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Job Is Corrected by God

“Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?
Surely vexation kills the fool,
    and jealousy slays the simple.
I have seen fools taking root,
    but suddenly I cursed their dwelling.
Their children are far from safety,
    they are crushed in the gate,
    and there is no one to deliver them.
The hungry eat their harvest,
    and they take it even out of the thorns;[a]
    and the thirsty[b] pant after their wealth.
For misery does not come from the earth,
    nor does trouble sprout from the ground;
but human beings are born to trouble
    just as sparks[c] fly upward.

“As for me, I would seek God,
    and to God I would commit my cause.
He 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 achieve no success.
13 He takes the wise in their own craftiness;
    and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
14 They meet with darkness in the daytime,
    and grope at noonday as in the night.
15 But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth,
    from the hand of the mighty.
16 So the poor have hope,
    and injustice shuts its mouth.

17 “How happy is the one whom God reproves;
    therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.[d]
18 For he wounds, but he binds up;
    he strikes, but his hands heal.
19 He will deliver you from six troubles;
    in seven no harm shall touch you.
20 In famine he will redeem you from death,
    and in war from the power of the sword.
21 You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,
    and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
22 At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
    and shall not fear the wild animals of the earth.
23 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,
    and the wild animals shall be at peace with you.
24 You shall know that your tent is safe,
    you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
25 You shall know that your descendants will be many,
    and your offspring like the grass of the earth.
26 You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
    as a shock of grain comes up to the threshing floor in its season.
27 See, we have searched this out; it is true.
    Hear, and know it for yourself.”

Job Replies: My Complaint Is Just

Then Job answered:

“O that my vexation were weighed,
    and all my calamity laid in the balances!
For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
    therefore my words have been rash.
For the arrows of the Almighty[e] are in me;
    my spirit drinks their poison;
    the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
Does the wild ass bray over its grass,
    or the ox low over its fodder?
Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
    or is there any flavor in the juice of mallows?[f]
My appetite refuses to touch them;
    they are like food that is loathsome to me.[g]

“O that I might have my request,
    and that God would grant my desire;
that it would please God to crush me,
    that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
10 This would be my consolation;
    I would even exult[h] in unrelenting pain;
    for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should wait?
    And what is my end, that I should be patient?
12 Is my strength the strength of stones,
    or is my flesh bronze?
13 In truth I have no help in me,
    and any resource is driven from me.

14 “Those who withhold[i] kindness from a friend
    forsake the fear of the Almighty.[j]
15 My companions are treacherous like a torrent-bed,
    like freshets that pass away,
16 that run dark with ice,
    turbid with melting snow.
17 In time of heat they disappear;
    when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 The caravans turn aside from their course;
    they go up into the waste, and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema look,
    the travelers of Sheba hope.
20 They are disappointed because they were confident;
    they come there and are confounded.
21 Such you have now become to me;[k]
    you see my calamity, and are afraid.
22 Have I said, ‘Make me a gift’?
    Or, ‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?
23 Or, ‘Save me from an opponent’s hand’?
    Or, ‘Ransom me from the hand of oppressors’?

24 “Teach me, and I will be silent;
    make me understand how I have gone wrong.
25 How forceful are honest words!
    But your reproof, what does it reprove?
26 Do you think that you can reprove words,
    as if the speech of the desperate were wind?
27 You would even cast lots over the orphan,
    and bargain over your friend.

28 “But now, be pleased to look at me;
    for I will not lie to your face.
29 Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done.
    Turn now, my vindication is at stake.
30 Is there any wrong on my tongue?
    Cannot my taste discern calamity?

Job: My Suffering Is without End

“Do not human beings have a hard service on earth,
    and are not their days like the days of a laborer?
Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
    and like laborers who look for their wages,
so I am allotted months of emptiness,
    and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I rise?’
    But the night is long,
    and I am full of tossing until dawn.
My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
    my skin hardens, then breaks out again.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
    and come to their end without hope.[l]

“Remember that my life is a breath;
    my eye will never again see good.
The eye that beholds me will see me no more;
    while your eyes are upon me, I shall be gone.
As the cloud fades and vanishes,
    so those who go down to Sheol do not come up;
10 they return no more to their houses,
    nor do their places know them any more.

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 the Sea, or the Dragon,
    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 I would choose strangling
    and death rather than this body.
16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
    Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
17 What are human beings, that you make so much of them,
    that you set your mind on them,
18 visit them every morning,
    test them every moment?
19 Will you not look away from me for a while,
    let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
20 If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity?
    Why have you made me your target?
    Why have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression
    and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
    you will seek me, but I shall not be.”

Bildad Speaks: Job Should Repent

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:

“How long will you say these things,
    and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
Does God pervert justice?
    Or does the Almighty[m] pervert the right?
If your children sinned against him,
    he delivered them into the power of their transgression.
If you will seek God
    and make supplication to the Almighty,[n]
if you are pure and upright,
    surely then he will rouse himself for you
    and restore to you your rightful place.
Though your beginning was small,
    your latter days will be very great.

“For inquire now of bygone generations,
    and consider what their ancestors have found;
for we are but of yesterday, and we know nothing,
    for our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not teach you and tell you
    and utter words out of their understanding?

11 “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
    Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
12 While yet in flower and not cut down,
    they wither before any other plant.
13 Such are the paths of all who forget God;
    the hope of the godless shall perish.
14 Their confidence is gossamer,
    a spider’s house their trust.
15 If one leans against its house, it will not stand;
    if one lays hold of it, it will not endure.
16 The wicked thrive[o] before the sun,
    and their shoots spread over the garden.
17 Their roots twine around the stoneheap;
    they live among the rocks.[p]
18 If they are destroyed from their place,
    then it will deny them, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
19 See, these are their happy ways,[q]
    and out of the earth still others will spring.

20 “See, God will not reject a blameless person,
    nor take the hand of evildoers.
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
    and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
    and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Footnotes

  1. Job 5:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Job 5:5 Aquila Symmachus Syr Vg: Heb snare
  3. Job 5:7 Or birds; Heb sons of Resheph
  4. Job 5:17 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  5. Job 6:4 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  6. Job 6:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. Job 6:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Job 6:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  9. Job 6:14 Syr Vg Compare Tg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Job 6:14 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  11. Job 6:21 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  12. Job 7:6 Or as the thread runs out
  13. Job 8:3 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  14. Job 8:5 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  15. Job 8:16 Heb He thrives
  16. Job 8:17 Gk Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  17. Job 8:19 Meaning of Heb uncertain

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