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Job 23-24 Common English Bible (CEB)

Grant me a trial

23 Job answered:

Today my complaint is again bitter;[a]
    my strength is weighed down because of my groaning.
Oh, that I could know how to find him—
    come to his dwelling place;
    I would lay out my case before him,
        fill my mouth with arguments,
    know the words with which he would answer,
        understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me through brute force?
    No, he would surely listen to me.
There those who do the right thing can argue with him;
    I could escape from my judge forever.

God’s hiddenness

Look, I go east; he’s not there,
    west, and don’t discover him;
    north in his activity, and I don’t grasp him;
    he turns south, and I don’t see.
10 Surely he knows my way;
    when he tests me,
    I will emerge as gold.
11 My feet have stayed right in his tracks.
    I have kept his way and not left it,
12     kept the commandments from his lips and not departed,
    valued the words from his mouth more than my food.

Dread

13 He is of one mind; who can reverse it?
    What he desires, he does.
14 He carries out what is decreed for me
    and can do many similar things with me.
15 Therefore, I am scared by his presence;
    I think and become afraid of him.
16 God has weakened my mind;
    the Almighty has frightened me.
17 Still I’m not annihilated by darkness;
    he has hidden deep darkness from me.

Absence of justice

24 Why doesn’t the Almighty establish times for punishment?[b]
    Why can’t those who know him see his days?
People move boundary stones,
        herd flocks they’ve stolen,
    drive off an orphan’s donkey,
        take a widow’s ox as collateral,
    thrust the poor out of the way,
        make the land’s needy hide together.
They are like the wild donkeys in the desert;
    they go forth at dawn searching for prey;
        the wasteland is food for their young.
They gather their food in the field,
    glean in unproductive vineyards,
    spend the night naked, unclothed,
        in the cold without a cover,
    wet from mountain rains,
        with no refuge, huddled against a rock.
The orphan is stolen from the breast;
    the infant[c] of the poor is taken as collateral.
10 The poor go around naked, without clothes,
    carry bundles of grain while hungry,
11     crush olives between millstones,[d]
    tread winepresses, but remain thirsty.
12 From the city, the dying cry out;
    the throat of the mortally wounded screams, but God assigns no blame.

Sinners’ conduct

13 They rebel against light,
    don’t acknowledge its direction,
    don’t dwell in its paths.
14 The murderer rises at twilight,
    kills the poor and needy;
    at night, they are like a thief.
15 The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
    thinking, No eye can see me,
    and puts a mask over his face.
16 In the dark they break into houses;
    they shut themselves in by day;
    they don’t know the light.
17 Deep darkness is morning to them
    because they recognize the horror of darkness.
18 They are scum on the water’s surface;
    their portion of the land is cursed;
    no one walks down a path in the vineyards.
19 Drought and heat steal melted snow,
    just as the underworld[e] steals sinners.
20 The womb forgets them;
    the worm consumes them;
        they aren’t remembered,
        and so wickedness is shattered like a tree.
21 They prey on the barren, the childless,
    do nothing good for the widow.
22 They drag away the strong by force;
    they may get up but without guarantee of survival.
23 They make themselves secure;
        they are at ease.
His[f] eyes are on their ways.
24 They are exalted for a short time, but no longer.
    They are humbled then gathered in like everyone else;
        cut off like heads of grain.
25 If this isn’t so, who can prove me a liar
    and make my words disappear?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 23:2 Vulg, Syr, Tg; MT my complaint is rebellious.
  2. Job 24:1 Heb lacks for punishment.
  3. Job 24:9 Reading Heb we‘ul (infant) for we‘al (against)
  4. Job 24:11 Heb uncertain
  5. Job 24:19 Heb Sheol
  6. Job 24:23 Or God’s
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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