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Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,

“How long will you speak these things?
    Shall the words of your mouth be a mighty wind?
Does God pervert justice?
    Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness?
If your children have sinned against him,
    he has delivered them into the hand of their disobedience.
If you want to seek God diligently,
    make your supplication to the Almighty.
If you were pure and upright,
    surely now he would awaken for you,
and make the habitation of your righteousness prosperous.
    Though your beginning was small,
yet your latter end would greatly increase.

“Please inquire of past generations.
    Find out about the learning of their fathers.
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing,
    because our days on earth are a shadow.)
10 Shall they not teach you, tell you,
    and utter words out of their heart?

11 “Can the papyrus grow up without mire?
    Can the rushes grow without water?
12 While it is yet in its greenness, not cut down,
    it withers before any other reed.
13 So are the paths of all who forget God.
    The hope of the godless man will perish,
14 Whose confidence will break apart,
    Whose trust is a spider’s web.
15 He will lean on his house, but it will not stand.
    He will cling to it, but it will not endure.
16 He is green before the sun.
    His shoots go out along his garden.
17 His roots are wrapped around the rock pile.
    He sees the place of stones.
18 If he is destroyed from his place,
    then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have not seen you.’
19 Behold, this is the joy of his way:
    out of the earth, others will spring.

20 “Behold, God will not cast away a blameless man,
    neither will he uphold the evildoers.
21 He will still fill your mouth with laughter,
    your lips with shouting.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame.
    The tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Bildad

Then Bildad the Shuhite(A) replied:

“How long will you say such things?(B)
    Your words are a blustering wind.(C)
Does God pervert justice?(D)
    Does the Almighty pervert what is right?(E)
When your children sinned against him,
    he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.(F)
But if you will seek God earnestly
    and plead(G) with the Almighty,(H)
if you are pure and upright,
    even now he will rouse himself on your behalf(I)
    and restore you to your prosperous state.(J)
Your beginnings will seem humble,
    so prosperous(K) will your future be.(L)

“Ask the former generation(M)
    and find out what their ancestors learned,
for we were born only yesterday and know nothing,(N)
    and our days on earth are but a shadow.(O)
10 Will they not instruct(P) you and tell you?
    Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?(Q)
11 Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh?(R)
    Can reeds(S) thrive without water?
12 While still growing and uncut,
    they wither more quickly than grass.(T)
13 Such is the destiny(U) of all who forget God;(V)
    so perishes the hope of the godless.(W)
14 What they trust in is fragile[a];
    what they rely on is a spider’s web.(X)
15 They lean on the web,(Y) but it gives way;
    they cling to it, but it does not hold.(Z)
16 They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine,
    spreading its shoots(AA) over the garden;(AB)
17 it entwines its roots around a pile of rocks
    and looks for a place among the stones.
18 But when it is torn from its spot,
    that place disowns(AC) it and says, ‘I never saw you.’(AD)
19 Surely its life withers(AE) away,
    and[b] from the soil other plants grow.(AF)

20 “Surely God does not reject one who is blameless(AG)
    or strengthen the hands of evildoers.(AH)
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter(AI)
    and your lips with shouts of joy.(AJ)
22 Your enemies will be clothed in shame,(AK)
    and the tents(AL) of the wicked will be no more.”(AM)

Footnotes

  1. Job 8:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. Job 8:19 Or Surely all the joy it has / is that

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