Job 25:1. Then answered Bildad — Who makes the last weak effort against Job; and being unable to deny the truth of his assertions, but at the same time unwilling to give up the argument, shelters himself behind the acknowledged attributes of God, power, justice, and purity, and the infirmities of human nature. Probably he and the rest of Job’s friends now perceived that Job and they did not differ so much as they had thought. They owned that the wicked might prosper for a while; and Job owned they would be destroyed at the last. As to the point of bringing Job to confess himself guilty of some enormous crimes, which they at first rashly supposed had drawn this heavy judgment upon him, that is completely given up, and Bildad satisfies himself with an evasive answer to what Job had observed on that head, to this purpose, namely, that no man, strictly speaking, can be justified before God; man being at best a frail and fallible creature, and God a being of infinite purity and perfection; an argument which concerned Job no more than themselves, but equally involved them all in the same class of sinners. This answer has no reference to what Job spake last, but to that which seemed most reproveable in all his discourses, his censure of God’s proceedings with him, and his desire of disputing the matter with him. Bildad’s sentiments are extremely good and pious, but they are but little to the purpose, since he is now reduced to advance what Job had never disputed. “As we here take our leave,” says Dr. Dodd, “of the arguments urged by Job’s friends, we may just observe, in conclusion, that nothing could be more untoward than this conduct of theirs, to bring a charge against him which they could not prove, and from which his well- known virtue and integrity of life ought to have screened him. But, though Job very plainly shows them the injustice and inhumanity of this procedure; nay, though he confutes them so far that they had nothing to reply, yet, like modern disputants, they stood out to the last, and had not the grace to own their mistake, till God himself was pleased to thunder it in their ears. Here, then, we have a lively instance of the force of prejudice and prepossession.”
Job 25:2. Dominion and fear are with him — Absolute and sovereign power over all persons and things, so that it is both rebellion and madness to contend with him; and terror, which justly makes him dreadful to all men, and especially to all that undertake to dispute with him. In other words, awful majesty and infinite knowledge are his, whereby he is much better acquainted with men’s hearts and ways than they are themselves, and sees much sin in them, which themselves do not discover; and to him belong also exact purity and justice, which render him formidable to sinners. These are with him whom thou challengest; with him who is not lightly and irreverently to be named, much less to be contended with; and therefore it is thy duty to humble thyself before him, and quietly and modestly to submit thyself and thy cause to his pleasure. He maketh peace in his high places — This clause, as well as the following verse, seems to be added, to prove God’s dominion and dreadfulness; he keepeth and ruleth all persons and things in heaven, in peace and harmony. The angels, though they be very numerous, all own his sovereignty, and acquiesce in his pleasure. The stars, though vast in their bulk, and various in their motions, exactly keep the order which God hath appointed them: and therefore it is great folly for thee to quarrel with the methods of God’s dealings with thee.
Job 25:3. Is there any number of his armies? — Of his angels, and stars, and other creatures, all which are his hosts, wholly submitting themselves to his will, to be and to do whatever he pleases. And, therefore, how insolent and unreasonable a thing it is to quarrel with him, or resist his will! Upon whom doth not his light arise? — The light of the sun is communicated to all parts of the world. This is a faint resemblance of the cognizance and care which God takes of the whole creation. All are under the light of his knowledge: all partake of the light of his goodness: his pleasure is to show mercy: all the creatures live upon his bounty.
Job 25:4. How then can man be justified with God? — That is, before God’s tribunal, to which thou dost so boldly appeal. Thou mayest plead thy cause with thy fellow-worms, as we are, and expect to be justified; but wo to thee, if the great God undertake to plead his cause against thee: how severely and certainly wouldest thou be condemned! The word used for man here, אנושׁ, enosh, signifies miserable man, which supposes him to be sinful; and that such a creature should quarrel with that dominion of God to which the sinless, and happy, and glorious angels willingly submit, is absurd and impious.
Job 25:5. Behold, even to the moon, and it shineth not — The moon, though bright and glorious, if compared with the divine majesty, is without any lustre or glory. By his naming the moon, and thence proceeding to the stars, he shows that he includes the sun also, and all other creatures, and signifies that the brightest and most glorious objects in nature shine not when compared with God’s ineffable and essential brightness. Indeed, the highest order of beings make but small advances to the essential perfection which is in him; so that, when a comparison is made, their highest purity will be little less than impurity, when brought before the standard of divine perfection.
Job 25:6. How much less man, that is a worm — Mean, vile, and impotent; proceeding from corruption, and returning to it. And the son of man — For miserable man, in the last clause, he here puts the son of any man, to show that this is true, even of the greatest and best of men. Let us then wonder at the condescension of God, in taking such worms into covenant and communion with himself!
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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 25". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Lent