Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Suhite, from Sue, the son of Abraham, who dwelt in the desert Arabia; (Genesis xxv. 2.) though several suppose, without reason, (Calmet) that Baldad resided at Sueta, in Cœlosyria. (Menochius) — He was the second in age and dignity. (Pineda)
Ver. 2. How long. He seems tired with hearing, (Haydock) and accuses Job of want of moderation, representing him as a hypocrite, (Calmet) and an obstinate defender of his own opinion, against the better judgment of Eliphaz; (Menochius) though he was in reality only a constant asserter of truth. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Just. He begins with the same principle as Eliphaz, which nobody denied. But he does not reflect, that God may cause even the just to be afflicted, for their trial and improvement.
Ver. 4. Iniquity, and suffered them to perish. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Peaceable. Justice and peace shall kiss. (Haydock) — Prosperity will attend the righteous. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. That. Hebrew, “because our days.” (Haydock) — Baldad strives, in vain, to prove what nobody contested. But he does not come to the point, and shew that Job was guilty. Past histories might have informed him that the just are often persecuted, like Abel, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. (Calmet) — It is true, these were afterwards conforted in honour, except the first, who was slain, and better off in the other world. But Job might hope for the same treatment; and no man can be pronounced happy or miserable till his death. After a storm a calm frequently ensues; as Baldad might have seen verified in the person of his friend, if he had waited patiently, and not judged so peremptorily from equivocal arguments. (Haydock) — We must allow, however, that what he said had been generally true. (Houbigant)
Ver. 11. Sedge-bush, or flag. Hebrew achu; so called, because from one root many brothers (as it were) spring. Septuagint style it Boutomon, as it was usually “cut for oxen,” Genesis xli. 2. (Parkhurst) (Haydock) — As plants die without suction, so do those who depart from God. (Menochius)
Ver. 12. Herbs, for want of moisture. (Calmet) — Sic transit gloria mundi. (Haydock) — The prophets often compare the prosperity of the wicked to grass, (Psalm xxxvi. 2., and James i. 10.) and Baldad ranks Job with them.
Ver. 14. Him, the hypocrite, or God. (Calmet) — Both shall one day condemn the ill use of riches. (Haydock)
Ver. 15. He. The spider, or rather the hypocrite, who will not be able to screen himself, by his possessions, from the wrath of God. (Calmet)
Ver. 16. Seemeth. Hebrew, “he is green before the sun” beat upon him. — Rising, ortu, for horto, (Haydock) as the Hebrew, &c., have “garden,” (Menochius) with some Latin editions. He had compared the wicked to a rush without moisture. But the just is like a plant in a fine garden, which is not hurt by the sun beams. It will grow even among stones, (Calmet) and may be transplanted without danger, ver. 19. (Haydock) — The whole may be, however, a continuation of the former simile. The rush will presently be scorched, as if it were thrown among stones, and its place will know it no longer, ver. 18. (Menochius)
Ver. 19. Joy. Septuagint, “the catastrophe of the wicked, for another shall spring,” &c. Haydock)
Ver. 21. Until. If thou be simple, (Haydock) or irreproachable, (Calmet) God will make thee exult. (Haydock) — Until, &c. (Menochius) — He will restore thee to thy former state of affluence. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Baldad, under pretence of defending the justice of God, accuses Job, and exhorts him to return to God.
1 Then Baldad, the Suhite, answered, and said:
2 How long wilt thou speak these things, and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?
3 Doth God pervert judgment, or doth the Almighty overthrow that which is just?
4 Although thy children have sinned against him, and he hath left them in the hand of their iniquity:
5 Yet if thou wilt arise early to God, and wilt beseech the Almighty:
6 If thou wilt walk clean and upright, he will presently awake unto thee, and will make the dwelling of thy justice peaceable:
7 In so much, that if thy former things were small, thy latter things would be multiplied exceedingly.
8 For inquire of the former generation, and search diligently into the memory of the fathers:
9 (For we are but of yesterday, and are ignorant* that our days upon earth are but a shadow:)
10 And they shall teach thee: they shall speak to thee, and utter words out of their hearts.
11 Can the rush be green without moisture? or a sedge-bush grow without water?
12 When it is yet in flower, and is not plucked up with the hand, it withereth before all herbs.
13 Even so are the ways of all that forget God, and the hope of the hypocrite shall perish:
14 His folly shall not please him, and his trust shall be like the spider’s web.
15 He shall lean upon his house, and it shall not stand: he shall prop it up, and it shall not rise:
16 He seemeth to have moisture before the sun cometh; and at his rising, his blossom shall shoot forth.
17 His roots shall be thick upon a heap of stones, and among the stones he shall abide.
18 If one swallow him up out of his place, he shall deny him, and shall say: I know thee not.
19 For this is the joy of his way, that others may spring again out of the earth.
20 God will not cast away the simple, nor reach out his hand to the evil doer:
21 Until thy mouth be filled with laughter, and thy lips with rejoicing.
22 They that hate thee, shall be clothed with confusion: and the dwelling of the wicked shall not stand.
9: Job xiv. 2.; Psalm cxliii. 4