Job 25

CHAPTER XXV

Bildad, the Shuhite, in an irregular speech, shows that God's

dominion is supreme, his armies innumerable, and his providence

extended over all, 1-3;

that man cannot be justified before God; that even the heavenly

bodies cannot be reputed pure in his sight; much less man, who

is naturally weak and sinful, 4-6.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXV

Verse 1. Bildad the Shuhite] This is the last attack on Job; the

others felt themselves foiled, though they had not humility enough

to acknowledge it, but would not again return to the attack.

Bildad has little to say, and that little is very little to the

point. He makes a few assertions, particularly in reference to

what Job had said in the commencement of the preceding chapter, of

his desire to appear before God, and have his case tried by him,

as he had the utmost confidence that his innocence should be fully

proved. For this Bildad reprehends Job with arguments which had

been brought forth often in this controversy, and as repeatedly

confuted, Job 4:18; 15:14-16.

Verse 2. Dominion and fear are with him] God is an absolute

sovereign; his fear is on all the hosts of heaven; and by his

sovereignty he establishes and preserves order in the heavens, and

among all the inhabitants of the eternal world: how canst thou,

therefore, dare to appeal to him, or desire to appear before him?

Verse 3. Is there any number of his armies?] He has troops

innumerable; he can serve himself of all his creatures; every

thing may be a means of help or destruction, according to his

Divine will. When he purposes to save, none can destroy; and when

he is determined to destroy, none can save. It is vain to trust in

his creatures against himself.

Upon whom doth not his light arise?] That is, his providence

rules over all; he is universal Lord; he causes his sun to arise

on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the just and

unjust.

Verse 4. How then can man be justified?] Or, umah, With

what, shall a man be justified with God? Though this is no

conclusion from Bildad's premises, yet the question is of the

highest importance to man. Neither Bildad nor any of his fellows

could answer it; the doctrine of redemption through the blood of

the cross was then known only through types and shadows. We who

live in the Gospel dispensation, can readily answer the question,

With what shall miserable man ( enosh) be justified with

God.?-Ans. By bringing forward, by faith, to the throne of the

Divine justice, the sacrificial offering of the Lord Jesus Christ;

and confiding absolutely in it, as being a full, sufficient, and

complete atonement and sacrifice for his sins, and for the

salvation of a lost world.

How, or with what ( umah) shall he be clean that is born of

a woman?-Ans. By receiving that grace or heavenly influence

communicated by the power and energy of the eternal Spirit

applying to the heart the efficacy of that blood which cleanses

from all unrighteousness. This, and this only, is the way in which

a sinner, when truly penitent, can be justified before God: and

in which a believer, convinced of indwelling sin, can be

sanctified and cleansed from all unrighteousness. This is the

only means of justification and sanctification, without which

there can be no glorification. And these two great works, which

constitute the whole of salvation, have been procured for a lost

world by the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of the

Lord Jesus Christ, who was delivered for our offences, and rose

again for our justification; to whom be glory and dominion now and

for evermore, Amen!

Verse 5. Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not] It is

continually changing its appearance. It never appears twice in its

whole revolution with the same face: it is ever waxing or waning;

and its face is variegated with opaque spots. Its changeableness

can never be compared with the unchangeable nature of God.

Yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.] Whatever their

excellence may be as stars, it is nothing in comparison with him

from whom they have derived their being and splendour. See the

notes on Job 4:18; 15:14-16. The

Targum reads: "Behold, the moon is as yet spotted in her eastern

part; the sun shines not; and the stars are not pure in his

sight."

Some think that by stars are meant those angels who kept not

their first estate: this may be so, but I cannot see it in the

text. It may, however, mean the heavenly host, as it is supposed

to do, Job 28:7; but I still must hesitate on the propriety of

such applications.

It is probable this speech of Bildad was delivered in the

night-season, when clouds interrupted the bright shining of the

moon. The third verse seems to refer immediately to the stars,

which to the naked eye are innumerable. The sun is not mentioned,

because of his absence.

This speech of Bildad is both confused and inconclusive. His

reasoning is absurd, and he draws false conclusions from his

premises. In the third verse, he says, "Is there any number of his

armies? and upon whom does not his light arise?" But how absurd is

the conclusion which he draws from his questions:-"How then can a

man be justified with God, or he be clean who is born of a woman?"

This has no relation to the premises; still to us the question

is not difficult, and has already been answered in the notes: "A

man can be justified with God," through the blood of Christ; and

"he can be clean who is born of a woman." through the

sanctification of the Spirit.

Verse 6. How much less man, that is a worm?] Or as the

Targum.-"How much more man, who in his life is a reptile; and

the son of man, who in his death is a worm." Almost all the

versions read, "Truly man is corruption, and the son of man a

worm." The original is degradingly expressive: "Even because

enosh, miserable man, is rimmah, a crawling worm; and the

son of Adam, who is toleah, a worm, or rather maggot,

from its eating into and dividing certain substances."-Parkhurst.

Thus endeth Bildad the Shuhite, who endeavoured to speak on a

subject which he did not understand; and, having got on bad

ground, was soon confounded in his own mind, spoke incoherently,

argued inconclusively, and came abruptly and suddenly to an end.

Thus, his three friends being confounded, Job was left to pursue

his own way; they trouble him no more; and he proceeds in triumph

to the end of the thirty-first chapter.

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