2 “Can a vigorous man be of use to God, Or a wise man be useful to himself? 3 “Is there any pleasure to [b]the Almighty if you are righteous, Or profit if you make your ways perfect? 4 “Is it because of your [c]reverence that He reproves you, That He enters into judgment against you? 5 “Is not your wickedness great, And your iniquities without end? 6 “For you have taken pledges of your brothers without cause, And stripped [d]men naked. 7 “To the weary you have given no water to drink, And from the hungry you have withheld bread. 8 “But the earth belongs to the mighty man, And the honorable man dwells in it. 9 “You have sent widows away empty, And the [e]strength of the orphans has been crushed. 10 “Therefore snares surround you, And sudden dread terrifies you, 11 Or darkness, so that you cannot see, And an abundance of water covers you.
12 “Is not God in the height of heaven? Look also at the [f]distant stars, how high they are! 13 “You say, ‘What does God know? Can He judge through the thick darkness? 14 ‘Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; And He walks on the [g]vault of heaven.’ 15 “Will you keep to the ancient path Which wicked men have trod, 16 Who were snatched away before their time, Whose foundations were [h]washed away by a river? 17 “They said to God, ‘Depart from us!’ And ‘What can [i]the Almighty do to them?’ 18 “Yet He filled their houses with good things; But the counsel of the wicked is far from me. 19 “The righteous see and are glad, And the innocent mock them, 20 Saying, ‘Truly our adversaries are cut off, And their [j]abundance the fire has consumed.’
21 “[k]Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you. 22 “Please receive [l]instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart. 23 “If you return to [m]the Almighty, you will be [n]restored; If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent, 24 And place your[o]gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks, 25 Then [p]the Almighty will be your [q]gold And choice silver to you. 26 “For then you will delight in [r]the Almighty 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 also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And light will shine on your ways. 29 “When [s]you are cast down, you will speak with [t]confidence, And the [u]humble person He will save. 30 “He will deliver one who is not innocent, And he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
2 “Even today my complaint is rebellion; [w]His hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3 “Oh that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat! 4 “I would present my case before Him And fill my mouth with arguments. 5 “I would learn the words which He would [x]answer, And perceive what He would say to me. 6 “Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power? No, surely He would pay attention to me. 7 “There the upright would reason with Him; And I [y]would be delivered forever from my Judge.
8 “Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9 When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. 10 “But He knows the [z]way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 “My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. 12 “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth [aa]more than my [ab]necessary food. 13 “But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. 14 “For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him. 15 “Therefore, I would be dismayed at His presence; When I consider, I am terrified of Him. 16 “It is God who has made my heart faint, And the Almighty who has dismayed me, 17 But I am not silenced by the darkness, Nor deep gloom which covers me.
Job Says God Seems to Ignore Wrongs
24 “Why are [ac]times not stored up by the Almighty, And why do those who know Him not see His days? 2 “[ad]Some remove the landmarks; They seize and [ae]devour flocks. 3 “They drive away the donkeys of the orphans; They take the widow’s ox for a pledge. 4 “They push the needy aside from the road; The poor of the land are made to hide themselves altogether. 5 “Behold, as wild donkeys in the wilderness They go forth seeking food in their activity, As [af]bread for their children in the desert. 6 “They harvest their fodder in the field And glean the vineyard of the wicked. 7 “They spend the night naked, without clothing, And have no covering against the cold. 8 “They are wet with the mountain rains And hug the rock for want of a shelter. 9 “[ag]Others snatch the orphan from the breast, And against the poor they take a pledge. 10 “They cause the poor to go about naked without clothing, And they take away the sheaves from the hungry. 11 “Within the walls they produce oil; They tread wine presses but thirst. 12 “From the city men groan, And the souls of the wounded cry out; Yet God does not pay attention to folly.
13 “[ah]Others have been with those who rebel against the light; They do not want to know its ways Nor abide in its paths. 14 “The murderer arises at dawn; He kills the poor and the needy, And at night he is as a thief. 15 “The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, Saying, ‘No eye will see me.’ And he [ai]disguises his face. 16 “In the dark they dig into houses, They shut themselves up by day; They do not know the light. 17 “For the morning is the same to him as thick darkness, For he is familiar with the terrors of thick darkness.
18 “They are [aj]insignificant on the surface of the water; Their portion is cursed on the earth. They do not turn [ak]toward the vineyards. 19 “Drought and heat [al]consume the snow waters, So does[am]Sheol those who have sinned. 20 “A [an]mother will forget him; The worm feeds sweetly till he is no longer remembered. And wickedness will be broken like a tree. 21 “He wrongs the [ao]barren woman And does no good for the widow. 22 “But He drags off the valiant by His power; He rises, but no one has assurance of life. 23 “He provides them with security, and they are supported; And His eyes are on their ways. 24 “They are exalted a little while, then they are gone; Moreover, they are brought low and like everything gathered up; Even like the heads of grain they are cut off. 25 “Now if it is not so, who can prove me a liar, And make my speech worthless?”
2 “Dominion and awe [aq]belong to Him Who establishes peace in His heights. 3 “Is there any number to His troops? And upon whom does His light not rise? 4 “How then can a man be just with God? Or how can he be clean who is born of woman? 5 “If even the moon has no brightness And the stars are not pure in His sight, 6 How much less man, thatmaggot, And the son of man, that worm!”
2 “What a help you are to [as]the weak! How you have saved the arm without strength! 3 “What counsel you have given to one without wisdom! What helpful insight you have abundantly [at]provided! 4 “To whom have you uttered words? And whose [au]spirit was expressed through you?
The Greatness of God
5 “The [av]departed spirits tremble Under the waters and their inhabitants. 6 “Naked is [aw]Sheol before Him, And [ax]Abaddon has no covering. 7 “He stretches out the north over empty space And hangs the earth on nothing. 8 “He wraps up the waters in His clouds, And the cloud does not burst under them. 9 “He [ay]obscures the face of the [az]full moon And spreads His cloud over it. 10 “He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters At the boundary of light and darkness. 11 “The pillars of heaven tremble And are amazed at His rebuke. 12 “He quieted the sea with His power, And by His understanding He shattered Rahab. 13 “By His breath the heavens are [ba]cleared; His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent. 14 “Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?”
2 “As God lives, who has taken away my right, And the Almighty, who has embittered my soul, 3 For as long as [bc]life is in me, And the [bd]breath of God is in my nostrils, 4 My lips certainly will not speak unjustly, Nor will my tongue mutter deceit. 5 “Far be it from me that I should declare you right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 “I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go. My heart does not reproach any of my days.
The State of the Godless
7 “May my enemy be as the wicked And [be]my opponent as the unjust. 8 “For what is the hope of the godless [bf]when he is cut off, When God requires his [bg]life? 9 “Will God hear his cry When distress comes upon him? 10 “Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call on God at all times? 11 “I will instruct you in the [bh]power of God; What is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 12 “Behold, all of you have seen it; Why then do you [bi]act foolishly?
13 “This is the portion of a wicked man from God, And the inheritance whichtyrants receive from the Almighty. 14 “Though his sons are many, [bj]they are destined for the sword; And his descendants will not be satisfied with bread. 15 “His survivors will be buried because of the plague, And [bk]their widows will not be able to weep. 16 “Though he piles up silver like dust And prepares garments as plentiful as the clay, 17 He may prepare it, but the just will wear it And the innocent will divide the silver. 18 “He has built his house like the [bl]spider’s web, Or as a hut which the watchman has made. 19 “He lies down rich, but never [bm]again; He opens his eyes, and it is no longer. 20 “Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night. 21 “The east wind carries him away, and he is gone, For it whirls him away from his place. 22 “For it will hurl at him without sparing; He will surely try to flee from its [bn]power. 23 “Men will clap their hands at him And will hiss him from his place.
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