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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 25

 

 

Verse 1

CHAP. XXV.

Bildad observes, that the dominion of God is supreme; that his armies are innumerable; and that no man can be just, compared with God.

Before Christ 1645.

Job 25:1. Then answered Bildad The last weak effort against Job is made by Bildad. The three friends, finding themselves quite baffled in their purpose, which was, to make Job confess himself guilty of some enormous crimes, which they rashly supposed to have drawn this heavy judgment upon him; instead of ingenuously owning themselves in the wrong, which, if one may guess from the usual issue of disputes, is one of the hardest things in the world, this grave antagonist satisfies himself with an evasive answer 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: which is an argument that concerned Job no more than themselves, but must involve them all, without distinction, in the same class of sinners. As we here take our leave 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 shews 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.


Verse 2

Job 25:2. Dominion and fear are with him Dominion and terror are his attendants, while he distributeth perfect justice from the height of his exaltation. Heath. See Hosea 9:7. Micah 7:3.


Verse 3

Job 25:3. And upon whom doth not his light arise? And who is there whom his brightness doth not surpass? Heath and Schultens.


Verse 6

Job 25:6. How much less man, that is a worm, &c.— How much less mortal man, who is corruption? and the son of man, who is a worm? The Alexandrian edition of the LXX reads the 5th verse, He saith to the sun, Arise not, and it doth not arise; He commandeth the moon, and it shineth not, nor are the stars pure in his sight. In chap. Job 14:1-2. Job represents the miserable condition of man in strong colours; and, upon this representation, expostulates on his case with God, Job 25:3-4. Dost thou open thine eyes upon such a one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? These last words shew the ground of the expostulations in this and the 15th chapter. The sense of Job's expostulation seems to be this: "Why art thou extreme to mark all my errors? Is it reasonable to expect purity of a man born of a woman, who is by the very condition of his birth unclean?" I shall be easily persuaded that Job had not entered into all the niceties relating to this point; but I shall not easily believe that he charged God foolishly, by imputing uncleanness to the works of his creation: for, tell me upon what ground this expostulation stands; How shall man be clean, that is born of a woman? Why not clean? Did God make woman or man unclean at the beginning? If he did, the expostulation would have been more apposite, and much stronger, had the true cause been assigned, and Job had said, "How canst thou expect cleanness in man, whom thou createdst unclean?" But as the case now stands, the expostulation has a plain reference to the introduction of vanity and corruption by the sin of the woman, and is an evidence that this ancient writer was sensible of the evil consequences of the fall, upon the whole race of man. Moses tells us, Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his own image; and St. Paul, that we have borne the image of the earthy. The notion is the same as expressed by Job, Can a clean thing come out of an unclean? See Bishop Sherlock's use and Intent of Prophecy, Dissert. 2: p. 221.

REFLECTIONS.—Bildad, either convinced by Job's arguments of the prosperity of the wicked, was unable to reply: or, seeing him unshaken in his opinion, thinks it useless to attempt his conviction. One thing, however, he cannot but urge; and therein he is right, the majesty and holiness of God, as an argument to deter Job from his repeated appeals to him, and eagerness to plead for himself at his bar.

1. He would have Job observe how great and glorious God is. Dominion and fear are with him, his kingdom is absolute and universal, and reverence and godly fear are the bounden duty of every creature before the eternal majesty. He maketh peace in his high places; no jarring discord disturbs the repose of that bright world where he dwells. Is there any number of his armies? when all the hosts of heaven and earth, the elements, and all the powers of nature, stand ready to execute his commands; and upon whom doth not his light arise? his providential care, extensive as the sun's bright beams, fills the earth with his goodness. Therefore Job's noisy clamour is as unreasonable as his desire to plead with such an almighty and holy God is presumptuous.

2. How vile man is! How can man be justified with God, or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? his nature is corrupt, his ways perverse; and therefore what folly, what madness, to pretend to appear at his righteous bar! Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea the stars are not pure in his sight; his piercing eye can descry spots in the brightest luminaries of heaven; how much less then can man, that is a worm, dare stand in his presence as an appellant, or the son of man, the corrupted offspring of a fallen parent, which is a worm, a dying worm, and shortly to be food for worms, presume to vindicate himself? Note; (1.) A sense of our meanness as mortal worms, and our sinfulness as fallen creatures, should ever humble us low in the dust before God. (2.) Man is by nature as unfit for communion with God, through his corruption, as unable to stand before him by reason of his guilt; woe were unto us, if we should, unpardoned and unholy, be called to his bar. (3.) It is a mark of the amazing love and condescension of God, that, notwithstanding our vileness and sinfulness, he has in mercy had respect unto us, and sent his Son to wash us in his blood, and his Spirit to renew our hearts, that we might be enabled to appear righteous in his sight, and be made meet for the enjoyment of his blessed self.

 


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Bibliography Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 25:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-25.html. 1801-1803.

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