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Job 26

Job Rebukes Bildad

1 Then Job responded *,
2 "What a help you are to 1the weak! How you have saved the arm 2without strength!
3 "What counsel you have given to one without wisdom! What helpful insight you have abundantly provided!
4 "To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit was expressed through you?

The Greatness of God

5 "The 3departed spirits tremble Under the waters and their inhabitants.
6 "Naked is 4Sheol before Him, And 5Abaddon has no covering.
7 "He 6stretches out the north over empty space And hangs the earth on nothing.
8 "He 7wraps up the waters in His clouds, And the cloud does not burst under them.
9 "He 8obscures the face of the full moon And spreads His cloud over it.
10 "He has inscribed a 9circle on the surface of the waters At the 10boundary of light and darkness.
11 "The pillars of heaven tremble And are amazed at His rebuke.
12 "He 11quieted the sea with His power, And by His 12understanding He shattered 13Rahab.
13 "By His breath the 14heavens are cleared; His hand has pierced 15the fleeing serpent.
14 "Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint 16a word we hear of Him! But His mighty 17thunder, who can understand?"

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 17

  • 1. Job 6:11, 12
  • 2. Psalms 71:9
  • 3. Job 3:13; Psalms 88:10
  • 4. Job 9:5-10; Job 26:6-14; Job 38:17; Job 41:11
  • 5. Job 28:22; Job 31:12
  • 6. Job 9:8
  • 7. Job 37:11; Proverbs 30:4
  • 8. Job 22:14; Psalms 97:2; Psalms 105:39
  • 9. Job 38:1-11; Proverbs 8:29
  • 10. Job 38:19, 20, 24
  • 11. Isaiah 51:15; Jeremiah 31:35
  • 12. Job 12:13
  • 13. Job 9:13
  • 14. Job 9:8
  • 15. Isaiah 27:1
  • 16. Job 4:12
  • 17. Job 36:29; Job 37:4, 5

Footnotes 10

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