Job 8:7
Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
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Job 8:7. Though thy beginning was small — The sense is either, 1st, Though thou hadst possessed but very little at first, yet God would have wonderfully blessed and increased thy estate: whereas, now he hath brought thee down from a great estate almost to nothing; which is an evidence of his displeasure and of thy hypocrisy. Or, 2d, Though what thou hast left be now very little, yet if thou repent and seek God it shall vastly increase.

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.Though thy beginning was small - On the supposition that the children of Job had been cut off, his family now was small. Yet Bildad says, that if he were to begin life again, even with so small a family, and in such depressed and trying circumstances, if he were a righteous man he might hope for returning prosperity.

Yet thy latter end - From this, it is evident that Job was not now regarded as an old man. He would still have the prospect of living many years. Some have supposed, however that the meaning here is, that his former prosperity should appear small compared with that which he would hereafter enjoy if he were pure and righteous. So Noyes and Rosenmuller interpret it. But it seems to me that the former interpretation is the correct one. Bildad utters a general sentiment, that though when a man begins life he has a small family and little property, yet if he is an upright man, he will be prospered and his possessions will greatly increase; compare Job 42:12 : "Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than the beginning."

7. thy beginning—the beginning of thy new happiness after restoration.

latter end—(Job 42:12; Pr 23:18).

The sense is either,

1. Though thou hadst possessed but very little at first, yet God would have wonderfully blessed and increased thy estate; whereas now God hath brought thee down from a great estate almost to nothing; which is an evidence of his displeasure, and thy hypocrisy. Or,

2. Though the beginning of thy future fortunes, or though what thou hast left, be now very small, yet if thou dost repent and seek God, it shall vastly increase.

Though thy beginning was small,.... When, he first set out in the world; and which though it greatly increased, and he was the greatest man in all the east, yet Bildad suggests, should he behave well, that was comparatively small to what it would be with him hereafter; and which was fact, for he had double of what he before enjoyed; so Mr. Broughton renders the words, "and thy former state should be little to thy latter": or rather the sense and meaning is, "though thy beginning should be small" (r); be it so that it is; or rather that though he should begin again in the world with very little, as indeed at present he had nothing to begin with, and when he did it was but with little; one gave him a piece of money, and another an earring of gold:

yet thy latter end should greatly increase; as it did, for the Lord blessed his latter end, and he had more than at the beginning, even double to what he had in his most flourishing circumstances; see Job 42:11, &c. Bildad seems to have spoken under a spirit of prophecy, without being sensible of it, and not imagining in the least that so it would be in fact; for he only affirms it on supposition of Job's good behaviour for the future, putting it entirely upon that condition, which he had no great expectation of it ever being performed.

(r) "etsi fuerit", so some in Michaelis.

Though thy beginning {d} was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

(d) Though the beginning is not as pleasant as you would like, yet in the end you will have sufficient opportunity to please yourself.

7. thy beginning] i. e., thy former estate, before affliction; similarly “latter end” (read: thy latter end shall greatly increase) is said of his future condition of prosperity; see the same use of the words ch. Job 42:12. The verse means that his former estate shall seem small in comparison with the splendour of his renewed prosperity. It is curious that the Author here allows Bildad to utter a prophecy, the literal fulfilment of which, though not through the means suggested by Bildad, he takes care expressly to chronicle.

Verse 7. - Though thy beginning was small; rather, were small. Bildad does not refer to the past, but to the present. Though, if God were now to set to work to prosper Job, his beginning would be slender indeed, yet what the outcome might be none could know. God might prosper him greatly. Yet thy latter end should greatly increase. Here, once mere, Bildad does but follow in the steps of Eliphaz (see Job 5:18-26), prophesying smooth things, as be had done. It is difficult to believe that either comforter put any faith in the prospect which he held out, or imagined that Job would really be restored to prosperity. Rather there is a covert sarcasm in their words. If thou weft indeed so free from guilt as thou claimest to be, then thou wouldst be confident of a happy issue out of thy afflictions. If thou art not confident of such an issue, it is because thou art conscious of guilt. Job 8:7 5 If thou seekest unto God,

And makest supplication to the Almighty,

6 If thou art pure and upright; Surely!

He will care for thee,

And restore the habitation of thy righteousness;

7 And if thy beginning was small,

Thy end shall be exceeding great.

There is still hope for Job (אתּה, in opposition to his children), if, turning humbly to God, he shows that, although not suffering undeservedly, he is nevertheless pure and upright in his inmost mind. Job 8:6 is so intended; not as Mercier and others explain: si in posterum puritati et justitiae studueris. אל־אל שׁחר, to turn one's self to God earnestly seeking, constr. praegnans, like אל־אל דּרשׁ, Job 5:8. Then begins the conclusion with כּי־עתּה, like Job 13:18. "The habitation of thy righteousness" is Job's household cleansed and justified from sin. God will restore that; שׁלּם might also signify, give peace to, but restore is far more appropriate. Completely falling back on שׁלם, the Piel signifies to recompense, off like being returned for like, and to restore, of a complete covering of the loss sustained. God will not only restore, but increase beyond measure, what Job was and had. The verb. masc. after אחרית here is remarkable. But we need not, with Olsh., read ישׂגּה: we may suppose, with Ewald, according to 174, e, that אהרית is purposely treated as masc. It would be a mistake to refer to Proverbs 23:32; Proverbs 29:21, in support of it.

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