Wow, that’s a heavy load you allowed Satan to place on Job. I mean come on now, we are only people, we can’t compete with You or Your angels, or not even with the devil and his cronies.
But I guess You have a plan here, and of course, nobody went through as much mental or physical anguish as Jesus did.
“Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?
Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;
If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;
If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous” (Job 8:1-6).
Bildad reasons are as follows: God can’t be unjust, so Job and his family must be suffering as a result of sinfulness. Job should plead for mercy and if he has been upright God will restore him.
We know God’s verdict from vs 1:8 and 2:3, but Bildad is confident that Job is a hypocrite – vs 13.
“Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase” (Job 8:7).
Bildad asserts that God would make Job prosperous if he were truly righteous. He spoke more accurately than he realized – (Job 42:10-17).
“For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)
Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?” (Job 8:8-10)
Eliphaz had appealed to revelation from the spirit world (4:12-21), while Bildad appeals to the accumulated wisdom of tradition of previous generations.
“Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?
Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.
So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:
Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web.
He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.
He is green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden.
His roots are wrapped about the heap, and seeth the place of stones.
If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee.
Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow” (Job 8:11-19).
The papyrus and the reed. Bildad uses these plants as an example of the fate of the wicked. They grow tall in a short time but wither just as quickly. As it is stated in Psalm 1:3-4:
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whosoever he dooeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away” (Ps 1:3-4).
“Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers” (Job 8:20).
Eliphaz had only insinuated that Job was an evil doer. Bildad was blunt and to the point stating that Job was an evildoer.
“Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.
They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought” (Job 8:21-22).
Bildad was incorrect about Job being evil, but correct in what God will do for the righteous and what He will do to the evil:
“And he said I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward generation, children in whom is no faith.
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,
Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink-offerings? Let them rise up and help you and be your protection.
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live forever.
If I whet my glittering sword and mine hand take hold on Judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy” (Deut 32:20, 23, 37-42),
“Because I have called and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD” (Prov 1:24-29).
Pottery in the Bible
Job, his body covered with boils, sat in an ash heap seeking to relieve his pain through a counterirritant – scraping himself with a broken piece of pottery (Job 2:7-8).
Earthenware vessels, used for storing, cooking and serving food and for shipping commodities, were the common containers during antiquity.
Most lamps and artistic and cult objects were earthenware as well. Since pottery is brittle, vessels often broke into pieces called potsherds.
Isaiah alluded to sherds (i.e., fragments) being used for carrying burning coals and for scooping water from a cistern (Isa 30:14). Notes and letters were often written on potsherds.
Sir Flinders Petrie, in his excavations at Tell el-Hesi in 1890, recognized the archaeological significance of pottery and began classifying pottery and potsherds.
His work was carried forward by others, including William Albright, Kathleen Kenyon and Ruth Amiran.
The nature of pottery makes it indispensable for archaeology. Clay vessels were fired rock-hard in a kiln, allowing the pieces to survive the ages.
Changes through time in the shape, decoration and manufacturing methods of pots can be documented and used for dating purposes. In fact, pottery is the primary means of dating in Palestinian archaeology.
Through knowledge of regional and national variations, pottery can also tell the archaeologist something about trade, cultural connections and the movements of people groups.
Ancient habitation sites are littered with potsherds, and simply by examining this surface pottery an archaeologist can form a historical picture.
Complete vessels are often recovered from tombs, and sometimes a broken pot can be reconstructed.
A trained archaeologist can take pieces of the rim, handle of base (“indicator” or “diagnostic” sherds) and identify the type of vessel from whcih they came.
In recording data about pottery at a dig, precision is critical. It is important to know, for example, exactly where a piece was found.
Specialists analyze pottery finds and painstakingly sketch or photograph each piece. Color is significant too, and a sherd’s hue and chroma (color saturation) are precisely recorded.
Even though its type may be known, the archaeologist may still be hard pressed to explain a vessel’s use.
But tomb paintings from ancient Egypt depict vessels in everyday use. Ethnoarchaeology, which examines the links between a society’s material culture and its social and economic customs, can help, and k the Bible itself offers clues.
When Rebekah met Abraham’s servant at the well in Nahor, she was carrying a water jar on her shoulder (not, as in many cultures, on her head; Gen 24:15).
First Kings 17:14 indicates that flour was kept in a jar but oil in a flask (a tsappa-hath).
Jars were also used to preserve documents (Jer 32:14), a practice well attested at Qumran.
Scholars have developed an extensive inventory of the jars, bowls, cups, decanters, figurines, flasks, urns and lamps discovered from antiquity.
Types of pottery from different cultures and eras have distinguishing features, including type of rim or base; presence, absence or type of handles; coloration; and presence of incised or painted decorations.
Some vessels have a ribbed texture, while some bowls are carinated (keel-shaped). A container’s mouth may be straight or flared, and pottery may have been burnished by rubbing or polishing.
By observing the evolution of styles and techniques, archaeologists can date a piece and from this evidence proceed to date an entire excavation stratum or layer.
Carefully documenting stylistic changes, scholars have assembled a fairly complete typology of pottery for the ancient Holy Land.
Types and styles have been documented through the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the exilic period, the Persian and Hellenistic periods and the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Pottery analysis is also critically important in Greco-Roman studies. Early Greek pottery (c. 1050-700 B.C.) featured painted decorations in the form of geometric shapes. Such decoration eventually developed into pottery with highly naturalistic, painted scenes involving people, animals and various objects.
Around 720 B.C. black-figure decoration was invented, with silhouettes incised onto vessels and black, red and white paint applied.
Around 525 B.C. the red-figure technique was invented, in which the decoration was left in the natural red color of the day, with thin painted lines in various colors providing highlighting; the background was painted black.
Scholars have learned the names of some of the craftsmen and can describe the distinctive characteristics of their work.
For example, Greek artisans often painted small inscriptions, such as “Psiax made me, “on their pottery.