Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
JOB CHAPTER 25
Bildad’s answer: God’s majesty and purity is such as that man cannot be justified before God: before him the heavenly lights lose their lustre and purity.
Bildad answered, not to that which Job spoke last, but to that which stuck most in Bildad’s mind, and which seemed most reprovable in all his discourses, to wit, his bold censure of God’s proceedings with him, and his avowed and oft-repeated desire of disputing the matter with him.
Dominion, i.e. absolute and sovereign power over all persons and things, with whom to contend is both rebellion and madness.
Fear, actively understood, or terror, i.e. that which justly makes him dreadful to all men, and especially to all that shall undertake to dispute with him; awful majesty, infinite knowledge, whereby he knows men’s hearts and ways far better than they know themselves, and sees much sin in them which themselves do not discover, and exact purity and justice, which renders him formidable to sinners.
Are with him; emphatically spoken; with him whom thou challengest; with him who is not lightly and irreverently to be named, much less to be contended with. And therefore it is thy duty to humble thyself for thy presumptuous words and carriages towards him, and quietly and modestly to submit thyself and thy cause to his pleasure.
He maketh peace in his high places. This clause, as well as the following verse, seems to be added to prove what he last said of God’s dominion and dreadfulness; he keepeth and ruleth all persons and things in heaven in peace and harmony; and the order which he hath established among them. The angels, though they be very numerous, and differing in orders and ministries, do all own his sovereignty, and acquiesce in his pleasure, without any disputing and murmuring. The stars and heavenly bodies, though vast in their bulk, and various in their motions, yet exactly keep their courses and the order which God hath appointed them; and therefore it is great folly and impudence to exempt thyself from God’s jurisdiction, or to quarrel with the methods of God’s dealings with thee.
Of his armies; of the angels, and stars, and other creatures, all which are his hosts, wholly submitting themselves to his will, to be and do what God would have them; and therefore how insolent and unreasonable a thing is it for thee to quarrel with him! He spoke before of God’s making peace, and here he mentions the armies by which he keeps it.
Upon whom doth no his light arise? either,
1. Properly, his sun, which riseth upon all, Matthew 5:45. Or rather,
2. Metaphorically, all that is in men, which is or may be called light; the light of life, by which men subsist, and are kept out of the state of the dead, called a land of darkness, Job 10:22; the light of reason and understanding, called. God’s candle, Proverbs 20:27, by which thou, O Job, art capable of arguing with God and with us; and all that peace, and prosperity, and comfort which thou ever didst enjoy, which oft comes under the name of light, as Esther 8:15,16 Psa 97:11 Psalms 112:4; which being here called light, is, to continue the metaphor, most fitly said to arise upon men: all this is from God, and therefore is wholly at his disposal; he freely gave it all, and he may justly take it away, as thou thyself didst truly observe and confess, Job 1:21, and consequently thou hast no reason to reproach God for disposing of his own as he pleaseth. Thou hast lost nothing which was thine own, and having no propriety, there is no foundation for any judicial contest with God.
Man: the word signifies man that is miserable, which supposeth him to be sinful; and that such a creature should quarrel with that dominion of God, to which the sinless, and happy, and glorious angels willingly submit, is most absurd and impious.
With God i.e. before God’s tribunal, to which thou dost so boldly appeal. Thou mayst plead thy cause with thy fellow worms, as we are, and expect to be justified; but woe to thee if the great God undertake to plead his cause against thee! how severely and certainly wouldst thou then be condemned!
That is born of a woman, to wit, after the ordinary course; for otherwise Christ was born of a woman, but in a singular manner. This birth is alleged as an evidence of man’s filthiness, Job 14:4 15:14 Psalms 51:5, and of his liableness to God’s curse and wrath, Genesis 3:16 Ephesians 2:2, and consequently of his condemnation, opposite to the justification here mentioned, and confidently expected by Job in this contest.
The moon, though a bright and glorious creature, Job 31:26 Song of Solomon 6:10, if compared with the splendour of the Divine majesty, is but as a dark and earthy lump, without any lustre or glory. He names the
moon and the
stars rather than the sun, because they many times are eclipsed or disappear even to our eyes, which is a plain evidence of their utter obscurity in respect of God’s light; whereas the sun, though that also he obscure, if compared with God, yet it casts a constant and most clear light. Or by naming the moon, and thence proceeding to the stars, the sun is included between them.
The stars are not pure in his sight; he can discern many spots and blemishes in them which we cannot see; and in like manner he can discover those corruptions or sins in us which are unknown to our own conscience, which should make thee, O Job, tremble to appear before his tribunal.
A worm, to wit, mean, and vile, and impotent; proceeding from corruption, and returning to it; and withal filthy and loathsome, and so every way a very unfit person to appear before the high and holy God, and much more to contend with him. The same thing is repeated in other words; only for miserable man in the last branch he here puts the son of any man, of what degree or quality soever, to show that this is true even of the greatest and best of men.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 25". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25