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Job 22-23New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Eliphaz Speaks: Job’s Wickedness Is Great

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

“Can a mortal be of use to God?
    Can even the wisest be of service to him?
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty[a] if you are righteous,
    or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
Is it for your piety that he reproves you,
    and enters into judgment with you?
Is not your wickedness great?
    There is no end to your iniquities.
For you have exacted pledges from your family for no reason,
    and stripped the naked of their clothing.
You have given no water to the weary to drink,
    and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
The powerful possess the land,
    and the favored live in it.
You have sent widows away empty-handed,
    and the arms of the orphans you have crushed.[b]
10 Therefore snares are around you,
    and sudden terror overwhelms you,
11 or darkness so that you cannot see;
    a flood of water covers you.

12 “Is not God high in the heavens?
    See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13 Therefore you say, ‘What does God know?
    Can he judge through the deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see,
    and he walks on the dome of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old way
    that the wicked have trod?
16 They were snatched away before their time;
    their foundation was washed away by a flood.
17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone,’
    and ‘What can the Almighty[c] do to us?’[d]
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things—
    but the plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.
19 The righteous see it and are glad;
    the innocent laugh them to scorn,
20 saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
    and what they left, the fire has consumed.’

21 “Agree with God,[e] and be at peace;
    in this way good will come to you.
22 Receive instruction from his mouth,
    and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty,[f] you will be restored,
    if you remove unrighteousness from your tents,
24 if you treat gold like dust,
    and gold of Ophir like the stones of the torrent-bed,
25 and if the Almighty[g] is your gold
    and your precious silver,
26 then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,[h]
    and lift up your face to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
    and you will pay your vows.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
    and light will shine on your ways.
29 When others are humiliated, you say it is pride;
    for he saves the humble.
30 He will deliver even those who are guilty;
    they will escape because of the cleanness of your hands.”[i]

Job Replies: My Complaint Is Bitter

23 Then Job answered:

“Today also my complaint is bitter;[j]
    his[k] hand is heavy despite my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
    that I might come even to his dwelling!
I would lay my case before him,
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn what he would answer me,
    and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
    No; but he would give heed to me.
There an upright person could reason with him,
    and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.

“If I go forward, he is not there;
    or backward, I cannot perceive him;
on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;
    I turn[l] to the right, but I cannot see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
    I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
    I have treasured in[m] my bosom the words of his mouth.
13 But he stands alone and who can dissuade him?
    What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me;
    and many such things are in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
    when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty[n] has terrified me;
17 If only I could vanish in darkness,
    and thick darkness would cover my face![o]

Footnotes:

  1. Job 22:3 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Job 22:9 Gk Syr Tg Vg: Heb were crushed
  3. Job 22:17 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  4. Job 22:17 Gk Syr: Heb them
  5. Job 22:21 Heb him
  6. Job 22:23 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  7. Job 22:25 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  8. Job 22:26 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  9. Job 22:30 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Job 23:2 Syr Vg Tg: Heb rebellious
  11. Job 23:2 Gk Syr: Heb my
  12. Job 23:9 Syr Vg: Heb he turns
  13. Job 23:12 Gk Vg: Heb from
  14. Job 23:16 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  15. Job 23:17 Or But I am not destroyed by the darkness; he has concealed the thick darkness from me
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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