International Standard Version
1Then in response, Bildad from Shuah said:
2"How long will you keep talking like this? How long will you keep talking like a wind storm?
3Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what's right?
4"If your children sin against him, he'll make them a prisoner of their sins.
5If you seek God, if you ask the Almighty for mercy,
6if you are clean and upright, surely then, he'll act on your behalf and restore your rightful place.
7Your beginning may be small, but later years will be very great.
8"Inquire of the previous generation, won't you please? Consider what their forefathers searched out.
9Because we are of yesterday and we know nothing, for our time on earth is only a shadow.
10Won't they instruct you, and tell you, and bring out words from the heart?
11"Can papyrus grow where there's no marsh? Can reeds flourish without water?
12While they are still green and not yet ready to be harvested, they wither before any plant.
13Such are the paths of everyone who forgets God— the hope of the godless will be destroyed:
14his confidence is shattered; his trust is in a spider's web.
15He leans against his house, but it won't stand; he grabs hold of it firmly, but it doesn't last.
16He is a fresh sapling planted in the sunlight, spreading out its branches over its garden.
17Its roots weave around a pile of stones, seeking to entrench itself among the rocks.
18If he is uprooted from his place, then it will deny him: 'I never saw you.'
19"Indeed, this is the benefit of God's way: from the soil other plants will sprout.
20Surely God won't reject those who are blameless or hold hands with those who practice evil.
21He will soon fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips will shout with joy.
22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will no longer exist.