Bildad meaning | Bildad etymology

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Bildad in Biblical Hebrew
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The name Bildad in the Bible

There's only one man named Bildad in the Bible. Bildad the Shuhite one the first three, then four friends of Job, who discuss with him the finer points of existence. The other two are Eliphaz and Zophar. Friend number four is a young man named Barachel, who waits to speak until the other three are done, and that takes thirty-one chapters.

It seems plausible that the Book of Job is more than a fictional discussion between five fictional friends. Job may in fact be an ancient piece of comparative theology, weighing against each other the five dominant theologies of the Levant during the patriarchal era. Job would then obviously be an early form of Yahwism, and Bildad might represent the various Baal and Bel cults.

Etymology and meaning of the name Bildad

The name Bildad consists of two elements, but there's no consensus on which ones those are.

According to BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBSE Study Bible Name List, the first part of the name comes from the Babylonian divine name Bel, which is closely related to the name Baal, and means Lord:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

BDB and NOBSE further agree that the second part of the name Bildad comes from the verb ידד (yadad), which probably means to love:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Bildad meaning

Hence, for a meaning of the name Bildad, NOBSE and BDB both read Bel Has Loved.

עABARIMPublicationsFor the Love of the Word