2 “Will you be patient and let me say a word? For who could keep from speaking out?
3 “In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. 4 Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees. 5 But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. 6 Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?
7 “Stop and think! Do the innocent die? When have the upright been destroyed? 8 My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same. 9 A breath from God destroys them. They vanish in a blast of his anger. 10 The lion roars and the wildcat snarls, but the teeth of strong lions will be broken. 11 The fierce lion will starve for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness will be scattered.
12 “This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear. 13 It came to me in a disturbing vision at night, when people are in a deep sleep. 14 Fear gripped me, and my bones trembled. 15 A spirit[a] swept past my face, and my hair stood on end.[b] 16 The spirit stopped, but I couldn’t see its shape. There was a form before my eyes. In the silence I heard a voice say, 17 ‘Can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’
18 “If God does not trust his own angels and has charged his messengers with foolishness, 19 how much less will he trust people made of clay! They are made of dust, crushed as easily as a moth. 20 They are alive in the morning but dead by evening, gone forever without a trace. 21 Their tent-cords are pulled and the tent collapses, and they die in ignorance.
Eliphaz’s Response Continues
5 “Cry for help, but will anyone answer you? Which of the angels[c] will help you? 2 Surely resentment destroys the fool, and jealousy kills the simple. 3 I have seen that fools may be successful for the moment, but then comes sudden disaster. 4 Their children are abandoned far from help; they are crushed in court with no one to defend them. 5 The hungry devour their harvest, even when it is guarded by brambles.[d] The thirsty pant after their wealth.[e] 6 But evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth. 7 People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.
8 “If I were you, I would go to God and present my case to him. 9 He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles. 10 He gives rain for the earth and water for the fields. 11 He gives prosperity to the poor and protects those who suffer. 12 He frustrates the plans of schemers so the work of their hands will not succeed. 13 He traps the wise in their own cleverness so their cunning schemes are thwarted. 14 They find it is dark in the daytime, and they grope at noon as if it were night. 15 He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong, and rescues them from the clutches of the powerful. 16 And so at last the poor have hope, and the snapping jaws of the wicked are shut.
17 “But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin. 18 For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal. 19 From six disasters he will rescue you; even in the seventh, he will keep you from evil. 20 He will save you from death in time of famine, from the power of the sword in time of war. 21 You will be safe from slander and have no fear when destruction comes. 22 You will laugh at destruction and famine; wild animals will not terrify you. 23 You will be at peace with the stones of the field, and its wild animals will be at peace with you. 24 You will know that your home is safe. When you survey your possessions, nothing will be missing. 25 You will have many children; your descendants will be as plentiful as grass! 26 You will go to the grave at a ripe old age, like a sheaf of grain harvested at the proper time!
27 “We have studied life and found all this to be true. Listen to my counsel, and apply it to yourself.”
Job’s Second Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
6 Then Job spoke again:
2 “If my misery could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales, 3 they would outweigh all the sands of the sea. That is why I spoke impulsively. 4 For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. Their poison infects my spirit. God’s terrors are lined up against me. 5 Don’t I have a right to complain? Don’t wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen bellow when they have no food? 6 Don’t people complain about unsalted food? Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg?[f] 7 My appetite disappears when I look at it; I gag at the thought of eating it!
8 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my desire. 9 I wish he would crush me. I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me. 10 At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 But I don’t have the strength to endure. I have nothing to live for. 12 Do I have the strength of a stone? Is my body made of bronze? 13 No, I am utterly helpless, without any chance of success.
14 “One should be kind to a fainting friend, but you accuse me without any fear of the Almighty.[g] 15 My brothers, you have proved as unreliable as a seasonal brook that overflows its banks in the spring 16 when it is swollen with ice and melting snow. 17 But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears. The brook vanishes in the heat. 18 The caravans turn aside to be refreshed, but there is nothing to drink, so they die. 19 The caravans from Tema search for this water; the travelers from Sheba hope to find it. 20 They count on it but are disappointed. When they arrive, their hopes are dashed. 21 You, too, have given no help. You have seen my calamity, and you are afraid. 22 But why? Have I ever asked you for a gift? Have I begged for anything of yours for myself? 23 Have I asked you to rescue me from my enemies, or to save me from ruthless people? 24 Teach me, and I will keep quiet. Show me what I have done wrong. 25 Honest words can be painful, but what do your criticisms amount to? 26 Do you think your words are convincing when you disregard my cry of desperation? 27 You would even send an orphan into slavery[h] or sell a friend. 28 Look at me! Would I lie to your face? 29 Stop assuming my guilt, for I have done no wrong. 30 Do you think I am lying? Don’t I know the difference between right and wrong?
7 “Is not all human life a struggle? Our lives are like that of a hired hand, 2 like a worker who longs for the shade, like a servant waiting to be paid. 3 I, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery. 4 Lying in bed, I think, ‘When will it be morning?’ But the night drags on, and I toss till dawn. 5 My body is covered with maggots and scabs. My skin breaks open, oozing with pus.
Job Cries Out to God
6 “My days fly faster than a weaver’s shuttle. They end without hope. 7 O God, remember that my life is but a breath, and I will never again feel happiness. 8 You see me now, but not for long. You will look for me, but I will be gone. 9 Just as a cloud dissipates and vanishes, those who die[i] will not come back. 10 They are gone forever from their home— never to be seen again.
11 “I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. My bitter soul must complain. 12 Am I a sea monster or a dragon that you must place me under guard? 13 I think, ‘My bed will comfort me, and sleep will ease my misery,’ 14 but then you shatter me with dreams and terrify me with visions. 15 I would rather be strangled— rather die than suffer like this. 16 I hate my life and don’t want to go on living. Oh, leave me alone for my few remaining days.
17 “What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often? 18 For you examine us every morning and test us every moment. 19 Why won’t you leave me alone, at least long enough for me to swallow! 20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity? Why make me your target? Am I a burden to you?[j] 21 Why not just forgive my sin and take away my guilt? For soon I will lie down in the dust and die. When you look for me, I will be gone.”
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.