2 “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all. 3 Shall windy words have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? 4 I also could speak as you do, if you were in my place; I could join words together against you and shake my head at you. 5 I could strengthen you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
6 “If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me? 7 Surely now God has worn me out; he has[a] made desolate all my company. 8 And he has shriveled me up, which is a witness against me, and my leanness has risen up against me; it testifies to my face. 9 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 Men have gaped at me with their mouth; 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 apart; 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 does not spare; he pours out my gall on the ground. 14 He breaks me with breach upon breach; he runs upon 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 on my eyelids is deep darkness, 17 although there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, cover not my blood, and let my cry find no resting place. 19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high. 20 My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God, 21 that he would argue the case of a man with God, as[b] a son of man does with his neighbor. 22 For when a few years have come I shall go the way from which I shall not return.
Job Continues: Where Then Is My Hope?
17 “My spirit is broken; my days are extinct; the graveyard is ready for me. 2 Surely there are mockers about me, and my eye dwells on their provocation.
3 “Lay down a pledge for me with you; who is there who will put up security for me? 4 Since you have closed their hearts to understanding, therefore you will not let them triumph. 5 He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property— the eyes of his children will fail.
6 “He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom men spit. 7 My eye has grown dim from vexation, and all my members are like a shadow. 8 The upright are appalled at this, and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless. 9 Yet the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger. 10 But you, come on again, all of you, and I shall not find a wise man 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.’[c] 13 If I hope for Sheol as my house, if I make my bed 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?”[d]
Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we will speak. 3 Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight? 4 You who tear yourself in your anger, shall the earth be forsaken for you, or the rock be removed out of its place?
5 “Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine. 6 The light is dark in his tent, and his lamp above him is put out. 7 His strong steps are shortened, and his own schemes throw him down. 8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks on its mesh. 9 A trap seizes him by the heel; a snare lays hold of him. 10 A rope is hidden for him in the ground, a trap for him in the path. 11 Terrors frighten him on every side, and chase him at his heels. 12 His strength is famished, and calamity is ready for his stumbling. 13 It consumes the parts of his skin; the firstborn of death consumes his limbs. 14 He is torn from the tent in which he trusted and is brought to the king of terrors. 15 In his tent dwells that which is none of his; sulfur is scattered over his habitation. 16 His roots dry up beneath, and his branches wither above. 17 His memory perishes from the earth, and he has no name in the street. 18 He is thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world. 19 He has no posterity or progeny among his people, and no survivor where he used to live. 20 They of the west are appalled at his day, and horror seizes them of the east. 21 Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, such is the place of him who knows not God.”
Job Replies: My Redeemer Lives
19 Then Job answered and said:
2 “How long will you torment me and break me in pieces with words? 3 These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me? 4 And even if it be true that I have erred, my error remains with myself. 5 If indeed you magnify yourselves against me and make my disgrace an argument against me, 6 know then that God has put me in the wrong and closed his net about me. 7 Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered; I call for help, but there is no justice. 8 He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths. 9 He has stripped from me my glory and taken the crown from my head. 10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone, and my hope has he pulled up like a tree. 11 He has kindled his wrath against me and counts me as his adversary. 12 His troops come on together; they have cast up their siege ramp[e] against me and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has put my brothers far from me, and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me. 14 My relatives have failed me, my close friends have forgotten me. 15 The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger; I have become a foreigner in their eyes. 16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy. 17 My breath is strange to my wife, and I am a stench to the children of my own mother. 18 Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me. 19 All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me. 20 My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. 21 Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! 22 Why do you, like God, pursue me? Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
23 “Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! 24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[f] 26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in[g] my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! 28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’ and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’[h] 29 be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, that you may know there is a judgment.”
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