Bildad himself would refute his silly allegation. His name, and that of his evil friends, all of them special agents of Satan himself, would be remembered forever in the pages of the Bible. Also, think of Cain, Esau, Balaam, Abimelech, Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, many of the reprobate kings of Israel, the brutal and ruthless rulers of the Gentiles, etc, - the list is endless! And, as for such men having, "no name in the street" (Job 18:17 b), just take a look at the monuments that stand in the streets of all nations. Countless numbers of them memorialize the names of the wickedest men in their respective generations! How blind was Bildad!

"His lamp above him shall be put out" (Job 18:6). "There is no doubt that Bildad applied every word of this to Job."

"Six kinds of snares or traps are mentioned in Job 18:8-10";[12] and Bildad’s point here is that there’s no possible way for Job to escape; he might as well admit his wickedness!

Andersen’s paraphrase of Job 18:11-13 is:

"His plump body becomes emaciated,

His ribs stick right out,

Disease corrodes his kin,

Death’s eldest son swallows his organs."

"The first-born of death ... the king of terrors" (Job 18:13-14). "The first of these is probably the worst pestilence, and the `king of terrors’ is death itself."

"Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation" (Job 18:15). Fire and brimstone were rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness; and hell itself was eventually described as the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. It is not hard to read Bildad’s evil thoughts toward Job in remarks such as this.

"And this is the place of him that knoweth not God" (Job 18:21). "The use of the singular pronoun here and in the preceding clause indicates that this whole series of denunciations (Job 18:5-21) is leveled against an individual, namely, Job."

E.M. Zerr:

Job 18:5-10. I have grouped these verses into one paragraph because they all are to the same effect. They give a good description of a foolish and boastful man, but the information was unnecessary, for it did not apply to this afflicted man.

Job 18:11. This implied what was untrue for Job had manifested unusual courage amid all of his terrible afflictions.

Job 18:12-13. This paragraph implied that Job was stricken with hunger and other destitute conditions as a result of his sins. That has been exposed many times.

Job 18:14. When king is used figuratively it has the significance of something gigantic. The verse means that a character like the one just described will be confronted with huge troubles that will terrify him.

Job 18:15. This king of terrors will take possession of the evil man’s tabernacle and treat him as if it were not his own by rightful possession, but that it belonged to this "king." Brimstone was used to indicate the burning shame that would envelop the habitation of the wicked person, all of which is not to be denied.

Job 18:16-18. This paragraph will take the same comments as Job 18:5-10.

Job 18:19. It was true that Job lost all of his family, but it was not true that it was because of any fault of his.

Job 18:20. Yes, no doubt that the people who lived after Job’s day were astonied (astonished). However, it was because of the remarkable recovery that he made.

Job 18:21. All of this verse was true but had no application to Job. Therefore the speech was wasted as far as the real issue was concerned.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 18". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-18.html.
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