It is supposed by some that Bildad, as a Shuhite, is a descendant of Shuah, who was a son of Abraham and his wife Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2). He does not waste any time, but starts right away into a stern rebuke of Job, calling his words a great wind. He even makes more than a mere suggestion that his children got what they deserved for their sins! He tells Job that if he will repent and plead for God’s mercy, he will be restored. In verses 11-19, he waxes eloquent (Job’s friends all seem to have a gift with words, if not with comfort).
Bildad then tells Job that God will not reject a truly blameless man, but neither will he “take the hand of evildoers.” If Job will just repent of his sins, God, he says, “will fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.”
It is hard to imagine how Job can listen to this from his friend and hold back his anger, but truly his misery is great, and he obviously is trying to consider whether his friend may actually be right, in spite of his own convictions.
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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