New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary

Job 25:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered- Here Bildad is merely using the previous arguments of Eliphaz in Job 11:17; 15:15. This is another sign that dialogue has failed- when one side starts quoting the words and arguments of their own side, rather than engaging with the actual words of the other side. These dialogues are recorded to teach us how not to dialogue, and to see the extreme consequence of refusing to even want to understand each other.

Job 25:2 Dominion and fear are with Him. He makes peace in His high places-
Again, this is true, but it is a truth used in a wrong context. For Bildad's argument here is a repeat of what Eliphaz has said, that God is so great and high, considering even the Angels unclean, that He is really not that concerned with man, and Job's idea that God ought to be passionately concerned about him is therefore blasphemous.

Job 25:3 Can His armies be counted? On whom does His light not arise?-
The armies presumably refer to His Angels (as GNB). Job didn't disagree with this; he has just argued in Job 24:14-17 that indeed God's light is everywhere, but sinners refuse to walk in it, and the presence of darkness or His light is no deterrent to sinners. But that argument is totally bypassed by Bildad here because he is set on repeating earlier arguments of his friend Eliphaz. Again, this is all a parade example of dialogue gone wrong.

Job 25:4 How then can man be just with God? Or how can he who is born of a woman be clean?-
Bildad isn't engaging with Job's arguments now, he is simply repeating the false statements of Eliphaz that the human condition is such that we can never be just with God. Bildad has forgotten the parameters imposed by God in the prologue- that in His eyes, Job was perfect. The final justification of Job with God, by grace, was an answer enough to this wrong view of human nature. See on :6.

The question "How can a man be just with God?" is the same question as 'How can a man ever be clean before a perfect God?', and is repeated in this form in Job 9:30; 15:15; 25:4.   The exiles had considered themselves cleansed whiter than snow because of their obedience to some parts of the Mosaic law (Lam. 4:7), but failed to accept that such cleansing to be whiter than snow is only possible by doing what David did, and casting ourselves upon God's grace outside of justification by works (Ps. 51:7). Job was to learn this lesson at the end. It was this offer which was made to Job just as it was to Judah under judgment (Is. 1:18).

Job 25:5 Behold, even the moon has no brightness, and the stars are not pure in His sight-
It can be argued that the book of Job is a dialogue concerning evil and suffering, with three popular views being represented by the three friends. These views are examined and corrected by the personal history of Job, as well as by the epilogue and prologue to the book. Eliphaz seems to be representative of the idea that Job is being hit by supernaturally controlled evil- Eliphaz speaks of a force of darkness (Job 22:10,11) and sinful or faulty Angels living in an unclean Heaven (Job 4:18; 15:15). Yet the answer to all this is that the Satan figure is under God's control, all Job's misfortunes come from God and His Angels- one of whom may have been called 'the adversary' ('Satan')- are in fact perfectly obedient to Him and not disobedient. And finally, Eliphaz and the friends are rebuked for their various wrong understandings, with God declaring Himself supreme and ultimate sovereign. Likewise Bildad's view of Angels in Job 25:5 "The stars are not pure in God's eyes" is corrected by God in Job 38:7, when He says that "the morning stars sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy".


Job 25:6 how much less man, who is a worm, the son of man, who is a worm!
- Bildad is simply wrong to argue that because man is a worm, therefore he is of no particular value to God, seeing that his nature means that he can never be clean nor just before God (see on :4). This is not the case. The Lord Jesus had human nature but was clean and just before God, showing for all time the possibilities intrinsic within human nature. The same word is used of how He on the cross felt as a worm (Ps. 22:6). It is the very message to the exiles: "Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel: I will help you" (Is. 41:14). Though their sins were red as the crimson worm (s.w.), they would be made white as wool (Is. 1:18). The lowness of man is no barrier to being clean before God, nor to being revived and used by Him.