Bildad [Bĭl'dăd]—son of contention, lord adad or old friendship. One of Job’s three friends, a Shuhite, descended from Shuah, Abraham’s son by Keturah (Job 2:11; 8:1; 18:1; 25:1; 42:9).
The Man Who Made a Speech
Bildad’s name is an interesting study. One meaning of it is “Lord of Hadad” and “Hadad” means to shout. Studying the speeches of this second speaker who came to comfort Job, one can see how apt the name is, for Bildad was inclined to be loud, insistent and boisterous in his declarations.
This Shuhite, in a vehement fashion, implied as he continued the discussion opened by Eliphaz, that all the extraordinary misfortune overtaking Job were the certain proof of hidden and exceptional crimes of which Job must have been guilty. Doubtless Bildad thought his speech was rich in ideas. But he is before us as the religious dogmatist whose dogmatism vested upon human tradition. With proverbial wisdom and pious phrases, abounding throughout his discourses, Bildad sought to illustrate the principle that Job suffered because of his sin.
With philosophy, wisdom and tradition gathered from the fathers (Job 8:8), Bildad sought to convince Job of his wrongs. But the mystery of Job’s sufferings was not to be unraveled in that way. The wisdom of man and tradition has its limits. What has been handed down and accepted by each succeeding generation as truth, is not necessarily so. Every man must be fully persuaded in his own mind. The mysterious dealings of God can only be revealed by God Himself. He is His own Interpreter.
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