Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 8:7

"Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will increase greatly.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Righteous;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Bildad;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Though thy beginning was small - Thy former state, compared to that into which God would have brought thee, would be small; for to show his respect for thy piety, because thou hadst, through thy faithful attachment to him, suffered the loss of all things, he would have greatly multiplied thy former prosperity, so that thou shouldest now have vastly more than thou didst ever before possess.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-8.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Though thy beginning was small - On the supposition that the children of Job had been cut off, his family now was small. Yet Bildad says, that if he were to begin life again, even with so small a family, and in such depressed and trying circumstances, if he were a righteous man he might hope for returning prosperity.

Yet thy latter end - From this, it is evident that Job was not now regarded as an old man. He would still have the prospect of living many years. Some have supposed, however that the meaning here is, that his former prosperity should appear small compared with that which he would hereafter enjoy if he were pure and righteous. So Noyes and Rosenmuller interpret it. But it seems to me that the former interpretation is the correct one. Bildad utters a general sentiment, that though when a man begins life he has a small family and little property, yet if he is an upright man, he will be prospered and his possessions will greatly increase; compare Job 42:12: “Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than the beginning.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-8.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 8:7

Though thy beginning was small.

The day of small things

Small beginnings, in certain cases, are productive of great ends.

I. The conditions of success. Though obvious and simple, they are very easily overlooked. A pure motive seems the first. A double aim rarely succeeds. The man who has only one aim has only one enemy to encounter. Another “condition of success” may be found in the nature of the aim. Where we aim at that which is good--that which conduces to God’s glory, or man’s benefit, or to both--we have singular advantages on our side. The waves are on the side of God’s enemies; they “cast up mire and dirt,” but that is all. The current is on the side of His friends--of those, as we said above, who seek to do good. One other condition of success, always infallible, if not always essential, is a distinct promise on our side. What God promises, He predicts; what He predicts, He performs.

II. Some of the special cases to which these considerations apply. And the preaching of the Gospel in the world as a “witness,” is that which comes to hand first. How insignificant and small was its beginning! It is true that other religions also have prevailed widely from a small beginning, but they are only subordinate illustrations, so to speak; for they prevailed, so far as they did, from the modicum of Bible truth which they had in them as compared with the religions they displaced. Thus, Buddhism and Christianity, for example, were each founded by one man; but the man in one case was a peasant, in the other was a prince. So Mohammedanism spread by conquering; Christianity, by being conquered. Brahminism, again, prevails in India, but in India alone, I believe; in all other lands it is an exotic which cannot maintain life; whereas Christianity holds sway, even if hated, among all the leading races of the world. Another case is that of the growth of grace in the heart. In this let no one despise the day of small things; let no one be surprised not to find himself a full-grown Christian in one night. If in other respects your beginning seems right, it is all the better, if anything, for being small. The work of God’s Spirit is gradual, as a rule. (Mathematicus, M. A.)

Beginning to be interpreted by the end

If evolution can be proved to include man, the whole course of evolution and the whole system of nature from that moment assume a new significance. The beginning must then be interpreted from the end, not the end from the beginning. An engineering workshop is unintelligible until we reach the room where the completed engine stands. Everything culminates in that final product, is contained in it, is explained by it. The evolution of man is also the completion and corrective of all other forms of evolution. From this point only is there a full view, a true perspective, a consistent world. (H. Drummond.)

The beginning, increase, and end of the Divine life

This was the reasoning of Bildad the Shuhite. He wished to prove that Job could not possibly be an upright man, for if he were so, he here affirms that his prosperity would increase continually, or that if he fell into any trouble, God would awake for him, and make the habitation of his righteousness prosperous. Now, the utterances of Bildad, and of the other two men who came to comfort Job, but who made his wounds tingle, are not to be accepted as being inspired. They spake as men--as mere men. With regard to the passage which I have selected as a text, it is true--altogether apart from its being said by Bildad, or being found in the Bible at all; it is true, as indeed the facts of the Book of Job prove: for Job did greatly increase in his latter end. Evil things may seem to begin well, but they end badly; there is the flash and the glare, but afterwards the darkness and the black ash. Not so, however, with good. With, good the beginning is ever small; but its latter end doth greatly increase. “The path of the just is as the shining light,” which sheds a few flickering rays at first, Which exercises a combat with the darkness, but it “shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Good things progress.

I. First, then, for the quieting of your fears. Thou sayest, my hearer, “I am but a beginner in grace, and therefore I am vexed with anxiety, and full of timorousness.” Perhaps thy first fear, if I put it into words, is this: “My beginning is so small that I cannot tell when it did begin, and therefore, methinks I cannot have been converted, but am still in the gall of bitterness.” O beloved! how many thousands like thyself have been exercised with doubts upon this point! Be encouraged; it is not needful for you to know when you were regenerated; it is but necessary for you to know that you are so. If thou canst set no date to the beginning of thy faith, yet if thou dost believe now, thou art saved. Does it not strike you as being very foolish reasoning if you should say in your heart, “I am not converted because I do not know when”? Nay, with such reasoning as that, I could prove that old Rome was never built, because the precise date of her building is unknown; nay, we might declare that the world was never made, for its exact age even the geologist cannot tell us. Another doubt also arises from this point. “Ah! sir,” saith a timid Christian, “it is not merely the absence of all date to my conversion, but the extreme weakness of the grace I have.” “Ah,” saith one, “I sometimes think I have a little faith, but it is so mingled with unbelief, distrust, and incredulity, that I can hardly think it is God’s gift, the faith of God’s elect.” When God begins to build, if He lay but one single stone He will finish the structure; when Christ sits down to weave, though He casts the shuttle but once, and that time the thread was so filmy as scarcely to be discernible, He will nevertheless continue till the piece is finished, and the whole is wrought. If thy faith be never so little, yet it is immortal, and that immortality may well compensate for its littleness. Having thus spoken upon two fears, which are the result of these small beginnings, let me now try to quiet another. “Ah!” saith the heir of heaven, “I do hope that in me grace hath Commenced its work, but my fear is, that such frail faith as mine will never stand the test of years. I am,” saith he, “so weak, that one temptation would be too much for me; how then can I hope to pass through yonder forest of spears held in the hands of valiant enemies? A drop makes me tremble, how shall I stem the roaring flood of life and death? Let but one arrow fly from hell, it penetrates my tender flesh; what then if Satan shall empty his quiver? I shall surely fall by the hand of the enemy. My beginnings are so small that I am certain they will soon come to their end, and that end must be black despair.” Be of good courage, have done with that fear once for all; it is true, as thou sayest, the temptation will be too much for thee, but what hast thou to do with it? Heaven is not to be won by thy might, but by the might of Him who has promised heaven to thee. Let me seek to quiet and pacify one other fear. “Nay, but,” say you, “I never can be saved; for when I look at other people, at God’s own true children,--I am ashamed to say it,--I am but a miserable copy of them. So far from attaining to the image of my Master, I fear I am not even like my Master’s servants. I live at a poor dying rate. I sometimes run, but oftener creep, and seldom if ever fly. Where others are shaking mountains, I am stumbling over molehills.” If some little star in the sky should declare it was not a star, because it did not shine as brightly as Sirius or Arcturus, how foolish would be its argument! Hast thou ever learned to distinguish between grace and gifts? For know that they are marvellously dissimilar. A man may be saved who has not a grain of gifts; but no man can be saved who hath no grace. Have you ever learned to distinguish between grace that saves, and the grace which develops itself afterwards. Remember, there are some graces that are absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul; there are some others that are only necessary to its comfort. Faith, for instance, is absolutely necessary for salvation; but assurance is not.

II. Upon this head I wish to say a word or two for the confirmation of your faith. Well, the first confirmation I would offer you is this: Our beginnings are very, very small, but we have a joyous prospect in our text. Our latter end shall greatly increase; we shall not always be so distrustful as we are now. Thank God, we look for days when our faith shall be unshaken, and firm as mountains be. I shall not forever have to mourn before my God that I cannot love Him as I would. We are growing things. Methinks I hear the green blade say this morning, “I shall not forever be trodden under foot as if I were but grass; I shall grow; I shall blossom; I shall grow ripe and mellow; and many a man shall sharpen his sickle for me. But further, thin cheering prospect upon earth is quite eclipsed by a more cheering prospect, beyond the river Death.” Our latter end shall greatly increase. Faith shall give place to fruition; hope shall be occupied with enjoyment; love itself shall be swallowed up in ecstasy. Mine eyes, ye shall not forever weep; there are sights of transport for you. Tongue, thou shalt not forever have to mourn, and be the instrument of confession; there are songs and hallelujahs for thee. Perhaps someone may say, “How is it that we are so sure that our latter end will increase?” I give you just these reasons:--we are quite sure of it because there is a vitality in our piety. The sculptor may have oftentimes cut in marble some exquisite statue of a babe. That has come to its full size; it will never grow any greater. When I see a wise man in the world, I look at him as being just such an infant. He will never grow any greater. He has come to his full. He is but chiselled out by human power; there is no vitality in him. The Christian here on earth is a babe, but not a babe in stone--a babe instinct with life. Besides this, we feel that we must come to something better, because God is with us. We are quite certain that what we are, cannot be the end of God’s design. We are only the chalk crayon, rough drawings of men, yet when we come to be filled up in eternity, we shall be marvellous pictures, and our latter end indeed shall be greatly increased. Christian! remember, for the encouragement of thy poor soul, that what thou art now is not the measure of thy safety; thy safety depends not upon what thou art, but on what Christ is.

III. Now for our last point, namely, for the quickening of our diligence.

1. First, take heed to yourself that you obey the commandments which relate to the ordinances of Christ. But further, if thou wouldst get out of the littleness of thy beginnings, wait much upon the means of grace. Read much the Word of God alone. Rest not till thou hast fed on the Word; and thus shall thy little beginnings come to great endings.

2. Be much also in prayer. God’s plants grow fastest in the warm atmosphere of the closet.

3. And, lastly, if thy beginning be but small, make the best use of the beginning that thou hast. Hast thou but one talent? Put it out at interest, and make two of it. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 8:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-8.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Though thy beginning was small,.... When, he first set out in the world; and which though it greatly increased, and he was the greatest man in all the east, yet Bildad suggests, should he behave well, that was comparatively small to what it would be with him hereafter; and which was fact, for he had double of what he before enjoyed; so Mr. Broughton renders the words, "and thy former state should be little to thy latter": or rather the sense and meaning is, "though thy beginning should be small"F18והיה "etsi fuerit", so some in Michaelis. ; be it so that it is; or rather that though he should begin again in the world with very little, as indeed at present he had nothing to begin with, and when he did it was but with little; one gave him a piece of money, and another an earring of gold:

yet thy latter end should greatly increase; as it did, for the Lord blessed his latter end, and he had more than at the beginning, even double to what he had in his most flourishing circumstances; see Job 42:11, &c. Bildad seems to have spoken under a spirit of prophecy, without being sensible of it, and not imagining in the least that so it would be in fact; for he only affirms it on supposition of Job's good behaviour for the future, putting it entirely upon that condition, which he had no great expectation of it ever being performed.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Though thy beginning d was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

(d) Though the beginning is not as pleasant as you would like, yet in the end you will have sufficient opportunity to please yourself.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

thy beginning — the beginning of thy new happiness after restoration.

latter end — (Job 42:12; Proverbs 23:18).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-8.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 8:7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

Ver. 7. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase] Thy recent losses God will recompense with interest; and the felicity which he prepareth for thee shall be far greater than the loss whereof thou dost now regret; for he will enrich thee to admiration, thy latter end shall be ineffable (so the Septuagint have it), such as none shall be able to utter or describe, τα εσχατα σου αμυθητα. See Job 40:10; Job 40:12. The day of small things is not to be despised, Zechariah 4:10. Every former mercy is a pledge of a future; and to him that hath shall be given. God delighteth to help his people with a little help at first, to crumble his mercies to us, as one phraseth it; to give us his blessings by retail, to maintain trading and communion between him and us. So the cloud emptieth not itself at a sudden burst, but dissolveth upon the earth drop after drop.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 8:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-8.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Job 8:7

Little beginnings in your hearts will lead to great ends.

I. The first thing I should mention is the little feeling that people have in their own hearts about their sin. Josiah was a very good boy. What is said about him? "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God" (2 Chronicles 34:27). That was a sure beginning.

II. Sometimes we feel a battle in our hearts, a struggle, something good and something naughty. They seem to fight. At last we get the victory over something. That is a sure beginning when boys or girls begin to feel a struggle in their own hearts, because by nature people feel no struggle. So God said to Adam and Eve, "I will put enmity"—a struggle. It is a sign for good.

III. Notice another thing—beginning to feel an interest in good things. Some children do not like going to church, reading their Bibles they think stupid and dull, and they only do it because they must. When a boy or girl finds a pleasure in these things, then there is a good beginning.

IV. When you try to be useful, when you begin to be religious, you will want to do good things. Your small things will become great things; that is, your soft heart will get softer, till it becomes quite soft enough to take the impression of God's image. The struggle with sin will go on till you get a victory over your own sins and over Satan, and you will come forth more than conquerors. Your pleasure in good things will increase; you will go on and on in usefulness while you live, till finally you will go to that place where "His servants shall serve Him" throughout eternity.

J. Vaughan, Children's Sermons, 1875, p. 82.


Reference: Job 8:7.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi., p. 311.


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/job-8.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The sense is either,

1. Though thou hadst possessed but very little at first, yet God would have wonderfully blessed and increased thy estate; whereas now God hath brought thee down from a great estate almost to nothing; which is an evidence of his displeasure, and thy hypocrisy. Or,

2. Though the beginning of thy future fortunes, or though what thou hast left, be now very small, yet if thou dost repent and seek God, it shall vastly increase.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 8:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-8.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.Though And if. An unconscious prophecy of what actually took place.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-8.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 8:7. Though thy beginning was small — The sense is either, 1st, Though thou hadst possessed but very little at first, yet God would have wonderfully blessed and increased thy estate: whereas, now he hath brought thee down from a great estate almost to nothing; which is an evidence of his displeasure and of thy hypocrisy. Or, 2d, Though what thou hast left be now very little, yet if thou repent and seek God it shall vastly increase.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 8:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-8.html. 1857.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

Thy beginning - the beginning of thy new happiness after restoration.

Latter end. So it actually came to pass, but not as Bildad supposed; for not the friends, but Job was justified by God after he had humbled himself before God: "The Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning" (Job 42:12); "Surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off" (Proverbs 23:18).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-8.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
thy beginning
42:12,13; Proverbs 4:18; Zechariah 4:10; Matthew 13:12,31,32
thy latter
Deuteronomy 8:16; Proverbs 19:20; Zechariah 14:7; 2 Peter 2:20
Reciprocal: Genesis 32:10 - my staff;  2 Samuel 3:1 - David waxed;  1 Kings 18:44 - a little cloud;  Ezra 3:12 - when the foundation;  Job 42:10 - the Lord;  Psalm 72:16 - There;  Psalm 107:41 - setteth;  Proverbs 3:33 - he blesseth

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 8:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-8.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase."Job 8:7

So life is not to be judged by its beginning, but by its end.—This is true, scientifically as well as morally.—We need not doubt that the beginning of all life was small: but who can deny that the development of life has been sure, profound, and beneficent?—Man may have had the lowliest possible origin, yet he brings with him a seal higher than human; the very token of God is in his spirit; his very figure is an argument and a suggestion.—The text encourages the spirit of hope.—The Bible does not incite us towards mere review; it continually calls us to anticipation: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be."—We might look back until our spirits sickened and all our hope perished in coldness and dismay; but we are to look forward and behold ourselves, sanctified and glorified, the purpose of our manhood in full fruition, and the service of God becoming the very music of our life.—There is a review of life which is simply unprofitable; when we have settled that our origin was as low as possible, we have done nothing to encourage the soul, but rather to bring it into self-contempt: but when, in the Spirit of Christ, we forecast the future, seeing what God meant us to be when he created us, then we have an ideal towards which we can grow; we are beckoned by a celestial perfection, and assured that every effort in that direction will be crowned with the fullest reward.—This message may be delivered to those who have just begun to believe in the Son of God.—The kingdom of God itself is like unto a grain of mustard-seed.—At first our faith may be small, hardly indeed distinguishable from unbelief; our prayer may be "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief": but the very fact that we have begun to believe should cheer us, and bring with it the assurance that this faith will grow, until it dominates the whole life and rules the destiny, beyond the reach of temptation or overthrow on the part of the enemy.—What man ceases to nurture his body, because his beginning as an infant was small? He does not dwell upon the days when he could neither speak, nor reason, nor help himself: when he looks back, upon those days, it is with wonder that his advance has been so great and so sure; what is true in the flesh is truer still in the spirit; we began at a point almost invisible, but, by the grace of God, we have been trained to some measure of manhood, strength, and dominance.—What has been done is but a hint of what may yet be done.—"My soul, hope thou in God."

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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 8:7". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/job-8.html. 1885-95.