1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 "How long will you say such things? ¶ Your words are a blustering wind.
3 Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
4 When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
5 But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty,
6 if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf ¶ and restore you to your prosperous state.
7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.
8 "Ask the former generation ¶ and find out what their ancestors learned,
9 for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?
11 Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?
12 While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass.
13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
14 What they trust in is fragile [^1] ; what they rely on is a spider's web.
15 They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.
16 They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden;
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 it and says, 'I never saw you.'
19 Surely its life withers away, and [^2] from the soil other plants grow.
20 "Surely God does not reject one who is blameless ¶ or strengthen the hands of evildoers.
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more."