Job

26 Then Job replied:

“How you have helped the powerless!(A)
    How you have saved the arm that is feeble!(B)
What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
    And what great insight(C) you have displayed!
Who has helped you utter these words?
    And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?(D)

“The dead are in deep anguish,(E)
    those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
The realm of the dead(F) is naked before God;
    Destruction[a](G) lies uncovered.(H)
He spreads out the northern skies(I) over empty space;
    he suspends the earth over nothing.(J)
He wraps up the waters(K) in his clouds,(L)
    yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
He covers the face of the full moon,
    spreading his clouds(M) over it.
10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters(N)
    for a boundary between light and darkness.(O)
11 The pillars of the heavens quake,(P)
    aghast at his rebuke.
12 By his power he churned up the sea;(Q)
    by his wisdom(R) he cut Rahab(S) to pieces.
13 By his breath the skies(T) became fair;
    his hand pierced the gliding serpent.(U)
14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
    how faint the whisper(V) we hear of him!(W)
    Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”(X)

Job’s Final Word to His Friends

27 And Job continued his discourse:(Y)

“As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,(Z)
    the Almighty,(AA) who has made my life bitter,(AB)
as long as I have life within me,
    the breath of God(AC) in my nostrils,
my lips will not say anything wicked,
    and my tongue will not utter lies.(AD)
I will never admit you are in the right;
    till I die, I will not deny my integrity.(AE)
I will maintain my innocence(AF) and never let go of it;
    my conscience(AG) will not reproach me as long as I live.(AH)

“May my enemy be like the wicked,(AI)
    my adversary(AJ) like the unjust!
For what hope have the godless(AK) when they are cut off,
    when God takes away their life?(AL)
Does God listen to their cry
    when distress comes upon them?(AM)
10 Will they find delight in the Almighty?(AN)
    Will they call on God at all times?

11 “I will teach you about the power of God;
    the ways(AO) of the Almighty I will not conceal.(AP)
12 You have all seen this yourselves.
    Why then this meaningless talk?

13 “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked,
    the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:(AQ)
14 However many his children,(AR) their fate is the sword;(AS)
    his offspring will never have enough to eat.(AT)
15 The plague will bury those who survive him,
    and their widows will not weep for them.(AU)
16 Though he heaps up silver like dust(AV)
    and clothes like piles of clay,(AW)
17 what he lays up(AX) the righteous will wear,(AY)
    and the innocent will divide his silver.(AZ)
18 The house(BA) he builds is like a moth’s cocoon,(BB)
    like a hut(BC) made by a watchman.
19 He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;(BD)
    when he opens his eyes, all is gone.(BE)
20 Terrors(BF) overtake him like a flood;(BG)
    a tempest snatches him away in the night.(BH)
21 The east wind(BI) carries him off, and he is gone;(BJ)
    it sweeps him out of his place.(BK)
22 It hurls itself against him without mercy(BL)
    as he flees headlong(BM) from its power.(BN)
23 It claps its hands(BO) in derision
    and hisses him out of his place.”(BP)

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28 There is a mine for silver
    and a place where gold is refined.(BQ)
Iron is taken from the earth,
    and copper is smelted from ore.(BR)
Mortals put an end to the darkness;(BS)
    they search out the farthest recesses
    for ore in the blackest darkness.(BT)
Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,(BU)
    in places untouched by human feet;
    far from other people they dangle and sway.
The earth, from which food comes,(BV)
    is transformed below as by fire;
lapis lazuli(BW) comes from its rocks,
    and its dust contains nuggets of gold.(BX)
No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
    no falcon’s eye has seen it.(BY)
Proud beasts(BZ) do not set foot on it,
    and no lion prowls there.(CA)
People assault the flinty rock(CB) with their hands
    and lay bare the roots of the mountains.(CC)
10 They tunnel through the rock;(CD)
    their eyes see all its treasures.(CE)
11 They search[b] the sources of the rivers(CF)
    and bring hidden things(CG) to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found?(CH)
    Where does understanding dwell?(CI)
13 No mortal comprehends its worth;(CJ)
    it cannot be found in the land of the living.(CK)
14 The deep(CL) says, “It is not in me”;
    the sea(CM) says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
    nor can its price be weighed out in silver.(CN)
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,(CO)
    with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.(CP)
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,(CQ)
    nor can it be had for jewels of gold.(CR)
18 Coral(CS) and jasper(CT) are not worthy of mention;
    the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.(CU)
19 The topaz(CV) of Cush(CW) cannot compare with it;
    it cannot be bought with pure gold.(CX)

20 Where then does wisdom come from?
    Where does understanding dwell?(CY)
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
    concealed even from the birds in the sky.(CZ)
22 Destruction[c](DA) and Death(DB) say,
    “Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
    and he alone(DC) knows where it dwells,(DD)
24 for he views the ends of the earth(DE)
    and sees everything under the heavens.(DF)
25 When he established the force of the wind
    and measured out the waters,(DG)
26 when he made a decree for the rain(DH)
    and a path for the thunderstorm,(DI)
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
    he confirmed it and tested it.(DJ)
28 And he said to the human race,
    “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
    and to shun evil(DK) is understanding.”(DL)

Footnotes

  1. Job 26:6 Hebrew Abaddon
  2. Job 28:11 Septuagint, Aquila and Vulgate; Hebrew They dam up
  3. Job 28:22 Hebrew Abaddon