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Job 13-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job Defends Himself

13 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
My ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,
And I desire to reason with God.
But you forgers of lies,
You are all worthless physicians.
Oh, that you would be silent,
And it would be your wisdom!
Now hear my reasoning,
And heed the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak [a]wickedly for God,
And talk deceitfully for Him?
Will you show partiality for Him?
Will you contend for God?
Will it be well when He searches you out?
Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man?
10 He will surely rebuke you
If you secretly show partiality.
11 Will not His [b]excellence make you afraid,
And the dread of Him fall upon you?
12 Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes,
Your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Hold[c] your peace with me, and let me speak,
Then let come on me what may!
14 Why do I take my flesh in my teeth,
And put my life in my hands?
15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
17 Listen carefully to my speech,
And to my declaration with your ears.
18 See now, I have prepared my case,
I know that I shall be vindicated.
19 Who is he who will contend with me?
If now I hold my tongue, I perish.

Job’s Despondent Prayer

20 “Only two things do not do to me,
Then I will not hide myself from You:
21 Withdraw Your hand far from me,
And let not the dread of You make me afraid.
22 Then call, and I will answer;
Or let me speak, then You respond to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do You hide Your face,
And regard me as Your enemy?
25 Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro?
And will You pursue dry stubble?
26 For You write bitter things against me,
And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks,
And watch closely all my paths.
You [d]set a limit for the [e]soles of my feet.

28 Man[f] decays like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.

Job Speaks of Life’s Woes

14 “Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of [g]trouble.
He comes forth like a flower and fades away;
He flees like a shadow and does not continue.
And do You open Your eyes on such a one,
And bring [h]me to judgment with Yourself?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
No one!
Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.
Look away from him that he may [i]rest,
Till like a hired man he finishes his day.

“For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant.
10 But man dies and [j]is laid away;
Indeed he [k]breathes his last
And where is he?
11 As water disappears from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dries up,
12 So man lies down and does not rise.
Till the heavens are no more,
They will not awake
Nor be roused from their sleep.

13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.
15 You shall call, and I will answer You;
You shall desire the work of Your hands.
16 For now You number my steps,
But do not watch over my sin.
17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You [l]cover my iniquity.

18 “But as a mountain falls and crumbles away,
And as a rock is moved from its place;
19 As water wears away stones,
And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
So You destroy the hope of man.
20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes on;
You change his countenance and send him away.
21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
They are brought low, and he does not perceive it.
22 But his flesh will be in pain over it,
And his soul will mourn over it.”

Eliphaz Accuses Job of Folly

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge,
And fill [m]himself with the east wind?
Should he reason with unprofitable talk,
Or by speeches with which he can do no good?
Yes, you cast off fear,
And restrain [n]prayer before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
And you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
Yes, your own lips testify against you.

Are you the first man who was born?
Or were you made before the hills?
Have you heard the counsel of God?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not in us?
10 Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
Much older than your father.
11 Are the consolations of God too small for you,
And the word spoken [o]gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away,
And [p]what do your eyes wink at,
13 That you turn your spirit against God,
And let such words go out of your mouth?

14 “What is man, that he could be pure?
And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?
15 If God puts no trust in His saints,
And the heavens are not pure in His sight,
16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy,
Who drinks iniquity like water!

17 “I will tell you, hear me;
What I have seen I will declare,
18 What wise men have told,
Not hiding anything received from their fathers,
19 To whom alone the [q]land was given,
And no alien passed among them:
20 The wicked man writhes with pain all his days,
And the number of years is hidden from the oppressor.
21 [r]Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
In prosperity the destroyer comes upon him.
22 He does not believe that he will return from darkness,
For a sword is waiting for him.
23 He wanders about for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?
He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand.
24 Trouble and anguish make him afraid;
They overpower him, like a king ready for [s]battle.
25 For he stretches out his hand against God,
And acts defiantly against the Almighty,
26 Running stubbornly against Him
With his strong, embossed shield.

27 “Though he has covered his face with his fatness,
And made his waist heavy with fat,
28 He dwells in desolate cities,
In houses which no one inhabits,
Which are destined to become ruins.
29 He will not be rich,
Nor will his wealth continue,
Nor will his possessions overspread the earth.
30 He will not depart from darkness;
The flame will dry out his branches,
And by the breath of His mouth he will go away.
31 Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself,
For futility will be his reward.
32 It will be accomplished before his time,
And his branch will not be green.
33 He will shake off his unripe grape like a vine,
And cast off his blossom like an olive tree.
34 For the company of hypocrites will be barren,
And fire will consume the tents of bribery.
35 They conceive trouble and bring forth futility;
Their womb prepares deceit.”

Job Reproaches His Pitiless Friends

16 Then Job answered and said:

“I have heard many such things;
Miserable[t] comforters are you all!
Shall [u]words of wind have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
I also could speak as you do,
If your soul were in my soul’s place.
I could heap up words against you,
And shake my head at you;
But I would strengthen you with my mouth,
And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.

“Though I speak, my grief is not relieved;
And if I remain silent, how am I eased?
But now He has worn me out;
You have made desolate all my company.
You have shriveled me up,
And it is a witness against me;
My leanness rises up against me
And bears witness to my face.
He tears me in His wrath, and hates me;
He gnashes at me with His teeth;
My adversary sharpens His gaze on me.
10 They gape at me with their mouth,
They strike me reproachfully on the cheek,
They gather together against me.
11 God has delivered me to the ungodly,
And turned me over to the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but He has shattered me;
He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces;
He has set me up for His target,
13 His archers surround me.
He pierces my [v]heart and does not pity;
He pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks me with wound upon wound;
He runs at me like a [w]warrior.

15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
And laid my [x]head in the dust.
16 My face is [y]flushed from weeping,
And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
17 Although no violence is in my hands,
And my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not cover my blood,
And let my cry have no resting place!
19 Surely even now my witness is in heaven,
And my evidence is on high.
20 My friends scorn me;
My eyes pour out tears to God.
21 Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,
As a man pleads for his [z]neighbor!
22 For when a few years are finished,
I shall go the way of no return.

Job Prays for Relief

17 “My spirit is broken,
My days are extinguished,
The grave is ready for me.
Are not mockers with me?
And does not my eye [aa]dwell on their provocation?

“Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself.
Who is he who will shake hands with me?
For You have hidden their heart from understanding;
Therefore You will not exalt them.
He who speaks flattery to his friends,
Even the eyes of his children will fail.

“But He has made me a byword of the people,
And I have become one in whose face men spit.
My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow,
And all my members are like shadows.
Upright men are astonished at this,
And the innocent stirs himself up against the hypocrite.
Yet the righteous will hold to his way,
And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.

10 “But please, come back again, [ab]all of you,
For I shall not find one wise man among you.
11 My days are past,
My purposes are broken off,
Even the [ac]thoughts of my heart.
12 They change the night into day;
‘The light is near,’ they say, in the face of darkness.
13 If I wait for the grave as my house,
If I make my bed in the darkness,
14 If I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’
And to the worm, ‘You are my mother and my sister,’
15 Where then is my hope?
As for my hope, who can see it?
16 Will they go down to the gates of [ad]Sheol?
Shall we have rest together in the dust?”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 13:7 unrighteously
  2. Job 13:11 Lit. exaltation
  3. Job 13:13 Be silent
  4. Job 13:27 Lit. inscribe a print
  5. Job 13:27 Lit. roots
  6. Job 13:28 Lit. He
  7. Job 14:1 turmoil
  8. Job 14:3 LXX, Syr., Vg. him
  9. Job 14:6 Lit. cease
  10. Job 14:10 lies prostrate
  11. Job 14:10 expires
  12. Job 14:17 Lit. plaster over
  13. Job 15:2 Lit. his belly
  14. Job 15:4 meditation or complaint
  15. Job 15:11 Or a secret thing
  16. Job 15:12 Or why do your eyes flash
  17. Job 15:19 Or earth
  18. Job 15:21 Terrifying
  19. Job 15:24 attack
  20. Job 16:2 Troublesome
  21. Job 16:3 Empty words
  22. Job 16:13 Lit. kidneys
  23. Job 16:14 Vg. giant
  24. Job 16:15 Lit. horn
  25. Job 16:16 Lit. red
  26. Job 16:21 friend
  27. Job 17:2 Lit. lodge
  28. Job 17:10 So with some Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg.; MT, Tg. all of them
  29. Job 17:11 desires
  30. Job 17:16 The abode of the dead
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Job 13-17 New International Version (NIV)

13 “My eyes have seen all this,
    my ears have heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
    I am not inferior to you.
But I desire to speak to the Almighty
    and to argue my case with God.
You, however, smear me with lies;
    you are worthless physicians, all of you!
If only you would be altogether silent!
    For you, that would be wisdom.
Hear now my argument;
    listen to the pleas of my lips.
Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?
    Will you speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show him partiality?
    Will you argue the case for God?
Would it turn out well if he examined you?
    Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?
10 He would surely call you to account
    if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would not his splendor terrify you?
    Would not the dread of him fall on you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
    your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Keep silent and let me speak;
    then let come to me what may.
14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy
    and take my life in my hands?
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
    I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.
16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
    for no godless person would dare come before him!
17 Listen carefully to what I say;
    let my words ring in your ears.
18 Now that I have prepared my case,
    I know I will be vindicated.
19 Can anyone bring charges against me?
    If so, I will be silent and die.

20 “Only grant me these two things, God,
    and then I will not hide from you:
21 Withdraw your hand far from me,
    and stop frightening me with your terrors.
22 Then summon me and I will answer,
    or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed?
    Show me my offense and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
    and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you torment a windblown leaf?
    Will you chase after dry chaff?
26 For you write down bitter things against me
    and make me reap the sins of my youth.
27 You fasten my feet in shackles;
    you keep close watch on all my paths
    by putting marks on the soles of my feet.

28 “So man wastes away like something rotten,
    like a garment eaten by moths.

14 “Mortals, born of woman,
    are of few days and full of trouble.
They spring up like flowers and wither away;
    like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
Do you fix your eye on them?
    Will you bring them[b] before you for judgment?
Who can bring what is pure from the impure?
    No one!
A person’s days are determined;
    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed.
So look away from him and let him alone,
    till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.

“At least there is hope for a tree:
    If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
    and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground
    and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
    and put forth shoots like a plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
    he breathes his last and is no more.
11 As the water of a lake dries up
    or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
12 so he lies down and does not rise;
    till the heavens are no more, people will not awake
    or be roused from their sleep.

13 “If only you would hide me in the grave
    and conceal me till your anger has passed!
If only you would set me a time
    and then remember me!
14 If someone dies, will they live again?
    All the days of my hard service
    I will wait for my renewal[c] to come.
15 You will call and I will answer you;
    you will long for the creature your hands have made.
16 Surely then you will count my steps
    but not keep track of my sin.
17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag;
    you will cover over my sin.

18 “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles
    and as a rock is moved from its place,
19 as water wears away stones
    and torrents wash away the soil,
    so you destroy a person’s hope.
20 You overpower them once for all, and they are gone;
    you change their countenance and send them away.
21 If their children are honored, they do not know it;
    if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.
22 They feel but the pain of their own bodies
    and mourn only for themselves.

Eliphaz

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

“Would a wise person answer with empty notions
    or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
Would they argue with useless words,
    with speeches that have no value?
But you even undermine piety
    and hinder devotion to God.
Your sin prompts your mouth;
    you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
    your own lips testify against you.

“Are you the first man ever born?
    Were you brought forth before the hills?
Do you listen in on God’s council?
    Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
What do you know that we do not know?
    What insights do you have that we do not have?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
    men even older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,
    words spoken gently to you?
12 Why has your heart carried you away,
    and why do your eyes flash,
13 so that you vent your rage against God
    and pour out such words from your mouth?

14 “What are mortals, that they could be pure,
    or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,
    if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt,
    who drink up evil like water!

17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;
    let me tell you what I have seen,
18 what the wise have declared,
    hiding nothing received from their ancestors
19 (to whom alone the land was given
    when no foreigners moved among them):
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,
    the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;
    when all seems well, marauders attack him.
22 He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness;
    he is marked for the sword.
23 He wanders about for food like a vulture;
    he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror;
    troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
25 because he shakes his fist at God
    and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him
    with a thick, strong shield.

27 “Though his face is covered with fat
    and his waist bulges with flesh,
28 he will inhabit ruined towns
    and houses where no one lives,
    houses crumbling to rubble.
29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,
    nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness;
    a flame will wither his shoots,
    and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.
31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,
    for he will get nothing in return.
32 Before his time he will wither,
    and his branches will not flourish.
33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,
    like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless will be barren,
    and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;
    their womb fashions deceit.”

Job

16 Then Job replied:

“I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters, all of you!
Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What ails you that you keep on arguing?
I also could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
    and shake my head at you.
But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
    and if I refrain, it does not go away.
Surely, God, you have worn me out;
    you have devastated my entire household.
You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
    my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
God assails me and tears me in his anger
    and gnashes his teeth at me;
    my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
10 People open their mouths to jeer at me;
    they strike my cheek in scorn
    and unite together against me.
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
    and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
    he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
13     his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
    and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again he bursts upon me;
    he rushes at me like a warrior.

15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
    and buried my brow in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
    dark shadows ring my eyes;
17 yet my hands have been free of violence
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “Earth, do not cover my blood;
    may my cry never be laid to rest!
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
    my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[d]
    as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
    as one pleads for a friend.

22 “Only a few years will pass
    before I take the path of no return.

17 My spirit is broken,
    my days are cut short,
    the grave awaits me.
Surely mockers surround me;
    my eyes must dwell on their hostility.

“Give me, O God, the pledge you demand.
    Who else will put up security for me?
You have closed their minds to understanding;
    therefore you will not let them triumph.
If anyone denounces their friends for reward,
    the eyes of their children will fail.

“God has made me a byword to everyone,
    a man in whose face people spit.
My eyes have grown dim with grief;
    my whole frame is but a shadow.
The upright are appalled at this;
    the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.
Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways,
    and those with clean hands will grow stronger.

10 “But come on, all of you, try again!
    I will not find a wise man among you.
11 My days have passed, my plans are shattered.
    Yet the desires of my heart
12 turn night into day;
    in the face of the darkness light is near.
13 If the only home I hope for is the grave,
    if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness,
14 if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’
    and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then is my hope—
    who can see any hope for me?
16 Will it go down to the gates of death?
    Will we descend together into the dust?”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 13:15 Or He will surely slay me; I have no hope — / yet I will
  2. Job 14:3 Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew me
  3. Job 14:14 Or release
  4. Job 16:20 Or My friends treat me with scorn
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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