|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-7 Job spake much to the purpose; but Bildad, like an eager, angry disputant, turns it all off with this, How long wilt thou speak these things? Men's meaning is not taken aright, and then they are rebuked, as if they were evil-doers. Even in disputes on religion, it is too common to treat others with sharpness, and their arguments with contempt. Bildad's discourse shows that he had not a favourable opinion of Job's character. Job owned that God did not pervert judgment; yet it did not therefore follow that his children were cast-aways, or that they did for some great transgression. Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, sometimes they are the trials of extraordinary graces: in judging of another's case, we ought to take the favorable side. Bildad puts Job in hope, that if he were indeed upright, he should yet see a good end of his present troubles. This is God's way of enriching the souls of his people with graces and comforts. The beginning is small, but the progress is to perfection. Dawning light grows to noon-day.
Verse 5. - If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes. Here we have again an echo of the words of Eliphaz (Job 5:8). There is a tacit assumption that Job has not had recourse to God, has not pleaded his cause with him or taken him into counsel; whereas all the evidence was the other way. Both when the first batch of calamities was reported to him (Job 1:14-19), and when the stroke of disease came (Job 2:10), Job cast his care on God, fell back on him, submitted himself to him unreservedly. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord," he said in the one case; in the other, "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" And make thy supplication to the Almighty; literally, make the Almighty gracious to thee."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes,.... Here Bildad seems to think more mildly, and speak more kindly to Job, that though he had sinned, yet not in so gross a manner as his children, since he was spared, and they were not; and therefore if he would apply himself to God, and supplicate his grace and mercy, and live a godly life, it might yet be well with him, and he be restored to his former or to better circumstances; his sense is, that he would advise him, as Eliphaz had done before, Job 5:8; to seek unto God "by prayer", as the Targum adds, and of which it is explained in the next clause, and that he would do this "betimes", or "in the morning" (n); which is a proper time for prayer, and was one of the seasons good men in former times made use of for that purpose; see Psalm 5:3; or that he would seek him in the first place, and above all things, take the first opportunity to do it, without any procrastination of it, and that with eagerness and earnestness, with his whole heart and soul; for God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, and those that seek him early shall find him:
and make thy supplication to the Almighty: not pleading any merit of his own, as deserving of any blessing on account of what he had done; but ask what he should as a favour, as a free gift, in a way of grace and mercy, as the word (o) signifies; call for the pity of the Almighty, as Broughton renders it.
(n) "mane quaesieris", Pagninus, Piscator, Mercerus. (o) So Schmidt in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. seek unto God betimes—early. Make it the first and chief anxiety (Ps 78:34; Ho 5:15; Isa 26:9; Pr 8:17; 13:24).
Job 8:5 Parallel Commentaries
Job 8:5 NIV
Job 8:5 NLT
Job 8:5 ESV
Job 8:5 NASB
Job 8:5 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible