Chapter 8

1Bildad the Shuhite said in reply:

אוַיַּעַן בִּלְדַּד הַשּׁוּחִי וַיֹאמַר׃

2How long will you speak such things? Your utterances are a mighty wind!

בעַד־אָן תְּמַלֶּל־אֵלֶּה וְרוּחַ כַּבִּיר אִמְרֵי־פִיךָ׃

3Will Hashem pervert the right? Will the Almighty pervert justice?

גהַאֵל יְעַוֵּת מִשְׁפָּט וְאִם־שַׁדַּי יְעַוֵּת־צֶדֶק׃

4If your sons sinned against Him, He dispatched them for their transgression.

דאִם־בָּנֶיךָ חָטְאוּ־לוֹ וַיְשַׁלְּחֵם בְּיַד־פִּשְׁעָם׃

5But if you seek Hashem And supplicate the Almighty,

האִם־אַתָּה תְּשַׁחֵר אֶל־אֵל וְאֶל־שַׁדַּי תִּתְחַנָּן׃

6If you are blameless and upright, He will protect you, And grant well-being to your righteous home.

ואִם־זַךְ וְיָשָׁר אָתָּה כִּי־עַתָּה יָעִיר עָלֶיךָ וְשִׁלַּם נְוַת צִדְקֶךָ׃

7Though your beginning be small, In the end you will grow very great.

זוְהָיָה רֵאשִׁיתְךָ מִצְעָר וְאַחֲרִיתְךָ יִשְׂגֶּה מְאֹד׃

8Ask the generation past, Study what their fathers have searched out—

חכִּי־שְׁאַל־נָא לְדֹר רִישׁוֹן וְכוֹנֵן לְחֵקֶר אֲבוֹתָם׃

9For we are of yesterday and know nothing; Our days on earth are a shadow—

טכִּי־תְמוֹל אֲנַחְנוּ וְלֹא נֵדָע כִּי צֵל יָמֵינוּ עֲלֵי־אָרֶץ׃

10Surely they will teach you and tell you, Speaking out of their understanding.

יהֲלֹא־הֵם יוֹרוּךָ יֹאמְרוּ לָךְ וּמִלִּבָּם יוֹצִאוּ מִלִּים׃

11Can papyrus thrive without marsh? Can rushes grow without water?

יאהֲיִגְאֶה־גֹּמֶא בְּלֹא בִצָּה יִשְׂגֶּה־אָחוּ בְלִי־מָיִם׃

12While still tender, not yet plucked, They would wither before any other grass.

יבעֹדֶנּוּ בְאִבּוֹ לֹא יִקָּטֵף וְלִפְנֵי כָל־חָצִיר יִיבָשׁ׃

13Such is the fate of all who forget Hashem; The hope of the impious man comes to naught—

יגכֵּן אָרְחוֹת כָּל־שֹׁכְחֵי אֵל וְתִקְוַת חָנֵף תֹּאבֵד׃

14Whose confidence is a thread of gossamer, Whose trust is a spider's web.

ידאֲשֶׁר־יָקוֹט כִּסְלוֹ וּבֵית עַכָּבִישׁ מִבְטַחוֹ׃

15He leans on his house—it will not stand; He seizes hold of it, but it will not hold.

טויִשָּׁעֵן עַל־בֵּיתוֹ וְלֹא יַעֲמֹד יַחֲזִיק בּוֹ וְלֹא יָקוּם׃

16He stays fresh even in the sun; His shoots spring up in his garden;

טזרָטֹב הוּא לִפְנֵי־שָׁמֶשׁ וְעַל גַּנָּתוֹ יֹנַקְתּוֹ תֵצֵא׃

17His roots are twined around a heap, They take hold of a house of stones.

יזעַל־גַּל שָׁרָשָׁיו יְסֻבָּכוּ בֵּית אֲבָנִים יֶחֱזֶה׃

18When he is uprooted from his place, It denies him, [saying,] “I never saw you.”

יחאִם־יְבַלְּעֶנּוּ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ וְכִחֶשׁ בּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיךָ׃

19Such is his happy lot; And from the earth others will grow.

יטהֶן־הוּא מְשׂוֹשׂ דַּרְכּוֹ וּמֵעָפָר אַחֵר יִצְמָחוּ׃

20Surely Hashem does not despise the blameless; He gives no support to evildoers.

כהֶן־אֵל לֹא יִמְאַס־תָּם וְלֹא־יַחֲזִיק בְּיַד־מְרֵעִים׃

21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, And your lips with shouts of joy.

ad y'-ma-LAY s'-KHOK PEE-kha us-fa-TE-kha t'-ru-AH

כאעַד־יְמַלֵּה שְׂחוֹק פִּיךָ וּשְׂפָתֶיךָ תְרוּעָה׃

8:21   He will yet fill your mouth with laughter

Bildad attempts to comfort Iyov by telling him that if he is as righteous as he claims to be, his suffering will not last long. When the suffering ends, he will feel so happy that his mouth will be filled with laughter. These words are reminiscent of the description, found in Sefer Tehillim (126:2), of the return of the exiled Jews to the Land of Israel: “Our mouths shall be filled with laughter.” It is often said that what causes someone to laugh is an unexpected ending. While he is in the midst of his suffering, it is almost impossible for Iyov to imagine relief from his misery. Similarly, the Jewish people in exile could not always envision an actual redemption. When it comes, therefore, it not only causes feelings of happiness and joy, but laughter as well.

22Your enemies will be clothed in disgrace; The tent of the wicked will vanish.

כבשֹׂנְאֶיךָ יִלְבְּשׁוּ־בֹשֶׁת וְאֹהֶל רְשָׁעִים אֵינֶנּוּ׃