2 “Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge, And fill [a]himself with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, Or by speeches with which he can do no good? 4 Yes, you cast off fear, And restrain [b]prayer before God. 5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, And you choose the tongue of the crafty. 6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you.
7 “Are you the first man who was born? Or were you made before the hills? 8 Have you heard the counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself? 9 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[c]gently with you? 12 Why does your heart carry you away, And [d]what do your eyes wink at, 13 That you turn your spirit against God, And let such words go out of your mouth?
14 “Whatis 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 receivedfrom their fathers, 19 To whom alone the [e]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 [f]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 [g]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:
2 “I have heard many such things; Miserable[h] comforters are you all! 3 Shall [i]words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? 4 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; 5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.
6 “Though I speak, my grief is not relieved; And if I remain silent, how am I eased? 7 But now He has worn me out; You have made desolate all my company. 8 You have shriveled me up, And it is a witness against me; My leanness rises up against me And bears witness to my face. 9 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 [j]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 [k]warrior.
15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, And laid my [l]head in the dust. 16 My face is [m]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 [n]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. 2 Are not mockers with me? And does not my eye [o]dwell on their provocation?
3 “Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself. Who is he whowill shake hands with me? 4 For You have hidden their heart from understanding; Therefore You will not exalt them. 5 He who speaks flattery to his friends, Even the eyes of his children will fail.
6 “But He has made me a byword of the people, And I have become one in whose face men spit. 7 My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow, And all my members are like shadows. 8 Upright men are astonished at this, And the innocent stirs himself up against the hypocrite. 9 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, [p]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 [q]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 [r]Sheol? Shall we haverest together in the dust?”
Bildad: The Wicked Are Punished
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “How long till you put an end to words? Gain understanding, and afterward we will speak. 3 Why are we counted as beasts, And regarded as stupid in your sight? 4 You[s] who tear yourself in anger, Shall the earth be forsaken for you? Or shall the rock be removed from its place?
5 “The light of the wicked indeed goes out, And the flame of his fire does not shine. 6 The light is dark in his tent, And his lamp beside him is put out. 7 The steps of his strength are shortened, And his own counsel casts him down. 8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, And he walks into a snare. 9 The net takes him by the heel, Anda snare lays hold of him. 10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground, And a trap for him in the road. 11 Terrors frighten him on every side, And drive him to his feet. 12 His strength is starved, And destruction is ready at his side. 13 It devours patches of his skin; The firstborn of death devours his [t]limbs. 14 He is uprooted from the shelter of his tent, And they parade him before the king of terrors. 15 They dwell in his tent who are none of his; Brimstone is scattered on his dwelling. 16 His roots are dried out below, And his branch withers above. 17 The memory of him perishes from the earth, And he has no name [u]among the renowned. 18 [v]He is driven from light into darkness, And chased out of the world. 19 He has neither son nor posterity among his people, Nor any remaining in his dwellings. 20 Those [w]in the west are astonished at his day, As those [x]in the east are frightened. 21 Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, And this is the place of him whodoes not know God.”
Job Trusts in His Redeemer
19 Then Job answered and said:
2 “How long will you torment my soul, And break me in pieces with words? 3 These ten times you have [y]reproached me; You are not ashamed that you [z]have wronged me. 4 And if indeed I have erred, My error remains with me. 5 If indeed you exalt yourselves against me, And plead my disgrace against me, 6 Know then that God has wronged me, And has surrounded me with His net.
7 “If I cry out concerning [aa]wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice. 8 He has [ab]fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass; And He has set darkness in my paths. 9 He has stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head. 10 He breaks me down on every side, And I am gone; My hope He has uprooted like a tree. 11 He has also kindled His wrath against me, And He counts me as one of His enemies. 12 His troops come together And build up their road against me; They encamp all around my tent.
13 “He has removed my brothers far from me, And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. 14 My relatives have failed, And my close friends have forgotten me. 15 Those who dwell in my house, and my maidservants, Count me as a stranger; I am an alien in their sight. 16 I call my servant, but he gives no answer; I beg him with my mouth. 17 My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am [ac]repulsive to the children of my own body. 18 Even young children despise me; I arise, and they speak against me. 19 All my close friends abhor me, And those whom I love have turned against me. 20 My bone clings to my skin and to my flesh, And I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 “Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, For the hand of God has struck me! 22 Why do you persecute me as God does, And are not satisfied with my flesh?
23 “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! 24 That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is [ad]destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my [ae]heart yearns within me! 28 If you should say, ‘How shall we persecute him?’— Since the root of the matter is found in me, 29 Be afraid of the sword for yourselves; For wrath brings the punishment of the sword, That you may know there is a judgment.”
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