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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Job 25

 

 

Verse 1

BILDAD’S THIRD AND LAST REPLY.

1. Then answered Bildad — Job’s burning desire (chap. 23) to meet his Judge, leads Bildad to contrast the infinite and overwhelming glory of God with the corruption and meanness of man. How shall such a being — a worm bred in corruption — presume to appear in the presence of Him whose armies cannot be counted, and whose all pervading glory casts into shade the stars, and even the moon, so that it shineth not. This brief and sublime speech is the forlorn hope of a sinking cause — the brilliant flash of a signal gun at sea that tells to night and storm that all is lost. “It is an extraordinary refinement of the poet, that he has kept the last speech of the three friends free from direct accusations, and has, as it were, gathered and concentrated in it all that was true in the speeches of the friends.” — Ebrard.


Verse 2

Double strophe — THE INFINITE EXALTATION OF GOD RAISES HIM ABOVE ARRAIGNMENT BY SUCH A CREATURE AS MAN, Job 25:2-6.

a. In any conceivable comparison of man with God (El) the inconceivable advantage must ever be with the All-powerful, Job 25:2-4.

2. Peace in his high places — One of the varied glimpses into the angel world that this book affords. It signifies either the order, tranquillity, and bliss, which his love has established among the heavenly hosts, as unfailing results of universal obedience to his law, or else the peace which followed the subjugation and banishment of angels that sinned; a Scripture truth, traces of which are found in the mythologies of most nations. The allusion to armies in the next verse countenances the latter view. Compare Job 4:18; Job 15:15.


Verse 3

3. Armies — The idea is not so much of hostile array as of harmony, gradation, discipline, and subjection. The writer to the Hebrews speaks (Hebrews 12:22) of “myriads, the festal host of angels.” (Alford.)

Bildad rises higher, and asks, “Is there number to his armies?

His light — All light emanates from God, whether it be that which rises upon the evil and the good alike (Matthew 5:45), or the glory of God that lightens the heavenly world. (Revelation 21:23.) Delitzsch and Ewald take the sense to be that of excellence: over whom (that is, over which of those beings of light) does it not rise, leaving them behind and exceeding them in brightness.


Verse 4

4. Justified with God Just with God. Same word as in Job 4:17; Job 9:2. Sin and corruption are no more inseparable in the human heart than justification and regeneration in the divine scheme. No false religion, not even enlightened Buddhism, can answer the momentous questions of Bildad. “What is the use of platted hair, O fool? What of the raiment of goat-skins? Within thee there is ravening, but the outside thou makest clean.” — BUDDHA, Path of Virtue, section 394. Clean… born of a woman — Crates used to say that it was impossible to find a man who had not fallen, just as every pomegranate had a bad grain in it. (Diogenes Laertius, vi, s.v.)


Verse 5

b. In the sinfulness and corruption of an entire race, Job may certainly find occasion for humiliation and repentance, Job 25:4-6.

5. It shineth not — The moon pales its light in the presence of God. As no mention is made of the sun, some have supposed it was then night.

Not pure — He means not the taint that comes from sin, as in this world, but metaphorically the dazzling sheen of the starry hosts; (a high symbol of purity among men;) even this is tainted when compared with the purity of the infinitely pure God.


Verse 6

6. Worm… worm — Two distinct Hebrew words. The worms were both kinds bred in putridity. The latter, תולעה, was the insect from which the scarlet colour was obtained, and is used in Isaiah 1:18 as a symbol for sin of the deepest hue, and in Isaiah 41:14 as one of helplessness. It was this worm that destroyed Jonah’s gourd. The Jews say, “that if a man hold a worm in his hand, all the water in Jordan can not wash him clean while he holds it there.” — LIGHTFOOT, Works, 7:415. Hengstenberg observes it is very significant for the speech of Bildad that it should have consisted of just five verses, the signature of the half, the incomplete. A continuation of the speech might have led to the renewal of direct reproaches against Job. But these will not cross his lips.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 25:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-25.html. 1874-1909.

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