וַיַּעַן בִּלְדַּד הַשּׁוּחִי וַיֹאמַר׃ 8:1
Job 8:1 Then Bildad, the Shuhite, responded and said,
עַד־אָן תְּמַלֶּל־אֵלֶּה וְרוּחַ כַּבִּיר אִמְרֵי־פִיךָ׃ 8:2
Job 8:2 "Until when will you speak these things,
as the words of your mouth are a great wind?"
It seems evident from his first words, that Bildad shows he doesn’t understand Job’s anger and disappointment at the lack of empathy of his “friends.” He continues in a philosophical vein similar to that of Eliphaz’s speech.
הַאֵל יְעַוֵּת מִשְׁפָּט וְאִם־שַׁדַּי יְעַוֵּת־צֶדֶק׃ 8:3
Job 8:3 "Would God pervert judgment?
Or would the Almighty subvert justice?"
אִם־בָּנֶיךָ חָטְאוּ־לוֹ וַיְשַׁלְּחֵם בְּיַד־פִּשְׁעָם׃ 8:4
Job 8:4 "Maybe your children sinned against Him,
and He gave them over to the hand of their transgression."
Bildad’s thesis is similar to Eliphaz’s: Those to whom trouble comes deserve it. They must have sinned.
אִם־אַתָּה תְּשַׁחֵר אֶל־אֵל וְאֶל־שַׁדַּי תִּתְחַנָּן׃ 8:5
Job 8:5 "Maybe you should earnestly seek to God,
and to the Almighty seek favor."
אִם־זַךְ וְיָשָׁר אָתָּה כִּי־עַתָּה יָעִיר עָלֶיךָ וְשִׁלַּם נְוַת צִדְקֶךָ׃ 8:6
Job 8:6 "If you are pure and upright,
that now He would ‘wake’ on your behalf
and make prosperous the habitation of your righteousness."
The first line of this verse has to be facetious, a clause spiced with subtle contempt and disbelief. The theme continues into the next verse and beyond.
וְהָיָה רֵאשִׁיתְךָ מִצְעָר וְאַחֲרִיתְךָ יִשְׂגֶּה מְאֹד׃ 8:7
Job 8:7 "So your beginning may have been small,
but He would greatly increase your end."
כִּי־שְׁאַל־נָא לְדֹר רִישׁוֹן וְכוֹנֵן לְחֵקֶר אֲבוֹתָם׃ 8:8
Job 8:8 "For please inquire concerning any former generation,
and be directed to the investigation of their fathers."
כִּי־תְמוֹל אֲנַחְנוּ וְלֹא נֵדָע כִּי צֵל יָמֵינוּ עֲלֵי־אָרֶץ׃ 8:9
Job 8:9 "For we are of late, and could not know,
because our days have been a shadow on earth."
הֲלֹא־הֵם יוֹרוּךָ יֹאמְרוּ לָךְ וּמִלִּבָּם יוֹצִאוּ מִלִּים׃ 8:10
Job 8:10 "May they not instruct you, speak to you,
as from their heart they bring out words?"
הֲיִגְאֶה־גֹּמֶא בְּלֹא בִצָּה יִשְׂגֶּה־אָחוּ בְלִי־מָיִם׃ 8:11
Job 8:11 "Could the papyrus rise up in the absence of marsh?
Would the reed grow without water?"
There’s no way to tell from the context whether Bildad is now continuing to speak for himself or he is imagining the words of the fathers.
עֹדֶנּוּ בְאִבּוֹ לֹא יִקָּטֵף וְלִפְנֵי כָל־חָצִיר יִיבָשׁ׃ 8:12
Job 8:12 "It is still in its freshness, has not been plucked out,
yet it would wither before any herb."
כֵּן אָרְחוֹת כָּל־שֹׁכְחֵי אֵל וְתִקְוַת חָנֵף תֹּאבֵד׃ 8:13
Job 8:13 "Such are the paths of all who forget God,
that the hope of a godless one must perish,
Here Bildad seems to be suggesting that Job had forgotten God and/or was godless. How pathetic!
אֲשֶׁר־יָקוֹט כִּסְלוֹ וּבֵית עַכָּבִישׁ מִבְטַחוֹ׃ 8:14
Job 8:14 whose confidence would be broken,
and his trust, a spider web."
יִשָּׁעֵן עַל־בֵּיתוֹ וְלֹא יַעֲמֹד יַחֲזִיק בּוֹ וְלֹא יָקוּם׃ 8:15
Job 8:15 "He could lean against his house, but it would not endure;
he could hold fast to it, but it would not stay up."
רָטֹב הוּא לִפְנֵי־שָׁמֶשׁ וְעַל גַּנָּתֹו יֹנַקְתֹּו תֵצֵא׃ 8:16
Job 8:16 "He might be juicy in the presence of the sun,
and his shoot might go forth about his garden."
Now Bildad seems to be deploying a metaphor, comparing Job to a (godless) plant in a garden.
עַל־גַּל שָׁרָשָׁיו יְסֻבָּכוּ בֵּית אֲבָנִים יֶחֱזֶה׃ 8:17
Job 8:17 "Its roots might be interwoven over to a heap;
it could provide a home of stones."
אִם־יְבַלְּעֶנּוּ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ וְכִחֶשׁ בּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיךָ׃ 8:18
Job 8:18 "If it would be swallowed up from its place,
then it would deny about it: 'I have not seen you.'"
הֶן־הוּא מְשׂוֹשׂ דַּרְכּוֹ וּמֵעָפָר אַחֵר יִצְמָחוּ׃ 8:19
Job 8:19 "Behold, it is the joy of its way,
that from the dust they can spring up another."
I imagine that the pronoun they in this verse refers back to the stones of v. 17.
הֶן־אֵל לֹא יִמְאַס־תָּם וְלֹא־יַחֲזִיק בְּיַד־מְרֵעִים׃ 8:20
Job 8:20 "Behold, God would not reject an innocent one
nor put strength in the hand of those doing evil."
עַד־יְמַלֵּה שְׂחוֹק פִּיךָ וּשְׂפָתֶיךָ תְרוּעָה׃ 8:21
Job 8:21 "While your mouth would be full of laughter
and your lips of a shout for joy,
שֹׂנְאֶיךָ יִלְבְּשׁוּ־בֹשֶׁת וְאֹהֶל רְשָׁעִים אֵינֶנּוּ׃ 8:22
Job 8:22 your haters would wear shame,
and there would be no tent of the wicked."
Is Bildad here in these last two verses suggesting that if Job were indeed innocent, then he would be joyous, those hating him would be shamed, and the wicked would not find homes? How much more devilish could this man have been?
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