Job 8 Commentary

Bildad speaks (8:1-22)

After rebuking Job for his wild words against God, Bildad tells him that God is always just.

Completely lacking in sympathy, Bildad reminds Job that his children have died, and cruelly concludes that it must have been because of their sin (8:1-4). Job’s suffering must likewise be because of his sin. If, however, he is innocent, he need only pray humbly to God, and God will replace his suffering with greater blessing than he had before (5-7).

For Bildad the traditional teaching is of first importance, and this emphasis characterizes all his speeches. Job cannot, on the basis of his short experience, question what all the wisest people of previous ages have believed (8-10).

All disaster, in Bildad’s view, is the consequence of personal ungodliness. As flourishing plants wither and die when the water dries up, so the rich are brought to ruin when they forget God (11-13). They are as insecure as a spider’s web (14-15). They are like a fast-growing plant that is suddenly pulled


up and replaced by others. Their joy is shortlived (16-19). According to Bildad, the reason for Job’s terrible losses and tormenting suffering can only be Job’s sin. Repentance will bring renewed strength, joy, victory and prosperity (20-22).

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