O barren one!
You who did not bear!
Burst into song!
You who have not been in labor!
The children of the desolate woman
Will be more
Than the children of her
That is married.’
‘Enlarge the site place of your tent!
Let the curtains of your habitations
Be stretched out!
Do not hold back!
Lengthen your cords!
Strengthen your stakes!
You will spread out to the right.
You will spread out to the left.
Will possess the nations.
They will settle
The desolate towns.’”
Jerusalem was the barren city that had no children because of the Exile. Now they were to sing and shout because the barren one was about to have many children, even more that the married women. They were now going to enlarge the place for their tents. Their land would be stretched out so that they would need more cords and stakes for their tents. They were about to spread out to the right and the left. Their descendants would possess many nations and repopulate many desolate towns.
“Do not desire
A multitude of worthless children!
Do not rejoice in ungodly offspring!
If they multiply,
Do not rejoice in them,
Unless the fear of the Lord is in them!
Do not trust in their survival!
Do not rely on their numbers!
One can be better than a thousand.
To die childless
Than to have ungodly children.”
You should not desire many children, if they are worthless. Therefore you should not rejoice just because you have many children. They will not survive if they do not fear the Lord. Do not think because they are so many, it does not matter. It is better to have one good child than 1,000 useless children. It is even better to die without children than to have many ungodly children. Having more children does not mean they are better children.
“Why do the wicked live on?
Why do they reach old age?
Why do they grow mighty in power?
Their children are established in their presence.
Their offspring are established before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear.
No rod of God is upon them.
Their bull breeds without fail.
Their cow calves.
Their cows never miscarry.
They send out their little ones like a flock.
Their children dance around.
They sing to the tambourine and the lyre.
They rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their days in prosperity.
In peace they go down to Sheol.”
Job was very clear. The wicked live to reach old age. They actually grow stronger. They have many children. Their houses are safe. He did not see any punishment from God coming to them. In fact, their livestock are able to multiply without problems. The little children grew, danced, and sang to musical instruments. They seemed like very happy people. They spent their days in prosperity before they had a peaceful death and entered Sheol. Thus he was refuting the claim of Bildad that the wicked would not have children and not prosper. He maintained the opposite since the wicked seem to do quite well.