Biblical People

Biblical People: Bildad

The second man in Job’s trio of friends is Bildad the Shuhite. Like Eliphaz, Bildad also offers Job three speeches.

In his first oration, Bildad looks at Job’s situation and assumes he received what he deserves. Bildad equates right living with God’s favor and hardship with sin and God’s displeasure. While this certainly can be the case, it isn’t absolute, which is hard for many people to accept. It doesn’t seem fair.

When he speaks a second time, Bildad assumes he knows the truth and Job is in error, since his life is on track and Job’s isn’t. Bildad thinks his prosperity gives him the right to speak, and Job’s misery requires him to listen.

But high status does not make us wise. Though Bildad thinks he has something worthwhile to say, he is wrong. His words shoot forth as arrows, inflicting hurt as well as failing to help.

In his final and shortest speech, Bildad gives Job something to think about. Between worshiping God for who he is and acknowledging we are nothing next to him, Bildad asks, “How can a mere mortal be worthy to stand before the Almighty God?”

From our perspective today we know that by ourselves we can’t, but through Jesus we can. Thank you, Jesus.

What can we do to make sure the words we say build people up and don’t tear them down? How do we view our relationship with God? 

[Read what Bildad says in Job 8, 18, and 25. Discover more in Job 2:11 and 42:7.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at