1Then Bildad the Shuhite spoke up:
2How long will you go on saying such things, those long-winded ramblings of an old man? 3Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right? 4If your sons sinned against him, he has left them to be victims of their own iniquity. 5If only you yourself will seek God and plead for the favour of the Almighty, 6if you are pure and upright, then indeed he will watch over you and see your just intent fulfilled a 8:6 see … fulfilled: or restore your rightful habitation. . 7Then, though your beginnings were humble, your future will be very great. 8Enquire now of older generations and consider the experience of their forefathers; 9for we are but of yesterday and know nothing; our days on earth are but a passing shadow. 10Will they not teach you and tell you and pour out the wisdom of their minds? 11Can rushes thrive where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish without water? 12While still in flower and not ready for cutting, they would wither before any green plant. 13Such is the fate of all who forget God; the life-thread b 8:13 life-thread: or hope. of the godless breaks off; 14his confidence is gossamer, and the basis of his trust a spider's web. 15He leans against his house, but it does not stand; he clutches at it, but it does not hold firm. 16His is the lush growth of a plant in the sun, pushing out shoots over the garden; 17but its roots become entangled in a stony patch and run against a bed of rock. 18Then someone uproots it from its place, which c 8:18 which: or and. disowns it, saying, ‘I have never known you.’ 19That is how its life withers away, and other plants spring up from the earth. 20Be sure, God will not spurn the blameless man, nor will he clasp the hand of the wrongdoer. 21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and shouts of joy will be on your lips; 22your enemies will be wrapped in confusion, and the dwellings of the wicked will vanish away.