who will make me a liar? where is the man? let him stand forth and appear, and disprove what has been said, and make out the doctrine delivered to be false doctrine, and a lie; for no lie is of the truth:
and make my speech nothing worth; vain, useless, and unprofitable; truth is valuable, like gold, silver and precious stones; but error is as wood, hay, and stubble, and nothing worth, yea, to be detested and rejected: or let him make what I have said to stand "for nothing" (l); let him show, if he can, that it is impertinent, and not to the purpose, that it does not prove the point for which it is brought: thus Job was willing to have what he had said tried by every method that could be made use of, that it might appear whether what he had said was true or false, worthy to be regarded, or worthless; and he here bids defiance to his friends, or to any other, and triumphs over them, as having gained his point; and, as it appears by the sequel, he had, at least in a great measure, and however with respect to this matter, that good men are afflicted in this life, and wicked men prosper; of which there are many instances,
(l) "ad nihilum", Pagninus, Montanus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.
INTRODUCTION TO Job 25
This chapter contains Bildad's reply to Job, such an one as it is; in which, declining the controversy between them, he endeavours to dissuade him from attempting to lay his cause before God, and think to justify himself before him, from the consideration of the majesty of God, described by the dominion he is possessed of; the fear creatures stand in of him; the peace he makes in his high places; the number of his armies, and the vast extent of his light, Job 25:1; and from the impossibility of man's being justified with him, or clean before him, argued from thence, Job 25:4; and which is further illustrated by a comparison of the celestial bodies with men, and by an argument from the greater to the less, that if they lose their lustre and purity in his sight, much more man, a mean despicable worm, Job 25:5.
and said; as follows.
he maketh peace in his high places; in the high places of his earth, and among the great men of it, creating and commanding peace, and causing war among them to cease, whenever it is his pleasure; and in the regions of the air, where, though there are often thunder and lightning, storms and tempests of wind, hail, and rain, yet, when he says, Peace, be still, all is serene and quiet; and in the orbs of the heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, which know their appointed times and seasons, and keep their place or course, and do their work and office in the most easy and cheerful manner; and among the angels in the highest heaven, which are properly his high places, who, though their numbers are so great, and they themselves thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, and have various offices and different work assigned them, readily do his will, and are in the utmost harmony and concord among themselves, show no reluctance to him, nor any discord to each other: now Bildad would have Job consider whether he could think himself so significant, that cognizance would be taken of him and his cause by so great, glorious, and majestic a thing; or that he would suffer his high places, where peace reigned, to be disturbed by his noise and brawl.
and upon whom doth not his light arise? either natural light, that grand luminary the sun, which rises on all, the evil and the good, nor is anything hid from the light and heat of it; or moral light, the light of nature, with which everyone that comes into the world is enlightened by him; or the light of providential goodness, which is unto all, and over all his creatures; the whole earth is full of it, and all the inhabitants have a share in it; nor is anything hid from his all piercing, all penetrating, all seeing eye, who is light itself, and dwells in light inaccessible, and from which light nothing can be hid.
or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? which suggests a doctrine that Job as firmly believed as Bildad did, that all men are unclean by natural generation, or as they are born into the world; their ancestors being such, the more immediate, and the more remote, which may be traced back to the first man and woman, Job 14:4; so that as no man is clean and pure as God is, or in comparison of him, or in his sight; they can neither be naturally clean, nor so of themselves, by any means or methods they can make use of; but then they may be, as many are, clean by the blood of Christ, and grace of God, through which his people are cleansed from all their sins, and all their iniquities, and are without spot before the throne and in the sight of God.
and it, even that itself
shineth not; it is darkened, confounded, and ashamed; it hides its beautiful face, and draws in its borrowed and useful light, at the approach of him, who is light itself, and in whom is no darkness at all: or it tabernacles not (n); has no tabernacle to abide in, as is said of the sun, Psalm 19:4; or does not expand and spread its light, as a tent (o) or tabernacle is spread; it does not diffuse, but contracts it. No mention is made of the sun, not because that shines in its own light, which the moon does not; but perhaps because the controversy between Job and his friends was held in the night, when the moon and the stars were only seen, and therefore only mentioned; otherwise, what is here observed equally holds good of the sun as of the moon; see Isaiah 24:23;
yea, the stars are not pure in his sight; as there are spots in the sun and in the moon, seen by the eye of man, aided and assisted, so such may be seen by God in the stars also, and in these, both in a natural and in a mystical sense; as by them may be meant the angels of heaven, even those are not pure in the sight of God, and in comparison of him, the most perfectly pure and holy Being; see Job 4:18.
(n) "et non ponet tabernaculum", Montanus, Bolducius; so Schmidt, Schultens. (o) "Non expandet lumen suum in modum tentorii", Complutenses apud Bolduc.