2 “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? 3 Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me. 4 If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. 5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me, 6 then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me.
7 “Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice. 8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass; he has shrouded my paths in darkness. 9 He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head. 10 He tears me down on every side till I am gone; he uproots my hope like a tree. 11 His anger burns against me; he counts me among his enemies. 12 His troops advance in force; they build a siege ramp against me and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. 14 My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. 15 My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. 16 I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. 17 My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. 18 Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. 19 All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. 20 I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.[a]
21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me. 22 Why do you pursue me as God does? Will you never get enough of my flesh?
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, 24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on[b] lead, or engraved in rock forever! 25 I know that my redeemer[c] lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[d] 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet[e] in[f] my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him,[g]’ 29 you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment.[h]”
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed. 3 I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply.
4 “Surely you know how it has been from of old, ever since mankind[i] was placed on the earth, 5 that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment. 6 Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens and his head touches the clouds, 7 he will perish forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8 Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found, banished like a vision of the night. 9 The eye that saw him will not see him again; his place will look on him no more. 10 His children must make amends to the poor; his own hands must give back his wealth. 11 The youthful vigor that fills his bones will lie with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue, 13 though he cannot bear to let it go and lets it linger in his mouth, 14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents within him. 15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them up. 16 He will suck the poison of serpents; the fangs of an adder will kill him. 17 He will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and cream. 18 What he toiled for he must give back uneaten; he will not enjoy the profit from his trading. 19 For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses he did not build.
20 “Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure. 21 Nothing is left for him to devour; his prosperity will not endure. 22 In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him; the full force of misery will come upon him. 23 When he has filled his belly, God will vent his burning anger against him and rain down his blows on him. 24 Though he flees from an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him. 25 He pulls it out of his back, the gleaming point out of his liver. Terrors will come over him; 26 total darkness lies in wait for his treasures. A fire unfanned will consume him and devour what is left in his tent. 27 The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him. 28 A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters[j] on the day of God’s wrath. 29 Such is the fate God allots the wicked, the heritage appointed for them by God.”
21 Then Job replied:
2 “Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you give me. 3 Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
4 “Is my complaint directed to a human being? Why should I not be impatient? 5 Look at me and be appalled; clap your hand over your mouth. 6 When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body. 7 Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? 8 They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them. 10 Their bulls never fail to breed; their cows calve and do not miscarry. 11 They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about. 12 They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the sound of the pipe. 13 They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.[k] 14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. 15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?’ 16 But their prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked.
17 “Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out? How often does calamity come upon them, the fate God allots in his anger? 18 How often are they like straw before the wind, like chaff swept away by a gale? 19 It is said, ‘God stores up the punishment of the wicked for their children.’ Let him repay the wicked, so that they themselves will experience it! 20 Let their own eyes see their destruction; let them drink the cup of the wrath of the Almighty. 21 For what do they care about the families they leave behind when their allotted months come to an end?
22 “Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest? 23 One person dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease, 24 well nourished in body,[l] bones rich with marrow. 25 Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good. 26 Side by side they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both.
27 “I know full well what you are thinking, the schemes by which you would wrong me. 28 You say, ‘Where now is the house of the great, the tents where the wicked lived?’ 29 Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts— 30 that the wicked are spared from the day of calamity, that they are delivered from[m] the day of wrath? 31 Who denounces their conduct to their face? Who repays them for what they have done? 32 They are carried to the grave, and watch is kept over their tombs. 33 The soil in the valley is sweet to them; everyone follows after them, and a countless throng goes[n] before them.
34 “So how can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!”
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Can a man be of benefit to God? Can even a wise person benefit him? 3 What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous? What would he gain if your ways were blameless?
4 “Is it for your piety that he rebukes you and brings charges against you? 5 Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless? 6 You demanded security from your relatives for no reason; you stripped people of their clothing, leaving them naked. 7 You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, 8 though you were a powerful man, owning land— an honored man, living on it. 9 And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. 10 That is why snares are all around you, why sudden peril terrifies you, 11 why it is so dark you cannot see, and why a flood of water covers you.
12 “Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars! 13 Yet you say, ‘What does God know? Does he judge through such darkness? 14 Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see us as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.’ 15 Will you keep to the old path that the wicked have trod? 16 They were carried off before their time, their foundations washed away by a flood. 17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do to us?’ 18 Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things, so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked. 19 The righteous see their ruin and rejoice; the innocent mock them, saying, 20 ‘Surely our foes are destroyed, and fire devours their wealth.’
21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. 22 Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent 24 and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, 25 then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. 26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. 28 What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. 29 When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then he will save the downcast. 30 He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
23 Then Job replied:
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand[o] is heavy in spite of[p] my groaning. 3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me. 6 Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me. 7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.
8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. 12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases. 14 He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. 15 That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. 16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. 17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.
24 “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days? 2 There are those who move boundary stones; they pasture flocks they have stolen. 3 They drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox in pledge. 4 They thrust the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into hiding. 5 Like wild donkeys in the desert, the poor go about their labor of foraging food; the wasteland provides food for their children. 6 They gather fodder in the fields and glean in the vineyards of the wicked. 7 Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked; they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold. 8 They are drenched by mountain rains and hug the rocks for lack of shelter. 9 The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt. 10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked; they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry. 11 They crush olives among the terraces[q]; they tread the winepresses, yet suffer thirst. 12 The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out for help. But God charges no one with wrongdoing.
13 “There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths. 14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up, kills the poor and needy, and in the night steals forth like a thief. 15 The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed. 16 In the dark, thieves break into houses, but by day they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light. 17 For all of them, midnight is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.
18 “Yet they are foam on the surface of the water; their portion of the land is cursed, so that no one goes to the vineyards. 19 As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow, so the grave snatches away those who have sinned. 20 The womb forgets them, the worm feasts on them; the wicked are no longer remembered but are broken like a tree. 21 They prey on the barren and childless woman, and to the widow they show no kindness. 22 But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life. 23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways. 24 For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like heads of grain.
25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false and reduce my words to nothing?”
25 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven. 3 Can his forces be numbered? On whom does his light not rise? 4 How then can a mortal be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? 5 If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes, 6 how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot— a human being, who is only a worm!”
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