Bildad: The Wicked Are Punished

18 Then (A)Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“How long till you put an end to words?
Gain understanding, and afterward we will speak.
Why are we counted (B)as beasts,
And regarded as stupid in your sight?
(C)You[a] who tear yourself in anger,
Shall the earth be forsaken for you?
Or shall the rock be removed from its place?

“The(D) light of the wicked indeed goes out,
And the flame of his fire does not shine.
The light is dark in his tent,
(E)And his lamp beside him is put out.
The steps of his strength are shortened,
And (F)his own counsel casts him down.
For (G)he is cast into a net by his own feet,
And he walks into a snare.
The net takes him by the heel,
And (H)a snare lays hold of him.
10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground,
And a trap for him in the road.
11 (I)Terrors frighten him on every side,
And drive him to his feet.
12 His strength is starved,
And (J)destruction is ready at his side.
13 It devours patches of his skin;
The firstborn of death devours his [b]limbs.
14 He is uprooted from (K)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 (L)His roots are dried out below,
And his branch withers above.
17 (M)The memory of him perishes from the earth,
And he has no name [c]among the renowned.
18 [d]He is driven from light into darkness,
And chased out of the world.
19 (N)He has neither son nor posterity among his people,
Nor any remaining in his dwellings.
20 Those [e]in the west are astonished (O)at his day,
As those [f]in the east are frightened.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,
And this is the place of him who (P)does not know God.”

Job Trusts in His Redeemer

19 Then Job answered and said:

“How long will you torment my soul,
And break me in pieces with words?
These ten times you have [g]reproached me;
You are not ashamed that you [h]have wronged me.
And if indeed I have erred,
My error remains with me.
If indeed you (Q)exalt yourselves against me,
And plead my disgrace against me,
Know then that (R)God has wronged me,
And has surrounded me with His net.

“If I cry out concerning [i]wrong, I am not heard.
If I cry aloud, there is no justice.
(S)He has [j]fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass;
And He has set darkness in my paths.
(T)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 (U)hope He has uprooted like a tree.
11 He has also kindled His wrath against me,
And (V)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(W) 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 [k]repulsive to the children of my own body.
18 Even (X)young children despise me;
I arise, and they speak against me.
19 (Y)All my close friends abhor me,
And those whom I love have turned against me.
20 (Z)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 (AA)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 [l]destroyed, this I know,
That (AB)in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my [m]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 (AC)Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

“Therefore my anxious thoughts make me answer,
Because of the turmoil within me.
I have heard the rebuke [n]that reproaches me,
And the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer.

“Do you not know this of (AD)old,
Since man was placed on earth,
(AE)That the triumphing of the wicked is short,
And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a (AF)moment?
(AG)Though his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens,
And his head reaches to the clouds,
Yet he will perish forever like his own refuse;
Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
He will fly away (AH)like a dream, and not be found;
Yes, he (AI)will be chased away like a vision of the night.
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 (AJ)his youthful vigor,
(AK)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 [o]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 (AL)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 [p]oppressed and forsaken the poor,
He has violently seized a house which he did not build.

20 “Because(AM) he knows no quietness in his [q]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 [r]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 (AN)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, (AO)the glittering point comes out of his [s]gall.
(AP)Terrors come upon him;
26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures.
(AQ)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 (AR)wrath.
29 (AS)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:

“Listen carefully to my speech,
And let this be your [t]consolation.
Bear with me that I may speak,
And after I have spoken, keep (AT)mocking.

“As for me, is my complaint against man?
And if it were, why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be astonished;
(AU)Put your hand over your mouth.
Even when I remember I am terrified,
And trembling takes hold of my flesh.
(AV)Why do the wicked live and become old,
Yes, become mighty in power?
Their descendants are established with them in their sight,
And their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
(AW)Neither is [u]the rod of God upon them.
10 Their bull breeds without failure;
Their cow calves (AX)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 (AY)spend their days in wealth,
And [v]in a moment go down to the [w]grave.
14 (AZ)Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us,
For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.
15 (BA)Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him?
And (BB)what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’
16 Indeed [x]their prosperity is not in their hand;
(BC)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 God (BD)distributes in His anger?
18 (BE)They are like straw before the wind,
And like chaff that a storm [y]carries away.
19 They say, ‘God [z]lays up [aa]one’s iniquity (BF)for his children’;
Let Him recompense him, that he may know it.
20 Let his eyes see his destruction,
And (BG)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 “Can(BH) anyone teach God knowledge,
Since He judges those on high?
23 One dies in his full strength,
Being wholly at ease and secure;
24 His [ab]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 (BI)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 [ac]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 (BJ)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;
(BK)Everyone shall follow him,
As countless have gone before him.
34 How then can you comfort me with empty words,
Since [ad]falsehood remains in your answers?”

Eliphaz Accuses Job of Wickedness

22 Then (BL)Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Can(BM) a man be profitable to God,
Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself?
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous?
Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?

“Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you,
And enters into judgment with you?
Is not your wickedness great,
And your iniquity without end?
For you have (BN)taken pledges from your brother for no reason,
And stripped the naked of their clothing.
You have not given the weary water to drink,
And you (BO)have withheld bread from the hungry.
But the [ae]mighty man possessed the land,
And the honorable man dwelt in it.
You have sent widows away empty,
And the [af]strength of the fatherless was crushed.
10 Therefore snares are all around you,
And sudden fear troubles you,
11 Or darkness so that you cannot see;
And an abundance of (BP)water covers you.

12 “Is not God in the height of heaven?
And see the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13 And you say, (BQ)‘What does God know?
Can He judge through the deep darkness?
14 (BR)Thick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see,
And He walks above the circle of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old way
Which wicked men have trod,
16 Who (BS)were cut down before their time,
Whose foundations were swept away by a flood?
17 (BT)They said to God, ‘Depart from us!
What can the Almighty do to [ag]them?’
18 Yet He filled their houses with good things;
But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

19 “The(BU) righteous see it and are glad,
And the innocent laugh at them:
20 ‘Surely our [ah]adversaries are cut down,
And the fire consumes their remnant.’

21 “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and (BV)be at peace;
Thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive, please, (BW)instruction from His mouth,
And (BX)lay up His words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;
You will remove iniquity far from your tents.
24 Then you will (BY)lay your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
25 Yes, the Almighty will be your [ai]gold
And your precious silver;
26 For then you will have your (BZ)delight in the Almighty,
And lift up your face to God.
27 (CA)You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
28 You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways.
29 When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come!
Then (CB)He will save the humble person.
30 He will even deliver one who is not innocent;
Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”


  1. Job 18:4 Lit. one who tears his soul
  2. Job 18:13 parts
  3. Job 18:17 Lit. before the outside, i.e., the distinguished or famous
  4. Job 18:18 Or They drive him
  5. Job 18:20 Lit. who came after
  6. Job 18:20 Lit. who have gone before
  7. Job 19:3 shamed or disgraced
  8. Job 19:3 A Jewish tradition make yourselves strange to me
  9. Job 19:7 violence
  10. Job 19:8 walled off my way
  11. Job 19:17 Lit. strange
  12. Job 19:26 Lit. struck off
  13. Job 19:27 Lit. kidneys
  14. Job 20:3 Lit. of my insulting correction
  15. Job 20:13 Lit. palate
  16. Job 20:19 crushed
  17. Job 20:20 Lit. belly
  18. Job 20:22 Or the wretched or sufferer
  19. Job 20:25 Gallbladder
  20. Job 21:2 comfort
  21. Job 21:9 The rod of God’s chastisement
  22. Job 21:13 Without lingering
  23. Job 21:13 Or Sheol
  24. Job 21:16 Lit. their goal
  25. Job 21:18 steals away
  26. Job 21:19 stores up
  27. Job 21:19 Lit. his
  28. Job 21:24 LXX, Vg. bowels; Syr. sides; Tg. breasts
  29. Job 21:28 Vg. omits the tent
  30. Job 21:34 faithlessness
  31. Job 22:8 Lit. man of arm
  32. Job 22:9 Lit. arms
  33. Job 22:17 LXX, Syr. us
  34. Job 22:20 LXX substance is
  35. Job 22:25 Ancient vss. suggest defense; MT gold, as in v. 24

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