Job 8 Summary

Job 8 Summary

When we can’t understand, we must trust. This is arguably the most important lesson we learn from the book of Job. So please turn to that book in your Bible.

The problem that Job’s experiencing though is that his three friends who were all very well-meaning but who were all infected with a wrong way of thinking about how God works in this world – called Retribution Theology – are trying to help Job understand why he’s suffering – rather than helping him to trust God.

We saw Eliphaz attempt this already.

Bildad speaks | Job 8

Now it’s Bildad’s turn. He’s going to take the entire eighth chapter of this book to give his opinions to Job as to why he’s suffering.

Job 8 Summary of Verses 1-2

Bildad doesn’t like what Job said | Job 8:1-2

He starts by asserting that he doesn’t like what Job has said in his response to Eliphaz – verses 1 and 2…

KJV Job 8:1Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

Job 8:2How long wilt thou speak these things?
and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?

Job 8 Summary of Verse 3

Job is claiming that God is not just | Job 8:3

Bildad summarizes Job’s words thus far as claiming that God is not being just to him – verse 3…

Job 8:3 Doth God pervert [judgment/justice]?
or doth the Almighty pervert [justice/what is right]?

Of course God doesn’t pervert justice. We can agree with Bildad on that point.

Job 8 Summary of Verse 4

God killed Job’s children for their sin | Job 8:4

But then Bildad goes on to communicate his concept of justice in a rather perverse way himself. Bildad claims that God’s justice moved him to kill Job’s children for supposedly sinning against him – verse 4…

Job 8:4 If thy children have sinned against him,
[and/then] he have cast them away for their transgression;

And that’s the only explanation that a man like Bildad – who subscribes to Retribution Theology – has for situations like this. There’s suffering in someone’s life – it’s because they’re sinning and God is punishing them.

Job’s children died in such a notorious way – they must have sinned.

Job 8 Summary of Verses 5-6

If Job turns to God, God will bless him again | Job 8:5-6

But Bildad has “good news” for Job. Job – unlike his children – is still alive. And so there’s still hope for God to restore his blessings to Job.

Bildad’s plan is simple – If Job would seek God and pray to him and leave off with his sin, then God will turn to Job and restore his blessings to him – verses 5 and 6…

Job 8:5 [But…] If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes,
and make thy supplication [a plea for compassion…] to the Almighty;

Job 8:6 If thou [wert/are/become]pure and upright;
surely now he would [awake/rouse himself] for thee,
and make [the habitation of thy righteousness/your righteous habitation] prosperous. [by restoring it…]

Job 8 Summary of Verse 7

Greater blessings to come | Job 8:7

Bildad goes on to say that when Job finally repents of his supposed sin and turns back to God, the blessings Job receives will be even greater than what he ever experienced thus far – verse 7…

Job 8:7 Though thy beginning was [small/insignificant], [or it will seem like it at the end…]
[yet/since] thy [latter end/future] should [greatly increase/flourish].

Job 8 Summary of Verses 8-10

Seek wisdom of the ancients | Job 8:8-10

Bildad says that Job should humbly seek out and receive the wisdom of the ancients. They were smarter and more were experienced and they had superior wisdom to Job and his three friends – verses 8-10…

Job 8:8 For enquire, I pray thee, of the [former/past] [age/generation],
and [prepare thyself/consider/pay attention] to the [search/the things searched out/findings] of their [fathers/ancestors]:

Job 8:9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing,
because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

Job 8:10 Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee,
and utter words out of their [heart/mind/understanding]?

So, Bildad says ancient wisdom is something that can help Job in his present suffering. But he’s not necessarily correct.

Ancient writings – if they’re not God’s own words or if they’re not based upon God’s word and his wisdom – they’re just as Bildad described in verse 10 – they’re just men like you and me uttering words out of their own heart and mind and understanding.

Job 8 Summary of Verses 1-12

What the ancients said | Job 8:11-12

Bildad continues with highlighting some select teachings of this ancient wisdom.

The ancients, for example, spoke of papyrus plants and reed plants and how they die without water – verses 11 and 12…

Job 8:11 Can the [rush/papyrus] grow up without [mire/a marsh]?
can the [flag/rushes/reeds] grow without water?

Job 8:12 Whilst it is yet in his greenness [beginning to flower…], and not cut down [for human use…],
 [yet…] it withereth [before/faster than] any other [herb/plant/grass].

Job 8 Summary of Verses 13-19

Wicked wither | Job 8:13-19

But the ancients didn’t simply speak of plants withering. They connected those withering plants to the situation with human beings – in particular, the wicked.

The wicked – according to the ancients, even – are a lot like those papyrus plants and reeds – in that God causes them to wither and perish – verses 13 through 19…

Job 8:13 So are the [paths/destiny] of all that forget God;
and the [hypocrite’s/godless’] hope shall perish:

Job 8:14 Whose [hope/confidence/trust] [shall be cut off/is fragile/is in something futile],
and whose [trust/security] shall be a spider’s web.

Job 8:15 He [shall lean upon/trusts in] his house,
but it [shall not stand/does not hold up]:

he shall hold it fast,
but it shall not endure.

Job 8:16 He [is green/thrives] before the sun,
and his branch shooteth forth in his garden. {He looks good for a while – but then disaster!…}

Job 8:17 His roots are wrapped about [the heap/a rock pile],
 and [seeth/looks for] [the/a] place [of/among] stones.

Job 8:18 If [he/God?] destroy him from his place,
then it [his place…] shall deny him, saying,

I have [not/never] seen thee.

Job 8:19 Behold, this is the joy of his way,
  and out of the earth shall others grow.

So that’s the fate of the wicked, which Job is – in the eyes of his friends. Because he’s suffering, which looks like punishment. And those who hold to Retribution Theology – or the Prosperity Gospel – all know that if someone appears to be experiencing punishment it’s because he’s displeasing to God in some way.

Job 8 Summary of Verse 20

Righteous always blessed, wicked never helped | Job 8:20

But in contrast to the wicked, God always blesses the righteous. And he never helps the wicked – verse 20…

Job 8:20 Behold, God will not cast away a [perfect/blameless] man,
neither will he help the evil doers:

Job 8 Summary of Verse 21

God will turn to Job and turn on his enemies | Job 8:21

And if Job turns from his supposed secret sin and starts seeking God, God will be good to him and will deal harshly with those who are opposed to Job…

Job 8:21 [Till he/He will yet] fill thy mouth with laughing,
and thy lips with rejoicing.

Job 8:22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame;
and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.

And it does turn out this way – in that Job’s three friends who are all in some way hating Job by not speaking truth to him and helping him trust God – they are clothed with shame at the end of this book.

But that doesn’t happen because Job stops sinning. It’s because Job comes to trust God – even when – and especially because – he can’t understand God’s ways.

Well, with that, Bildad rests his case. He’s apparently all out of ancient wisdom.

1 Comment

  1. william bullard says:

    I am fully satisfied with the commentary , easy to understand and behold. thanks .


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