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Bible Commentaries
Job 8

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-22

JOB - CHAPTER 8

BILDAD’S FIRST ADDRESS

Verses 1-22:

BILDAD’S CHARGES MORE COARSE AND

BRUTAL THAN ELIPHAZ

Verses 1, 2 begin Bildad the Shuhite’s tirade of condemnation against Job, Genesis 25:2. He first inquires, with a scolding tone, just how long Job will go on defending, affirming his integrity, charging that words of his mouth were like a "strong wind" or "hot air." He harangued against the length, content, and manner of Job’s speech. Instead of showing sympathy by and understanding, such as becomes consideration for one in deep suffering, sorrow, and grief, he expressed coarse and wicked contempt, in an inconsiderate manner from the start, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Galatians 6:1-2. Bildad was a religious dogmatist basing his remarks on superficial, pious platitudes of proverbial wisdom, often without Divine sanction, rhyme, or reason, shedding no light on Job’s problem.

Verse 3 asks if God perverts or distorts justice in judgment. He does not, does He? Is the idea. This is a proper conclusion Job 34:12; Job 34:17. However Bildad’s insinuations that follow, and inferences attached to the following statements are not rational or valid conclusions concerning suffering. For all sorrow and suffering are not a result of Divine judgment for wrong, such as Bildad infers hereafter, John 9:1-3; See also Genesis 18:25; Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Daniel 9:14; Romans 3:5. Joseph’s suffering in the pit at Dothan and in the prison in Egypt was not because of any personal wickedness in him, but that God might be glorified. So it was with. Moses in the bulrushes, See?

Verses 4-6 express prejudicial conclusions of Bildad regarding both Job and his children who had been killed, Job 1:18-19. Bildad cruelly treats the death of Job’s children as an act of Divine and just judgment, rather than God’s granting Satan permissive power to destroy his own, on some occasion, for his glory, even as Daniel, the 3 Hebrew children, the Apostles and our Lord, often suffered. Bildad even appealed to Job to turn to God and repeatedly repent for if he were "pure and upright," had integrity, or pure motives as he claimed, God would awake and prosper him, coming quickly to rescue him from his painful, corrupt plight, La 3:41; Psalms 66:18.

Verse 7 adds that the Lord would make his latter end to be greatly increased or prospered. Material prosperity was promised to be the end result of favor and peace with God, and those who worship and serve Him in spirit and in truth, Jeremiah 4:24; Romans 5:1; Isaiah 26:3; Colossians 3:15. God did bless Job’s latter end, not because of, but in spite of Bildad’s opinions that he was a guilty, sinful hypocrite, Job 42:12; Proverbs 23:18.

Verses 8, 9 continue Bildad’s advice to Job to inquire of the former age, make inquiry of patriarch fathers, sages of the past, who could give testimony of their experiences, a form of learning by observation, Deuteronomy 4:32; Deuteronomy 32:7; Psalms 44:1. He added that they were but of "yesterday," not long ago, with many experiences, therefore knew nothing in comparison with the sages of old. Because each one’s days are but as a "shadow," temporary, transient like a sojourner, as expressed Genesis 47:9: 1 Chronicles 29:15; Job 7:6; Psalms 39:5; Psalms 102:11; Psalms 144:4.

Verse 10 asks if the ancient fathers can not teach Job. Job had said "teach me," Job 6:24. Bildad rightly states that they would tell him and utter words (of wisdom) from their hearts, insinuating that he could find no wisdom in the words of Job’s mouth, Job 8:2; Job 15:13.

Verse 11-13 describe the rush and flag, papyrus of the Nile river in Egypt, that can not grow without water and mire, to furnish their fiber material for garments, shoes, baskets and boats. The papyrus while in its greenness, before it is cut down is said to wither before any other herb, though found in marshy grounds, Psalms 129:6; Jeremiah 17:6; James 1:10-11; 1 Peter 1:24. You see Bildad thinks Job to be a wicked hypocrite who has lost all his prosperity, is withered from the blast of God’s judgment. He has been cut down like a scythe cuts herbs, in Bildad’s opinion. He adds that "so are all the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrites hope shall perish," Job 11:20; Proverbs 10:28. He had a basket full of advice with a thimble full of evidence; He could see a molehill and interpret it to be a mountain; see a drop of water and conclude that it was the ocean, see? Job 11:20; Job 18:14; Job 27:8; Psalms 112:10; Proverbs 10:28. But when one is "hasty In his words," as Bildad was of Job, without knowledge, "there is more hope for a fool" than for him, Proverbs 14:29; Proverbs 26:12; Proverbs 29:20. Bildad attributes all of Job’s sorrow, loss, and afflictions to obstinate hypocrisy and a total lack of fear of the Almighty, a conclusion later evidenced to be unfounded, Job 42:7-10.

Verse 14 continues the argument that hypocrites, like Bildad considers Job to be, will have their hope cut off, disappointed, or blighted and blasted. The hypocrites’ trust is concluded to be as entrapping as a spider’s web. His conclusion is that Job’s life is as repugnant to God as a poison spider and he is getting only what he deserves as a judgment from God, not knowing that God was permitting Satan to plague Job, as a lesson of patience for generations to come, see? Jas 5; 11; Revelation 2:2; Revelation 2:19; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 13:10; Revelation 14:12.

Verse 15 states that "he," the hypocrite, shall lean upon or trust in his house (residence and family), but it will not stand or endure, for it is like the spider’s house. So are wicked men in times of trial. Bildad likens Job to the spider and his web-like house as a type of the wicked in times of a storm, Job 27:18; Proverbs 10:18.

Verses 16, 17 add that he, as a spider-hypocrite, is also green before the sun, or before the heat of the sun rises, and before roots grow strong in the garden. He can not bear the heat, but is blasted, withered, or cut down on the stones, like Jonah’s gourd vine; So he cowers under the hour of testing, John 4:7-8; James 1:11.

Verses 18, 19 assert that "if He," if God destroys Job from his place of respect, gained wickedly, through hypocrisy, he loses not only his wealth, family, and friends, but in the place he once lived he will be justly forgotten, Psalms 103:16; Job 7:10; Job 20:9; Psalms 37:36.

This is the joy (irony) of his way and others shall (other hypocrites) will spring up like him, Psalms 113:7.

Verse 19 adds that God will neither turn His back on a perfect man nor take by the hand, help, aid, abet, or comfort an evil doer, insinuating further that Job has been and is a guilty doer of evil, Psalms 37:24; Psalms 73:23; Isaiah 41:13; Isaiah 42:6.

Verses 21, 22 assure Job that if he is righteous, has integrity, as he claims, God will fill his mouth and lips with laughing-joy when he has genuinely repented, Psalms 126:2. Then those who hated or despised Job, the wicked, would be clothed or covered with shame, Psalms 35:26; Psalms 109:29; Jeremiah 3:25. The wicked in the end, not Job, would come down to shame.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-8.html. 1985.
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