|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:1-4 Job derided Bildad's answer; his words were a mixture of peevishness and self-preference. Bildad ought to have laid before Job the consolations, rather than the terrors of the Almighty. Christ knows how to speak what is proper for the weary, Isa 50:4; and his ministers should not grieve those whom God would not have made sad. We are often disappointed in our expectations from our friends who should comfort us; but the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, never mistakes, nor fails of his end.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How hast thou helped him that is without power?.... This verse and Job 26:3 either are to be understood of God, as many do, by reading the words, "who hast thou helped? God" (r)? a fine advocate for him thou art, representing him as if he was without power, and could not help himself, but stood in need of another; as if he had no arm, and could not save and protect himself, but needed one to rise and stand up in his behalf, when he is God omnipotent, and has an arm strong and mighty, and there is none like his; and as if he wanted wisdom, and one to counsel him, when he is the all wise God, and never consults with any of his creatures, or admits them to be of his council; and as if his "essence" (s), or "what he is", as he is, had been very copiously and plentifully declared in a few words by him; in supposing which he must be guilty of the greatest arrogance, stupidity, and folly; and therefore he asks him, who it was he uttered such things unto? and by whose spirit he must be aided in so doing? see Job 13:7; or else Job refers to the cause undertaken by Bildad; and which he, in a sarcastic way, represents as a very weak and feeble one, that had neither strength nor wisdom in it, and was as weakly and as foolishly supported, or rather was entirely neglected and deserted, Bildad having wholly declined the thing in controversy, and said not one word of it; therefore Job ironically asks him, "in what", or "wherein hast thou helped?" (t) what good hast thou done to this poor tottering cause of yours? or what light hast thou thrown upon it? and to what purpose is anything that has been said by thee? Some are of opinion that Job refers to Bildad's friends, whom he represents as weak and stupid, as men of no argument, and had no strength of reasoning, and were as poorly assisted and defended by Bildad: but, why not to Bildad himself? for the sense of the question, agreeably enough to the original text, may be put after this manner; a fine patron and defender of a cause thou art; thou canst help and save a dying cause without power, and with a strengthless arm, or without any force of argument, or strength of reasoning; thou canst give counsel without any wisdom, without any show or share of it, and in half a dozen lines set the thing in a true light, just as it is and should be; a wonderful man indeed thou art! though I choose to join with such interpreters, who understand the whole of Job himself, who was without might and power, a weak and feeble creature in booty and mind, being pressed and broken with the weight of his affliction, but was poorly helped, succoured, strengthened, and comforted, with what Bildad had said: it is the duty of all good men, and it is what Job himself had done in former times, to strengthen weak hands and feeble knees, by sympathizing with persons under affliction, by bearing their burdens and infirmities, by speaking comfortably unto them, and telling them what comforts they themselves have received under afflictions, see Job 4:3; but miserable comforters of Job were Bildad and his friends:
how savest thou the arm that hath no strength? the sense is the same as before, that he had done nothing to relieve Job in his bodily or soul distresses, and save him out of them; nor had contributed in the least towards his support under them; and be it that he was as weak in his intellectuals as he and his friends thought him to be, and had undertaken a cause which he had not strength of argument to defend; yet, what had he done to convince him of his mistake, and save him from the error of his way?
(r) "cui auxiliatis es", Pagninus, Montanus; so Tigurine version. (s) "essentiam", Montanus. (t) "Qua nam re adjuvisti?" Vatablus; "quid auxiliatus es?" Drusius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2, 3. without power … no strength … no wisdom—The negatives are used instead of the positives, powerlessness, &c., designedly (so Isa 31:8; De 32:21). Granting I am, as you say (Job 18:17; 15:2), powerlessness itself, &c. "How hast thou helped such a one?"
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