Job’s Reply to Bildad

One evening several college students spread Limburger cheese on the mustache of a sleeping fraternity brother. Upon awakening the young man sniffed, looked around, and said, “This room stinks!” He then walked into the hall and said, “This hall stinks!” L … More


This chapter records one of Job’s lowest and highest points, emotionally and spiritually.

  1. He bemoans the animosity of his accusers (vv. 1-6).
  2. He complains about God’s judgment on him (vv. 7-12).
  3. He thinks his relatives and friends are against him (vv. 13-22).
  4. He rises to a new level of spiritual confidence (vv. 23-29).

Job maintains that if he had sinned, it was his problem and not theirs (vv. 1-6). He says that God is treating him very harshly and that there must be an explanation for it (vv. 7-8). The purpose of God must be different from the explanation that his friends give to him, but Job confesses he doesn’t know what that purpose is. However, he again openly lays the responsibility for his condition at God’s feet. He is frustrated by God’s silence and seeming indifference to justice (vv. 9-12). Job fails to even consider that Satan may have a part in all of this. He does not mention Satan once, either directly or indirectly.

He talks about the negative effect his situation has had on his personal relationship with his friends, relatives, wife, and even his servants and neighbors (vv.13-18). He states that “God has turned relatives and friends against me, and I am forgotten. My guests and my servants consider me a stranger, and when I call my servants, they pay no attention. My breath disgusts my wife; everyone in my family turns away. Young children can’t stand me, and when I come near, they make fun.”


Bildad thought he knew how the universe should be run and he saw Job as an illustration of the consequences of sin. He refused to accept Job’s side of the story because it did not fit in with his outlook on life. It is easy to condemn Bildad because his errors are obvious; unfortunately, however, I often act the same way when my ideas are threatened. I simply need to accept the responsibility for my own sin and be careful about accusing others.

Job 19:1-18 (English Standard Version)

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