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Job 13-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

13 “Look, my eye has seen all this,
    my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
    I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,[a]
    and I desire to argue my case with God.
As for you, you whitewash with lies;
    all of you are worthless physicians.
If you would only keep silent,
    that would be your wisdom!
Hear now my reasoning,
    and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak falsely for God,
    and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality toward him,
    will you plead the case for God?
Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
    Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another?
10 He will surely rebuke you
    if in secret you show partiality.
11 Will not his majesty terrify you,
    and the dread of him fall upon you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes,
    your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Let me have silence, and I will speak,
    and let come on me what may.
14 I will take my flesh in my teeth,
    and put my life in my hand.[b]
15 See, he will kill me; I have no hope;[c]
    but I will defend my ways to his face.
16 This will be my salvation,
    that the godless shall not come before him.
17 Listen carefully to my words,
    and let my declaration be in your ears.
18 I have indeed prepared my case;
    I know that I shall be vindicated.
19 Who is there that will contend with me?
    For then I would be silent and die.

Job’s Despondent Prayer

20 Only grant two things to me,
    then I will not hide myself from your face:
21 withdraw your hand far from me,
    and do not let dread of you terrify me.
22 Then call, and I will answer;
    or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins?
    Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face,
    and count me as your enemy?
25 Will you frighten a windblown leaf
    and pursue dry chaff?
26 For you write bitter things against me,
    and make me reap[d] the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks,
    and watch all my paths;
    you set a bound to the soles of my feet.
28 One wastes away like a rotten thing,
    like a garment that is moth-eaten.

14 “A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,
    comes up like a flower and withers,
    flees like a shadow and does not last.
Do you fix your eyes on such a one?
    Do you bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
    No one can.
Since their days are determined,
    and the number of their months is known to you,
    and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,
look away from them, and desist,[e]
    that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.

“For there is hope for a tree,
    if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
    and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grows old in the earth,
    and its stump dies in the ground,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
    and put forth branches like a young plant.
10 But mortals die, and are laid low;
    humans expire, and where are they?
11 As waters fail from a lake,
    and a river wastes away and dries up,
12 so mortals lie down and do not rise again;
    until the heavens are no more, they will not awake
    or be roused out of their sleep.
13 O that you would hide me in Sheol,
    that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,
    that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If mortals die, will they live again?
    All the days of my service I would wait
    until my release should come.
15 You would call, and I would answer you;
    you would long for the work of your hands.
16 For then you would not[f] number my steps,
    you would not keep watch over my sin;
17 my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
    and you would cover over my iniquity.

18 “But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
    and the rock is removed from its place;
19 the waters wear away the stones;
    the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
    so you destroy the hope of mortals.
20 You prevail forever against them, and they pass away;
    you change their countenance, and send them away.
21 Their children come to honor, and they do not know it;
    they are brought low, and it goes unnoticed.
22 They feel only the pain of their own bodies,
    and mourn only for themselves.”

Eliphaz Speaks: Job Undermines Religion

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

“Should the wise answer with windy knowledge,
    and fill themselves with the east wind?
Should they argue in unprofitable talk,
    or in words with which they can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God,
    and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
    and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
    your own lips testify against you.

“Are you the firstborn of the human race?
    Were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
    And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
    What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
    those older than your father.
11 Are the consolations of God too small for you,
    or the word that deals gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away,
    and why do your eyes flash,[g]
13 so that you turn your spirit against God,
    and let such words go out of your mouth?
14 What are mortals, that they can be clean?
    Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?
15 God puts no trust even in his holy ones,
    and the heavens are not clean in his sight;
16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
    one who drinks iniquity like water!

17 “I will show you; listen to me;
    what I have seen I will declare—
18 what sages have told,
    and their ancestors have not hidden,
19 to whom alone the land was given,
    and no stranger passed among them.
20 The wicked writhe in pain all their days,
    through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
21 Terrifying sounds are in their ears;
    in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.
22 They despair of returning from darkness,
    and they are destined for the sword.
23 They wander abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
    They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;
24 distress and anguish terrify them;
    they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.
25 Because they stretched out their hands against God,
    and bid defiance to the Almighty,[h]
26 running stubbornly against him
    with a thick-bossed shield;
27 because they have covered their faces with their fat,
    and gathered fat upon their loins,
28 they will live in desolate cities,
    in houses that no one should inhabit,
    houses destined to become heaps of ruins;
29 they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure,
    nor will they strike root in the earth;[i]
30 they will not escape from darkness;
    the flame will dry up their shoots,
    and their blossom[j] will be swept away[k] by the wind.
31 Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;
    for emptiness will be their recompense.
32 It will be paid in full before their time,
    and their branch will not be green.
33 They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine,
    and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.
34 For the company of the godless is barren,
    and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief and bring forth evil
    and their heart prepares deceit.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 13:3 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Job 13:14 Gk: Heb Why should I take . . . in my hand?
  3. Job 13:15 Or Though he kill me, yet I will trust in him
  4. Job 13:26 Heb inherit
  5. Job 14:6 Cn: Heb that they may desist
  6. Job 14:16 Syr: Heb lacks not
  7. Job 15:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Job 15:25 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  9. Job 15:29 Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Job 15:30 Gk: Heb mouth
  11. Job 15:30 Cn: Heb will depart
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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