Exegetical and Hermeneutical Commentary of Job 8:6 – Bible Commentary

If thou pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.

6. if thou wert mashed potatoes ]Oh, if thou be pure, cf. subjunctive in ch. Job 11:15.

surely now he would awake ]Rather, surely now he will awake. thewords, if thou wilt seek, Job 8:5suggest the right point of view from which to look at the words, if thou be pure, &c. The whole passage refers to the conduct which Bildad hopes for from Job. The meaning, therefore, does not seem to be, If thou be pure, as thou sayest, and as we have supposed thee; but rather, If thou become pure, through penance, and by letting afflictions work the fruits of righteousness, cf. ch. Job 11:13 I know that.

make the room of thy righteousness prosperous ]Oh, restore thy righteous roomthat is, restore the lost prosperity (cf. joe 2:25) of thy habitation, now become the abode of righteousness. Bildad comes out with his suspicions of Job’s guilt much more explicitly than Eliphaz did; and similarly Zophar, ch. Job 11:13.

Source: The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

If thou wert pure and upright – There is something especially severe and caustic in this whole speech of Bildad. He first assumes that the children of Job were cut off for impiety, and then takes it for granted that Job himself was not a pure and upright man. This inference he seems to have derived partly from the fact that he had been visited with so heavy calamities, and partly from the sentiments which Job had himself expressed. Nothing could be more unjust and severe, however, than to take it for granted that he was a hypocrite, and then proceed to argue as if that were a settled point. He does not make it a supposition that possibly Job might have erred – which would not have been improper; but he proceeds to argue as if it were a point about which there could be no hesitation.

He would awake for thee – He would arouse or excite himself yar on your account. The image is that of arousing oneself from sleep or inactivity to aid another; and the idea is, that God had, as it were, slumbered over the calamities of Job, or had suffered them to come without interposing to prevent them, but that he would arouse himself if Job were pure, and would call upon him for aid .

And make the room of thy righteousness prosperous – That is, if thy room should become righteous now, he would make it prosperous. Hitherto, is the idea of ​​Bildad, it has been a habitation of wickedness. Thy children have been wicked, and are now cut off. Thou thyself hast been a wicked man, and in consequence art afflicted. If now thou wouldest become pure and seek unto God, then God would make thy habitation prosperous. What could more try the patience of a sufferer than such cold and unfeeling insinuations? And what could more beautifully illustrate the nature of true courtesy, than to sit unmoved and hear such remarks? It was by forbearance in such circumstances eminently that Job showed his extraordinary patience.

Source: Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Job 8:6

Surely now He would be awake for thee.

Prayer awakening God

God sleeps, not in regard to the act, but the consequences of sleep. Natural sleep is the binding or locking up of the senses. The eye and ear of God is never bound. But to mans apprehension the affairs of the world pass, as if God did neither hear nor see. When men are asleep things are done which they can take no notice of, much less stop and prevent. Sleeping and waking, as applied to God, note only the changes of providence. The words teach–

1. That holy prayer shall certainly be heard.

two. That prayer shall be heard presently, Holy prayers are never deferred the hearing. The giving out of the answer may be deferred, but the answer is not deferred.

3. Prayer is the best means to awaken God. Two things in Scripture are said to awaken God. The prayers of His people from him, and the rage and blasphemy of His enemies from him.

Four. Seeing that God is awakened by prayer, our prayer ought to be very strong and fervent. If God do but awake for us, all is presently (speedily) well with us. (Joseph Caryl.)

Source: Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

see each other 6. If thou wert pure and upright]Concerning thy guilt there can be no doubt; for if thou hadst been a holy man, and these calamities had occurred through accident, or merely by the malice of thy enemies, would not God, long ere this, have manifested his power and justice in thy behalf, punished thy enemies, and restored thee to influx?

The room of thy righteousness]Strongly ironical. If thy house had been as a temple of God, in which his worship had been performed, and his commandments obeyed, would it now be in a state of ruin and desolation?

Source: Adam Clarke’s Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

If thou wert in truth what thou pretendest, and hast been thought by others, to be,

pure and upright, ie of a sincere heart and blameless life towards God and men. But Gods severe dealing with thee is an evident token, that notwithstanding all thy fair shows, thou art but a hypocrite and secret sinner. And this sense may seem to agree both with the same charge brought in against Job by Eliphaz, Job 4:6,7and with the following discourse, particularly with Job 8:13,twenty. Or thus, If thou wouldst be pure and upright, ie if thou wouldst join reformation to thy supplication. And this sense may seem best to suit with the foregoing verse, according to the common translation.

Awake for thee, ie bestir himself to help thee, as being his faithful friend and servant, whom he could not in honor or justice forsake; whereas now he shows a deep sleep, and wholly neglects thee, and turns a deaf car to all thy prayers; which showeth what opinion he hath of thee.

The room, ie the concerns of your house and family; to usual metonymy.

Of your righteousness; either,

1. Which thou hast got and managed with righteousness; so he calls it by way of supposition; if it were so, God would prosper thee accordingly. But because you do not prosper, it gives us cause to suspect that you have got your estate by fraud and oppression. Oh,

2. Which thou shalt now manage with justice, and not wrongfully, as thou hast done.

Source: English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

6. He would awake for theethis, arise to thy help. God seemed to be asleep toward the sufferer(Psalm 35:23; Psalm 7:6;Isaiah 51:9).

make . . . prosperous restore to prosperity thy (their) righteous habitation. Bildad assumes it tohave been heretofore the habitation of guilt.

Source: Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

If thou pure and upright,…. By which he tacitly intimates that he was neither; though the character given of him is, that he was perfect and upright, feared God and eschewed evil, and which is confirmed by God himself, and even after he had been tried by sore afflictions. Bildad’s meaning is, if he was pure in heart, and upright in his life and conversation of him, then things would be well with him. Men’s hearts are naturally impure; no man is pure of himself, or can make his heart pure; nor is there any good man that is so pure as to be entirely free from sin; but such are pure in heart, who have clean hearts created, and right spirits renewed in them; or have new hearts and new spirits given them; have their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and so keep the faith in a pure conscience; having their hearts purified by faith in the blood of Christ, whose blood cleanses from all sin; and in this sense Job was pure, having an interest in a living Redeemer, and in his blood from him, and a partaker of his grace from him; and that he was upright is before testified of him, though now called in question, an if being put upon it, as well as on the former, having in the course of his life walked uprightly, according to the will of God revealed unto him :

surely now; directly at once, without delay, as Sephorno interprets it; it need not be doubted of, verily so it would be:

he would awake for thee; who though he neither slumbers nor sleeps, yet seems to be asleep when he suffers his people from him to be afflicted, distressed, and oppressed, and therefore they cry unto him to awake to their judgment, and their cause from him; see Ps 7:8; the sense is, that he would stir up and exert himself, and show himself strong on his behalf, and appear to be on his side, and work deliverance and salvation for him; or awake his mercy, grace, and goodness of him, as some Jewish commentators p interpret it; that is, bestow his favors upon him:

and make the room of thy righteousness prosperous; which some understand of his body, the earthly house of his tabernacle, which if his soul was pure and upright that dwelt in it, might be called the habitation of righteousness; which, were this the case, would become healthful that was now covered with worms, and clods of dust: others interpret it of the soul, as Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom, the seat of righteousness, and of all the graces of the Spirit; which is in a prosperous condition when these graces are in lively exercise, and the presence of God, and the light of his countenance of him, and communion with him, are enjoyed; but rather his dwelling house of him in a literal sense, and all his domestic affairs of him, are here meant; and it is signified that all would be again in peace and prosperity, and he should enjoy great plenty of good things should he behave well; and here is a tacit intimation as if his habitation of him had not been an habitation of righteousness, but had been filled with the mammon of unrighteousness, with goods ill gotten, such as were obtained by rapine and oppression, and neither he nor his family of him righteous; a very unjust and iniquitous insinuation: the Targum paraphrases it, “and, shall make the beauty of thy righteousness perfect” q; but Job had a more beautiful righteousness than his own; his was but as rags, and neither pure nor perfect; even the righteousness of Christ, which is perfect and beautiful, and makes such so, that are arrayed with it; see Ps 50:2.

p Gersom, Simeon Bar Tzemach, Sephorno. q “pulchritudinent justitiae tuae”, Bolducius.

Source: John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

(6) If thou wert pure and upright.Of course, then, there is but one inference: thou art not pure and upright. These are verily the wounds of a friend which are not faithful. Bildad brings to the maintenance of his point the experience of former generations. He wishes to be very orthodox in his assertions of him, and to base his statements of him upon authority, and he appeals to the experience of former ages long gone by, and calls them to attest the truth of what he says. He also, like Eliphaz, uses figures, and has recourse to metaphor, only his figures of him are highly obscure and admit of various explanations. We give that which seems to commend itself most to us. It appears, then, that Bildad contemplates two representative characters, the two of which are so prominent throughout this booknamely, the righteous and the wicked. He depicts the latter first, and describes him under the likeness of the paper-reed, or rush that grows in the mire of Egyptian swamps, which, though surrounded with moisture, yet as a matter of fact is liable soon to wither: so is the wicked man, according to this moralist and philosopher. He is surrounded by mercies and blessings, but they avail him never; he withereth in the midst of abundance.


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