King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 26

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

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Job reproves Bildad

1 But Job answered and said,

2 How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength?

3 How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?

4 To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?

Job acknowledges the power of God

5 Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.

6 Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

8 He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.

9 He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.

10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.

11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.

12 He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.

13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

14 Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 4. Life. Sept. also seem to understand this of God. C. — Job does not blame his friends for undertaking to approve the ways of Providence, but for condemning himself (S. Chrys.) rashly, (H.) and, with an air of haughtiness, endeavouring to restrain him from pleading his cause before the divine tribunal. M. — Heb. “Whose spirit came from thee?” Prot. (H.) Did I receive my life, or do I seek advice from thee? C. — God stood in no need of Baldad’s wisdom (W.) no more than Job. H.

Ver. 5. With them. The less and greater fishes, (M.) or rather the giants and others who were buried in the waters of the deluge, and are confined in the dungeons of hell. The poets speak in the same manner.

Hic genus antiquum terræ, Titania pubes,

Fulmine dejecti fundo voluntur in imo.

Aliis sub gurgite vasto,

Infectum eluitur scelus aut exuritur igni.“ Æn. vi.

— Homer (Iliad viii.) and Hesiod (Theog.) place the giants at the extremity of the earth, in the utmost darkness. See also Prov. ix. 18. Isai. xiv. 9. C.

Ver. 6. Hell. The grave. — Destruction. Heb. abaddon. H. — S. John (Apoc. ix. 11.) styles the bottomless abyss; (C.) or its angel, (H.) Abaddon, or Apollyon. It may here be called destruction, (C.) as all its victims are lost for ever to every thing that is good. The obscurity of the grave, and even that of hell, can hide nothing from God.

Ver. 7. North pole, which alone was visible in Idumea, and continued unmoved, while all the stars performed their revolutions. C. — Nothing. Terra, pilæ similis, nullo fulcimine nixa. Ovid, Fast. vi. C. — All tends to the centre, (M.) by the laws of attraction. Newton, &c. H.

Ver. 8. Clouds, as in a vessel or garment. Prov. xxx. 4.

Ver. 9. Over it. The firmament, with all its beauty, is but like a cloud, to conceal from our feeble eyes the splendor of God’s throne.

Ver. 10. End. Till the end of the world, the ocean will respect these limits. H. — The ancients looked upon it as a continual miracle that the world was not deluged, as the waters are higher than the earth. Jer. v. 22. Amos v. 8. S. Bas. and S. Amb. Hexem. Cicero, Nat. ii. — Philosophers have explained this phenomenon. But it is still certain that the power and wisdom of God preserve the equilibrium, without which all would return to the ancient chaos. C.

Ver. 11. Heaven. The mountains are so styled by Pindar; and the poets represent them supporting the heavens. Totum ferre potest humeris minitantibus orbem. Petron. — Yet others understand that power which keeps all things together, (C.) or the angels, to whose rule the ancients attributed the celestial bodies. S. Greg. Ven. Bede, &c.

Ver. 12. Together, at the beginning. Gen. i. 9. Heb. “By his strength he has divided the sea; and by his wisdom he has pierced the proud, or Egypt.” Rahab, (H.) or Rachab, is often put for Egypt; (Ps. lxxxviii. 11.) and all would naturally have concluded that the fall of Pharao was pointed at, if it had not been supposed that Job lived before that event. That is, however, dubious. Isaias (li. 9.) uses the same terms in describing the fall of this tyrant. C. — Yet the Sept. translate, “the whale,” (H.) or some sea monster, which God holds in subjection, (Pineda) like the weakest creature. H. — The foaming billows (M.) are likewise subject to his control. H.

Ver. 13. Heavens, with stars, &c. Ps. xxxii. 6. Wisd. i. 7. God also sends winds to disperse the clouds, that the heavens may appear. C. — Artful, (obstetricante) “being the midwife.” The least things are ruled by Providence. W. — Serpent; a constellation, lightning, the devil, or rather the leviathan. Isai. xxvii. 1. Drusius. C. — Sept. “by his decree, he killed the apostate dragon.” H. — But there is no need of having recourse to allegory. C.

Ver. 14. Drop. This comparison is often applied to speech. Deut. xxxii. 2. Isai. lv. 10. If the little that we know of God’s works give us such an exalted idea of his greatness, what should we think if we could fully comprehend his mysteries? C.