11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. 12 And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. 13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
Job Deplores His Birth
3 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.2 And Job [a]spoke, and said:
3 “May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived.’ 4 May that day be darkness; May God above not seek it, Nor the light shine upon it. 5 May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it. 6 As for that night, may darkness seize it; May it not [b]rejoice among the days of the year, May it not come into the number of the months. 7 Oh, may that night be barren! May no joyful shout come into it! 8 May those curse it who curse the day, Those who are ready to arouse Leviathan. 9 May the stars of its morning be dark; May it look for light, but have none, And not see the [c]dawning of the day; 10 Because it did not shut up the doors of my mother’s womb, Nor hide sorrow from my eyes.
11 “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not[d]perish when I came from the womb? 12 Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? 13 For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep; Then I would have been at rest 14 With kings and counselors of the earth, Who built ruins for themselves, 15 Or with princes who had gold, Who filled their houses with silver; 16 Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, Like infants who never saw light? 17 There the wicked cease from troubling, And there the [e]weary are at rest. 18 There the prisoners [f]rest together; They do not hear the voice of the oppressor. 19 The small and great are there, And the servant is free from his master.
20 “Why is light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter of soul, 21 Who long[g] for death, but it does not come, And search for it more than hidden treasures; 22 Who rejoice exceedingly, And are glad when they can 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 before [h]I eat, And my groanings pour out like water. 25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. 26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.”
Eliphaz: Job Has Sinned
4 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 “If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking? 3 Surely you have instructed many, And you have strengthened weak hands. 4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, And you have strengthened the [i]feeble knees; 5 But now it comes upon you, and you are weary; It touches you, and you are troubled. 6 Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope?
7 “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? 8 Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same. 9 By the blast of God they perish, And by the breath of His anger they are consumed. 10 The roaring of the lion, The voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. 11 The old lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
12 “Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. 13 In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, 14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, Which made all my bones shake. 15 Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my body stood up. 16 It stood still, But I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; There was silence; Then I heard a voice saying: 17 ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? 18 If He puts no trust in His servants, If He charges His angels with error, 19 How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before a moth? 20 They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one regarding. 21 Does not their own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom.’
Eliphaz: Job Is Chastened by God
5 “Call out now; Is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? 2 For wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a simple one. 3 I have seen the foolish taking root, But suddenly I cursed his dwelling place. 4 His sons are far from safety, They are crushed in the gate, And there is no deliverer. 5 Because the hungry eat up his harvest, [j]Taking it even from the thorns, [k]And a snare snatches their [l]substance. 6 For affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble spring from the ground; 7 Yet man is born to [m]trouble, As the sparks fly upward.
8 “But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause— 9 Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number. 10 He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields. 11 He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety. 12 He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans. 13 He catches the wise in their own craftiness, And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them. 14 They meet with darkness in the daytime, And grope at noontime as in the night. 15 But He saves the needy from the sword, From the mouth of the mighty, And from their hand. 16 So the poor have hope, And injustice shuts her mouth.
17 “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. 18 For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. 19 He shall deliver you in six troubles, Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. 20 In famine He shall redeem you from death, And in war from the [n]power of the sword. 21 You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. 22 You shall laugh at destruction and famine, And you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth. 23 For you shall have a covenant with the stones of the field, And the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. 24 You shall know that your tent is in peace; You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss. 25 You shall also know that your descendants shall be many, And your offspring like the grass of the earth. 26 You shall come to the grave at a full age, As a sheaf of grain ripens in its season. 27 Behold, this we have searched out; It is true. Hear it, and know for yourself.”
Job: My Complaint Is Just
6 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, And my calamity laid with it on the scales! 3 For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea— Therefore my words have been rash. 4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. 5 Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass, Or does the ox low over its fodder? 6 Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? 7 My soul refuses to touch them; They are as loathsome food to me.
8 “Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the thing that I long for! 9 That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off! 10 Then I would still have comfort; Though in anguish I would exult, He will not spare; For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
11 “What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? 12 Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh bronze? 13 Is my help not within me? And is success driven from me?
14 “To him who is [o]afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, Like the streams of the brooks that pass away, 16 Which are dark because of the ice, And into which the snow vanishes. 17 When it is warm, they cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. 18 The paths of their way turn aside, They go nowhere and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema look, The travelers of Sheba hope for them. 20 They are disappointed[p] because they were confident; They come there and are confused. 21 For now you are nothing, You see terror and are afraid. 22 Did I ever say, ‘Bring something to me’? Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth’? 23 Or, ‘Deliver me from the enemy’s hand’? Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of oppressors’?
24 “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; Cause me to understand wherein I have erred. 25 How forceful are right words! But what does your arguing prove? 26 Do you intend to rebuke my words, And the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind? 27 Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless, And you undermine your friend. 28 Now therefore, be pleased to look at me; For I would never lie to your face. 29 Yield now, let there be no injustice! Yes, concede, my righteousness [q]still stands! 30 Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my [r]taste discern the unsavory?
Job: My Suffering Is Comfortless
7 “Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth? Are not his days also like the days of a hired man? 2 Like a servant who [s]earnestly desires the shade, And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages, 3 So I have been allotted months of futility, And wearisome nights have been appointed to me. 4 When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise, And the night be ended?’ For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn. 5 My flesh is caked with worms and dust, My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.
6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope. 7 Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will never again see good. 8 The eye of him who sees me will see me no more; While your eyes are upon me, I shall no longer be. 9 As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, So he who goes down to the grave does not come up. 10 He shall never return to his house, Nor shall his place know him anymore.
11 “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 12 Am I a sea, or a sea serpent, That You set a guard over me? 13 When 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 my soul chooses strangling And death rather than [t]my body. 16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone, For my days are but[u]a breath.
17 “Whatis man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him, 18 That You should [v]visit him every morning, And test him every moment? 19 How long? Will You not look away from me, And let me alone till I swallow my saliva? 20 Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden [w]to myself? 21 Why then 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 no longer be.”
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