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Chapter 8

Bildad’s First Speech. Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

How long will you utter such things?
    The words from your mouth are a mighty wind!
Does God pervert judgment,(A)
    does the Almighty pervert justice?
If your children have sinned against him
    and he has left them in the grip of their guilt,
Still, if you yourself have recourse to God
    and make supplication to the Almighty,
Should you be blameless and upright,
    surely now he will rouse himself for you
    and restore your rightful home.
Though your beginning was small,
    your future will flourish indeed.
Inquire of the former generations,
    pay attention to the experience of their ancestors—(B)
As we are but of yesterday and have no knowledge,
    because our days on earth are but a shadow—(C)
10 Will they not teach you and tell you
    and utter their words of understanding?
11 [a]Can the papyrus grow up without mire?
    Can the reed grass flourish without water?
12 While it is yet green and uncut,
    it withers quicker than any grass.
13 So is the end of everyone who forgets God,
    and so shall the hope of the godless perish.
14 His confidence is but a gossamer thread,
    his trust is a spider’s house.
15 He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand;
    he shall cling to it, but it shall not endure.
16 He thrives in full sun,
    and over his garden his shoots go forth;
17 About a heap of stones his roots are entwined;
    among the rocks he takes hold.
18 Yet if one tears him from his place,
    it will disown him: “I have never seen you!”
19 There he lies rotting beside the road,
    and out of the soil another sprouts.
20 Behold, God will not cast away the upright;
    neither will he take the hand of the wicked.
21 Once more will he fill your mouth with laughter
    and your lips with rejoicing.
22 Those who hate you shall be clothed with shame,
    and the tent of the wicked shall be no more.


  1. 8:11–13 As marsh plants need water, so human beings need God. These verses may be a quotation from the teaching of the ancestors; cf. v. 10.

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