2 “Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself. 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless? 4 Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you and enters into judgment with you? 5 Is not your evil abundant? There is no end to your iniquities. 6 For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing and stripped the naked of their clothing. 7 You have given no water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry. 8 The man with power possessed the land, and the favored man lived in it. 9 You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless were crushed. 10 Therefore snares are all around you, and sudden terror overwhelms you, 11 or darkness, so that you cannot see, and a flood of water covers you.
12 “Is not God high in the heavens? See the highest stars, how lofty they are! 13 But you say, ‘What does God know? Can he judge through the deep darkness? 14 Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.’ 15 Will you keep to the old way that wicked men have trod? 16 They were snatched away before their time; their foundation was washed away.[a] 17 They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’ and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’[b] 18 Yet he filled their houses with good things— but the counsel of the wicked is far from me. 19 The righteous see it and are glad; the innocent one mocks at them, 20 saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off, and what they left the fire has consumed.’
21 “Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. 22 Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty you will be built up; if you remove injustice far from your tents, 24 if you lay gold in the dust, and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed, 25 then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver. 26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God. 27 You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows. 28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways. 29 For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;[c] but he saves the lowly. 30 He delivers even the one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
Job Replies: Where Is God?
23 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Today also my complaint is bitter;[d] my hand is heavy on account of my groaning. 3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat! 4 I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would know what he would answer me and understand what he would say to me. 6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me. 7 There an upright man could argue with him, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.
8 “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; 9 on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. 11 My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food. 13 But he is unchangeable,[e] and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. 14 For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind. 15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him. 16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; 17 yet I am not silenced because of the darkness, nor because thick darkness covers my face.
24 “Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days? 2 Some move landmarks; they seize flocks and pasture them. 3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow's ox for a pledge. 4 They thrust the poor off the road; the poor of the earth all hide themselves. 5 Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert the poor[f]go out to their toil, seeking game; the wasteland yields food for their children. 6 They gather their[g] fodder in the field, and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man. 7 They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold. 8 They are wet with the rain of the mountains and cling to the rock for lack of shelter. 9 (There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast, and they take a pledge against the poor.) 10 They go about naked, without clothing; hungry, they carry the sheaves; 11 among the olive rows of the wicked[h] they make oil; they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst. 12 From out of the city the dying[i] groan, and the soul of the wounded cries for help; yet God charges no one with wrong.
13 “There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths. 14 The murderer rises before it is light, that he may kill the poor and needy, and in the night he is like a thief. 15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me’; and he veils his face. 16 In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the light. 17 For deep darkness is morning to all of them; for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.
18 “You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters; their portion is cursed in the land; no treader turns toward their vineyards. 19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned. 20 The womb forgets them; the worm finds them sweet; they are no longer remembered, so wickedness is broken like a tree.’
21 “They wrong the barren, childless woman, and do no good to the widow. 22 Yet God[j] prolongs the life of the mighty by his power; they rise up when they despair of life. 23 He gives them security, and they are supported, and his eyes are upon their ways. 24 They are exalted a little while, and then are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like the heads of grain. 25 If it is not so, who will prove me a liar and show that there is nothing in what I say?”
Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be Righteous
25 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “Dominion and fear are with God;[k] he makes peace in his high heaven. 3 Is there any number to his armies? Upon whom does his light not arise? 4 How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? 5 Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; 6 how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!”
Job 22:16Or their foundation was poured out as a stream (or river)
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