Bildad Second Discourse & A Hittite Ritual Against Plague

Job has to have a lot of trust and faith in You to go through what he’s going through and still give You respect.

“Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

How long will it be ere ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak.

Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?

He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?” (Job 18:1-4)

Bildad resents what he perceives to be a belittling attitude.  He considers Job’s emotional reaction as self-centered and irrational.

“Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine “(Job 18:5). 

Another poem on the fate of the wicked (see 8:11-19; 15:20-35).  Bildad wants to convince Job that he’s wrong when he claims that the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper.  Bildad is absolutely certain that every wicked person gets paid in full, in this life, for his wicked deeds.

“The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him.

The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.

For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.

The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him.

Treaty of Kadesh
A reproduction of the famous treaty between The Hittite King Hattusili III and Pharaoh Ramses II 1259 B.C.

The actual battle of Kadesh after which this treaty is named occurred many years earlier and did not result in a win to either side as claimed on some monuments.

It was a treaty signed later to facilitate peace where the battlefield was unsuccessful.

The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way.

Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet.

His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side.

It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength.

His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors” (Job 18:6-14).

King of terrors, is a vivid figure of speech referring to death, which is personified in v. 13.  Canaanite literature pictured death as the devouring god Mot.  Isaiah reverses the figure and envisions the Lord as swallowing up death forever.

“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Is 25:8-9).

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sing?  O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:54-57).

The strength of sin is the law, this is important to understand.   Before Jesus came man was under the law, but if you have faith in Jesus you are no longer under the law.  This does not mean that we don’t sin (Rom 3:23), but we are justified by faith in Jesus. 

God once said to me “You can do no wrong”.  When He first told me that I was not real happy about it because I took it that I better watch what I do or I’ll find myself in Hell real quick. 

I thought He had said that because, believe me, I have a Master’s Degree in doing wrong.  He explained it to me later. 

I can do no wrong in His eyes’ because I have absolute faith in Jesus and I walk with Him daily.  That does not mean that I don’t sin, but I do my best not to, neither does it mean I have the right to sin.

Hittite Offering Frieze
A wall frieze depicting King Sulumeli offering a libation to a god.

From Malatya’s Aslantepe (Lion’s Hill).

10th – 9th century B.C.

God cannot stand sin, so the only way He can accept us is that when He looks at true believers He sees them through Jesus who was and is without sin, so He does not see the sin that we do.

If you are without faith then you are under the law and you will be Judged by the law of your sins.

Here are a few scriptures that may explain it more.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal 2:16).

“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:19-21).

“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” (Gal 3:6-8).

Luwian Inscription of King Katuwas
A Luwian isncription depicting King Katuwas dated 9th century B.C.

Excavated Carchemish (Karkamis).

“But no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

And the law is not of faith: but The man that doeth them shall live in them” (Gal 3:11-12).

“Is the law then against the promises of God?  God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

But before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3:21-24).

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ’s,’ then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:28-29)

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Hittite Cylinder Seal
Time of King Suppiluliamas. About 1380 – 1300 B.C.

A religious referral cylinder seal, depicting two high ranking temple attendants, with a ‘Tree of lite’ between them and two crouching deer, heads turned backward.

A fine horizontal double stranded guilloche above deer and a laurel stand beneath.

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal 5:17-24).

Paul had explained what faith means, how he could do no wrong: 

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

I find then a law that when I would do good, evil is present with me.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Hittite Stamp Seal
God King Tudhaliyas II – 14th century B.C.
Geometric styled stamp seals such as this were used on bales and storage jars issued from the royal palace where as cylinder seals were used for all other sealings.

This was necessitated due to the small size of the clay bullae that were applied to the knots of the ties that were affixed around the bales and necks of the jars which would then be sealed with this style of seal.

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom 7:15-25 & 8:1).

Because we live in this sin-infested world God knows we will sin, and throughout faith in Jesus He dismisses it.  He does unless we do it intentionally. 

You can’t say I know this is a sin, but I want to do it because I know God will forgive me.  If you think that, you are incorrect:

“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

But a certain fearful looking for of Judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb 10:26-27).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 Jn 2:15-17).

“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Is 59:1-2).

“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  and in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:21-23). 

I believe Jesus is talking about people, such as pastors, that do not tell the entire truth, they only tell their congregation what they think they want to hear.

Hittite Double Sided Stamp Seal
This stamp seal has engravings on each side, one with a person with raised hands in worship, the other side a figure before an altar.

This seal would have been worn around the neck as both a seal and as an amulet.

For those that have the faith, but choose to live the way of the world:

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame” (Heb 6:4-6).

“It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.

His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off.

His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street.

He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world.

He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings.

They that come after him shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted.

Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God” (Job 18:15-21).

As you know, Job lived way before Jesus came, but Job had such absolute faith in God, just like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, etc., etc., so they were not under the law of sin, but most were. 

Jesus made things much easier for people like us.  Yet, never think that God is all peaches and cream, because He is not.  God is loving and fantastic, but He’s also a scary guy.  

If you try and pull a fast one on God He can, and will (trust me on that) make you feel so small and ridiculous that you will beg for mercy like you’ve ever begged before.

A Hittite Ritual Against Plague

Hittite Tablets
The normal Hittite script was in the form of picture writing or hieroglyphs.

However for the purposes of international trade and correspondence, the Hittites used the cuneiform script of Assyria.

Strong trading links were forged between the Hittites and Assyria.

A library was found containing 10,000 clay tablets – court records, receipts, contracts, official documents etc.

Some contained poetry and one was a Hittite copy of a peace treaty with Egypt, with the Hittites dictating the terms of Egyptian surrender.

Throughout the book of Job the problem of evil is debated in terms of sin, judgment, and divine sovereignty.  Bildad’s speech in Job 18 presents simplistic, black-and-white perspective that God punishes the evil and delivers the righteous. 

But Job himself contends that he’s underserving of what has befallen him, taking the reader to a new level in understanding the place of suffering under the hand of God. 

Although issues of guilt and divine justice were not unknown to pagans in the ancient Near East, what is most striking in their texts is how often their religious framework for dealing with calamity is all about magic and ritual, not justice and divine purpose. 

A Hittite text by Uhhamuwa of Arzawa illustrates the same philosophy, although it deals with national rather than personal disaster.

Uhhamuwa advises that if plague from an enemy god should strike a land, one should entwine wool of blue, red, yellow, black, and white into a wreath and place it on a castrated ram. 

Supiluliumas carved this king-list on the rock face at Hattusis, the Hittite capital. He wrote to Akhenaten of Egypt, who is usually dated to the 14th century B.C., but Shalmaneser III of Assyria records his war against Supiluliumas in the 9th century B.C. Something is wrong somewhere.

Then the people should drive the animal down the road while reciting a liturgy imploring the enemy god to accept the gift and be pacified (see I Sam 6:2-9). 

Uhhamuwa goes on to suggest specific offerings and sacrifices to be made to the Hittite gods.

The basic approach of paganism is to attempt to manipulate divine powers through finding efficacious rituals and incantations. 

In contrast to the ancient Near Eastern perspective, the complete absence of these elements in Job’s confrontation with suffering is astonishing.

The Book of Job wrestles with real issues about God and his governance of the world and doesn’t deal with the problem of evil through magic and superstition.