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Bible Commentaries

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Job 8

 

 

Verse 1

"Whereas Eliphaz had begun politely, Bildad in his shorter speech began abruptly" (Zuck p. 43). His opening is blunt. He seems upset that Job has not listened to the advice given by Eliphaz, and that Job is blowing a lot of hot air in response, "And the words of your mouth be a mighty wind?" The Hebrew here means a wind both strong and abundant, that is, "Job"s words were like a lengthy and heavy windstorm" (E. Dhorme, A Commentary on the Book of Job, p. 112). Jackson compares Bildad to the proverbial "bull in a china shop".


Verse 3

Bildad reasons that to complain, as Job is doing, is to accuse God of being unjust. Seeing that God never distorts justice, He certainly would not be punishing Job for nothing. He reasons that if Job had not sinned, such would mean that God is perverting justice, therefore, Job must be guilty of sin.


Verse 4

"With thoughtless cruelty, Bildad referred to Job"s dead children in an effort to demonstrate his point. Bildad thus hinted that Job"s sacrifices for his children (1:5) had no expiatory value; they died because they sinned. And that was why Job was dying" (Zuck p. 44). "Rubbing fresh salt in a raw wound, he pronounces the verdict that Job"s children died for their sins as proof that God"s justice operates on a straight line and without a twist" (McKenna p. 80). It is amazing that Job does not jump up at this point and yell, "Hey, leave my children out of this".


Verse 5

Notice the "if". If Job is as innocent as he claims, all he needed to do was look to God and plead with Him. "Bildad was saying Job should seek God, not expect God to search for him. Such a simple step, Bildad claimed, would result in God"s restoring Job to a place of blessing that would make his former estate seem like nothing" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 730).


Verse 8

"Please inquire of past generations": Eliphaz had supported his viewpoint by appealing to his own experiences (4:8). Bildad sought to appeal to a higher authority, that is observations made by people of the past, that is, "tradition". Bildad believed that history was on his side and confirmed his point of view.


Verse 9

"For we are only of yesterday and know nothing": Each individual"s life is very short and thus his own knowledge limited, therefore we should consider the entire human experience.


Verse 10

"Will they not teach you": The ancients possess wisdom. He claims "that the instruction comes from the depth of their understanding (mind,heart), and not from their lips as mere verbal advice" (Strauss p. 79).


Verse 11

"Just as a papyrus plant and reeds cannot grow without water and so wither without even being cut, the wicked cannot sustain themselves without uprightness, and they soon lose their evident prosperity" (Zuck p. 45). Just as plants cannot survive without water, thus the man who forgets God will not prosper.


Verse 14

"Whose trust a spider"s web": Anything in which the godless may seek to hope, is as flimsy as a spider"s web. He has nothing upon which to lean. Therefore, Job"s confidence in his innocence is as fragile as a spider"s web.


Verse 15

The term "house" here includes, his family, establishment, and resources. "Bildad insinuated that Job was depending on his possessions for his security" (Zuck p. 45). Bildad then compares the godless to a plant that seems to thrive, its branches filling the garden, its roots spreading upon the stones, but it is quickly uprooted, and the place where it was thriving disowns it. "Like the gourd that prospers in its season and then dies without leaving a trace of its existence" (McKenna p. 83).


Verse 18

In fact, the godless man is uprooted and others simply take his place. Hence Job, the once prosperous man, has been uprooted and others are taking his place.


Verse 20

Once again the claim that God never allows the righteous to suffer and another call for Job to repent. Ironically, Bildad will be one of Job"s enemies who was later shamed (8:22; 42:7-9).

 


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Bibliography Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 8:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-8.html. 1999-2014.

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