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Job 10-12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Job: I Loathe My Life

10 “I loathe my life;
    I will give free utterance to my complaint;
    I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
    let me know why you contend against me.
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
    to despise the work of your hands
    and favor the schemes of the wicked?
Do you have eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as humans see?
Are your days like the days of mortals,
    or your years like human years,
that you seek out my iniquity
    and search for my sin,
although you know that I am not guilty,
    and there is no one to deliver out of your hand?
Your hands fashioned and made me;
    and now you turn and destroy me.[a]
Remember that you fashioned me like clay;
    and will you turn me to dust again?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12 You have granted me life and steadfast love,
    and your care has preserved my spirit.
13 Yet these things you hid in your heart;
    I know that this was your purpose.
14 If I sin, you watch me,
    and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am wicked, woe to me!
    If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
    and look upon my affliction.
16 Bold as a lion you hunt me;
    you repeat your exploits against me.
17 You renew your witnesses against me,
    and increase your vexation toward me;
    you bring fresh troops against me.[b]

18 “Why did you bring me forth from the womb?
    Would that I had died before any eye had seen me,
19 and were as though I had not been,
    carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are not the days of my life few?[c]
    Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort[d]
21 before I go, never to return,
    to the land of gloom and deep darkness,
22 the land of gloom[e] and chaos,
    where light is like darkness.”

Zophar Speaks: Job’s Guilt Deserves Punishment

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
    and should one full of talk be vindicated?
Should your babble put others to silence,
    and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
For you say, ‘My conduct[f] is pure,
    and I am clean in God’s[g] sight.’
But O that God would speak,
    and open his lips to you,
and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
    For wisdom is many-sided.[h]
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.

“Can you find out the deep things of God?
    Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?[i]
It is higher than heaven[j]—what can you do?
    Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth,
    and broader than the sea.
10 If he passes through, and imprisons,
    and assembles for judgment, who can hinder him?
11 For he knows those who are worthless;
    when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12 But a stupid person will get understanding,
    when a wild ass is born human.[k]

13 “If you direct your heart rightly,
    you will stretch out your hands toward him.
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
    and do not let wickedness reside in your tents.
15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
    you will be secure, and will not fear.
16 You will forget your misery;
    you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
    its darkness will be like the morning.
18 And you will have confidence, because there is hope;
    you will be protected[l] and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid;
    many will entreat your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
    all way of escape will be lost to them,
    and their hope is to breathe their last.”

Job Replies: I Am a Laughingstock

12 Then Job answered:

“No doubt you are the people,
    and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you;
    I am not inferior to you.
    Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends;
    I, who called upon God and he answered me,
    a just and blameless man, I am a laughingstock.
Those at ease have contempt for misfortune,[m]
    but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.
The tents of robbers are at peace,
    and those who provoke God are secure,
    who bring their god in their hands.[n]

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth,[o] and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of every human being.
11 Does not the ear test words
    as the palate tastes food?
12 Is wisdom with the aged,
    and understanding in length of days?

13 “With God[p] are wisdom and strength;
    he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, no one can rebuild;
    if he shuts someone in, no one can open up.
15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
    if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and wisdom;
    the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped,
    and makes fools of judges.
18 He looses the sash of kings,
    and binds a waistcloth on their loins.
19 He leads priests away stripped,
    and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted,
    and takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He pours contempt on princes,
    and looses the belt of the strong.
22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness,
    and brings deep darkness to light.
23 He makes nations great, then destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
24 He strips understanding from the leaders[q] of the earth,
    and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
25 They grope in the dark without light;
    he makes them stagger like a drunkard.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 10:8 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb made me together all around, and you destroy me
  2. Job 10:17 Cn Compare Gk: Heb toward me; changes and a troop are with me
  3. Job 10:20 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb Are not my days few? Let him cease!
  4. Job 10:20 Heb that I may brighten up a little
  5. Job 10:22 Heb gloom as darkness, deep darkness
  6. Job 11:4 Gk: Heb teaching
  7. Job 11:4 Heb your
  8. Job 11:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  9. Job 11:7 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  10. Job 11:8 Heb The heights of heaven
  11. Job 11:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  12. Job 11:18 Or you will look around
  13. Job 12:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  14. Job 12:6 Or whom God brought forth by his hand; Meaning of Heb uncertain
  15. Job 12:8 Or speak to the earth
  16. Job 12:13 Heb him
  17. Job 12:24 Heb adds of the people
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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