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Job 19-20 Common English Bible (CEB)

Failed friendship

19 Then Job responded:

How long will you harass me
    and crush me with words?
These ten times you’ve humiliated me;
    shamelessly you insult me.
Have I really gone astray?
    If so, my error remains hidden inside me.
If you look down on me
        and use my disgrace to criticize me,
    know then that God has wronged me
        and enclosed his net over me.

God’s treatment of Job

If I cry “Violence!” I’m not answered;
    I shout—but there is no justice.
He walled up my path so I can’t pass
        and put darkness on my trail,
    stripped my honor from me,
        removed the crown from my head,
10     tore me down completely so that I’ll die, and uprooted my hope like a tree.
11 His anger burns against me;
    he considers me his enemy.
12 His troops come as one
    and construct their siege ramp[a] against me;
    they camp around my tent.

Social ostracism

13 He has distanced my family from me;
    my acquaintances are also alienated from me.
14 My visitors have ceased;
    those who know me have forgotten me.
15 My guests and female servants think me a stranger;
    I’m a foreigner in their sight.
16 I call my servant, and he doesn’t answer;
    I myself must beg him.
17 My breath stinks to my wife;
    I am odious to my children.
18 Even the young despise me;
    I get up, and they rail against me.
19 All my closest friends despise me;
    the ones I have loved turn against me.


20 My bones cling to my skin and flesh;
    I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Pity me. Pity me. You’re my friends.
    God’s hand has truly struck me.
22 Why do you pursue me like God does,
    always hungry for my flesh?

Brief hope

23 Oh, that my words were written down,
        inscribed on a scroll
24     with an iron instrument and lead,
        forever engraved on stone.
25 But I know that my redeemer[b] is alive
        and afterward he’ll rise upon the dust.
26 After my skin has been torn apart this way—
    then from my flesh[c] I’ll see God,
27         whom I’ll see myself—
        my eyes see,[d] and not a stranger’s.
    I am utterly dejected.


28 You say, “How will we pursue him
    so that the root of the matter can be found in him?”[e]
29 You ought to fear the sword yourselves,
    for wrath brings punishment by the sword.
    You should know that there is judgment.

Traditional belief

20 Zophar from Naamah said:

Therefore, my troubled thoughts make me turn back—
    because of my inner turmoil.
I hear teaching that insults me,
    but I am forced to answer based on my own understanding.[f]
Do you know this from long ago—
        from when humans were placed on earth—
    that the rejoicing of the wicked is short,
        the joy of the godless, brief?
Though their height reaches heaven
    and their heads touch the clouds,
    they will perish forever like their dung;
    those who saw them will say, “Where are they?”
They will disappear like a dream,
        and none will find them,
    carried away like a nighttime vision.
The eye that saw them will do so no more;
    they won’t be seen again at home.
10 Their children will repay the poor;
    their hands will give back their wealth.
11 Vigor filled their bones
    and now sleeps with them in the dust.
12 Though wickedness is sweet in their mouths,
    they hide it under their tongues;
13     they like it, won’t let it go;
    they hold it in their cheeks.
14 Food turns their stomachs,
    becoming a cobra’s poison inside.
15 They swallow wealth and vomit it;
    God dislodges it from their belly.
16 They suck cobra’s poison;
    a viper’s tongue kills them.
17 They won’t experience streams,
    rivers of honey, and brooks of cream.
18 They won’t receive the reward for their labor;
    they won’t enjoy the wealth from their business.
19 They crushed and abandoned the poor;
    stole a house they didn’t build;
20     didn’t know contentment in their belly;
    couldn’t escape with their treasure.
21 Nothing remained of their food,
    so their riches will not endure.
22 Even in their plenty, they are hard-pressed;
    all sorts of trouble come on them.
23 Let God[g] fill their belly,
    unleash his burning anger on them,
    rain punishing blows on them.
24 If they flee an iron weapon,
    a bronze bow pierces them.
25 They pull it out, but it sticks out from their backs;
    its shaft in their liver brings terror.
26 Complete darkness waits for their treasured possessions;
    fire that no one stoked consumes them;
        what’s left in their tent is ruined.
27 Heaven exposes their guilt;
    earth opposes them.
28 Their household wealth will be carried off
    by rushing streams on the day of his anger.
29 This is a wicked person’s lot from God,
    their heritage decreed by God.


  1. Job 19:12 Or their road
  2. Job 19:25 Or avenger
  3. Job 19:26 Or without my flesh or in my flesh
  4. Job 19:27 Or have seen
  5. Job 19:28 Heb manuscripts; MT in me
  6. Job 20:3 Heb uncertain
  7. Job 20:23 Or him
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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