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Job 23-25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Job Replies: My Complaint Is Bitter

23 Then Job answered:

“Today also my complaint is bitter;[a]
    his[b] 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[c] 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[d] 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[e] has terrified me;
17 If only I could vanish in darkness,
    and thick darkness would cover my face![f]

Job Complains of Violence on the Earth

24 “Why are times not kept by the Almighty,[g]
    and why do those who know him never see his days?
The wicked[h] remove landmarks;
    they seize flocks and pasture them.
They drive away the donkey of the orphan;
    they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
They thrust the needy off the road;
    the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
Like wild asses in the desert
    they go out to their toil,
scavenging in the wasteland
    food for their young.
They reap in a field not their own
    and they glean in the vineyard of the wicked.
They lie all night naked, without clothing,
    and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains,
    and cling to the rock for want of shelter.

“There are those who snatch the orphan child from the breast,
    and take as a pledge the infant of the poor.
10 They go about naked, without clothing;
    though hungry, they carry the sheaves;
11 between their terraces[i] they press out oil;
    they tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst.
12 From the city the dying groan,
    and the throat of the wounded cries for help;
    yet God pays no attention to their prayer.

13 “There are those who rebel against the light,
    who are not acquainted with its ways,
    and do not stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises at dusk
    to kill the poor and needy,
    and in the night is like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
    saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
    and he disguises his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses;
    by day they shut themselves up;
    they do not know the light.
17 For deep darkness is morning to all of them;
    for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

18 “Swift are they on the face of the waters;
    their portion in the land is cursed;
    no treader turns toward their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
    so does Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
    the worm finds them sweet;
they are no longer remembered;
    so wickedness is broken like a tree.

21 “They harm[j] the childless woman,
    and do no good to the widow.
22 Yet God[k] prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
    they rise up when they despair of life.
23 He gives them security, and they are supported;
    his eyes are upon their ways.
24 They are exalted a little while, and then are gone;
    they wither and fade like the mallow;[l]
    they are cut off like the heads of grain.
25 If it is not so, who will prove me a liar,
    and show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Bildad Speaks: How Can a Mortal Be Righteous Before God?

25 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:

“Dominion and fear are with God;[m]
    he makes peace in his high heaven.
Is there any number to his armies?
    Upon whom does his light not arise?
How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
    How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon is not bright
    and the stars are not pure in his sight,
how much less a mortal, who is a maggot,
    and a human being, who is a worm!”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 23:2 Syr Vg Tg: Heb rebellious
  2. Job 23:2 Gk Syr: Heb my
  3. Job 23:9 Syr Vg: Heb he turns
  4. Job 23:12 Gk Vg: Heb from
  5. Job 23:16 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  6. Job 23:17 Or But I am not destroyed by the darkness; he has concealed the thick darkness from me
  7. Job 24:1 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  8. Job 24:2 Gk: Heb they
  9. Job 24:11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Job 24:21 Gk Tg: Heb feed on or associate with
  11. Job 24:22 Heb he
  12. Job 24:24 Gk: Heb like all others
  13. Job 25:2 Heb him
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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