Job 26 Summary

Job 26 Summary

What we saw Bildad say in Job 25 summary is maybe all that Job would allow that man to say.

Because in chapter 26, Job begins the lengthiest response he’s given in this book to this point.

Bildad’s speech was unusually short and Zophar doesn’t even get to speak a third time. Instead, Job speaks for 161 verses over 6 chapters from chapter 26 to chapter 31. We’ll deal with only 14 of those verses this time in chapter 26.

Job 26 Summary of Verses 1-4

Sarcastic questions to Bildad | Job 26:1-4

Job begins his speech – in which he’s probably cutting off Bildad because he doesn’t want to hear any more from him or the other friends. And Job asks several sarcastic questions of Bildad – verses 1-4…

KJV Job 26:1 [But/Then] Job [answered and said/responded/replied],

Job 26:2 [How hast thou helped/What a help you are to/How you have helped] [him that is without power/the weak/the powerless] [?/!]
[how savest thou/How you have saved] [the arm/the person] that hath no strength [?/!]

Job 26:3 [How hast thou counselled/What counsel you have given to/How you have advised] him that hath no wisdom [?/!]
[and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is/what helpful insight you have abundantly provided] [?/!] {which is kind of humorous because Bildad’s speech was so short…}

Job 26:4 To whom hast thou uttered words?
and whose spirit [came from/was expressed through/has come forth from the mouth of] thee?

In other words, you don’t really know me and you don’t even know what you’re saying.

Job 26 Summary of Verses 5-14

God is incredibly powerful | Job 26:5-14

And Job is going to take the rest of this chapter to declare that God is incredibly powerful. He’s not at all denying God’s power. And some of what Job starts declaring sounds an awful lot like what God is going to say when he comes at the end of this book.

Job 26 Summary of Verses 5-6

God has power over death | Job 26:5-6

First, God has power over the dead and death itself – verses 5 and 6…

Job 26:5 [Dead things/The departed spirits/The dead][are formed from/tremble/fear/shake]
[under/those beneath] the waters, and [the inhabitants thereof/all that live in them].

Job 26:6 [Hell/Sheol/The underworld] is naked before [him/God],
and [destruction/Abaddon/the place of destruction] [hath no covering/lies uncovered].

Job 26 Summary of Verses 7-9

God’s power is in the heavens | Job 26:7-9

God shows his power in how he deals with the sky above us – verses 7-9…

Job 26:7 [He/God] [stretcheth/spreads] out the [north/northern skies] over [the empty place/empty space],
 and [hangeth/He suspends] the earth upon nothing.

Job 26:8 He [bindeth up/wraps up/locks] the waters in his thick clouds;
and the cloud [is not rent/does not burst] [under/with the weight of] them.

Job 26:9 He [holdeth back/obscures/conceals] the face of [his throne/the full moon], {כִסֵּה vs. כֵּסֶה}
 and spreadeth his cloud [upon/over] it. [thereby shrouding it…]

Job 26 Summary of Verse 10

God has power over day and night | Job 26:10

God’s power determines on this earth where night ends and day begins – verse 10…

Job 26:10 He [hath compassed the waters with bounds/has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters/marks out the horizon on the surface of the waters],
[until the day and night come to an end/at (or as) the boundary of (or between) light and darkness].

Job 26 Summary of Verses 11-13

God’s power is multi-faceted in its effect | Job 26:11-13

And Job points out how God’s power is multifaceted in its effect. It can be destructive and dangerous. Or it can be beautiful and calming – verses 11-13…

Job 26:11 The pillars of heaven tremble {i.e., mountains…}
and are [astonished/amazed] at his [reproof/rebuke].

Job 26:12 He [divideth/quieted/stills] the sea [with/by] his power,
and by his [understanding/wisdom] he [smiteth through/shattered/cut to pieces] [the proud/Rahab/the great sea monster].

Job 26:13 By his [spirit/breath] he hath [garnished/cleared/made fair] the [heavens/skies];
his hand hath [formed/pierced] the [crooked/fleeing] serpent.

The references to “the proud” and to “the crooked serpent” some people think is Job declaring that God – the true God – has power over mythical pagan deities.

At any rate, Job is declaring that God’s power is multifaceted – able to destroy and able to create beauty.

Job 26 Summary of Verse 14

Just the beginning | Job 26:14

And Job says that this is just the beginning of considering God’s awesome and powerful ways – verse 14…

Job 26:14 [Lo/Behold/Indeed], these are [parts/the fringes/the outer fringes] of his ways:
[but how/and how/how] [little/faint] a [portion/word/whisper] is heard of him [?/!]
but [the thunder of his power/his mighty thunder] who can understand?

So, Job is getting close to truly learning the message of this book – which is When You Can’t Understand God’s Ways, You Must Trust His Wisdom. Job just acknowledged that God’s ways are ultimately beyond our fathoming.

And that’s fine enough to observe in the natural world around us. But it’s an entirely different matter to acknowledge this in your own life where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

And that’s exactly what we’ll see next time as Job transitions from admiring God’s powerful ways in nature … to lamenting God’s painful ways in his own life.

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