13 [Job continued:] “Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it. 2 “What you know I also know; I am not inferior to you.
3 “But I wish to speak to [a]the Almighty, And I desire to argue with God. 4 “But you smear me with lies [you defame my character most untruthfully]; You are all worthless physicians and have no remedy to offer. 5 “Oh, that you would be completely silent, And that silence would be your wisdom! 6 “Please hear my argument And listen to the pleadings of my lips. 7 “Will you speak what is unjust for God, And speak what is deceitful for Him? 8 “Will you show partiality for Him [and be unjust to me so that you may gain favor with Him]? Will you contend and plead for God? 9 “Will it be well for you when He investigates you [and your tactics against me]? Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man? 10 “He will surely reprimand you If you secretly show partiality. 11 “Will not His majesty terrify you, And will not the dread of Him fall upon you? 12 “Your memorable sayings are [worthless, merely] proverbs of ashes; Your defenses are defenses of [crumbling] clay.
Job Is Sure He Will Be Vindicated
13 “Be silent before me so that I may speak; And let happen to me what may. 14 “Why should I take my flesh in my teeth And put my life in my hands [incurring the wrath of God]? 15 “Even though He kills me; I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face. 16 “This also will be my salvation, For a godless man may not come before Him. 17 “Listen diligently to my speech, And let my declaration fill your ears. 18 “Behold now, I have prepared my case; I know that I will be vindicated. 19 “Who will argue and contend with me? For then I would be silent and die.
20 “Only [O Lord,] do not do two things to me, And then I will not hide myself from Your face: 21 Withdraw Your hand from me and remove this bodily suffering, And let not the dread of You terrify me. 22 “Then [Lord,] call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, and then reply to me. 23 “How many are my iniquities and sins [that so much sorrow should come to me]? Make me recognize and understand my transgression and my sin. 24 “Why do You hide Your face [as if offended] And consider me Your enemy? 25 “Will You cause a windblown leaf to tremble? Will You pursue the chaff of the dry stubble? 26 “For You write bitter things against me [in Your indictment] And make me inherit and suffer for the iniquities of my youth. 27 “You also put my feet in the stocks [as punishment] And [critically] observe all my paths; You set a circle and limit around the soles of my feet [which I must not overstep], 28 While I waste away like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Job Speaks of the Finality of Death
14 “Man, who is born of a woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil. 2 “Like a flower he comes forth and withers; He also flees like a shadow and does not remain. 3 “You also open Your eyes upon him And bring him into judgment with Yourself. 4 “Who can make a clean thing out of the unclean? No one! 5 “Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You [in Your control], And You have made his limits so he cannot pass [his allotted time]. 6 “[O God] turn your gaze from him so that he may rest, Until he fulfills his day [on earth] like a hired man.
7 “For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the shoots of it will not cease nor fail, [but there is no such hope for man]. 8 “Though its roots grow old in the earth And its stump dies in the dry soil, 9 Yet at the scent of water [the stump of the tree] will flourish And bring forth sprigs and shoots like a seedling. 10 “But [the brave, strong] man must die and lie face down; Man breathes his last, and where is he? 11 “As water evaporates from the sea, And a river drains and dries up, 12 So man lies down and does not rise [again]. Until the heavens are no longer, The dead will not awake nor be raised from their sleep.
13 “Oh, that You would hide me in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, That You would set a definite time and then remember me [and in Your lovingkindness imprint me on your heart]! 14 “If a man dies, will he live again? I will wait all the days of my struggle Until my change and release will come. 15 “[Then] You will call, and I will answer You; You will long for [me] the work of Your hands. 16 “But now You number [each of] my steps; You do not observe nor take note of my sin. 17 “My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And You cover my wickedness [from Your view].
18 “But as a mountain, if it falls, crumbles into nothing, And as the rock is moved from its place, 19 Water wears away the stones, Its floods and torrents wash away the soil of the earth, So You [O Lord] destroy the hope of man. 20 “You prevail forever against him and overpower him, and he passes on; You change his appearance and send him away [from the presence of the living]. 21 “His sons achieve honor, and he does not know it; They become insignificant, and he is not aware of it. 22 “But his body [lamenting its decay] grieves in pain over it, And his soul mourns over [the loss of] himself.”
Eliphaz Says Job Presumes Much
15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered [Job] and said,
2 “Should a wise man [such as you] utter such windy and vain knowledge [as we have just heard] And fill himself with the east wind [of withering, parching, and violent accusations]? 3 “Should he rebuke and argue with useless talk? Or with words in which there is no benefit? 4 “Indeed, you are doing away with fear, And you are diminishing meditation before God. 5 “For your guilt teaches your mouth, And you choose [to speak] the language of the crafty and cunning. 6 “Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you.
7 “Were you the first man to be born [the original wise man], Or were you created before the hills? 8 “Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself? 9 “What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not equally clear to us? 10 “Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged, Older than your father. 11 “Are the consolations of God [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you, [Or] were we too gentle toward you [in our first speech] to be effective? 12 “Why does your heart carry you away [allowing you to be controlled by emotion]? And why do your eyes flash [in anger or contempt], 13 That you should turn your spirit against God And let such words [as you have spoken] go out of your mouth? 14 “What is man, that he should be pure and clean, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous and just? 15 “Behold, God puts no trust in His holy ones (angels); Indeed, the heavens are not pure in His sight— 16 How much less [pure and clean is] the one who is repulsive and corrupt, Man, who drinks unrighteousness and injustice like water!
What Eliphaz Has Seen of Life
17 “I will tell you, listen to me; And what I have seen I will also declare; 18 What wise men have [freely] told, And have not hidden [anything passed on to them] from their fathers, 19 To whom alone the land was given, And no stranger passed among them [corrupting the truth]. 20 “The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And numbered are the years stored up for him, the ruthless one. 21 “A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; While at peace and in a time of prosperity the destroyer comes upon him [the tent of the robber is not at peace]. 22 “He does not believe that he will return out of the darkness [for fear of being murdered], And he is destined for the sword [of God’s vengeance]. 23 “He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already at hand. 24 “Distress and anxiety terrify him, They overpower him like a king ready for battle. 25 “Because he has stretched out his hand against God And behaves arrogantly against [b]the Almighty, 26 Running and charging headlong against Him With his ornamented and massive shield; 27 For he has covered his face with his fat, Adding layers of fat to his thighs [giving himself up to pleasures], 28 And he has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities, In houses which no one should inhabit, Which were destined to become heaps [of ruins]; 29 He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure; And his grain will not bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth. 30 “He will not escape from darkness [fleeing disaster]; The flame [of God’s wrath] will wither his branch, And by the blast of His mouth he will go away. 31 “Let him not trust in vanity (emptiness, futility) and be led astray; For emptiness will be his [c]reward [for such living]. 32 “It will be fulfilled while he still lives, And his branch will not be green [but shall wither away]. 33 “He will fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine, And will cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree. 34 “For the company of the godless is barren, And fire consumes the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice). 35 “They conceive mischief and bring forth wickedness, And their inmost soul prepares deceit and fraud.”
Job Says Friends Are Sorry Comforters
16 Then Job answered and said,
2 “I have heard many such things; Wearisome and miserable comforters are you all. 3 “Is there no end to [your futile] words of wind? Or what plagues you [so much] that you [so boldly] answer [me like this]? 4 “I also could speak like you, If you were in my place; I could compose and join words together against you And shake my head at you. 5 “[But instead] I could strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth, And the consolation and solace of my lips would soothe your suffering and lessen your anguish.
Job Says God Shattered Him
6 “If I speak [to you miserable comforters], my pain is not relieved; And if I refrain [from speaking], what [pain or anguish] leaves me? 7 “But now God has exhausted me. You [O Lord] have destroyed all my family and my household. 8 “You have taken a firm hold on me and have shriveled me up, It has become a witness [against me]; And my leanness [and infirmity] rises up [as evidence] against me, It testifies to my face [about my guilt]. 9 “His wrath has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with his teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze and glares [with piercing eyes] at me. 10 “They have gaped at me with their mouths, With contempt they have struck me on the cheek; They massed themselves together [and conspired] against me. 11 “God hands me over to [d]criminals And tosses me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked. 12 “I was [living] at ease, but He crushed me and broke me apart, And He has seized me by the neck and has shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target. 13 “His arrows surround me. He pierces my kidneys (vital organs) without mercy; He pours out my gall on the ground. 14 “He attacks me, making wound after wound; He runs at me like a warrior. 15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin [as a sign of mourning] And have defiled my horn (symbol of strength) in the dust. 16 “My face is red and swollen with weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death [my eyes are dimmed], 17 Although there is no violence or wrongdoing in my hands, And my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, do not cover my blood, And let there be no [resting] place for my cry [where it will cease being heard]. 19 “Even now, behold, my Witness is in heaven, And my Advocate [who vouches and testifies for me] is on high. 20 “My friends are scoffers [who ridicule]; My eye pours out tears to God. 21 “Oh, that a man would mediate and plead with God [for me] Just as a man [mediates and pleads] with his neighbor and friend. 22 “For when a few years are past, I shall go the way of no return.
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