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Job 20-22 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Zophar’s Second Speech

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

“This is why my troubled thoughts bring me back—
because of my feelings within me.
When I hear a reproof that dishonors me,
then my understanding prompts me to answer.
“Surely you know that it has been from old,
ever since humankind was placed on the earth,
that the elation of the wicked is brief,
the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
Even though his stature reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds,
he will perish forever, like his own excrement;
those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’
Like a dream he flies away, never again to be found,
and like a vision of the night he is put to flight.
People who had seen him will not see him again,
and the place where he was
will recognize him no longer.
10 His sons must recompense the poor;
his own hands must return his wealth.
11 His bones were full of his youthful vigor,
but that vigor will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “If evil is sweet in his mouth
and he hides it under his tongue,
13 if he retains it for himself
and does not let it go,
and holds it fast in his mouth,
14 his food is turned sour in his stomach;
it becomes the venom of serpents within him.
15 The wealth that he consumed he vomits up,
God will make him throw it out of his stomach.
16 He sucks the poison of serpents;
the fangs of a viper kill him.
17 He will not look on the streams,
the rivers, which are the torrents
of honey and butter.
18 He gives back the ill-gotten gain
without assimilating it;
he will not enjoy the wealth from his commerce.
19 For he has oppressed the poor and abandoned them;
he has seized a house which he did not build.
20 For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite;
he does not let anything he desires escape.
21 “Nothing is left for him to devour;
that is why his prosperity does not last.
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency,
distress overtakes him.
the full force of misery will come upon him.
23 “While he is filling his belly,
God sends his burning anger against him,
and rains down his blows upon him.
24 If he flees from an iron weapon,
then an arrow from a bronze bow pierces him.
25 When he pulls it out and it comes out of his back,
the gleaming point out of his liver,
terrors come over him.
26 Total darkness waits to receive his treasures;
a fire which has not been kindled
will consume him
and devour what is left in his tent.
27 The heavens reveal his iniquity;
the earth rises up against him.
28 A flood will carry off his house,
rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.
29 Such is the lot God allots the wicked,
and the heritage of his appointment from God.”

Job’s Reply to Zophar

21 Then Job answered:

“Listen carefully to my words;
let this be the consolation you offer me.
Bear with me and I will speak,
and after I have spoken you may mock.
Is my complaint against a man?
If so, why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be appalled;
put your hands over your mouths.
For, when I think about this, I am terrified
and my body feels a shudder.

The Wicked Prosper

“Why do the wicked go on living,
grow old, even increase in power?
Their children are firmly established
in their presence,
their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe and without fear;
and no rod of punishment from God is upon them.
10 Their bulls breed without fail;
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They allow their children to run like a flock;
their little ones dance about.
12 They sing to the accompaniment of tambourine and harp,
and make merry to the sound of the flute.
13 They live out their years in prosperity
and go down to the grave in peace.
14 So they say to God, ‘Turn away from us!
We do not want to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain
if we were to pray to him?’
16 But their prosperity is not their own doing.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me!

How Often Do the Wicked Suffer?

17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked extinguished?
How often does their misfortune come upon them?
How often does God apportion pain to them in his anger?
18 How often are they like straw before the wind,
and like chaff swept away by a whirlwind?
19 You may say, ‘God stores up a man’s punishment for his children!’
Instead let him repay the man himself
so that he may know it!
20 Let his own eyes see his destruction;
let him drink of the anger of the Almighty.
21 For what is his interest in his home
after his death,
when the number of his months
has been broken off?
22 Can anyone teach God knowledge,
since he judges those that are on high?

Death Levels Everything

23 “One man dies in his full vigor,
completely secure and prosperous,
24 his body well nourished,
and the marrow of his bones moist.
25 And another man dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted anything good.
26 Together they lie down in the dust,
and worms cover over them both.

Futile Words, Deceptive Answers

27 “Yes, I know what you are thinking,
the schemes by which you would wrong me.
28 For you say,
‘Where now is the nobleman’s house,
and where are the tents in which the wicked lived?’
29 Have you never questioned those who travel the roads?
Do you not recognize their accounts—
30 that the evil man is spared
from the day of his misfortune,
that he is delivered
from the day of God’s wrath?
31 No one denounces his conduct to his face;
no one repays him for what he has done.
32 And when he is carried to the tombs,
and watch is kept over the funeral mound,
33 The clods of the torrent valley are sweet to him;
behind him everybody follows in procession,
and before him goes a countless throng.
34 So how can you console me with your futile words?
Nothing is left of your answers but deception!”

Eliphaz’s Third Speech

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

“Is it to God that a strong man is of benefit?
Is it to him that even a wise man is profitable?
Is it of any special benefit to the Almighty
that you should be righteous,
or is it any gain to him
that you make your ways blameless?
Is it because of your piety that he rebukes you
and goes to judgment with you?
Is not your wickedness great
and is there no end to your iniquity?
“For you took pledges from your brothers
for no reason,
and you stripped the clothing from the naked.
You gave the weary no water to drink
and from the hungry you withheld food.
Although you were a powerful man, owning land,
an honored man living on it,
you sent widows away empty-handed,
and the arms of the orphans you crushed.
10 That is why snares surround you,
and why sudden fear terrifies you,
11 why it is so dark you cannot see,
and why a flood of water covers you.
12 “Is not God on high in heaven?
And see the lofty stars, how high they are!
13 But you have said, ‘What does God know?
Does he judge through such deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds are a veil for him, so he does not see us,
as he goes back and forth
in the vault of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old path
that evil men have walked—
16 men who were carried off before their time,
when the flood was poured out
on their foundations?
17 They were saying to God, ‘Turn away from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’
18 But it was he who filled their houses
with good things—
yet the counsel of the wicked
was far from me.
19 The righteous see their destruction and rejoice;
the innocent mock them scornfully, saying,
20 ‘Surely our enemies are destroyed,
and fire consumes their wealth.’
21 “Reconcile yourself with God,
and be at peace with him;
in this way your prosperity will be good.
22 Accept instruction from his mouth
and store up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;
if you remove wicked behavior far from your tent,
24 and throw your gold in the dust—
your gold of Ophir
among the rocks in the ravines—
25 then the Almighty himself will be your gold,
and the choicest silver for you.
26 Surely then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,
and will lift up your face toward God.
27 You will pray to him and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows to him.
28 Whatever you decide on a matter,
it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
29 When people are brought low and you say
‘Lift them up!’
then he will save the downcast;
30 he will deliver even someone who is not innocent,
who will escape through the cleanness of your hands.”

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Acts 22:30-23:35 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

30 The next day, because the commanding officer wanted to know the true reason Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council to assemble. He then brought Paul down and had him stand before them.

23 Paul looked directly at the council and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God to this day.” At that the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit there judging me according to the law, and in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” Those standing near him said, “Do you dare insult God’s high priest?” Paul replied, “I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’”

Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead!” When he said this, an argument began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) There was a great commotion, and some experts in the law from the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 When the argument became so great the commanding officer feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, he ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

The Plot to Kill Paul

12 When morning came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath not to partake of anything until we have killed Paul. 15 So now you and the council request the commanding officer to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine his case by conducting a more thorough inquiry. We are ready to kill him before he comes near this place.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, for he has something to report to him.” 18 So the centurion took him and brought him to the commanding officer and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 19 The commanding officer took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want to report to me?” 20 He replied, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, because more than forty of them are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 22 Then the commanding officer sent the young man away, directing him, “Tell no one that you have reported these things to me.” 23 Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea along with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen by nine o’clock tonight, 24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride so that he may be brought safely to Felix the governor.” 25 He wrote a letter that went like this:

26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor Felix, greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, when I came up with the detachment and rescued him, because I had learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 Since I wanted to know what charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found he was accused with reference to controversial questions about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed there would be a plot against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges against him before you.

31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him to Antipatris during the night. 32 The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 33 When the horsemen came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 When the governor had read the letter, he asked what province he was from. When he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive too.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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