Bildads second speech
Bildad warns Job not to be angry
v1 Then Bildad, who belonged to the people called Shuhites, replied:
v2 Eliphaz and Zophar, you should answer Job!
Job, be sensible! Then, we will speak. v3 You insult us as if we were stupid animals. But you should not think that we are evil. v4 You might hurt yourself when you are angry. But the world will not change because of your troubles. The rocks will not move because of you.
It seems that Job did not speak quietly. He felt strong emotions. Bildad thought that Job was angry. But Bildad thought that his own opinion was important. He did not want Job to interrupt. So Bildad told Job to be calm.
In other words, Job could not change the world. Bildad thought that Job needed to learn about reality.
A wicked man will suffer a terrible death
v5 A wicked man will die. He is like a lamp that is off. Or, he is like a fire that does not burn. v6 His tent will be dark. A candle will not burn there.
v7 If a wicked man is strong, he will become weak. His own schemes will cause his troubles. v8 He is like a man who walks into a net. v9 Or, like a man who steps on a hunter’s trap. v10 Or, like a man who falls into a well.
v11 There is danger in every direction for that wicked man. v12 His trouble is like a wild animal. That animal chases him! That animal is hungry! That animal waits for someone to fall! That animal will attack!v13 That animal will eat a man’s skin. And that animal will kill the man.
v14 In his tent, the wicked man was safe. But his death will be terrible. v15 His tent will burn. His possessions will become ashes.
v16 That wicked man will be like a dead tree. He will be like a tree with dry roots and dead branches. v17 Nobody will remember that wicked man. Nobody will record his name. v18 He must leave this bright world. He belongs in the darkness of his grave. v19 He will have no son. He will have no grandson. Nobody will live in the place where that wicked man lived.
v20 The wicked man’s terrible death will upset everyone. v21 But a wicked man deserves a terrible death. These things ought to happen to a man who does not know God.
Bildad’s only idea in this chapter was that a wicked man is never successful. Bildad did not actually say that Job was wicked. But Bildad clearly had this opinion.
Bildad was sure that the wicked man could not continue to live. A candle can only burn for a few hours. Then, there is darkness. Bildad thought that a wicked man would only live for a short time. Job expected to die soon (Job 16:22). So Job seemed to be like this wicked man.
The wicked man tries to make trouble for other people. But he himself suffers from his own evil schemes. He is like a stupid hunter who walks into his own trap.
Job said that God caused his troubles. Perhaps Bildad thought that Job caused his own troubles.
Bildad described something terrible that chases the wicked man. Bildad did not actually say that he was thinking about a wild animal.
So the wild animal is just a description of the wicked man’s troubles. His troubles seem to be everywhere. And the troubles become worse and worse. In the end, the man dies because of his troubles. And his death is a terrible death.
Job had terrible skin troubles (Job 2:7). His troubles seemed impossible to escape from (Job 16:9-12). And these troubles were getting worse and worse (Job 16:13-14). So Bildad thought that Job must be a wicked man.
When Bildad talked about the man’s tent, he did not simply mean a home. He also meant the man’s life. A tent may seem to be a good home. But a tent is temporary. So a wicked man’s life is like a tent. His life cannot last for long. He will soon die.
The thought about a tree gave comfort to Job (Job 14:7-9). A tree that seems dead can live again. But Bildad thought that Job’s idea was not reality. He reminded Job that a tree can really die.
Bildad thought that Job was wicked. So Bildad warned Job. Nobody would remember Job after his death. Job had no children alive (Job 1:18-19). Job trusted God to prove that Job was innocent (Job 16:18-21). But Bildad thought that Job’s situation was hopeless.
Job thought that his troubles had some good effects (Job 17:8-9). Bildad did not believe this. A wicked man’s death may upset everyone. But a wicked man’s death would not help anybody.
Bildad said these things because he wanted to help Job. Bildad wanted Job to confess his evil deeds to God. If Job did this, then God would forgive Job (Job 8:5-6). But Bildad never really understood that Job was a good man (Job 2:3).