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Job 14-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job Speaks of Life’s Woes

14 “Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of [a]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 [b]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 [c]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 [d]is laid away;
Indeed he [e]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 [f]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 [g]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 [h]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 [i]gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away,
And [j]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 [k]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 [l]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 [m]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[n] comforters are you all!
Shall [o]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 [p]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 [q]warrior.

15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
And laid my [r]head in the dust.
16 My face is [s]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 [t]neighbor!
22 For when a few years are finished,
I shall go the way of no return.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 14:1 turmoil
  2. Job 14:3 LXX, Syr., Vg. him
  3. Job 14:6 Lit. cease
  4. Job 14:10 lies prostrate
  5. Job 14:10 expires
  6. Job 14:17 Lit. plaster over
  7. Job 15:2 Lit. his belly
  8. Job 15:4 meditation or complaint
  9. Job 15:11 Or a secret thing
  10. Job 15:12 Or why do your eyes flash
  11. Job 15:19 Or earth
  12. Job 15:21 Terrifying
  13. Job 15:24 attack
  14. Job 16:2 Troublesome
  15. Job 16:3 Empty words
  16. Job 16:13 Lit. kidneys
  17. Job 16:14 Vg. giant
  18. Job 16:15 Lit. horn
  19. Job 16:16 Lit. red
  20. Job 16:21 friend
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 14-16 New International Version (NIV)

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[a] 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[b] 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[c]
    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.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 14:3 Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew me
  2. Job 14:14 Or release
  3. 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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