Job 18


‘Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: “When will you end these speeches? Be sensible, and then we can talk. Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight? You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, is the earth to be abandoned for your sake? Or must the rocks be moved from their place?’ Job 18:1-4

Bildad’s Second Response

This is Bildad’s second speech and as with his first speech, he isn’t very kind towards Job.

He begins by accusing Job of not listening to what they are saying, Job 16:3. He accuses him of being very closed-minded and arrogant. Because Job didn’t repent from his supposed sin, Bildad felt that he was the true example of an unrepentant and rebellious sinner. Bildad feels insulted by Job because Job seems to think the friends are stupid.

Back in Job 16:9, Job claimed that God was ‘tearing’ him apart, and so, Bildad says, it’s nothing to do with God, it is Job himself, who is tearing himself to pieces with his uncontrolled anger. Bildad felt that Job was past repentance, and so, this position on the part of Job had proved his guilt.

‘The lamp of a wicked man is snuffed out; the flame of his fire stops burning. The light in his tent becomes dark; the lamp beside him goes out. The vigour of his step is weakened; his own schemes throw him down. His feet thrust him into a net; he wanders into its mesh. A trap seizes him by the heel; a snare holds him fast. A noose is hidden for him on the ground; a trap lies in his path. Terrors startle him on every side and dog his every step. Calamity is hungry for him; disaster is ready for him when he falls. It eats away parts of his skin; death’s firstborn devours his limbs. He is torn from the security of his tent and marched off to the king of terrors. Fire resides in his tent; burning sulphur is scattered over his dwelling. His roots dry up below and his branches wither above. The memory of him perishes from the earth; he has no name in the land. He is driven from light into the realm of darkness and is banished from the world. He has no offspring or descendants among his people, no survivor where once he lived. People of the west are appalled at his fate; those of the east are seized with horror. Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who does not know God.” Job 18:5-21

Notice that Bildad refers to the wicked at the start of his text and the end. Bildad now tells Job that the wicked always suffer.

Notice the following from these verses.

1. Job hasn’t denied the wicked suffer, but,

2. Job does deny the wicked always suffer immediately.

3. Bildad has made no attempt to understand Job’s arguments.

4. Bildad has again presumed to speak for God.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘From the beginning of the seventh verse to the end of the thirteenth there is an allusion to the various arts and methods practised in hunting.’

1. A number of persons extend themselves in a forest, and drive the game before them, still straitening the space from a broad base to a narrow point in form of a triangle, so that the farther they go the less room have they on the right and left, the hunters lining each side, while the drovers with their dogs are coming up behind. ‘The steps of his strength shall be straitened,’ Job 18:7.

2. Nets, gins, and pitfalls, are laid or formed in different places so that many are taken before they come to the point where the two lines close. ‘He is cast into a net, he walketh upon a snare, the trap is laid for him in the way, the snare in the ground,’ Job 18:8-10.

3. The howling of the dogs, with the shouts of the huntsmen, fill him with dismay and cause him to run himself beyond his strength and out of breath. ‘Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet,’ Job 18:11.

4. While spent with hunger and fatigue, he is entangled in the spread nets; and the huntsman either pierces him with an arrow or spear or cuts the sinews of his legs so that he is easily captured and destroyed. ‘The robbers shall prevail against him,’ Job 18:9. ‘His strength is hunger-bitten, and destruction is ready at his side,’ Job 18:12. This latter verse is thus paraphrased by the Chaldee, ‘let his first-born son be famished and affliction be prepared for his wife.’

Notice also the references which imply that Bildad is saying Job is wicked.

1. The wicked lose their strength, Job 18:7 / Job 18:12 / Job 16:8 / Job 19:20.

2. The wicked are easily frightened, Job 11 / Job 15:21.

3. The wicked are full of bodily disease, Job 18:13 / Job 16:8 / Job 17:7.

4. The wicked are torn from their tent, Job 18:14 / Job 2:8.

5. The wicked have no hope, Job 18:16 / Job 17:15ff.

6. The wicked have no family, Job 18:19 / Job 1:18-19.

7. People are appalled at the wicked, Job 18:20 / Job 17:6 / Job 19:13-19.

8. The wicked do not know God, Job 18:21 / Job 16:7ff.

Go To Job 19