Job: I Would Plead with God

10 “My (A)soul loathes my life;
I will [a]give free course to my complaint,
(B)I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me;
Show me why You contend with me.
Does it seem good to You that You should oppress,
That You should despise the work of Your hands,
And smile on the counsel of the wicked?
Do You have eyes of flesh?
Or (C)do You see as man sees?
Are Your days like the days of a mortal man?
Are Your years like the days of a mighty man,
That You should seek for my iniquity
And search out my sin,
Although You know that I am not wicked,
And there is no one who can deliver from Your hand?

‘Your(D) hands have made me and fashioned me,
An intricate unity;
Yet You would (E)destroy me.
Remember, I pray, (F)that You have made me like clay.
And will You turn me into dust again?
10 (G)Did You not pour me out like milk,
And curdle me like cheese,
11 Clothe me with skin and flesh,
And knit me together with bones and sinews?
12 You have granted me life and favor,
And Your care has preserved my spirit.

13 ‘And these things You have hidden in Your heart;
I know that this was with You:
14 If I sin, then (H)You mark me,
And will not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am wicked, (I)woe to me;
(J)Even if I am righteous, I [b]cannot lift up my head.
I am full of disgrace;
(K)See my misery!
16 If my head is exalted,
(L)You hunt me like a fierce lion,
And again You show Yourself awesome against me.
17 You renew Your witnesses against me,
And increase Your indignation toward me;
Changes and war are ever with me.

18 ‘Why(M) then have You brought me out of the womb?
Oh, that I had perished and no eye had seen me!
19 I would have been as though I had not been.
I would have been carried from the womb to the grave.
20 (N)Are not my days few?
Cease! (O)Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort,
21 Before I go to the place from which I shall not return,
(P)To the land of darkness (Q)and the shadow of death,
22 A land as dark as darkness itself,
As the shadow of death, without any order,
Where even the light is like darkness.’ ”

Zophar Urges Job to Repent

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

“Should not the multitude of words be answered?
And should [c]a man full of talk be vindicated?
Should your empty talk make men [d]hold their peace?
And when you mock, should no one rebuke you?
For you have said,
(R)‘My doctrine is pure,
And I am clean in your eyes.’
But oh, that God would speak,
And open His lips against you,
That He would show you the secrets of wisdom!
For they would double your prudence.
Know therefore that (S)God [e]exacts from you
Less than your iniquity deserves.

“Can(T) you search out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than [f]Sheol—what can you know?
Their measure is longer than the earth
And broader than the sea.

10 “If(U) He passes by, imprisons, and gathers to judgment,
Then who can [g]hinder Him?
11 For (V)He knows deceitful men;
He sees wickedness also.
Will He not then consider it?
12 For an (W)empty-headed man will be wise,
When a wild donkey’s colt is born a man.

13 “If you would (X)prepare your heart,
And (Y)stretch out your hands toward Him;
14 If iniquity were in your hand, and you put it far away,
And (Z)would not let wickedness dwell in your tents;
15 (AA)Then surely you could lift up your face without spot;
Yes, you could be steadfast, and not fear;
16 Because you would (AB)forget your misery,
And remember it as waters that have passed away,
17 And your life (AC)would be brighter than noonday.
Though you were dark, you would be like the morning.
18 And you would be secure, because there is hope;
Yes, you would dig around you, and (AD)take your rest in safety.
19 You would also lie down, and no one would make you afraid;
Yes, many would court your favor.
20 But (AE)the eyes of the wicked will fail,
And they shall not escape,
And (AF)their hope—[h]loss of life!”

Job Answers His Critics

12 Then Job answered and said:

“No doubt you are the people,
And wisdom will die with you!
But I have [i]understanding as well as you;
I am not (AG)inferior to you.
Indeed, who does not know such things as these?

“I(AH) am one mocked by his friends,
Who (AI)called on God, and He answered him,
The just and blameless who is ridiculed.
A [j]lamp is despised in the thought of one who is at ease;
It is made ready for (AJ)those whose feet slip.
(AK)The tents of robbers prosper,
And those who provoke God are secure—
In what God provides by His hand.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
10 (AL)In whose hand is the [k]life of every living thing,
And the (AM)breath of [l]all mankind?
11 Does not the ear test words
And the [m]mouth taste its food?
12 Wisdom is with aged men,
And with [n]length of days, understanding.

13 “With Him are (AN)wisdom and strength,
He has counsel and understanding.
14 If (AO)He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt;
If He imprisons a man, there can be no release.
15 If He (AP)withholds the waters, they dry up;
If He (AQ)sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.
16 With Him are strength and prudence.
The deceived and the deceiver are His.
17 He leads counselors away plundered,
And makes fools of the judges.
18 He loosens the bonds of kings,
And binds their waist with a belt.
19 He leads [o]princes away plundered,
And overthrows the mighty.
20 (AR)He deprives the trusted ones of speech,
And takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 (AS)He pours contempt on princes,
And [p]disarms the mighty.
22 He (AT)uncovers deep things out of darkness,
And brings the shadow of death to light.
23 (AU)He makes nations great, and destroys them;
He [q]enlarges nations, and guides them.
24 He takes away the [r]understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth,
And (AV)makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.
25 (AW)They grope in the dark without light,
And He makes them (AX)stagger like a drunken man.

Job Defends Himself

13 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
My ear has heard and understood it.
(AY)What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
(AZ)But I would speak to the Almighty,
And I desire to reason with God.
But you forgers of lies,
(BA)You are all worthless physicians.
Oh, that you would be silent,
And (BB)it would be your wisdom!
Now hear my reasoning,
And heed the pleadings of my lips.
(BC)Will you speak [s]wickedly for God,
And talk deceitfully for Him?
Will you show partiality for Him?
Will you contend for God?
Will it be well when He searches you out?
Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man?
10 He will surely rebuke you
If you secretly show partiality.
11 Will not His [t]excellence make you afraid,
And the dread of Him fall upon you?
12 Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes,
Your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Hold[u] your peace with me, and let me speak,
Then let come on me what may!
14 Why (BD)do I take my flesh in my teeth,
And put my life in my hands?
15 (BE)Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
(BF)Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,
For a (BG)hypocrite could not come before Him.
17 Listen carefully to my speech,
And to my declaration with your ears.
18 See now, I have prepared my case,
I know that I shall be (BH)vindicated.
19 (BI)Who is he who will contend with me?
If now I hold my tongue, I perish.

Job’s Despondent Prayer

20 “Only(BJ) two things do not do to me,
Then I will not hide myself from You:
21 (BK)Withdraw Your hand far from me,
And let not the dread of You make me afraid.
22 Then call, and I will (BL)answer;
Or let me speak, then You respond to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24 (BM)Why do You hide Your face,
And (BN)regard me as Your enemy?
25 (BO)Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro?
And will You pursue dry stubble?
26 For You write bitter things against me,
And (BP)make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27 (BQ)You put my feet in the stocks,
And watch closely all my paths.
You [v]set a limit for the [w]soles of my feet.

28 Man[x] decays like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.

Footnotes

  1. Job 10:1 Lit. leave on myself
  2. Job 10:15 Lit. will not
  3. Job 11:2 Lit. a man of lips
  4. Job 11:3 be silent
  5. Job 11:6 Lit. forgets some of your iniquity for you
  6. Job 11:8 The abode of the dead
  7. Job 11:10 restrain
  8. Job 11:20 Lit. the breathing out of life
  9. Job 12:3 Lit. a heart
  10. Job 12:5 Or disaster
  11. Job 12:10 Or soul
  12. Job 12:10 Lit. all flesh of men
  13. Job 12:11 palate
  14. Job 12:12 Long life
  15. Job 12:19 Lit. priests, but not in a technical sense
  16. Job 12:21 loosens the belt of
  17. Job 12:23 Lit. spreads out
  18. Job 12:24 Lit. heart
  19. Job 13:7 unrighteously
  20. Job 13:11 Lit. exaltation
  21. Job 13:13 Be silent
  22. Job 13:27 Lit. inscribe a print
  23. Job 13:27 Lit. roots
  24. Job 13:28 Lit. He