Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. Understand ye. Teach this man to comprehend what we say. He deigns not to address Job in person: but repeats most of his former remarks respecting the wicked, as if they were unquestionably applicable to Job, chap. viii. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “mark ye.” Septuagint, “do thou attend.” (Haydock) — Baldad speaks to many who might be of Job’s opinion, as he was a figure of the Church, defending the common cause; while his friends, like heretics, speak both true and false things. (St. Gregory xiv. 1.) (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Reputed. Septuagint, “silent as four-footed animals before thee? (Haydock) without discipline or understanding,” chap. xvii. 4. (Menochius)
Ver. 4. Thou. Hebrew, “He teareth his soul in his fury!” (Haydock) — This is spoken with an air of contempt, as if Job were mad, chap. xiii. 14. (Calmet) — Place. We should expect to see such effects, as soon as we would allow that God punishes thee, without thy being guilty. Hitherto he has treated the wicked only with such rigour. Still thou wouldst assert that thou art a singular example of an innocent man under oppression! (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Light; prosperity, (Menochius) offspring, &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Step. He shall be greatly embarrassed, (Menochius) like a man in a narrow pass, (Calmet) beset with thorns. (Haydock) (Proverbs iv. 12.) — Septuagint, “the weakest have made a prey of his possessions.[“] (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Meshes, (maculis) or holes of the net. (Menochius) — The more he strives to get out, the more he gets entangled. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Thirst: the greedy hunter. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “the robber.” (Haydock)
Ver. 11. Fears. Hunters used to place loose feathers round the wood, except where the gin was laid, in order to frighten the prey into it.
Puniceĉque agitant formidine pennĉ. (Georg. iii.)
(Jeremias xlviii. 44.) “Like timid stags, while you avoid the moving feathers, you are entrapped in the strongest nets.” (St. Jerome, contra Lucif.) — Every thing tends to fill the poor beast with alarm. So the devil, conscience, and enemies on all sides, beset the wicked. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. First-born denotes the best, or the worst. (Haydock) — Death. Hebrew, “of death,” the devil, or a premature death, and most cruel enemy. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “But death devours his most beautiful things.” (Haydock)
Ver. 14. Confidence. Septuagint, “health.” — Let. Protestants, “and it shall bring him to the king of terrors;” (Haydock) or, “thou (O God) shalt,” &c. Septuagint, “let him be in the greatest (Calmet) want, on account of a royal accusation,” (Haydock) of high treason. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Tent, when he is gone to purify it.
Et veniat quĉ lustret anus lectumque locumque,
Prĉferat et tremula sulphur et ova manu. (Ovid, Art.)
— Yet Moses does not mention sulphur as a thing proper for purifications. Some think that Baldad hints that his house will be destroyed with lightning, or rendered uninhabitable by a loathsome smell.
Ver. 16. Harvest. Hebrew also, “branch;” (Calmet) his family, (Menochius) and all on which he trusted. (Calmet) — All must be destroyed, root and branch.
Ver. 20. Them. Literally, “the first,” who were witnesses of his misery. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Baldad again reproves Job: and describes the miseries of the wicked.
1 Then Baldad, the Suhite, answered, and said:
2 How long will ye throw out words? understand first, and so let us speak.
3 Why are we reputed as beasts, and counted vile before you?
4 Thou that destroyest thy soul in thy fury, shall the earth be forsaken for thee, and shall rocks be removed out of their place?
5 Shall not the light of the wicked be extinguished, and the flame of his fire not shine?
6 The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and the lamp that is over him shall be put out.
7 The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down headlong.
8 For he hath thrust his feet into a net, and walketh in its meshes.
9 The sole of his foot shall be held in a snare, and thirst shall burn against him.
10 A gin is hidden for him in the earth, and his trap upon the path.
11 Fears shall terrify him on every side, and shall entangle his feet.
12 Let his strength be wasted with famine, and let hunger invade his ribs.
13 Let it devour the beauty of his skin, let the first-born, death, consume his arms.
14 Let his confidence be rooted out of his tabernacle, and let destruction tread upon him like a king.
15 Let the companions of him that is not, dwell in his tabernacle, let brimstone be sprinkled in his tent.
16 Let his roots be dried up beneath, and his harvest destroyed above.
17 *Let the memory of him perish from the earth and let not his name be renowned in the streets.
18 He shall drive him out of light into darkness, and shall remove him out of the world.
19 His seed shall not subsist, nor his offspring among his people, nor any remnants in his country.
20 They that come after him shall be astonished at his day, and horror shall fall upon them that went before.
21 These then are the tabernacles of the wicked, and this the place of him that knoweth not God.
17: Proverbs ii. 22.