The Most Heinous Verse in the Bible

Posted on October 15, 2020


By David Ettinger

The Book Makes Sense
Think about this for a minute: Which book of the Bible comes to mind as having the most heinous verse? Use your gut; what comes to mind?

If you couldn’t come up with a book, I can understand that. This is because Christians don’t generally equate the Bible with heinous verses. But there are several, when you think about it. The Levite carving his murdered concubine into 12 pieces is one (Judges 19:29). Another is Genesis 19:33 (and 35) regarding the debased actions of Lot and his daughters. As heinous as they are, there was, though twisted, some kind of rationale for them.

However, the verse I’m thinking of comes from the Book of Job. Does it make sense that a heinous verse would come from this book where a trio of compassionless louts disgorge the first disparaging thought which enters their minds?

An Overview
Basically, Job lost all of his livestock, all of his camels, all of his servants, and unimaginably, ALL 10 OF HIS CHILDREN.

Satan then besets Job with painful sores all over his body. The Hebrew for “sores” indicates “festering boils.” In his wretched emotional and physical misery, Job goes to sit among the city’s dung and garbage heaps. Despite all this, he never curses God.

Three of Job’s friends ­– Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – catch wind of Job’s suffering and come to console him, which is admirable. However, they failed miserably. You see, they lived in a society which regarded suffering as retribution for sin – whether overt or hidden.

Because of this, all three were convinced that Job was a sinner, hence the reason for all his suffering. For instance, Eliphaz callously tells him: “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it” (Job 4:7-8). This was not the case with Job.

Bildad later tells him: “Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers” (8:20). Maybe, but what does this have to do with Job? Next up is Zophar, who pipes in with this gem: “Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him [all this Job HAS done], if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent … [this does not apply to Job]” (11:13-14).

Scripture’s Most Heinous Verse
Job’s friends continue their relentless assault on their tormented – and innocent – acquaintance throughout the account, but no single accusation is as heartless, callous, and cold-blooded – in a nutshell, heinous – as that spewed forth by Bildad.

Remember, Job had lost all 10 of his children, something impossible for the human mind to fathom. Well, not for Bildad, apparently. His heinousness is achieved in Job 8:4, but let’s look at the lead-in to that verse: “How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind. Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?” (vv. 2-3).

And here it is, verse 4: “When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.”

Take a speechless pause. Have you noticed this before? Bildad just told Job, in essence, that the reason ALL 10 OF HIS CHILDREN DIED is because they were – every one of them – sinners and God killed them because of it.

I have no commentary on this. I’ll let it float around in your brain. If you have any insights or comments regarding this most heinous of Bible verses, you’re most welcome to share them!