Job 2-22 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Satan’s Additional Charge
2 Again the day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also arrived among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” 3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still holds firmly to his integrity, so that you stirred me up to destroy him without reason.”
4 But Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! Indeed, a man will give up all that he has to save his life. 5 But extend your hand and strike his bone and his flesh, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!”
6 So the Lord said to Satan, “All right, he is in your power; only preserve his life.”
Job’s Integrity in Suffering
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and he afflicted Job with a malignant ulcer from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Job took a shard of broken pottery to scrape himself with while he was sitting among the ashes.
9 Then his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? Curse God, and die!” 10 But he replied, “You’re talking like one of the godless women would do! Should we receive what is good from God, and not also receive what is evil?” In all this Job did not sin by what he said.
The Visit of Job’s Friends
11 When Job’s three friends heard about all this calamity that had happened to him, each of them came from his own country—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to come to show sympathy for him and to console him. 12 But when they gazed intently from a distance but did not recognize him, they began to weep loudly. Each of them tore his robes, and they threw dust into the air over their heads. 13 Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, yet no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.
II. Job’s Dialogue With His Friends (3:1-27:23)
Job Regrets His Birth
3 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day he was born. 2 Job spoke up and said:
3 “Let the day on which I was born perish,
and the night that said,
‘A man has been conceived!’
4 That day—let it be darkness;
let not God on high regard it,
nor let light shine on it!
5 Let darkness and the deepest shadow claim it;
let a cloud settle on it;
let whatever blackens the day terrify it.
6 That night—let darkness seize it;
let it not be included among the days of the year;
let it not enter among the number of the months!
7 Indeed, let that night be barren;
let no shout of joy penetrate it!
8 Let those who curse the day curse it—
those who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
9 Let its morning stars be darkened;
let it wait for daylight but find none,
nor let it see the first rays of dawn,
10 because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb on me,
nor did it hide trouble from my eyes.
Job Wishes He Had Died at Birth
11 “Why did I not die at birth,
and why did I not expire
as I came out of the womb?
12 Why did the knees welcome me,
and why were there two breasts
that I might nurse at them?
13 For now I would be lying down
and would be quiet,
I would be asleep and then at peace
14 with kings and counselors of the earth
who built for themselves places now desolate,
15 or with princes who possessed gold,
who filled their palaces with silver.
16 Or why was I not buried
like a stillborn infant,
like infants who have never seen the light?
17 There the wicked cease from turmoil,
and there the weary are at rest.
18 There the prisoners relax together;
they do not hear the voice of the oppressor.
19 Small and great are there,
and the slave is free from his master.
Longing for Death
20 “Why does God give light to one who is in misery,
and life to those whose soul is bitter,
21 to those who wait for death that does not come,
and search for it
more than for hidden treasures,
22 who rejoice even to jubilation,
and are exultant when they find the grave?
23 Why is light given to a man
whose way is hidden,
and whom God has hedged in?
24 For my sighing comes in place of my food,
and my groanings flow forth like water.
25 For the very thing I dreaded has happened to me,
and what I feared has come upon me.
26 I have no ease, I have no quietness;
I cannot rest; turmoil has come upon me.”
Eliphaz Begins to Speak
4 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “If someone should attempt a word with you,
will you be impatient?
But who can refrain from speaking?
3 Look, you have instructed many;
you have strengthened feeble hands.
4 Your words have supported those
and you have strengthened the knees
that gave way.
5 But now the same thing comes to you,
and you are discouraged;
it strikes you,
and you are terrified.
6 Is not your piety your confidence,
and your blameless ways your hope?
7 Call to mind now:
Who, being innocent, ever perished?
And where were upright people ever destroyed?
8 Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity
and those who sow trouble reap the same.
9 By the breath of God they perish,
and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
10 There is the roaring of the lion
and the growling of the young lion,
but the teeth of the young lions are broken.
11 The mighty lion perishes for lack of prey,
and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
Ungodly Complainers Provoke God’s Wrath
12 “Now a word was stealthily brought to me,
and my ear caught a whisper of it.
13 In the troubling thoughts of the dreams in the night
when a deep sleep falls on men,
14 dread gripped me and trembling,
which made all my bones shake.
15 Then a breath of air passes by my face;
it makes the hair of my flesh stand up.
16 It stands still,
but I cannot recognize its appearance;
an image is before my eyes,
and I hear a murmuring voice:
17 ‘Is a mortal man righteous before God?
Or a man pure before his Creator?
18 If God puts no trust in his servants
and attributes folly to his angels,
19 how much more to those who live in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like a moth?
20 They are destroyed between morning and evening;
they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
21 Is not their excess wealth taken away from them?
They die, yet without attaining wisdom.’
5 “Call now! Is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?
2 For wrath kills the foolish person,
and anger slays the silly one.
3 I myself have seen the fool taking root,
but suddenly I cursed his place of residence.
4 His children are far from safety,
and they are crushed at the place where judgment is rendered,
nor is there anyone to deliver them.
5 The hungry eat up his harvest,
and take it even from behind the thorns,
and the thirsty pant for their wealth.
6 For evil does not come up from the dust,
nor does trouble spring up from the ground,
7 but people are born to trouble,
as surely as the sparks fly upward.
Blessings for the One Who Seeks God
8 “But as for me, I would seek God,
and to God I would set forth my case.
9 He does great and unsearchable things,
marvelous things without number;
10 he gives rain on the earth,
and sends water on the fields;
11 he sets the lowly on high,
that those who mourn are raised to safety.
12 He frustrates the plans of the crafty
so that their hands cannot accomplish
what they had planned.
13 He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
and the counsel of the cunning is brought to a quick end.
14 They meet with darkness in the daytime,
and grope about in the noontime as if it were night.
15 So he saves from the sword that comes from their mouth,
even the poor from the hand of the powerful.
16 Thus the poor have hope,
and iniquity shuts its mouth.
17 “Therefore, blessed is the man whom God corrects,
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
18 For he wounds, but he also bandages;
he strikes, but his hands also heal.
19 He will deliver you from six calamities;
yes, in seven no evil will touch you.
20 In time of famine he will redeem you from death,
and in time of war from the power of the sword.
21 You will be protected from malicious gossip,
and will not be afraid of the destruction when it comes.
22 You will laugh at destruction and famine
and need not be afraid of the beasts of the earth.
23 For you will have a pact with the stones of the field,
and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
24 And you will know that your home will be secure,
and when you inspect your domains,
you will not be missing anything.
25 You will also know that your children will be numerous,
and your descendants like the grass of the earth.
26 You will come to your grave in a full age,
As stacks of grain are harvested in their season.
27 Look, we have investigated this, so it is true.
Hear it, and apply it for your own good.”
Job Replies to Eliphaz
6 Then Job responded:
2 “Oh, if only my grief could be weighed,
and my misfortune laid on the scales too!
3 But because it is heavier than the sand of the sea,
that is why my words have been wild.
4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
God’s sudden terrors are arrayed against me.
Complaints Reflect Suffering
5 “Does the wild donkey bray when it is near grass?
Or does the ox bellow over its fodder?
6 Can food that is tasteless be eaten without salt?
Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
7 I have refused to touch such things;
they are like loathsome food to me.
A Cry for Death
8 “Oh that my request would be realized,
and that God would grant me what I long for!
9 And that God would be willing to crush me,
that he would let loose his hand
and kill me.
10 Then I would yet have my comfort,
then I would rejoice,
in spite of pitiless pain,
for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end,
that I should prolong my life?
12 Is my strength like that of stones?
Or is my flesh made of bronze?
13 Is not my power to help myself nothing,
and has not every resource been driven from me?
14 “To the one in despair, kindness should come from his friend
even if he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15 My brothers have been as treacherous as a seasonal stream,
and as the riverbeds of the intermittent streams
that flow away.
16 They are dark because of ice;
snow is piled up over them.
17 When they are scorched, they dry up,
when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 Caravans turn aside from their routes;
they go into the wasteland and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema looked intently for these streams;
the traveling merchants of Sheba hoped for them.
20 They were distressed,
because each one had been so confident;
they arrived there, but were disappointed.
21 For now you have become like these streams that are no help;
you see a terror, and are afraid.
22 “Have I ever said, ‘Give me something,
and from your fortune make gifts in my favor’?
23 Or, ‘Deliver me from the enemy’s power,
and from the hand of tyrants ransom me’?
No Sin Discovered
24 “Teach me and I, for my part, will be silent;
explain to me how I have been mistaken.
25 How painful are honest words!
But what does your reproof prove?
26 Do you intend to criticize mere words,
and treat the words of a despairing man as wind?
27 Yes, you would gamble for the fatherless,
and auction off your friend.
28 “Now then, be good enough to look at me;
and I will not lie to your face!
29 Relent, let there be no falsehood;
reconsider, for my righteousness is intact!
30 Is there any falsehood on my lips?
Can my mouth not discern evil things?
The Brevity of Life
7 “Does not humanity have hard service on earth?
Are not their days also like the days of a hired man?
2 Like a servant longing for the evening shadow,
and like a hired man looking for his wages,
3 thus I have been made to inherit
months of futility,
and nights of sorrow
have been appointed to me.
4 If I lie down, I say, ‘When will I arise?’
And the night stretches on
and I toss and turn restlessly
until the day dawns.
5 My body is clothed with worms and dirty scabs;
my skin is broken and festering.
6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle
and they come to an end without hope.
7 Remember that my life is but a breath,
that my eyes will never again see happiness.
8 The eye of him who sees me now will see me no more;
your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.
9 As a cloud is dispersed and then disappears,
so the one who goes down to the grave
does not come up again.
10 He returns no more to his house,
nor does his place of residence know him anymore.
Job Remonstrates with God
11 “Therefore, I will not refrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or the creature of the deep,
that you must put me under guard?
13 If I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
my couch will ease my complaint,’
14 then you scare me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,
15 so that I would prefer strangling,
and death more than life.
16 I loathe it; I do not want to live forever;
leave me alone, for my days are a vapor!
Insignificance of Humans
17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,
and that you pay attention to them?
18 And that you visit them every morning,
and try them every moment?
19 Will you never look away from me,
will you not let me alone
long enough to swallow my spittle?
20 If I have sinned—what have I done to you,
O watcher of men?
Why have you set me as your target?
Have I become a burden to you?
21 And why do you not pardon my transgression,
and take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust,
and you will seek me diligently,
but I will be gone.”
Bildad’s First Speech to Job
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite spoke up and said:
2 “How long will you speak these things,
seeing that the words of your mouth
are like a great wind?
3 Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?
4 If your children sinned against him,
he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
5 But if you will look to God,
and make your supplication to the Almighty,
6 if you become pure and upright,
even now he will rouse himself for you,
and will restore your righteous home.
7 Your beginning will seem so small,
since your future will flourish.
8 “For inquire now of the former generation,
and pay attention to the findings
of their ancestors;
9 For we were born yesterday and do not have knowledge,
since our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not instruct you and speak to you,
and bring forth words
from their understanding?
11 Can the papyrus plant grow tall where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish without water?
12 While they are still beginning to flower
and not ripe for cutting,
they can wither away
faster than any grass.
13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless perishes,
14 whose trust is in something futile,
whose security is a spider’s web.
15 He leans against his house but it does not hold up,
he takes hold of it but it does not stand.
16 He is a well-watered plant in the sun,
its shoots spread over its garden.
17 It wraps its roots around a heap of stones
and it looks for a place among stones.
18 If he is uprooted from his place,
then that place will disown him, saying,
‘I have never seen you!’
19 Indeed, this is the joy of his way,
and out of the earth others spring up.
20 “Surely, God does not reject a blameless man,
nor does he grasp the hand
of the evildoers.
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
and your lips with gladness.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”
Job’s Reply to Bildad
9 Then Job answered:
2 “Truly, I know that this is so.
But how can a human be just before God?
3 If someone wishes to contend with him,
he cannot answer him one time in a thousand.
4 He is wise in heart and mighty in strength—
who has resisted him and remained safe?
5 He who removes mountains suddenly,
who overturns them in his anger,
6 he who shakes the earth out of its place
so that its pillars tremble,
7 he who commands the sun, and it does not shine
and seals up the stars,
8 he alone spreads out the heavens,
and treads on the waves of the sea.
9 He makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
and the constellations of the southern sky;
10 he does great and unsearchable things,
and wonderful things without number.
11 If he passes by me, I cannot see him,
if he goes by, I cannot perceive him.
12 If he snatches away, who can turn him back?
Who dares to say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 God does not restrain his anger;
under him the helpers of Rahab lie crushed.
The Impossibility of Facing God in Court
14 “How much less, then, can I answer him
and choose my words to argue with him.
15 Although I am innocent,
I could not answer him;
I could only plead with my judge for mercy.
16 If I summoned him, and he answered me,
I would not believe
that he would be listening to my voice—
17 he who crushes me with a tempest,
and multiplies my wounds for no reason.
18 He does not allow me to recover my breath,
for he fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a matter of strength,
most certainly he is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice,
he will say, ‘Who will summon me?’
20 Although I am innocent,
my mouth would condemn me,
although I am blameless,
it would declare me perverse.
21 I am blameless. I do not know myself.
I despise my life.
Accusation of God’s Justice
22 “It is all one! That is why I say,
‘He destroys the blameless and the guilty.’
23 If a scourge brings sudden death,
he mocks at the despair of the innocent.
24 If a land has been given
into the hand of a wicked man,
he covers the faces of its judges;
if it is not he, then who is it?
25 “My days are swifter than a runner,
they speed by without seeing happiness.
26 They glide by like reed boats,
like an eagle that swoops down on its prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will change my expression and be cheerful,’
28 I dread all my sufferings,
for I know that you do not hold me blameless.
29 If I am guilty,
why then weary myself in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow-melt water,
and make my hands clean with lye,
31 then you plunge me into a slimy pit
and my own clothes abhor me.
32 For he is not a human being like I am,
that I might answer him,
that we might come together in judgment.
33 Nor is there an arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both,
34 who would take his rod away from me
so that his terror would not make me afraid.
35 Then would I speak and not fear him,
but it is not so with me.
An Appeal for Revelation
10 “I am weary of my life;
I will complain freely without restraint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me;
tell me why you are contending with me.’
3 Is it good for you to oppress,
to despise the work of your hands,
while you smile
on the schemes of the wicked?
Motivations of God
4 “Do you have eyes of flesh,
or do you see as a human being sees?
5 Are your days like the days of a mortal,
or your years like the years of a mortal,
6 that you must search out my iniquity,
and inquire about my sin,
7 although you know that I am not guilty,
and that there is no one who can deliver
out of your hand?
Contradictions in God’s Dealings
8 “Your hands have shaped me and made me,
but now you destroy me completely.
9 Remember that you have made me as with the clay;
will you return me to dust?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk,
and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh
and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12 You gave me life and favor,
and your intervention watched over my spirit.
13 “But these things you have concealed in your heart;
I know that this is with you:
14 If I sinned, then you would watch me
and you would not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am guilty, woe to me,
and if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head;
I am full of shame,
and satiated with my affliction.
16 If I lift myself up,
you hunt me as a fierce lion,
and again you display your power against me.
17 You bring new witnesses against me,
and increase your anger against me;
relief troops come against me.
An Appeal for Relief
18 “Why then did you bring me out from the womb?
I should have died
and no eye would have seen me!
19 I should have been as though I had never existed;
I should have been carried
right from the womb to the grave!
20 Are not my days few?
Cease, then, and leave me alone
that I may find a little comfort,
21 before I depart, never to return,
to the land of darkness
and the deepest shadow,
22 to the land of utter darkness,
like the deepest darkness,
and the deepest shadow and disorder,
where even the light is like darkness.”
Zophar’s First Speech to Job
11 Then Zophar the Naamathite spoke up and said:
2 “Should not this abundance of words be answered,
or should this talkative man
3 Should people remain silent at your idle talk,
and should no one rebuke you when you mock?
4 For you have said, ‘My teaching is flawless,
and I am pure in your sight.’
5 But if only God would speak,
if only he would open his lips against you,
6 and reveal to you the secrets of wisdom—
for true wisdom has two sides—
so that you would know
that God has forgiven some of your sins.
7 “Can you discover the essence of God?
Can you find out the perfection of the Almighty?
8 It is higher than the heavens—what can you do?
It is deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
9 Its measure is longer than the earth,
and broader than the sea.
10 If he comes by and confines you
and convenes a court,
then who can prevent him?
11 For he knows deceitful men;
when he sees evil, will he not consider it?
12 But an empty man will become wise,
when a wild donkey’s colt is born a human being.
13 “As for you, if you prove faithful,
and if you stretch out your hands toward him,
14 if iniquity is in your hand—put it far away,
and do not let evil reside in your tents.
15 For then you will lift up your face
you will be securely established
and will not fear.
16 For you will forget your trouble;
you will remember it
like water that has flowed away.
17 And life will be brighter than the noonday;
though there be darkness,
it will be like the morning.
18 And you will be secure, because there is hope;
you will be protected
and will take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down with no one to make you afraid,
and many will seek your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked fail,
and escape eludes them;
their one hope is to breathe their last.”
Job’s Reply to Zophar
12 Then Job answered:
2 “Without a doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
3 I also have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
4 I am a laughingstock to my friends,
I, who called on God and whom he answered—
a righteous and blameless man
is a laughingstock!
5 For calamity, there is derision
(according to the ideas of the fortunate)—
a fate for those whose feet slip.
6 But the tents of robbers are peaceful,
and those who provoke God are confident—
who carry their god in their hands.
Knowledge of God’s Wisdom
7 “But now, ask the animals and they will teach you,
or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.
8 Or speak to the earth and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea declare to you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all the human race.
11 Does not the ear test words,
as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
13 “With God are wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 If he tears down, it cannot be rebuilt;
if he imprisons a person, there is no escape.
15 If he holds back the waters, then they dry up;
if he releases them, they destroy the land.
16 With him are strength and prudence;
both the one who goes astray
and the one who misleads are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped
and makes judges into fools.
18 He loosens the bonds of kings
and binds a loincloth around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the potentates.
20 He deprives the trusted advisers of speech
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on noblemen
and disarms the powerful.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness,
and brings deep shadows into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he extends the boundaries of nations
and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth
of their understanding;
he makes them wander
in a trackless desert waste.
25 They grope about in darkness without light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.
Job Pleads His Cause to God
13 “Indeed, my eyes have seen all this,
my ears have heard and understood it.
2 What you know, I know also;
I am not inferior to you!
3 But I wish to speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to argue my case with God.
4 But you, however, are inventors of lies;
all of you are worthless physicians!
5 If only you would keep completely silent!
For you, that would be wisdom.
6 “Listen now to my argument,
and be attentive to my lips’ contentions.
7 Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?
Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8 Will you show him partiality?
Will you argue the case for God?
9 Would it turn out well if he would examine you?
Or as one deceives a man would you deceive him?
10 He would certainly rebuke you
if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would not his splendor terrify you
and the fear he inspires fall on you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Refrain from talking with me so that I may speak;
then let come to me what may.
14 Why do I put myself in peril,
and take my life in my hands?
15 Even if he slays me, I will hope in him;
I will surely defend my ways to his face.
16 Moreover, this will become my deliverance,
for no godless person would come before him.
17 Listen carefully to my words;
let your ears be attentive to my explanation.
18 See now, I have prepared my case;
I know that I am right.
19 Who will contend with me?
If anyone can, I will be silent and die.
20 Only in two things spare me, O God,
and then I will not hide from your face:
21 Remove your hand far from me
and stop making me afraid with your terror.
22 Then call, and I will answer,
or I will speak, and you respond to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and sins?
Show me my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and regard me as your enemy?
25 Do you wish to torment a windblown leaf
and chase after dry chaff?
26 For you write down bitter things against me
and cause me to inherit the sins of my youth.
27 And you put my feet in the stocks
and you watch all my movements;
you put marks on the soles of my feet.
28 So I waste away like something rotten,
like a garment eaten by moths.
The Brevity of Life
14 “Man, born of woman,
lives but a few days, and they are full of trouble.
2 He grows up like a flower and then withers away;
he flees like a shadow, and does not remain.
3 Do you fix your eye on such a one?
And do you bring me before you for judgment?
4 Who can make a clean thing come from an unclean?
5 Since man’s days are determined,
the number of his months is under your control;
you have set his limit and he cannot pass it.
6 Look away from him and let him desist,
until he fulfills his time like a hired man.
The Inevitability of Death
7 “But there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Although its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump begins to die in the soil,
9 at the scent of water it will flourish
and put forth shoots like a new plant.
10 But man dies and is powerless;
he expires—and where is he?
11 As water disappears from the sea,
or a river drains away and dries up,
12 so man lies down and does not rise;
until the heavens are no more,
they will not awake
nor arise from their sleep.
The Possibility of Another Life
13 “O that you would hide me in Sheol,
and conceal me till your anger has passed!
O that you would set me a time
and then remember me!
14 If a man dies, will he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait
until my release comes.
15 You will call and I—I will answer you;
you will long for the creature you have made.
The Present Condition
16 “Surely now you count my steps;
then you would not mark my sin.
17 My offenses would be sealed up in a bag;
you would cover over my sin.
18 But as a mountain falls away and crumbles,
and as a rock will be removed from its place,
19 as water wears away stones,
and torrents wash away the soil,
so you destroy man’s hope.
20 You overpower him once for all,
and he departs;
you change his appearance
and send him away.
21 If his sons are honored,
he does not know it;
if they are brought low,
he does not see it.
22 His flesh only has pain for him,
and he mourns for himself.”
Eliphaz’s Second Speech
15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “Does a wise man answer with blustery knowledge,
or fill his belly with the east wind?
3 Does he argue with useless talk,
with words that have no value in them?
4 But you even break off piety,
and hinder meditation before God.
5 Your sin inspires your mouth;
you choose the language of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, not I;
your own lips testify against you.
7 “Were you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s secret council?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we don’t know?
What do you understand that we don’t understand?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
men far older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations too trivial for you,
or a word spoken in gentleness to you?
12 Why has your heart carried you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
13 when you turn your rage against God
and allow such words to escape from your mouth?
14 What is man that he should be pure,
or one born of woman, that he should 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 man, who is abominable and corrupt,
who drinks in evil like water!
17 “I will explain to you;
listen to me,
and what I have seen, I will declare,
18 what wise men declare,
from the tradition of their ancestors,
19 to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigner passed among them.
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,
throughout the number of the years
that are stored up for the tyrant.
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;
in a time of peace marauders attack him.
22 He does not expect to escape from darkness;
he is marked for the sword;
23 he wanders about—food for vultures—
he knows that the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Distress and anguish terrify him;
they prevail against him
like a king ready to launch an attack,
25 for he stretches out his hand against God,
and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him
with a thick, strong shield!
27 Because he covered his face with fat,
and made his hips bulge with fat,
28 he lived in ruined towns
and in houses where no one lives,
where they are ready to crumble into heaps.
29 He will not grow 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 he will depart
by the breath of God’s mouth.
31 Let him not trust in what is worthless,
for worthlessness will be his reward.
32 Before his time he will be paid in full,
and his branches will not flourish.
33 Like a vine he will let his sour grapes fall,
and like an olive tree
he will shed his blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of those who accept bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and bring forth evil;
their belly prepares deception.”
Job’s Reply to Eliphaz
16 Then Job replied:
2 “I have heard many things like these before.
What miserable comforters are you all!
3 Will there be an end to your windy words?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
4 I also could speak like you,
if you were in my place;
I could pile up words against you
and I could shake my head at you.
5 But I would strengthen you with my words;
comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
Abandonment by God and Man
6 “But if I speak, my pain is not relieved,
and if I refrain from speaking,
how much of it goes away?
7 Surely now he has worn me out,
you have devastated my entire household.
8 You have seized me,
and it has become a witness;
my leanness has risen up against me
and testifies against me.
9 His anger has torn me and persecuted me;
he has gnashed at me with his teeth;
my adversary locks his eyes on me.
10 People have opened their mouths against me,
they have struck my cheek in scorn;
they unite together against me.
11 God abandons me to evil men,
and throws me into the hands of wicked men.
12 I was in peace, and he has shattered me.
He has 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 pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks through against me, time and time again;
he rushes against me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin,
and buried my horn in the dust;
16 my face is reddened because of weeping,
and on my eyelids there is a deep darkness,
17 although there is no violence in my hands
and my prayer is pure.
An Appeal to God as Witness
18 “O earth, do not cover my blood,
nor let there be a secret place for my cry.
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 and he contends with God on behalf of man
as a man pleads for his friend.
22 For the years that lie ahead are few,
and then I will go on the way of no return.
17 My spirit is broken,
my days have faded out,
the grave awaits me.
2 Surely mockery is with me;
my eyes must dwell on their hostility.
3 Set my pledge beside you.
Who else will put up security for me?
4 Because you have closed their minds to understanding,
therefore you will not exalt them.
5 If a man denounces his friends for personal gain,
the eyes of his children will fail.
6 He has made me a byword to people,
I am the one in whose face they spit.
7 My eyes have grown dim with grief;
my whole frame is but a shadow.
8 Upright men are appalled at this;
the innocent man is troubled with the godless.
9 But the righteous man holds to his way,
and the one with clean hands grows stronger.
Anticipation of Death
10 “But turn, all of you, and come now!
I will not find a wise man among you.
11 My days have passed, my plans are shattered,
even the desires of my heart.
12 These men change night into day;
they say, ‘The light is near
in the face of darkness.’
13 If I hope for the grave to be my home,
if I spread out my bed in darkness,
14 if I cry out to corruption, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then is my hope?
And my hope, who sees it?
16 Will it go down to the barred gates of death?
Will we descend together into the dust?”
Bildad’s Second Speech
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2 “How long until you make an end of words?
You must consider, and then we can talk.
3 Why should we be regarded as beasts,
and considered stupid in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger,
will the earth be abandoned for your sake?
Or will a rock be moved from its place?
5 “Yes, the lamp of the wicked is extinguished;
his flame of fire does not shine.
6 The light in his tent grows dark;
his lamp above him is extinguished.
7 His vigorous steps are restricted,
and his own counsel throws him down.
8 For he has been thrown into a net by his feet
and he wanders into a mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare grips him.
10 A rope is hidden for him on the ground
and a trap for him lies on the path.
11 Terrors frighten him on all sides
and dog his every step.
12 Calamity is hungry for him,
and misfortune is ready at his side.
13 It eats away parts of his skin;
the most terrible death devours his limbs.
14 He is dragged from the security of his tent,
and marched off to the king of terrors.
15 Fire resides in his tent;
over his residence burning sulfur is scattered.
16 Below his roots dry up,
and his branches wither above.
17 His memory perishes from the earth,
he has no name in the land.
18 He is driven from light into darkness
and is banished from the world.
19 He has neither children nor descendants among his people,
no survivor in those places he once stayed.
20 People of the west are appalled at his fate;
people of the east are seized with horror, saying,
21 ‘Surely such is the residence of an evil man;
and this is the place of one who has not known God.’”
Job’s Reply to Bildad
19 Then Job answered:
2 “How long will you torment me
and crush me with your words?
3 These ten times you have been reproaching me;
you are not ashamed to attack me.
4 But even if it were true that I have erred,
my error remains solely my concern!
5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me
and plead my disgrace against me,
6 know then that God has wronged me
and encircled me with his net.
Job’s Abandonment and Affliction
7 “If I cry out, ‘Violence!’
I receive no answer;
I cry for help,
but there is no justice.
8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass,
and has set darkness over my paths.
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and has taken the crown off my head.
10 He tears me down on every side until I perish;
he uproots my hope like an uprooted tree.
11 Thus his anger burns against me,
and he considers me among his enemies.
12 His troops advance together;
they throw up a siege ramp against me,
and they camp around my tent.
Job’s Forsaken State
13 “He has put my relatives far from me;
my acquaintances only turn away from me.
14 My kinsmen have failed me;
my friends have forgotten me.
15 My guests and my servant girls
consider me a stranger;
I am a foreigner in their eyes.
16 I summon my servant, but he does not respond,
even though I implore him with my own mouth.
17 My breath is repulsive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my brothers.
18 Even youngsters have scorned me;
when I get up, they scoff at me.
19 All my closest friends detest me;
and those whom I love have turned against me.
20 My bones stick to my skin and my flesh;
I have escaped alive with only the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity on me, my friends, have pity on me,
for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Why do you pursue me like God does?
Will you never be satiated with my flesh?
Job’s Assurance of Vindication
23 “O that my words were written down!
O that they were written on a scroll!
24 O that with an iron chisel and with lead
they were engraved in a rock forever!
25 As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that as the last
he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God,
27 whom I will see for myself,
and whom my own eyes will behold,
and not another.
My heart grows faint within me.
28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him,
since the root of the trouble is found in him!’
29 Fear the sword yourselves,
for wrath brings the punishment by the sword,
so that you may know
that there is judgment.”
Zophar’s Second Speech
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
2 “This is why my troubled thoughts bring me back—
because of my feelings within me.
3 When I hear a reproof that dishonors me,
then my understanding prompts me to answer.
4 “Surely you know that it has been from old,
ever since humankind was placed on the earth,
5 that the elation of the wicked is brief,
the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
6 Even though his stature reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds,
7 he will perish forever, like his own excrement;
those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 Like a dream he flies away, never again to be found,
and like a vision of the night he is put to flight.
9 People who had seen him will not see him again,
and the place where he was
will recognize him no longer.
10 His sons must recompense the poor;
his own hands must return his wealth.
11 His bones were full of his youthful vigor,
but that vigor will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “If evil is sweet in his mouth
and he hides it under his tongue,
13 if he retains it for himself
and does not let it go,
and holds it fast in his mouth,
14 his food is turned sour in his stomach;
it becomes the venom of serpents within him.
15 The wealth that he consumed he vomits up,
God will make him throw it out of his stomach.
16 He sucks the poison of serpents;
the fangs of a viper kill him.
17 He will not look on the streams,
the rivers that are the torrents
of honey and butter.
18 He gives back the ill-gotten gain
without assimilating it;
he will not enjoy the wealth from his commerce.
19 For he has oppressed the poor and abandoned them;
he has seized a house which he did not build.
20 For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite;
he does not let anything he desires escape.
21 “Nothing is left for him to devour;
that is why his prosperity does not last.
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency,
distress overtakes him.
The full force of misery will come upon him.
23 “While he is filling his belly,
God sends his burning anger against him,
and rains down his blows upon him.
24 If he flees from an iron weapon,
then an arrow from a bronze bow pierces him.
25 When he pulls it out and it comes out of his back,
the gleaming point out of his liver,
terrors come over him.
26 Total darkness waits to receive his treasures;
a fire that has not been kindled
will consume him and devour what is left in his tent.
27 The heavens reveal his iniquity;
the earth rises up against him.
28 A flood will carry off his house,
rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.
29 Such is the lot God allots the wicked,
and the heritage of his appointment from God.”
Job’s Reply to Zophar
21 Then Job answered:
2 “Listen carefully to my words;
let this be the consolation you offer me.
3 Bear with me and I will speak,
and after I have spoken you may mock.
4 Is my complaint against a man?
If so, why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me and be appalled;
put your hands over your mouths.
6 For, when I think about this, I am terrified
and my body feels a shudder.
The Wicked Prosper
7 “Why do the wicked go on living,
grow old, even increase in power?
8 Their children are firmly established in their presence,
their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe and without fear;
and no rod of punishment from God is upon them.
10 Their bulls breed without fail;
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They allow their children to run like a flock;
their little ones dance about.
12 They sing to the accompaniment of tambourine and harp,
and make merry to the sound of the flute.
13 They live out their years in prosperity
and go down to the grave in peace.
14 So they say to God, ‘Turn away from us!
We do not want to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain
if we were to pray to him?’
16 But their prosperity is not their own doing.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me!
How Often Do the Wicked Suffer?
17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked extinguished?
How often does their misfortune come upon them?
How often does God apportion pain to them in his anger?
18 How often are they like straw before the wind,
and like chaff swept away by a whirlwind?
19 You may say, ‘God stores up a man’s punishment for his children!’
Instead let him repay the man himself
so that he may be humbled!
20 Let his own eyes see his destruction;
let him drink of the anger of the Almighty.
21 For what is his interest in his home
after his death,
when the number of his months
has been broken off?
22 Can anyone teach God knowledge,
since he judges those that are on high?
Death Levels Everything
23 “One man dies in his full vigor,
completely secure and prosperous,
24 his body well nourished,
and the marrow of his bones moist.
25 And another man dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted anything good.
26 Together they lie down in the dust,
and worms cover over them both.
Futile Words, Deceptive Answers
27 “Yes, I know what you are thinking,
the schemes by which you would wrong me.
28 For you say,
‘Where now is the nobleman’s house,
and where are the tents in which the wicked lived?’
29 Have you never questioned those who travel the roads?
Do you not recognize their accounts—
30 that the evil man is spared
from the day of his misfortune,
that he is delivered
from the day of God’s wrath?
31 No one denounces his conduct to his face;
no one repays him for what he has done.
32 And when he is carried to the tombs,
and watch is kept over the funeral mound,
33 The clods of the torrent valley are sweet to him;
behind him everybody follows in procession,
and before him goes a countless throng.
34 So how can you console me with your futile words?
Nothing is left of your answers but deception!”
Eliphaz’s Third Speech
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “Is it to God that a strong man is of benefit?
Is it to him that even a wise man is profitable?