1 Bilʹdad the Shuʹhite then said in reply:
2 “How long will you keep speaking like this? The words of your mouth are but a mighty wind!
3 Will God pervert justice, Or will the Almighty pervert righteousness?
4 If your sons sinned against him, He let them be punished for their revolt;
5 But if you would just look to God And plead with the Almighty for favor,
6 And if you were truly pure and upright, He would pay attention to you And restore you to your rightful place.
7 And though your beginning was small, Your future would be great.
8 Ask, please, the former generation, And pay attention to the things their fathers found out.
9 For we were born only yesterday, and we know nothing, Because our days on earth are a shadow.
10 Will they not instruct you And tell you what they know?
11 Will a papyrus plant grow tall where there is no marsh? Will a reed grow tall without water?
12 While it is still in the bud, not yet plucked off, It will dry up before any other plant.
13 This is the outcome of all who forget God, For the hope of the godless will perish,
14 Whose confidence is in vain And whose trust is as fragile as a spider’s web.
15 He will lean against his house, but it will not keep standing; He will try to hold on to it, but it will not last.
16 He is a moist plant in the sunlight, And his shoots spread out in the garden.
17 In a heap of stones, his roots become entwined; He looks for a house among the stones.
18 But when he is uprooted from his place, That place will deny him and say, ‘I have never seen you.’
19 Yes, that is how he will disappear; Then others will spring up from the dust.
20 Surely God will not reject those who keep integrity; Nor will he support evil men,
21 For he will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Those hating you will be clothed with shame, And the tent of wicked ones will be no more.”