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Job 15-16 Common English Bible (CEB)

Job’s intelligence questioned

15 Eliphaz answered:

Will the wise respond with windy knowledge
    and fill their belly with the east wind?
Will they argue with a word that has no benefit
    and with unprofitable words?
You are truly making religion ineffective
    and restraining meditation before God.
Your mouth multiplies your sins a thousand times;
    you opt for a clever tongue.
Your mouth condemns you, not I;
    your lips argue against you.
Were you born the first Adam,
    brought forth before the hills?
Did you listen in God’s council;
    is wisdom limited to you?
What do you know that we don’t know;
    what do you understand that isn’t among us?
10 Both the graybeard and the aged are with us;
    those much older than your father.
11 Are God’s comforts not enough for you,
    a word spoken gently with you?
12 Why has your mind seized you,
    why have your eyes flashed,
13     so that you return your breath to God
    and utter such words from your mouth?
14 What are humans that they might be pure,
    and those born of woman that they might be innocent?
15 If he doesn’t trust his holy ones
    and the heavens aren’t pure in his eyes,
16     how much less those who are abominable and corrupt,
        for they drink sin like water.

The wicked’s downfall

17 Listen to me; I will argue with you;
    what I’ve seen, I will declare to you;
18     what the wise have told and have not concealed from their family,
19     to whom alone the earth was given
        and no stranger passed in their midst.
20 All the days of the wicked are painful;
    the number of years reserved for the hateful;
21 a sound of terror pierces[a] their ears;
    when safe, raiders overtake them.
22 They can’t count on turning away from darkness;
    they are destined for a sword.
23 They wander about for bread. “Where is it?”
    They know that their day of darkness is fixed.
24 Adversity and stress scare them,
    master them like a king ready to strike;
25     for they raise a fist against God
        and try to overpower the Almighty.
26 They run toward him aggressively,
    with a massive and strong shield.
27 They cover their face with grease
    and make their loins gross.
28 They lived in ruined cities,
    unoccupied houses that turn to rubble.
29 They won’t get rich; their wealth won’t last;
    their property won’t extend over the earth.
30 They can’t turn away from darkness;
    a flame will dry out their shoots,
        and they will be taken away by the wind from his mouth.
31 They shouldn’t trust in what has no worth,
    for their reward will be worthless.
32 Before their branch is formed,
        before it is green,
33     like the vine, they will drop early grapes
        and cast off their blossoms like the olive.
34 The ruthless gang is barren,
        and fire consumes the tents of bribers.
35     They conceive toil and give birth to sorrow;
        their belly establishes deceit.

Job’s response

16 Then Job answered:

I’ve heard many things like these.
    All of you are sorry comforters.
Will windy talk ever cease;
    what bothers you that you must argue?
In your situation I could speak like you;
    I could put words together to oppose you,
    shake my head over you.
I could heap up words, strengthen you with my speech;
    my trembling lips would be held in check.
If I speak, my pain is not eased;
    if I hold back, what have I lost?

The innocent are God’s targets

Now God has surely worn me out.
    You have destroyed my entire group,
    seized me, which became grounds for an accusation.[b]
My leanness rises to bear witness against me.
His anger tears me and afflicts me;
    he slashes at me with his teeth.
    My enemy pierces me with his eyes.
10 They open their mouths at me
    and strike my cheek in a taunt;
        they gang up on me.
11 God delivers me to a criminal
    and forces me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at rest, but he shattered me,
    seized me by the back of my neck,
    dashed me into pieces;
        he raised me up for his target.
13 His archers surround me;
    he cuts my kidneys open without pity and doesn’t care,
        pours my gall on the ground,
14     bursts me open over and over,
        runs against me like a strong man.
15 I’ve sewed rough cloth over my skin
    and buried my dignity in the dust.
16 My face is red from crying,
    and dark gloom hangs on my eyelids.
17 But there is no violence in my hands,
    and my prayer is pure.

Lingering hope

18 Earth, don’t cover my blood;
    let my outcry never cease.
19 Surely now my witness stands in heaven;
    my advocate is on high;
20     my go-between, my friend.[c]
While my eyes drip tears to God,
21     let him plead with God for a human being,
    like a person pleads for a friend.
22 A number of years will surely pass,
    and then I’ll walk a path that I won’t return.


  1. Job 15:21 Heb lacks pierces.
  2. Job 16:8 Heb uncertain
  3. Job 16:20 Go-between and friend are plural in Heb.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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