How much less man, [that is] a worm?
&c.] Whose original is of the earth, dwells in it, and is supported by it, and creeps into it again; who is impure by nature and by practice, weak and impotent to do anything that is spiritually good, or to defend himself from his spiritual enemies; and is mean and despicable, as even the best of men are, in their own eyes, and in the eyes of the world: and, if the best of men are comparable to such creatures, and our Lord himself, in human nature, was content to be called a worm, and no man; what must the worst of men be, or man be in and of himself, without the grace of God and righteousness of Christ, by which he can be only clean and righteous? see ( Isaiah 41:14 ) ( Psalms 22:6 ) ; and, if the celestial bodies above mentioned are eclipsed of all their brightness and glory, in the presence of God; what a contemptible figure must man make in the court of heaven, who, in comparison of them, is but a worm, and much more so, as appearing before God?
and the son of man, [which is] a worm;
which is repeated with a little variation for the confirmation of it; or it may signify, that even the first man was no other than of the earth, earthy, and so are all his sons. The Targum is,
``how much more man, who in his life is a reptile, and the son of man, who in his death is a worm?''to which may be added, that he is in his grave a companion for the worms; and indeed it appears by the observations made through microscopes, that man, in his first state of generation, is really a worm F16; so that, as Pliny says F17, one that is a judge of things may pity and be ashamed of the sorry original of the proudest of animals. By this short reply of Bildad, and which contains little more than what had been before said, it is plain that he was tired of the controversy, and glad to give out.
F16 Lewenhoeck apud Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 721. Vid. Philosoph. Transact. abridged, vol. 2. p. 912, 913.
F17 Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 7.