December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 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.
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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.
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