We get Job’s response to Eliphaz, which is that he has done nothing to deserve such a harsh judgement from God. We don’t know Job so well, but we do know from God’s claims about Job in chapters 1 and 2, that he is probably making a valid claim here. This being said, the idea that people suffer as a direct result of suffering for their sins seems to be refuted by the book of Job. So even though this still used as a theodicy by many Christians (I’ve heard this from pulpits), it doesn’t seem to be a sound Christian/Biblical doctrine. This discussion is likely to continue at least until the exile, so it is by no means over, if you have ideas/questions/queries, you can leave your two cents below.
Bildad’s reply pangs of the same idea that Eliphaz had. He claims that Job’s children died due to their own transgressions, which we have the benefit of knowing is not the case, which again shows that a) we can’t measure unrighteousness via suffering, and b) the malevolence of some is likely to lead to the suffering, or even death of others. Any theodicies developed would need to take this into account. Strangely enough, there is a moral argument for God’s existence built around what I’ve just said.
Bildad ends his piece with a statement about God not rejecting the blameless. Which, according to most Christian doctrine seems unproblematic. The problematic bit for Bildad, and indeed Job too, is that they felt Job had been rejected, which wasn’t the case, God’s protection had been lifted, because of an accusation the Devil had made, that Job would curse God if he lost His protection.
In Job’s response, he exalts God, and points out that while he would like a trial, there is no arbiter. God is the Judge, and the overseer of the trial he wants, which leaves Job with a dilemma.
I’ve probably missed stuff, I’ve had a long day, and not much sleep last night, so I’d really appreciate some input from you the readers.