Bildad defends God

Bildad from Shuah responded:
How long will you mouth such things
such that your utterances become a strong wind?
Does God pervert justice,
or does the Almighty distort what is right?
If your children sinned against him,
then he delivered them into the power of their rebellion.
If you will search eagerly for God,
plead with the Almighty.
If you are pure and do the right thing,
then surely he will become active on your behalf
and reward your innocent dwelling.
Although your former state was ordinary,
your future will be extraordinary.


Ask a previous generation
and verify the findings of your ancestors,
for we are only recently here and don’t know
because our days on earth are a shadow.
10 Won’t they instruct you and tell you;
will words not[a] proceed from their hearts?

Examples from nature

11 Does papyrus grow apart from a marsh?
Does a reed flourish without water?
12 While still tender, uncut,
it will wither before every other grass.
13 So are the paths of all who forget God.
Hope perishes for the godless,
14 whose confidence is a fragile thing,[b]
their trust, a spider’s web.
15 He leans on its web, and it doesn’t stand;
grasps it, and it can’t remain in place.
16 It’s like a well-watered plant in the sun;
its runners spread over its gardens.
17 Its roots are entwined over a pile of rocks,
for it sees a home among stones.
18 If it’s uprooted from its place,
it lies, saying, “I can’t see you.”
19 Surely its way is a joy,
for from the dust other plants[c] sprout.

God’s faithfulness

20 Surely God won’t reject integrity,
won’t strengthen the hand of the wicked.
21 He will still fill your mouth with joy,
your lips with a victorious shout.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the tent of the wicked will vanish.


  1. Job 8:10 Heb lacks not.
  2. Job 8:14 Heb uncertain
  3. Job 8:19 Heb lacks plants.