2 “I have heard many such things; Miserable[a] comforters are you all! 3 Shall [b]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 [c]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 [d]warrior.
15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, And laid my [e]head in the dust. 16 My face is [f]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 [g]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 [h]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, [i]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 [j]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 [k]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[l] 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 [m]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 [n]among the renowned. 18 [o]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 [p]in the west are astonished at his day, As those [q]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 [r]reproached me; You are not ashamed that you [s]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 [t]wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice. 8 He has [u]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 [v]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 [w]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 [x]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.”
Zophar’s Sermon on the Wicked Man
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2 “Therefore my anxious thoughts make me answer, Because of the turmoil within me. 3 I have heard the rebuke [y]that reproaches me, And the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer.
4 “Do you not know this of old, Since man was placed on earth, 5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment? 6 Though his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens, And his head reaches to the clouds, 7 Yet he will perish forever like his own refuse; Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8 He will fly away like a dream, and not be found; Yes, he will be chased away like a vision of the night. 9 The eye that saw him will see him no more, Nor will his place behold him anymore. 10 His children will seek the favor of the poor, And his hands will restore his wealth. 11 His bones are full of his youthful vigor, But it will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth, And he hides it under his tongue, 13 Though he spares it and does not forsake it, But still keeps it in his [z]mouth, 14 Yet his food in his stomach turns sour; It becomes cobra venom within him. 15 He swallows down riches And vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly. 16 He will suck the poison of cobras; The viper’s tongue will slay him. 17 He will not see the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and cream. 18 He will restore that for which he labored, And will not swallow it down; From the proceeds of business He will get no enjoyment. 19 For he has [aa]oppressed and forsaken the poor, He has violently seized a house which he did not build.
20 “Because he knows no quietness in his [ab]heart, He will not save anything he desires. 21 Nothing is left for him to eat; Therefore his well-being will not last. 22 In his self-sufficiency he will be in distress; Every hand of [ac]misery will come against him. 23 When he is about to fill his stomach, God will cast on him the fury of His wrath, And will rain it on him while he is eating. 24 He will flee from the iron weapon; A bronze bow will pierce him through. 25 It is drawn, and comes out of the body; Yes, the glittering point comes out of his [ad]gall. Terrors come upon him; 26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures. An unfanned fire will consume him; It shall go ill with him who is left in his tent. 27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity, And the earth will rise up against him. 28 The increase of his house will depart, And his goods will flow away in the day of His wrath. 29 This is the portion from God for a wicked man, The heritage appointed to him by God.”
Job’s Discourse on the Wicked
21 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be your [ae]consolation. 3 Bear with me that I may speak, And after I have spoken, keep mocking.
4 “As for me, is my complaint against man? And if it were, why should I not be impatient? 5 Look at me and be astonished; Put your hand over your mouth. 6 Even when I remember I am terrified, And trembling takes hold of my flesh. 7 Why do the wicked live and become old, Yes, become mighty in power? 8 Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is[af]the rod of God upon them. 10 Their bull breeds without failure; Their cow calves without miscarriage. 11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance. 12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, And rejoice to the sound of the flute. 13 They spend their days in wealth, And [ag]in a moment go down to the [ah]grave. 14 Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. 15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’ 16 Indeed [ai]their prosperity is not in their hand; The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? How often does their destruction come upon them, The sorrows Goddistributes in His anger? 18 They are like straw before the wind, And like chaff that a storm [aj]carries away. 19 They say, ‘God [ak]lays up [al]one’s iniquity for his children’; Let Him recompense him, that he may know it. 20 Let his eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21 For what does he care about his household after him, When the number of his months is cut in half?
22 “Cananyone teach God knowledge, Since He judges those on high? 23 One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and secure; 24 His [am]pails are full of milk, And the marrow of his bones is moist. 25 Another man dies in the bitterness of his soul, Never having eaten with pleasure. 26 They lie down alike in the dust, And worms cover them.
27 “Look, I know your thoughts, And the schemes with which you would wrong me. 28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince? And where is[an]the tent, The dwelling place of the wicked?’ 29 Have you not asked those who travel the road? And do you not know their signs? 30 For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath. 31 Who condemns his way to his face? And who repays him for what he has done? 32 Yet he shall be brought to the grave, And a vigil kept over the tomb. 33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him; Everyone shall follow him, As countless have gone before him. 34 How then can you comfort me with empty words, Since [ao]falsehood remains in your answers?”
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