Job 8:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Ask the former generation and find out what their ancestors learned,

New Living Translation
"Just ask the previous generation. Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors.

English Standard Version
“For inquire, please, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have searched out.

New American Standard Bible
"Please inquire of past generations, And consider the things searched out by their fathers.

King James Bible
For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For ask the previous generation, and pay attention to what their fathers discovered,

International Standard Version
"Inquire of the previous generation, won't you please? Consider what their forefathers searched out.

NET Bible
"For inquire now of the former generation, and pay attention to the findings of their ancestors;

New Heart English Bible
"Please inquire of past generations. Find out about the learning of their fathers.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Ask the people of past generations. Find out what their ancestors had learned.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For inquire, I pray thee, of the former generation, And apply thyself to that which their fathers have searched out--

New American Standard 1977
“Please inquire of past generations,
            And consider the things searched out by their fathers.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ask, I pray thee, of the former age, and be willing to enquire of thy fathers regarding them;

King James 2000 Bible
For inquire, I pray you, of the former age, and prepare yourself to the findings of their fathers:

American King James Version
For inquire, I pray you, of the former age, and prepare yourself to the search of their fathers:

American Standard Version
For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, And apply thyself to that which their fathers have searched out:

Douay-Rheims Bible
For inquire of the former generation, and search diligently into the memory of the fathers:

Darby Bible Translation
For inquire, I pray thee, of the former generation, and attend to the researches of their fathers;

English Revised Version
For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and apply thyself to that which their fathers have searched out:

Webster's Bible Translation
For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:

World English Bible
"Please inquire of past generations. Find out about the learning of their fathers.

Young's Literal Translation
For, ask I pray thee of a former generation, And prepare to a search of their fathers,
Study Bible
Bildad: Job Should Repent
7"Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will increase greatly. 8"Please inquire of past generations, And consider the things searched out by their fathers. 9"For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are as a shadow.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:32
"Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it?

Deuteronomy 32:7
"Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you.

2 Chronicles 10:6
Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, "How do you counsel me to answer this people?"

Job 15:18
What wise men have told, And have not concealed from their fathers,

Job 20:4
"Do you know this from of old, From the establishment of man on earth,

Job 32:7
"I thought age should speak, And increased years should teach wisdom.

Joel 1:2
Hear this, O elders, And listen, all inhabitants of the land. Has anything like this happened in your days Or in your fathers' days?
Treasury of Scripture

For inquire, I pray you, of the former age, and prepare yourself to the search of their fathers:

enquire.

Job 12:12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

Job 15:10,18 With us are both the gray headed and very aged men, much elder than …

Job 32:6,7 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am …

Deuteronomy 4:32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since …

Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: …

Psalm 44:1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what …

Psalm 78:3,4 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us…

Isaiah 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise you, as I do this day: the …

Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning…

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are …

Verse 8. - For inquire... of the former age. Put the matter to the test of experience - not the short-lived experience of living men, but the treasure of experience which has been handed down from generation to generation since the remotest times, and which is embodied in proverbs - the expression of the concentrated wisdom of antiquity. Search out and see what has in former ages been thought concerning prosperous men, like thyself, when suddenly cast down and afflicted. And prepare thyself to the search of their fathers. Go back, i.e., to the past age, but do not stop there - pursue thy researches further and further to their remote ancestors. Bildad implies that the records of these remote times have been, in some way or other, preserved, either in writings or by oral tradition. Writing was certainly known in Egypt and Babylonia from a time anterior to Abraham, and to the Hittites at a date not very much later. Books of advice and instruction embodied in proverbs, or moral precepts, were among the earliest, in Egypt certainly. See the "Instructions of Amen-em-hat." in the 'Records of the Past,' vol. if. pp. 11-16, and the 'Proverbs of Aphobis,' published by the Revelation Dunbar Heath. Bildad's speech is thought to indicate "special familiarity with Egypt." For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age,.... With respect to the truth of what he had said, or should say; he does not desire Job to take his word for it, but inquire how it was in former times; by which it would appear, that when good men have been in affliction and trouble, and have behaved well under it, as became them, they have been delivered out of it, and have been afterwards in more flourishing and comfortable circumstances, as Noah, Abraham, Lot, and others; and that wicked men and hypocrites, though they have flourished for a while, yet destruction has sooner or later come upon them, and they have utterly perished, as the descendants of Cain, the builders of Babel, and the men of Sodom, and others; whereas good and upright men are never cast away by the Lord, no instance can be given of it; all which would appear, if inquiry was made into what had happened in the "former age" not the "first age", as the Septuagint version, the age or generation in which the first man and woman lived; for who were "their fathers", mentioned in the next clause? but the age or generation preceding that in which Job and his friends lived; and the knowledge of things done in that might with some application and diligence be more easily obtained:

and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers; of the fathers of the men of the former age, who lived in the age preceding that, and from whom their posterity had received the knowledge of many things by tradition, as they had received from their fathers that lived before them and so upwards; things being handed down in a traditionary way from father to son; and though these fathers were dead, yet, by their traditions that were preserved, they were capable of teaching and instructing men; and their sayings and sentiments deserved regard, and were had in much esteem; but yet being uninspired and fallible men, were not to be received without examination; for though truth is of the greatest antiquity, and to be revered on that account, yet error is almost as old as that; and therefore great care is to be taken how any thing is received purely upon the score of antiquity; and great pains, diligence, and circumspection, are necessary to a due search of the fathers, and coming at their sense and sentiments; and so as to distinguish between truth and error, and get a true knowledge of facts done in ancient times; such a search is to be made in like manner as one would search for gold and silver, and hidden treasures. 8, 9. The sages of the olden time reached an age beyond those of Job's time (see on [497]Job 42:16), and therefore could give the testimony of a fuller experience.8:8-19 Bildad discourses well of hypocrites and evil-doers, and the fatal end of all their hopes and joys. He proves this truth of the destruction of the hopes and joys of hypocrites, by an appeal to former times. Bildad refers to the testimony of the ancients. Those teach best that utter words out of their heart, that speak from an experience of spiritual and divine things. A rush growing in fenny ground, looking very green, but withering in dry weather, represents the hypocrite's profession, which is maintained only in times of prosperity. The spider's web, spun with great skill, but easily swept away, represents a man's pretensions to religion when without the grace of God in his heart. A formal professor flatters himself in his own eyes, doubts not of his salvation, is secure, and cheats the world with his vain confidences. The flourishing of the tree, planted in the garden, striking root to the rock, yet after a time cut down and thrown aside, represents wicked men, when most firmly established, suddenly thrown down and forgotten. This doctrine of the vanity of a hypocrite's confidence, or the prosperity of a wicked man, is sound; but it was not applicable to the case of Job, if confined to the present world.
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