The Second Speech of Bildad

One of the stories told by that beloved Texas pastor, the late Dr. George W. Truett, was that of a young lady brought before the church for discipline because of a violation of the church covenant. It was suggested that she be dropped from the roll of the church. As the debat … More


In this chapter, Bildad lashes out at Job and accuses him of trying to insult the intelligence of his three friends. He has missed Job’s hints that he is searching for sympathy, for a witness to his innocence, and for comfort. Instead, he launches into a harsh and vivid description of the kind of punishment that is reserved for sinners. He says that his person, his family, and even his name, will be destroyed. He is saying, “Job, if you would shut up, then we could speak” (v. 1).

Bildad wondered when Job would stop talking. He said, “How long will you vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?” (v. 2). With Job in mind, he gives a ruthless account of the misfortunes that come on the wicked (vv. 3-10). He describes how his body will be weakened and calamity and disaster will overtake him (vv. 11-12). His reference to a sinner’s skin being eaten away (v. 13) probably refers to Job’s skin problem. Being torn from his tent (v. 14) points to death. Bildad says the wicked are going to be judged (vv. 15-16). He says that no one remembers a wicked person in darkness (v. 17), thrown far from the light into a world of darkness, without any children to carry on their name (vv. 18-19).

Job had said that good people would be appalled at his condition (17:8), but Bildad responds that people everywhere will be appalled, not so much by the grief of the wicked, as by their troubles and horrible end (v. 20). He classes Job with the wicked and tells him that he is at the end of the road. He concludes by insinuating that Job did not even know God (v. 21). He reasoned that since Job refused to repent, how could he possibly be righteous?


Bildad rejected Job’s side of the story because it did not fit in with his outlook on life. It is easy for me to condemn Bildad, but unfortunately I often act the same way when my idea is threatened.

Job 18:1-21 (English Standard Version)

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: "How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we will speak. Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight? You who tear yourself in your anger, shall the earth be forsaken for you, or the rock be removed out of its place? "Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine. The light is dark in his tent, and his lamp above him is put out. His strong steps are shortened, and his own schemes throw him down. For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks on its mesh. A trap seizes him by the heel; a snare lays hold of him. A rope is hidden for him in the ground, a trap for him in the path. Terrors frighten him on every side, and chase him at his heels. His strength is famished, and calamity is ready for his stumbling. It consumes the parts of his skin; the firstborn of death consumes his limbs. He is torn from the tent in which he trusted and is brought to the king of terrors. In his tent dwells that which is none of his; sulfur is scattered over his habitation. His roots dry up beneath, and his branches wither above. His memory perishes from the earth, and he has no name in the street. He is thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world. He has no posterity or progeny among his people, and no survivor where he used to live. They of the west are appalled at his day, and horror seizes them of the east. Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, such is the place of him who knows not God."

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