Job 8:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.

New Living Translation
For we were born but yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.

English Standard Version
For we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow.

New American Standard Bible
"For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are as a shadow.

King James Bible
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
since we were born only yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are but a shadow.

International Standard Version
Because we are of yesterday and we know nothing, for our time on earth is only a shadow.

NET Bible
For we were born yesterday and do not have knowledge, since our days on earth are but a shadow.

New Heart English Bible
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days on earth are a shadow.)

GOD'S WORD® Translation
We have only been around since yesterday, and we know nothing. Our days on earth are only a fleeting shadow.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days upon earth are a shadow--

New American Standard 1977
“For we are only of yesterday and know nothing,
            Because our days on earth are as a shadow.

Jubilee Bible 2000
for we are but of yesterday and know nothing because our days upon earth are as a shadow.

King James 2000 Bible
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

American King James Version
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days on earth are a shadow:)

American Standard Version
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days upon earth are a shadow);

Douay-Rheims Bible
(For we are but of yesterday, and are ignorant that our days upon earth are but a shadow:)

Darby Bible Translation
For we are [but] of yesterday, and know nothing, for our days upon earth are a shadow.

English Revised Version
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

Webster's Bible Translation
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

World English Bible
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days on earth are a shadow.)

Young's Literal Translation
(For of yesterday we are, and we know not, For a shadow are our days on earth.)
Study Bible
Bildad: Job Should Repent
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. 10"Will they not teach you and tell you, And bring forth words from their minds?…
Cross References
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 8:10
"Will they not teach you and tell you, And bring forth words from their minds?

Job 14:2
"Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.

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

Psalm 144:4
Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.
Treasury of Scripture

(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days on earth are a shadow:)

we are but.

Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.

Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage …

1 Chronicles 29:15 For we are strangers before you, and sojourners, as were all our …

Psalm 39:5 Behold, you have made my days as an handbreadth; and my age is as …

Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is …

Psalm 102:11 My days are like a shadow that declines; and I am withered like grass.

Psalm 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passes away.

nothing. Heb. not.

Verse 9. - For we are but of yesterday. "We," i.e. "of the present generation, old men though we may be, are but of yesterday; our experience is as nothing compared with the long, long experience of the past centuries, wherein the men of old "hived wisdom with each studious year," not, like ourselves, hurried and pressed by the shortness of the term to which life is now reduced, but having ample time for reflection and consideration in their long lives of five, six, seven, centuries (Genesis 11:10-17), which enabled them to give their attention to everything in its turn, and to exhaust all the experiences that human life has to offer. And know nothing; i.e. comparatively. Sir Isaac Newton said that he felt like a child gathering shells upon the seashore, while the great ocean of truth lay unexplored before him. Because our days upon earth are a shadow (comp. Job 14:2; Psalm 102:11; Isaiah 40:6). So brief and fleeting that they can scarcely be called a reality. For we are but of yesterday (s),.... Which is not to be understood strictly of the day last past, but of a short space of time backward; and especially when compared with the antediluvian fathers, who lived the far greater part of them upwards of nine hundred years; otherwise Bildad and his two friends were men in years; Eliphaz says, that with them were the gray headed and very aged men, much older than the father of Job, and Elihu speaks of himself as a young man, and of them as very old; see Job 15:10,

and know nothing; which is not to be taken in an absolute sense, for they knew much of the things of nature, providence, and grace; they were men of great understanding in things natural, civil, and religious, as appears by their discourses; but in a comparative sense, or when compared with the long lived patriarchs, who through the length of their days had much time and opportunity to make their observations on things, to learn the arts and sciences, and improve themselves in all useful knowledge, human and divine; for which reason Job is sent to inquire of them; whereas they had been but a little while in the world, and knew but little, to whom might be applied that saying, as now to men since, "ars longa, vita brevis"; and they knew nothing as it is to be known, or perfectly, or in comparison of the saints in heaven; for they that know most here know but in part, see through a glass darkly; but in the other world they see face to face, and know as they are known. Moreover, Bildad might say this of himself and his friends, in a modest manner, having learned to know themselves, their weakness, and their folly; and the first and great lesson of wisdom is to become fools in men's own apprehension, in order to be truly wise, having the like sense of themselves as Agur had, Proverbs 30:2; see 1 Corinthians 3:18; or rather this might be said as being the sense of Job concerning them, who had a very mean and indifferent opinion of them; see Job 12:2; and therefore Bildad would not have him take their sense of things, but inquire of persons older and wiser:

because our days upon earth are a shadow; man's time is rather measured by days than by months and years, being so short; and these are called "days" on earth, to distinguish them from the days of heaven, which are one everlasting day, in which there is no night of darkness, either in a literal or figurative sense, and which will never end; but the days of this life are like a "shadow", dark and obscure; full of the darkness of adversity and trouble, as well as greatly deficient in the light of knowledge; there is nothing in them solid and substantial; the greatest and best things of this life are but a vain show; in heaven there is a better and more enduring substance: every thing is mutable and uncertain here; man is subject to a variety of changes in his mind and body, in family and outward estate and circumstances: and life itself is but a vapour, which appears a while and soon vanishes away; or rather like a shadow, that declines, is fleeting, and quickly gone; see 1 Chronicles 29:15.

(s) Pindar. Pythia, Ode 8. 9. of yesterday—that is, a recent race. We know nothing as compared with them because of the brevity of our lives; so even Jacob (Ge 47:9). Knowledge consisted then in the results of observation, embodied in poetical proverbs, and handed down by tradition. Longevity gave the opportunity of wider observation.

a shadow—(Ps 144:4; 1Ch 29:15).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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