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Job 16-18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Job Reaffirms His Innocence

16 Then Job answered:

“I have heard many such things;
    miserable comforters are you all.
Have windy words no limit?
    Or what provokes you that you keep on talking?
I also could talk as you do,
    if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you,
    and shake my head at you.
I could encourage you with my mouth,
    and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.

“If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
    and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
Surely now God has worn me out;
    he has[a] made desolate all my company.
And he has[b] shriveled me up,
    which is a witness against me;
my leanness has risen up against me,
    and it testifies to my face.
He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me;
    he has gnashed his teeth at me;
    my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10 They have gaped at me with their mouths;
    they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
    they mass themselves together against me.
11 God gives me up to the ungodly,
    and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, and he broke me in two;
    he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target;
13     his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy;
    he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He bursts upon me again and again;
    he rushes at me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin,
    and have laid my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
    and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17 though there is no violence in my hands,
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not cover my blood;
    let my outcry find no resting place.
19 Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven,
    and he that vouches for me is on high.
20 My friends scorn me;
    my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God,
    as[c] one does for a neighbor.
22 For when a few years have come,
    I shall go the way from which I shall not return.

Job Prays for Relief

17 My spirit is broken, my days are extinct,
    the grave is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers around me,
    and my eye dwells on their provocation.

“Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
    who is there that will give surety for me?
Since you have closed their minds to understanding,
    therefore you will not let them triumph.
Those who denounce friends for reward—
    the eyes of their children will fail.

“He has made me a byword of the peoples,
    and I am one before whom people spit.
My eye has grown dim from grief,
    and all my members are like a shadow.
The upright are appalled at this,
    and the innocent stir themselves up against the godless.
Yet the righteous hold to their way,
    and they that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger.
10 But you, come back now, all of you,
    and I shall not find a sensible person among you.
11 My days are past, my plans are broken off,
    the desires of my heart.
12 They make night into day;
    ‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’[d]
13 If I look for Sheol as my house,
    if I spread my couch in darkness,
14 if I say to the Pit, ‘You are my father,’
    and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then is my hope?
    Who will see my hope?
16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
    Shall we descend together into the dust?”

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:

“How long will you hunt for words?
    Consider, and then we shall speak.
Why are we counted as cattle?
    Why are we stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself in your anger—
    shall the earth be forsaken because of you,
    or the rock be removed out of its place?

“Surely the light of the wicked is put out,
    and the flame of their fire does not shine.
The light is dark in their tent,
    and the lamp above them is put out.
Their strong steps are shortened,
    and their own schemes throw them down.
For they are thrust into a net by their own feet,
    and they walk into a pitfall.
A trap seizes them by the heel;
    a snare lays hold of them.
10 A rope is hid for them in the ground,
    a trap for them in the path.
11 Terrors frighten them on every side,
    and chase them at their heels.
12 Their strength is consumed by hunger,[e]
    and calamity is ready for their stumbling.
13 By disease their skin is consumed,[f]
    the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs.
14 They are torn from the tent in which they trusted,
    and are brought to the king of terrors.
15 In their tents nothing remains;
    sulfur is scattered upon their habitations.
16 Their roots dry up beneath,
    and their branches wither above.
17 Their memory perishes from the earth,
    and they have no name in the street.
18 They are thrust from light into darkness,
    and driven out of the world.
19 They have no offspring or descendant among their people,
    and no survivor where they used to live.
20 They of the west are appalled at their fate,
    and horror seizes those of the east.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly,
    such is the place of those who do not know God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 16:7 Heb you have
  2. Job 16:8 Heb you have
  3. Job 16:21 Syr Vg Tg: Heb and
  4. Job 17:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Job 18:12 Or Disaster is hungry for them
  6. Job 18:13 Cn: Heb It consumes the limbs of his skin
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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