Verse 21. "Till he fill thy mouth with laughing " - Perhaps it may be well to translate after Mr. Good "Even yet may he fill thy mouth with laughter!" The two verses may be read as a prayer; and probably they were thus expressed by Bildad, who speaks with less virulence than his predecessor, though with equal positiveness in respect to the grand charge, viz., If thou wert not a sinner of no mean magnitude, God would not have inflicted such unprecedented calamities upon thee. This most exceptionable position, which is so contrary to matter of fact, was founded upon maxims which they derived from the ancients. Surely observation must have, in numberless instances, corrected this mistake. They must have seen many worthless men in high prosperity, and many of the excellent of the earth in deep adversity and affliction; but the opposite was an article of their creed, and all appearances and facts must take its colouring. Job's friends must have been acquainted, at least, with the history of the ancient patriarchs; and most certainly they contained facts of an opposite nature. Righteous Hebel was persecuted and murdered by his wicked brother, Cain.
Abram was obliged to leave his own country on account of worshipping the true God; so all tradition has said. Jacob was persecuted by his brother Esau; Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers; Moses was obliged to flee from Egypt, and was variously tried and afflicted, even by his own brethren. Not to mention David, and almost all the prophets. All these were proofs that the best of men were frequently exposed to sore afflictions and heavy calamities; and it is not by the prosperity or adversity of men in this world, that we are to judge of the approbation or disapprobation of God towards them. In every case our Lord's rule is infallible: By their fruits ye shall know them.