Job 8:1-22

Talks for Growing Christians

Bildad’s First Speech to Job

Job 8:1-22

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Lesson Number 7

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The first speech of Bildad contains 3 ways to determine what is true:
    1. Good motives do not determine what is true.
    2. Past tradition does not determine what is true.
    3. Trustworthy statements do not determine what is true.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t counsel like Bildad!


  1. Bildad the Shuhite was a descendant of _____________, whose second wife _________ bore six sons. Bildad was one of these sons.
  2. While Bildad, in his speech to Job, is not as gentle as Eliphaz, his argument is the same as that of Eliphaz. What is the basis of his argument with Job?
  3. Who is Bildad defending in verses 2 and 3? Are his motives right in this defense?
  4. What is the solution to Job’s distress that Bildad presents in verses 5 through 7?
  5. In verses 8-10, in his speech to Job, who was Bildad appealing to as his authority?
  6. In verses 16-19, what is the third illustration that Bildad uses in his speech, and what is its meaning in relation to Job?


  1. Bildad was a descendant of Abraham, whose second wife Keturah bore six sons, one of whom was Bildad. Many Arab tribes descended from these six sons, thus Bildad was an Arab.
  2. The basis of Bildad’s argument is like that of Eliphaz. Job must have sinned because he is suffering and all suffering is because of sin. As with Eliphaz, this premise is wrong.
  3. In verses 2 and 3, Bildad is defending the righteousness and integrity of God. His motives are right in this defense. However, as noted in the previous answer, his premise is wrong.
  4. Bildad’s solution for Job is to confess his sin and get right with God. This, he said, would restore Job to his righteous estate.
  5. Bildad, in verses 8-10, is appealing to “the former age” or tradition as his authority. While tradition may inform correctly, past tradition does not determine what is true. We can always trust the Bible to be true.
  6. Bildad uses three illustrations in the last part of this argument with Job. In the third illustration, that of the flourishing plant, Bildad implies that Job had been flourishing, but was now being uprooted and his only joy was to know that he would be replaced.


  1. Discuss those areas of tradition that continue to influence the life and function of your church. Identify those traditions that are based on biblical truth. Consider those that are not clearly defined in God’s Word, and discuss why they may still be appropriate.


  1. When offering advice to another person, have you always confirmed the integrity of the basis of your counsel? Particularly when dealing with the issue of sin in another person’s life, it is always good counsel to receive counsel before offering counsel. Don’t counsel like Bildad!

Key Verses

  • “Does God subvert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice?” Job 8:3

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