Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 8:1. Then answered Bildad the Shuhite — “Bildad, whose sentiments are the same with those of the preceding friend, now comes to the attack, and tells Job that his general asseverations of innocence are of no avail; that to deny his guilt was to charge the Almighty with injustice; that, if he would not yield to the arguments of Eliphaz, drawn from his experience, and strengthened by revelation, he would do well to pay respect to the general experience of mankind, as handed down by tradition; where he would find it established, as a certain truth, that misery was the infallible consequence of wickedness; that therefore they could not argue wrong who inferred from actual misery antecedent guilt: and though he might urge that these calamities were fallen upon him on account of his children’s wickedness, yet he only deceived himself; for in that case God might have indeed chastised them for their crimes, but he would, by no means, have destroyed the innocent with the guilty: he would rather have heaped his blessings on the innocent person, that the contrast might have vindicated his providence. He would have even wrought a miracle for the preservation or restoration of such a person; and he concludes that since, from the known attributes of God, it was impossible he should cut off the innocent, or suffer the guilty to go free; and, as no interposition of providence had happened in his behalf, he thought him in a likely way, by his utter destruction, to prove a terrible example of the truth of that principle which they had urged against him.” — Heath and Dodd.Job 2:11.
FIRST SERIES—FIRST SPEECH OF BILDAD, MORE SEVERE AND COARSE THAN THAT OF ELIPHAZ.
Job 8:1-22. The Address of Bildad.Bildad’s reproof: Job’s words said to be as wind: God just in all his ways, and in his dealings towards Job’s children: if he would pray to God, and was indeed pure and upright, God would arise for him, Job 8:1-7. For this he appealeth to the history of ancient times, which declare the bad end of the hypocrite, Job 8:8-19, and the hope and joy of the upright, Job 8:20-22.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Before coming to his principle and by way of introducing it Bildad expresses his wonder that Job should allow himself to speak such things as his discourse contained. These things are such things as ch. Job 6:29, Job 7:1-2; Job 7:12-21, and perhaps even ch. Job 6:10. He refers to the general drift of Job’s speech, which appears to him to be an assertion that God was unjust (Job 8:3).
a strong wind] Violent, and empty, cf. ch. Job 15:2, Job 16:3.Verse 1. - Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said. Bildad the Shuhite has the second place in the passage where Job's friends are first mentioned (Job 2:11), and occupies the same relative position in the dialogue. We may suppose him to have been younger than Eliphaz and older than Zophar. He does little more than repeat the arguments of Eliphaz, stating them, however, more bluntly, and with less of tact and consideration. The chief novelties of his discourse are an appeal to the teaching of past ages (vers 8-10), and the employment of new and forcible metaphors (vers. 11-19).
That thou settest a watch over me?
13 For I said, My bed shall comfort me;
My couch shall help me to bear my complaint.
14 Then thou scaredst me with dreams,
And thou didst wake me up in terror from visions,
15 So that my soul chose suffocation,
Death rather than this skeleton.
16 I loathe it, I would not live alway;
Let me alone, for my days are breath.
Since a watch on the sea can only be designed to effect the necessary precautions at its coming forth from the shores, it is probable that the poet had the Nile in mind when he used ים, and consequently the crocodile by תּנּין. The Nile is also called ים in Isaiah 19:5, and in Homer ὠκεανός, Egyptian oham ( equals ὠκεανός), and is even now called (at least by the Bedouins) bahhr (Arab. bahr). The illustrations of the book, says von Gerlach correctly, are chiefly Egyptian. On the contrary, Hahn thinks the illustration is unsuitable of the Nile, because it is not watched on account of its danger, but its utility; and Schlottman thinks it even small and contemptible without assigning a reason. The figure is, however, appropriate. As watches are set to keep the Nile in channels as soon as it breaks forth, and as men are set to watch that they may seize the crocodile immediately he moves here or there; so Job says all his movements are checked at the very commencement, and as soon as he desires to be more cheerful he feels the pang of some fresh pain. In Job 7:13, ב after נשׂא is partitive, as Numbers 11:17; Mercier correctly: non nihil querelam meam levabit. If he hopes for such repose, it forthwith comes to nought, since he starts up affrighted from his slumber. Hideous dreams often disturb the sleep of those suffering with elephantiasis, says Avicenna (in Stickel, S. 170). Then he desires death; he wishes that his difficulty of breathing would increase to suffocation, the usual end of elephantiasis. מחנק is absolute (without being obliged to point it מחנק with Schlottm.), as e.g., מרמס, Isaiah 10:6 (Ewald, 160, c). He prefers death to these his bones, i.e., this miserable skeleton or framework of bone to which he is wasted away. He despises, i.e., his life, Job 9:21. Amid such suffering he would not live for ever. הבל, like רוּח, Job 7:7.
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