Chapter 8

1Now Bildad the Shuhite replied and said:   אוַיַּעַן בִּלְדַּ֥ד הַשּׁוּחִ֗י וַיֹּֽאמַר:
2"How long will you speak such things, seeing that the words of your mouth are [like] a mighty wind?   בעַד־אָ֥ן תְּמַלֶּל־אֵ֑לֶּה וְר֥וּחַ כַּ֜בִּיר אִמְרֵי־פִֽיךָ:
a mighty wind: Many words.  
mighty: Heb. כביר, an expression of multiplicity.  
3Does God pervert judgment, or does the Almighty pervert justice?   גהַאֵל יְעַוֵּ֣ת מִשְׁפָּ֑ט וְאִם־שַׁ֜דַּ֗י יְעַוֵּֽת־צֶֽדֶק:
Does God pervert judgment: Heb. הא-ל. The “hey” is vowelized with a “patach,” and it means an expression of wonder.  
4If your children sinned against Him, He sent them away in the hands of their transgression.   דאִם־בָּנֶ֥יךָ חָֽטְאוּ־ל֑וֹ וַ֜יְשַׁלְּחֵ֗ם בְּיַד־פִּשְׁעָֽם:
He sent them away in the hands of their transgression: Through their transgression. (The transgression) became the agent to carry them off.  
5If you seek God and supplicate the Almighty,   האִם־אַ֖תָּה תְּשַׁחֵ֣ר אֶל־אֵ֑ל וְאֶל־שַׁ֜דַּ֗י תִּתְחַנָּֽן:
If you seek God etc.,: He will arouse your merit over you.  
6if you are pure and upright, He shall arouse [your merit] over you, and will complete your righteous home.   ואִם־זַ֥ךְ וְיָשָׁ֗ר אָ֥תָּה כִּֽי־עַ֖תָּה יָעִ֣יר עָלֶ֑יךָ וְ֜שִׁלַּ֗ם נְוַ֣ת צִדְקֶֽךָ:
and will complete your righteous home: And He will make your righteous home complete and perfect.  
7And your beginning shall be small, but your end shall increase exceedingly.   זוְהָיָ֣ה רֵאשִֽׁיתְךָ֣ מִצְעָ֑ר וְ֜אַֽחֲרִֽיתְךָ֗ יִשְׂגֶּ֥ה מְאֹֽד:
And your beginning shall be small: Your beginning, which has passed, shall be small as compared to your end, which shall increase exceedingly.  
8For inquire now about the past generation and apply yourself to what their fathers have searched out,   חכִּֽי־שְׁאַל־נָ֖א לְדֹ֣ר רִישׁ֑וֹן וְ֜כוֹנֵ֗ן לְחֵ֣קֶר אֲבוֹתָֽם:
about the past generation: About the past generation, like (Deut. 4:32), “For inquire now about the earlier times.”  
and apply yourself: Apply and prepare yourself to understand what their fathers have searched out.  
9For we are of yesterday and know nothing, because our days on earth are like a shadow.   טכִּֽי־תְמ֣וֹל אֲ֖נַחְנוּ וְלֹ֣א נֵדָ֑ע כִּ֚י צֵ֖ל יָמֵ֣ינוּ עֲלֵי־אָֽרֶץ:
10Will they not instruct you and tell you, and utter words out of their heart?   יהֲלֹא־הֵ֣ם י֖וֹרוּךָ יֹ֣אמְרוּ לָ֑ךְ וּ֜מִלִּבָּ֗ם יוֹצִ֥אוּ מִלִּֽים:
11Can papyrus shoot up without a marsh? Can the reed-grass grow without water?   יאהֲיִגְאֶה־גֹּ֖מֶא בְּלֹ֣א בִצָּ֑ה יִשְׂגֶּא־אָ֥חוּ בְלִי־מָֽיִם:
Can papyrus shoot up: They will say this: Papyrus cannot grow except when the marsh is wet with its water and its moisture. בִצָה is marese in Old French, a marsh.  
12When it is still in its greenness, it will not be plucked, but before any other grass, it will dry up.   יבעֹדֶ֣נּוּ בְ֖אִבּוֹ לֹ֣א יִקָּטֵ֑ף וְלִפְנֵ֖י כָל־חָצִ֣יר יִיבָֽשׁ:
in its greenness: In its moisture and with its produce.  
will not be plucked: Heb. יקטף, will not be broken or pulled off; like (Deut. 23:26), “you may pluck (וקטפת) ears.”  
but before any other grass it will dry up: Before any other grass [does], it will dry up when the water evaporates and the marsh dries up.  
13So are the ways of all those who forget God, and the hope of the flatterer shall be lost,   יגכֵּ֗ן אָ֖רְחוֹת כָּל־שֹׁ֣כְחֵי אֵ֑ל וְתִקְוַ֖ת חָנֵ֣ף תֹּאבֵֽד:
So are the ways of all those who forget God: to prosper when it goes well with him until his measure [of sin] is full.  
and the hope: the end of the flatterer will be lost.  
14whose confidence shall be cut off, and whose trust is a spider's web.   ידאֲשֶׁר־יָק֥וֹט כִּסְל֑וֹ וּבֵ֥ית עַ֜כָּבִ֗ישׁ מִבְטָחֽוֹ:
whose confidence shall be cut off: His confidence and his trust Will be cut off  
confidence: Heb. כסלו. That is the thought of his confidence. like (below 31:24), “If I put my confidence (כסלי) in gold. יקוט is an expression of cutting off; as (Ezek. 16:47): ” for after a very little while (קט)."  
a spider’s web: which does not last, is his trust.  
15He leans on his house but it does not stand; he grasps it but it does not endure.   טויִשָּׁעֵ֣ן עַל־בֵּ֖יתוֹ וְלֹ֣א יַֽעֲמֹ֑ד יַֽחֲזִ֥יק בּ֜֗וֹ וְלֹ֣א יָקֽוּם:
16It is fresh before the sun, and on its garden its tender branch emerges.   טזרָטֹ֣ב ה֖וּא לִפְנֵי־שָׁ֑מֶשׁ וְעַ֥ל־גַּ֜נָּת֗וֹ יֽוֹנַקְתּ֥וֹ תֵצֵֽא:
It is fresh: His fortune is moist and strong before the time of the visitation of the heat plague-which dries him out-comes to him. And because he [Bildad] compares him [the wicked] to the papyrus, he speaks according to that metaphor.  
and on its garden its tender branch emerges: Heb. יונקתו, its root that draws sustenance, or a young branch that grows this year, like (Ezek. 17:22), “I will pluck from the top of his young twigs (ינקותיו).”  
17Beside the fountain, its roots are entwined; he sees a stone house.   יזעַל־גַּ֖ל שָֽׁרָשָׁ֣יו יְסֻבָּ֑כוּ בֵּ֖ית אֲבָנִ֣ים יֶֽחֱזֶֽה:
are entwined: Will be entwined with the branch and with the thicket.  
a stone house: He sees a strong place and builds it for himself as a stronghold. Menachem, however explains יֶחֶזֶה as an expression of a border: will border him; he will build it up to his border. [Perlow ed, reads: on his border.] Likewise (Ps. 107:30), “their desired haven.” Likewise (I Kings 7:4), “an edge to an edge מחזה) (מחזה אל ” (Machbereth Menachem p. 86). All these are before his plague.  
18If one destroys him from his place, then it shall deny him, [saying] 'I have not seen you.'   יחאִם־יְבַלְּעֶ֥נּוּ מִמְּקוֹמ֑וֹ וְכִ֥חֶשׁ בּ֜֗וֹ לֹ֣א רְאִיתִֽיךָ:
If one destroys him from his place: the one who requites him, and this is an elliptical verse.  
then it shall deny him: his place [shall deny him].  
‘I have not seen you,’: For neither root nor branch shall remain of him, and it will be as though he had never existed, for his fall shall not ascend like the downfall of the righteous-for the righteous will fall and rise, but this one will fall without rising.  
19Behold this is the joy of his way, and from the earth, others will spring forth.   יטהֶן־ה֖וּא מְשׂ֣וֹשׂ דַּרְכּ֑וֹ וּ֜מֵֽעָפָ֗ר אַחֵ֥ר יִצְמָֽחוּ:
Behold this is the joy of his way: Of the wicked man, for all his joy and also his success will end up without hope.  
and from the earth, others will spring forth: And people who were until now bent down to the ground will spring forth.  
others: Another man will spring forth to receive the greatness of this one, as we find (Eccles. 2:26): “and to the sinner He has given the task…” Therefore, you should know about yourself, if you were wicked, you will not rise after your downfall. If you were innocent…  
20Behold God will not reject the innocent, nor will he uphold evildoers.   כהֶן־אֵ֖ל לֹ֣א יִמְאַס־תָּ֑ם וְלֹ֥א יַֽ֜חֲזִ֗יק בְּיַד־מְרֵעִֽים:
Behold God will not reject the innocent: and He will not uphold your enemies who are harming you, until He returns to grant you clemency, and [then] He will fill your mouth with laughter.  
21Until He fills your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouting.   כאעַד־יְמַלֵּ֣ה שְׂח֣וֹק פִּ֑יךָ וּשְׂפָתֶ֥יךָ תְּרוּעָֽה:
22Your enemies will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked shall be no more."   כבשֹֽׂנְאֶ֥יךָ יִלְבְּשׁוּ־בֹ֑שֶׁת וְאֹ֖הֶל רְשָׁעִ֣ים אֵינֶֽנּוּ: