Job 29-31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
VI. Job’s Final Summary of His Cause
1 Job took up his theme again and said:
2 Oh, that I were as in the months past,
as in the days when God watched over me:
3 While he kept his lamp shining above my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness;
4 As I was in my flourishing days,
when God sheltered my tent;
5 When the Almighty was still with me,
and my children were round about me;
6 When my footsteps were bathed in cream,
and the rock flowed with streams of oil.
7 Whenever I went out to the gate of the city
and took my seat in the square,
8 The young men saw me and withdrew,
and the elders rose up and stood;
9 Officials refrained from speaking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
10 The voice of the princes was silenced,
and their tongues stuck to the roofs of their mouths.
11 The ear that heard blessed me;
the eye that saw acclaimed me.
12 For I rescued the poor who cried out for help,
the orphans, and the unassisted;
13 The blessing of those in extremity came upon me,
and the heart of the widow I made joyful.
14 I wore my righteousness like a garment;
justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind,
and feet to the lame was I.
16 I was a father to the poor;
the complaint of the stranger I pursued,
17 And I broke the jaws of the wicked man;
from his teeth I forced the prey.
18 I said: “In my own nest I shall grow old;
I shall multiply years like the phoenix.
19 My root is spread out to the waters;
the dew rests by night on my branches.
20 My glory is fresh within me,
and my bow is renewed in my hand!”
21 For me they listened and waited;
they were silent for my counsel.
22 Once I spoke, they said no more,
but received my pronouncement drop by drop.
23 They waited for me as for the rain;
they drank in my words like the spring rains.
24 When I smiled on them they could not believe it;
they would not let the light of my face be dimmed.
25 I decided their course and sat at their head,
I lived like a king among the troops,
like one who comforts mourners.
1 But now they hold me in derision
who are younger than I,
Whose fathers I should have disdained
to rank with the dogs of my flock.
2 Such strength as they had meant nothing to me;
their vigor had perished.
3 In want and emaciating hunger
they fled to the parched lands:
to the desolate wasteland by night.
4 They plucked saltwort and shrubs;
the roots of the broom plant were their food.
5 They were banished from the community,
with an outcry like that against a thief—
6 To dwell on the slopes of the wadies,
in caves of sand and stone;
7 Among the bushes they brayed;
under the nettles they huddled together.
8 Irresponsible, of no account,
they were driven out of the land.
9 Yet now they sing of me in mockery;
I have become a byword among them.
10 They abhor me, they stand aloof,
they do not hesitate to spit in my face!
11 Because he has loosened my bowstring and afflicted me,
they have thrown off restraint in my presence.
12 On my right the young rabble rise up;
they trip my feet,
they build their approaches for my ruin.
13 They tear up my path,
they promote my ruin,
no helper is there against them.
14 As through a wide breach they advance;
amid the uproar they come on in waves;
15 terrors roll over me.
My dignity is driven off like the wind,
and my well-being vanishes like a cloud.
16 And now my life ebbs away from me,
days of affliction have taken hold of me.
17 At night he pierces my bones,
my sinews have no rest.
18 With great difficulty I change my clothes,
the collar of my tunic fits around my waist.
19 He has cast me into the mire;
I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you, but you do not answer me;
I stand, but you take no notice.
21 You have turned into my tormentor,
and with your strong hand you attack me.
22 You raise me up and drive me before the wind;
I am tossed about by the tempest.
23 Indeed I know that you will return me to death
to the house destined for everyone alive.
24 Yet should not a hand be held out
to help a wretched person in distress?
25 Did I not weep for the hardships of others;
was not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I looked for good, evil came;
when I expected light, darkness came.
27 My inward parts seethe and will not be stilled;
days of affliction have overtaken me.
28 I go about in gloom, without the sun;
I rise in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother to jackals,
a companion to ostriches.
30 My blackened skin falls away from me;
my very frame is scorched by the heat.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,
and my reed pipe to sounds of weeping.
1 I made a covenant with my eyes
not to gaze upon a virgin.
2 What portion comes from God above,
what heritage from the Almighty on high?
3 Is it not calamity for the unrighteous,
and woe for evildoers?
4 Does he not see my ways,
and number all my steps?
5 If I have walked in falsehood
and my foot has hastened to deceit,
6 Let God weigh me in the scales of justice;
thus will he know my innocence!
7 If my steps have turned out of the way,
and my heart has followed my eyes,
or any stain clings to my hands,
8 Then may I sow, but another eat,
and may my produce be rooted up!
9 If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door;
10 Then may my wife grind for another,
and may others kneel over her!
11 For that would be heinous,
a crime to be condemned,
12 A fire that would consume down to Abaddon
till it uprooted all my crops.
13 Had I refused justice to my manservant
or to my maidservant, when they had a complaint against me,
14 What then should I do when God rises up?
What could I answer when he demands an account?
15 Did not he who made me in the belly make him?
Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?
16 If I have denied anything that the poor desired,
or allowed the eyes of the widow to languish
17 While I ate my portion alone,
with no share in it for the fatherless,
18 Though like a father he has reared me from my youth,
guiding me even from my mother’s womb—
19 If I have seen a wanderer without clothing,
or a poor man without covering,
20 Whose limbs have not blessed me
when warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 If I have raised my hand against the innocent
because I saw that I had supporters at the gate—
22 Then may my arm fall from the shoulder,
my forearm be broken at the elbow!
23 For I dread calamity from God,
and his majesty will overpower me.
24 Had I put my trust in gold
or called fine gold my security;
25 Or had I rejoiced that my wealth was great,
or that my hand had acquired abundance—
26 Had I looked upon the light as it shone,
or the moon in the splendor of its progress,
27 And had my heart been secretly enticed
to blow them a kiss with my hand,
28 This too would be a crime for condemnation,
for I should have denied God above.
29 Had I rejoiced at the destruction of my enemy
or exulted when evil came upon him,
30 Even though I had not allowed my mouth to sin
by invoking a curse against his life—
31 Had not the men of my tent exclaimed,
“Who has not been filled with his meat!”
32 No stranger lodged in the street,
for I opened my door to wayfarers—
33 Had I, all too human, hidden my sins
and buried my guilt in my bosom
34 Because I feared the great multitude
and the scorn of the clans terrified me—
then I should have remained silent, and not come out of doors!
35 Oh, that I had one to hear my case:
here is my signature: let the Almighty answer me!
Let my accuser write out his indictment!
36 Surely, I should wear it on my shoulder
or put it on me like a diadem;
37 Of all my steps I should give him an account;
like a prince I should present myself before him.
38 If my land has cried out against me
till its furrows wept together;
39 If I have eaten its strength without payment
and grieved the hearts of its tenants;
40 Then let the thorns grow instead of wheat
and stinkweed instead of barley!
The words of Job are ended.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.