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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 25

 

 

Verse 1

Job 25:1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

Ver. 1. Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said] A pithy and ponderous speech he here maketh, though little to the purpose, for he quite digresseth from the question in hand concerning the wicked’s flourishing, and saints’ sufferings, he chooseth to sing the same song with his fellows, concerning the power and purity of God above all creatures. See Job 4:18; Job 15:15. Some men are of that mind, that they will never be said or set down, but strive to have the last word. This was Peter’s vanity and the rest of the disciples, Matthew 26:35, which our Saviour winked at till time should confute them, as it also did soon after.


Verse 2

Job 25:2 Dominion and fear [are] with him, he maketh peace in his high places.

Ver. 2. Dominion and fear are with him] God is therefore to be feared, because Lord over all. If an earthly king be so dread a sovereign, if an apparition of angels hath so amazed the best men, who would net fear that King of nations, since to him doth it appertain? Jeremiah 10:7. "God is greatly to be feared in the assemblies of his saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are round about him," Psalms 89:7. Power and terror are with him, so the Vulgate hath it here. He that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell, is surely to be feared; yea, therefore to be feared, Matthew 10:28. If servants should fear their masters because they have power over the flesh, Colossians 3:23, what should we do, since he can sooner undo us than bid it be done?

He maketh peace in his high places] Or, Among his high persons, those heavenly courtiers, the angels and saints. By an unchangeable decree, God keepeth all persons and things in the heavens, both visible and invisible, in a most firm and quiet condition, so that there is no clashing, but a happy harmony among them. He appeaseth, saith Senault, the differences of the elements, and obligeth them to force their own inclinations, to preserve the quiet of the world. He shakes all the heavens with so much evenness, that in the contrariety of their motions they never disorder themselves. Finally, He maintains peace among the angels, and tempering his justice with his goodness, he makes himself equally loved and feared of those blessed spirits. Therefore Job did ill, saith Mayer, to offer to make a disturbance there (as Bildad at least conceited he did), where there was all peace, Job 23:4.


Verse 3

Job 25:3 Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?

Ver. 3. Is there any number of his armies?] God is Lord of hosts; and, as the Rabbis well observe, he hath his upper forces and his lower forces, as his horse and foot, ready pressed. The upper are here chiefly meant, viz. the angels and stars, as appeareth by the context. An est numerus expeditorum? so Brentius rendereth it; Tremellius, turmariorum, of his troopers? they are innumerable, and yet no variance among them; this is admirable. The army of Nineveh was quiet, no failing out nor complaining in their hosts, therefore did their king march on, pass through, Nahum 1:12. The Turks’ military discipline at this day is beyond that of all other nations in the world besides; yea, beyond that of the old Greeks or Romans. There is no quarrelling heard at any time among their many soldiers, no, nor any words at all. Perpetuum silentium tenent ut muti, saith Cuspinianus. There is perpetual silence kept, and most ready obedience yielded to the dumb signs and noddings of their officers. But all this is nothing to that in heaven. Of God’s hosts, together with their number, order, and obedience, see my treatise called The Righteous Man’s Recompense.

And upon whom doth not his light arise?] That is, his sun, that prince of planets, but servant of the saints (as his name importeth), whose "going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof," Psalms 19:6. It is called, His light, because, as he made it, so he gathered into it, as into a vessel, that first light, which before was scattered here and there in the heavens. Some there are that understand this text of the light of God’s omniscience; others, of his beneficence. Quis est quem non superet luce bonitate sum? (Merlin) Who is it whom he overcometh not with the light of his goodness? Surely all the good that is in the creature is but a spark of his flame, a drop of his ocean.


Verse 4

Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean [that is] born of a woman?

Ver. 4. How then can man be justified with God?] Homo frivolus, so the Tygurines translate. How can frivolous man, sorry man, morbis mortique obnoxius, man subject to diseases and death; how can such a man, so mortal and miserable, a mass of mortalities, a map of miseries, a very mixture and compound of dirt and sin, be justified with God? How can he be perfect within himself without the gift of grace, without an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Just One, who alone is the propitiation for our sins, 1 John 2:2, Romans 3:25, who is made unto us of God, wisdom, righteousness, &c.? 1 Corinthians 1:30.

Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?] And therefore born in sin and under a curse, the sign whereof appears in the woman’s bearing and bringing forth, Genesis 3:6. Our whole nativity is impure. Hence in the law it is commanded, that the woman should be unclean seven days, that the child should be circumcised on the eighth day; and that the mother should remain three and thirty days in the blood of her purification, Leviticus 12:4. For by nature we are all children of wrath; and that which is born of the flesh is flesh. Neither can any one bring a clean thing out of an unclean, Job 14:4. {See Trapp on "Job 14:4"} Surely as a slave begetteth a slave, so doth a sinner beget a sinner. Hence we are loathsome to God, as a toad is to us, because poison is in the nature of it. Infantes ergo non sunt insontes, Infants are not innocents, though we commonly call them so, because free from actual sin, they having not yet "sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression," as the apostle expresseth it, Romans 5:14. But. the first sheet or blanket wherein they are covered is woven of sin, shame, blood, and filth, as may be seen Ezekiel 16:4; Ezekiel 16:6. This should teach us modesty and lowly mindedness.

Unde superbit homo cuius conceptio turpis?

Whence with the man overcome whose conception is shameful.


Verse 5

Job 25:5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.

Ver. 5. Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not] i.e. Either descend in thy thoughts, from the highest orbs as low as the moon; or else ascend from gold, gems, jewels, and other orient resplendent creatures, as high as the moon and stars, and comparing them with the surpassing majesty of God, thou shalt find no more beauty or brightness in them than is in a lump of earth or clod of clay; those heavenly lights will appear to be as so many snuffs. Or if thou canst discover no spots and blemishes in them, yet God can, without the help of any such perspective glasses as Galileo got him to explore the mountains on the moon. Some think it was by moonlight that this speech was uttered, and therefore the moon is mentioned. But as the moon is confounded, so the sun also is ashamed when the Lord of hosts will display the beams of his glory, Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 60:19. There is a learned interpreter (Mr Abbot) who thus paraphraseth the test: Consider, that by reason of the fall of man, the very creatures that in themselves are sinless, yea, the very moon and stars (that are so far from earth, and so near to heaven), have contracted defilement, and are blemished; so that with God, for man’s sake, and by man’s sin, even they are not accounted free from pollution in his sight: thus he. The visible heavens are defiled by our sins, and must therefore be purged by the fire of the last day; as of old the vessel that held the sin offering was to be broken if earthen, or to pass the fire if of better metal.

Yea, the stars are not pure in his sight] Whatever they are in ours. A thing that I see in the night may shine, and that shining proceed from nothing but rottenness. There is a comparative imperfection and impurity in the stars and angels, Job 4:18.


Verse 6

Job 25:6 How much less man, [that is] a worm? and the son of man, [which is] a worm?

Ver. 6. How much less man, that is a worm?] He saith not, as a worm, but a worm itself, so Psalms 22:6, "I am a worm, and no man"; nullificamen hominis, as Tertullian somewhere phraseth it. David in the Arabic signifieth a worm, saith one, to which he may seem in that psalm to allude. The word here rendered a worm, signifieth a small worm bred in cheese or flesh, a mite, a maggot, Vermis parvus in carne aut caseo nascens, Exodus 16:24. Others say, it signifieth rottenness, which hath no strength. Hereby man, convinced of his infirmity, vanity, and impurity, should learn Virium suarum ουδενειαν agnoscere, to give glory to God, and to take shame to himself.

And the son of man, which is a worm?] Lumbricus, quo vix quidquam contemptius nominari potest, So vile and abject a creature is man. The greater is God’s mercy to look upon such a walking dunghill: learn hereby to know God and thyself, which is the highest point of heavenly wisdom.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 25:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-25.html. 1865-1868.

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