|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-4 Bildad had before given Job good advice and encouragement; here he used nothing but rebukes, and declared his ruin. And he concluded that Job shut out the providence of God from the management of human affairs, because he would not admit himself to be wicked.
Verse 4. - He teareth himself in his anger. The Hebrew idiom, which allows of rapid transitions from the second to the third person, and vice versa, cannot be transferred without harshness to our modern speech. Our Revisers have given the true force of the original by discarding the third person, and translating, "Thou that tearest thyself in thine anger." There is probably an allusion to Job 16:9, where Job had represented God as "tearing him in his wrath." Bildad says it is not God who tests him - he tears himself. Shall the earth be forsaken for thee? i.e. "Shall the course of the world be altered to meet thy wishes, to suit thy case?" Job had wished for all manner of impossible things (Job 3:3-6; Job 9:32-35; Job 13:21, 22; Job 16:21; Job 17:3). Bildad's reproach is thus not wholly unjust. But he makes no allowance for the wild utter-shoes of one who is half distraught. And shall the rock be removed out of his place? Shall that which is most solid and firm give way, and alter its nature?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He teareth himself in his anger,.... Or "his soul" (l), meaning Job, and referring to what he had said in Job 16:9; Now, says Bildad, it is neither God nor man that tears you, it is you yourself; representing Job as a madman, rending his clothes, tearing his flesh, and even his very soul; for by his passion which he expressed, whether to God or his friends, it did himself the most hurt, he broke his peace, and spoiled his comfort, and ruined his health, and made himself the most unhappy of mankind, by giving vent to his passion, to his wrath and anger, which slays and a man, Job 5:2; here a charge of impatience is suggested, contrary to the character even of Job, James 5:11;
shall the earth be forsaken for thee? through fear of thee, because of thy rage and fury; dost thou think that the inhabitants of the earth will flee before thee, at thy storming, rage, and wrath? before God none can stand when he is angry: there is no abiding his indignation when his fury is poured out like fire, and persons of the greatest rank will flee to the rocks and mountains to hide them from his face and fury; but what dost thou think, or make thyself to be, to be as Deity, that the inhabitants of the earth should flee fore thee, and forsake it? or when thou diest, dost thou think that all the inhabitants of the earth will die with thee, and so it will be forsaken for thy sake? taking the hint from what Job had said, Job 17:16; or dost thou think thyself a man of so much importance and consequence in the earth that when thou diest there will not be a man left of any worth and notice, that all might as well die with thee? or will God drop the government of the world on thy account? will he no more employ his care and providence in concerning himself in the affairs of the world, but let all things go as they will, and so the earth, as to his providential regards to it, be forsaken for thy sake? will God neither do good to good men, nor punish bad men? which must be the case according to thy doctrine; but will God counteract this method of his providence, he has always taken in the earth, that thou mayest appear not to be an evil man, as might be concluded from thine afflictions, but a good man notwithstanding them?
and shall the rock be removed out of his place? which is not usual, nor can it be done by man; it may be done by God, who touches the mountains, and they smoke, and at whose presence they drop and move, as Sinai did, and as the mountains and hills will flee away at the presence of the Judge of all the earth, when he appears; but no such phenomenon can be expected upon the presence and sight of a man; much less can God himself, who is often called a Rock, and is immovable, unalterable, and unchangeable in his nature, perfections, purposes, and the counsels of his will, be made to act contrary to either of them, Deuteronomy 32:4; nor will he do it for the sake of any man; he does all things after the counsel of his own will; he takes a constant course in Providence, in the government of the world, canst thou think that he will go out of his usual way for thy sake, in punishing wicked men, and rewarding good men? you may as soon imagine that a rock will be removed out of its place as the ordinary course of Providence will be altered on thy account; to suppose this is presumption, pride, and arrogance, which is what Bildad means to fasten upon Job.
(l) "animam suam", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Rather, turning to Job, "thou that tearest thyself in anger" (Job 5:2).
be forsaken?—become desolate. He alludes here to Job's words as to the "rock," crumbling away (Job 14:18, 19); but in a different application. He says bitterly "for thee." Wert thou not punished as thou art, and as thou art unwilling to bear, the eternal order of the universe would be disturbed and the earth become desolate through unavenged wickedness [Umbreit]. Bildad takes it for granted Job is a great sinner (Job 8:3-6; Isa 24:5, 6). "Shall that which stands fast as a rock be removed for your special accommodation?"
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