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Job 33 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 33

Therefore, O Job, hear my discourse;
    listen to all my words.
Behold, now I open my mouth;
    my tongue and voice form words.
I will state directly what is in my mind,
    my lips shall speak knowledge clearly;
For the spirit of God made me,
    the breath of the Almighty keeps me alive.
If you are able, refute me;
    draw up your arguments and take your stand.
Look, I am like you before God,
    I too was pinched from clay.[a]
Therefore fear of me should not dismay you,
    nor should I weigh heavily upon you.
But you have said in my hearing,
    as I listened to the sound of your words:
“I am clean, without transgression;
    I am innocent, there is no guilt in me.
10 Yet he invents pretexts against me
    and counts me as an enemy.[b]
11 He puts my feet in the stocks,
    watches all my paths!”
12 In this you are not just, let me tell you;
    for God is greater than mortals.
13 Why, then, do you make complaint against him
    that he gives no reply to their words?
14 For God does speak, once,
    even twice, though you do not see it:[c]
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls upon mortals
    as they slumber in their beds.
16 It is then he opens their ears
    and with a warning, terrifies them,
17 By turning mortals from acting
    and keeping pride away from a man,
18 He holds his soul from the pit,
    his life from passing to the grave.
19 Or he is chastened on a bed of pain,
    suffering continually in his bones,
20 So that to his appetite food is repulsive,
    his throat rejects the choicest nourishment.
21 His flesh is wasted, it cannot be seen;
    bones, once invisible, appear;
22 His soul draws near to the pit,
    his life to the place of the dead.
23 If then there be a divine messenger,[d]
    a mediator, one out of a thousand,
    to show him what is right,
24 He will take pity on him and say,
    “Deliver him from going down to the pit;
    I have found him a ransom.”
25 Then his flesh shall become soft as a boy’s;
    he shall be again as in the days of his youth.
26 He shall pray and God will favor him;
    he shall see God’s face with rejoicing;
    for he restores a person’s righteousness.
27 He shall sing before all and say,
    “I sinned and did wrong,
    yet I was not punished accordingly.
28 He delivered me from passing to the pit,
    and my life sees light.”
29 See, all these things God does,
    two, even three times, for a man,
30 Bringing back his soul from the pit
    to the light, in the light of the living.
31 Be attentive, Job, listen to me!
    Be silent and I will speak.
32 If you have anything to say, then answer me.
    Speak out! I should like to see you justified.
33 If not, then you listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.


  1. 33:6 Pinched from clay: a reference to the tradition that human beings were made from clay; cf. Gn 2:7; Jb 10:9; Is 64:7.
  2. 33:10 Enemy: see note on 1:1; cf. 13:24.
  3. 33:14 Elihu asserts that God speaks through warning in dream and also through pain. However, his presupposition is that the restored person admits sinfulness (v. 27). This of course is not relevant to Job’s situation.
  4. 33:23 Divine messenger: or “angel,” one of the thousands who serve as mediators.
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.

Job 33 New International Version (NIV)

33 “But now, Job, listen to my words;
    pay attention to everything I say.
I am about to open my mouth;
    my words are on the tip of my tongue.
My words come from an upright heart;
    my lips sincerely speak what I know.
The Spirit of God has made me;
    the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me then, if you can;
    stand up and argue your case before me.
I am the same as you in God’s sight;
    I too am a piece of clay.
No fear of me should alarm you,
    nor should my hand be heavy on you.

“But you have said in my hearing—
    I heard the very words—
‘I am pure, I have done no wrong;
    I am clean and free from sin.
10 Yet God has found fault with me;
    he considers me his enemy.
11 He fastens my feet in shackles;
    he keeps close watch on all my paths.’

12 “But I tell you, in this you are not right,
    for God is greater than any mortal.
13 Why do you complain to him
    that he responds to no one’s words[a]?
14 For God does speak—now one way, now another
    though no one perceives it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on people
    as they slumber in their beds,
16 he may speak in their ears
    and terrify them with warnings,
17 to turn them from wrongdoing
    and keep them from pride,
18 to preserve them from the pit,
    their lives from perishing by the sword.[b]

19 “Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain
    with constant distress in their bones,
20 so that their body finds food repulsive
    and their soul loathes the choicest meal.
21 Their flesh wastes away to nothing,
    and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.
22 They draw near to the pit,
    and their life to the messengers of death.[c]
23 Yet if there is an angel at their side,
    a messenger, one out of a thousand,
    sent to tell them how to be upright,
24 and he is gracious to that person and says to God,
    ‘Spare them from going down to the pit;
    I have found a ransom for them
25 let their flesh be renewed like a child’s;
    let them be restored as in the days of their youth’
26 then that person can pray to God and find favor with him,
    they will see God’s face and shout for joy;
    he will restore them to full well-being.
27 And they will go to others and say,
    ‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is right,
    but I did not get what I deserved.
28 God has delivered me from going down to the pit,
    and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’

29 “God does all these things to a person
    twice, even three times
30 to turn them back from the pit,
    that the light of life may shine on them.

31 “Pay attention, Job, and listen to me;
    be silent, and I will speak.
32 If you have anything to say, answer me;
    speak up, for I want to vindicate you.
33 But if not, then listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.


  1. Job 33:13 Or that he does not answer for any of his actions
  2. Job 33:18 Or from crossing the river
  3. Job 33:22 Or to the place of the dead
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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