The Bible – Old Testament
Bildad the Shuhite spoke out and said:
How long will you utter such things? The words from your mouth are like a mighty wind!
Does God pervert judgment, and does the Almighty distort 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 awake for you and restore your rightful domain;
Your former state will be of little moment, for in time to come you will flourish indeed.
If you inquire of the former generations, and give heed to the experience of the fathers
(As we are but of yesterday and have no knowledge, because our days on earth are but a shadow),
Will they not teach you and tell you and utter their words of understanding?
1 Can the papyrus grow up without mire? Can the reed grass flourish without water?
While it is yet green and uncut, it withers quicker than any grass.
So is the end of everyone who forgets God, and so shall the hope of the godless man perish.
His confidence is but a gossamer thread and his trust is a spider’s web.
He shall rely upon his family, but it shall not last; he shall cling to it, but it shall not endure.
He is full of sap before sunrise, and beyond his garden his shoots go forth;
About a heap of stones are his roots entwined; among the rocks he takes hold.
Yet if one tears him from his place, it will disown him: «I have never seen you!»
There he lies rotting beside the road, and out of the soil another sprouts.
Behold, God will not cast away the upright; neither will he take the hand of the wicked.
Once more will he fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with rejoicing.
They that hate you shall be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked shall be no more.
1 [11-13] As marsh plants need water, so man needs God. These verses are taken by some as a quotation from the teaching of the forefathers; cf ⇒ Job 8:10.