Job 26


1 Then Job replied:
2 “How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
3 What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed!
4 Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
5 “The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
6 The realm of the dead is naked before God; Destruction[a] lies uncovered.
7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.
8 He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
9 He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it.
10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke.
12 By his power he churned up the sea; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13 By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”

Job 26 Commentary

Chapter 26

Job reproves Bildad. (1-4) Job acknowledges the power of God. (5-14)

Verses 1-4 Job derided Bildad's answer; his words were a mixture of peevishness and self-preference. Bildad ought to have laid before Job the consolations, rather than the terrors of the Almighty. Christ knows how to speak what is proper for the weary, ( Isaiah 50:4 ) ; and his ministers should not grieve those whom God would not have made sad. We are often disappointed in our expectations from our friends who should comfort us; but the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, never mistakes, nor fails of his end.

Verses 5-14 Many striking instances are here given of the wisdom and power of God, in the creation and preservation of the world. If we look about us, to the earth and waters here below, we see his almighty power. If we consider hell beneath, though out of our sight, yet we may conceive the discoveries of God's power there. If we look up to heaven above, we see displays of God's almighty power. By his Spirit, the eternal Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters, the breath of his mouth, ( Psalms 33:6 ) , he has not only made the heavens, but beautified them. By redemption, all the other wonderful works of the Lord are eclipsed; and we may draw near, and taste his grace, learn to love him, and walk with delight in his ways. The ground of the controversy between Job and the other disputants was, that they unjustly thought from his afflictions that he must have been guilty of heinous crimes. They appear not to have duly considered the evil and just desert of original sin; nor did they take into account the gracious designs of God in purifying his people. Job also darkened counsel by words without knowledge. But his views were more distinct. He does not appear to have alleged his personal righteousness as the ground of his hope towards God. Yet what he admitted in a general view of his case, he in effect denied, while he complained of his sufferings as unmerited and severe; that very complaint proving the necessity for their being sent, in order to his being further humbled in the sight of God.

Cross References 24

  • 1. Job 6:12
  • 2. S Job 4:3; Psalms 71:9
  • 3. Job 34:35
  • 4. 1 Kings 22:24
  • 5. Psalms 88:10; Isaiah 14:9; Isaiah 26:14
  • 6. Psalms 139:8
  • 7. S Job 20:26; S Revelation 9:11
  • 8. Job 10:22; Job 11:8; Job 38:17; Job 41:11; Psalms 139:11-12; Proverbs 15:11; S Hebrews 4:13
  • 9. Job 9:8
  • 10. Job 38:6; Psalms 104:5; Proverbs 3:19-20; Proverbs 8:27; Isaiah 40:22
  • 11. Proverbs 30:4
  • 12. S Genesis 1:2; Job 36:27; Job 37:11; Psalms 147:8
  • 13. S 2 Samuel 22:10; S Job 22:14; Psalms 97:2
  • 14. Proverbs 8:27,29; Isaiah 40:22
  • 15. S Genesis 1:4; S Job 28:3; Job 38:8-11
  • 16. S 2 Samuel 22:8
  • 17. S Exodus 14:21; Isaiah 51:15; Jeremiah 31:35
  • 18. Job 12:13
  • 19. S Job 9:13
  • 20. Job 9:8
  • 21. Isaiah 27:1
  • 22. Job 4:12
  • 23. Job 42:5; Habakkuk 3:2; 1 Corinthians 13:12
  • 24. S Job 9:6; Job 36:29

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Job, in a very sarcastic manner, rallies Bildad on the weakness and impertinence of his reply, and sets it in a very ridiculous light; showing it to be quite foolish and stupid, and not at all to the purpose, and besides was none of his own, but what he had borrowed from another, Job 26:1-4; and if it was of any avail in the controversy to speak of the greatness and majesty of God, of his perfections and attributes, of his ways and works, he could say greater and more glorious things of God than he had done, and as he does, Job 26:5-13; beginning at the lower parts of the creation, and gradually ascending to the superior and celestial ones; and concludes with observing, that, after all, it was but little that was known of God and his ways, by himself, by Bildad, or by any mortal creature, Job 26:14.

Job 26 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.