Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be Righteous

25 Then (A)Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“Dominion and fear are with God;[a]
    he makes peace in his high heaven.
Is there any number to his (B)armies?
    Upon whom does his (C)light not arise?
How then can man be (D)in the right before God?
    How can he who is (E)born of woman be (F)pure?
Behold, even the moon is not bright,
    and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
(G)how much less man, who is (H)a maggot,
    and (I)the son of man, who is a worm!”

Job Replies: God's Majesty Is Unsearchable

26 Then Job answered and said:

“How you have (J)helped him who has no power!
    How you have saved (K)the arm that has no strength!
How you have (L)counseled him who has no wisdom,
    and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
With whose help have you uttered words,
    and whose breath (M)has come out from you?
The (N)dead tremble
    under the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is (O)naked before God,[b]
    and (P)Abaddon has no covering.
He (Q)stretches out the north over (R)the void
    and hangs the earth on nothing.
He (S)binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
    and the cloud is not split open under them.
He covers the face of the full moon[c]
    and (T)spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has inscribed (U)a circle on the face of the waters
    at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 (V)The pillars of heaven tremble
    and are astounded at his (W)rebuke.
12 By his power he (X)stilled the sea;
    by his understanding he shattered (Y)Rahab.
13 (Z)By his wind the heavens were made fair;
    his hand pierced (AA)the fleeing serpent.
14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his (AB)ways,
    and how small (AC)a whisper do we hear of him!
    But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity

27 And Job again (AD)took up his discourse, and said:

“As God lives, who has (AE)taken away my right,
    and the Almighty, who has (AF)made my soul bitter,
as long as my breath is in me,
    and (AG)the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak (AH)falsehood,
    and my tongue will not utter (AI)deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right;
    till I die I will not put away my (AJ)integrity from me.
I (AK)hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
    my heart does not (AL)reproach me for any of my days.

“Let my enemy be as the wicked,
    and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
(AM)For what is the hope of the godless (AN)when God cuts him off,
    when God takes away his life?
(AO)Will God hear his cry
    when distress comes upon him?
10 Will he (AP)take delight in the Almighty?
    Will he call upon God at all times?
11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
    (AQ)what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;
    why then have you become altogether vain?

13 (AR)“This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
    and the heritage that (AS)oppressors receive from the Almighty:
14 If his (AT)children are multiplied, it is for (AU)the sword,
    and his descendants have not enough bread.
15 Those who survive him the pestilence buries,
    and his (AV)widows do not weep.
16 Though he (AW)heap up silver like dust,
    and pile up clothing like clay,
17 he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,
    and (AX)the innocent will divide the silver.
18 He builds his (AY)house like a moth's,
    like (AZ)a booth that (BA)a watchman makes.
19 He goes to bed rich, but will (BB)do so no more;
    he opens his eyes, and (BC)his wealth is gone.
20 (BD)Terrors overtake him like (BE)a flood;
    in the night a whirlwind (BF)carries him off.
21 (BG)The east wind lifts him up and he is gone;
    it (BH)sweeps him out of his place.
22 It[d] hurls at him (BI)without pity;
    he flees from its[e] power in headlong flight.
23 It (BJ)claps its hands at him
    and (BK)hisses at him from its place.

Job Continues: Where Is Wisdom?

28 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
    and a place for gold that they (BL)refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
    and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness
    and searches out to the farthest limit
    the ore in (BM)gloom and (BN)deep darkness.
He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
    they are forgotten by travelers;
    they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
As for the earth, (BO)out of it comes bread,
    but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of (BP)sapphires,[f]
    and it has dust of gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows,
    and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
(BQ)The proud beasts have not trodden it;
    (BR)the lion has not passed over it.

“Man puts his hand to (BS)the flinty rock
    and overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
    and his eye sees every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,
    and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.

12 (BT)“But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its worth,
    and it is not found in (BU)the land of the living.
14 (BV)The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
    and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It (BW)cannot be bought for gold,
    and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in (BX)the gold of (BY)Ophir,
    in precious (BZ)onyx or (CA)sapphire.
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
    nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of (CB)coral or of crystal;
    the price of wisdom is above (CC)(CD)pearls.
19 (CE)The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
    nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20 “From where, then, does wisdom come?
    And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of (CF)all living
    and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 (CG)Abaddon and Death say,
    ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

23 (CH)“God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place.
24 For he (CI)looks to the ends of the earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he (CJ)gave to the wind its weight
    and apportioned the waters by measure,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
    and (CK)a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27 then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to man,
‘Behold, (CL)the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to (CM)turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Job's Summary Defense

29 And Job again (CN)took up his discourse, and said:

“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
    as in the days when God watched over me,
when his (CO)lamp shone upon my head,
    and by his light I walked through darkness,
as I was in my prime,[g]
    when the (CP)friendship of God was upon my tent,
when the Almighty was yet with me,
    when my (CQ)children were all around me,
when my steps were (CR)washed with (CS)butter,
    and (CT)the rock poured out for me streams of (CU)oil!
When I went out to (CV)the gate of the city,
    when I prepared my seat in the square,
the young men saw me and withdrew,
    and the aged rose and stood;
the princes refrained from talking
    and (CW)laid their hand on their mouth;
10 the voice of the nobles was hushed,
    and their (CX)tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
    and when the eye saw, it approved,
12 because I (CY)delivered the poor who cried for help,
    and the fatherless who had none to help him.
13 (CZ)The blessing of him who was (DA)about to perish came upon me,
    and I caused (DB)the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I (DC)put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
    my justice was like a robe and (DD)a turban.
15 I was (DE)eyes to the blind
    and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
    and I searched out (DF)the cause of him whom I did not know.
17 I (DG)broke (DH)the fangs of the unrighteous
    and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18 (DI)Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my (DJ)nest,
    and I shall multiply my days as (DK)the sand,
19 my (DL)roots spread out to (DM)the waters,
    with the dew all night on my (DN)branches,
20 my glory fresh with me,
    and my (DO)bow ever (DP)new in my hand.’

21 “Men listened to me and waited
    and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After I spoke they did not speak again,
    and my word (DQ)dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
    and they (DR)opened their mouths as for the (DS)spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
    and (DT)the light of my (DU)face they did not cast down.
25 I chose their way and sat as chief,
    and I lived like (DV)a king among his troops,
    like one who comforts mourners.

30 “But now they (DW)laugh at me,
    men who are (DX)younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
    to set with the dogs of my flock.
What could I gain from the strength of their hands,
    (DY)men whose (DZ)vigor is gone?
Through want and hard hunger
    they (EA)gnaw (EB)the dry ground by night in (EC)waste and desolation;
they pick saltwort and the leaves of bushes,
    and the roots of the broom tree for their food.[h]
(ED)They are driven out from human company;
    they shout after them as after a thief.
In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell,
    in holes of the earth and of (EE)the rocks.
Among the bushes they (EF)bray;
    under (EG)the nettles they huddle together.
A senseless, a nameless brood,
    they have been whipped out of the land.

“And now I have become their (EH)song;
    I am (EI)a byword to them.
10 They (EJ)abhor me; they keep aloof from me;
    they do not hesitate to (EK)spit at the sight of me.
11 Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,
    they have cast off restraint[i] in my presence.
12 On my (EL)right hand the rabble rise;
    they push away my feet;
    they (EM)cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13 They break up my path;
    they promote my (EN)calamity;
    they need no one to help them.
14 As through a wide (EO)breach they come;
    amid the crash they roll on.
15 (EP)Terrors are turned upon me;
    my honor is pursued as by the wind,
    and my prosperity has passed away like (EQ)a cloud.

16 “And now my soul is (ER)poured out within me;
    days of affliction have taken hold of me.
17 (ES)The night (ET)racks my bones,
    and the pain that (EU)gnaws me takes no rest.
18 With great force my garment is (EV)disfigured;
    it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.
19 God[j] has cast me into the mire,
    and I have become like (EW)dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you for help and you do not answer me;
    I stand, and you only look at me.
21 You have (EX)turned cruel to me;
    with the might of your hand you (EY)persecute me.
22 (EZ)You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it,
    and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
23 (FA)For I know that you will bring me to death
    and to the house appointed for (FB)all living.

24 “Yet does not one in a (FC)heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
    and in his disaster cry for help?[k]
25 Did not I (FD)weep for him whose day was hard?
    Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
26 But (FE)when I hoped for good, evil came,
    and when I waited for light, (FF)darkness came.
27 My inward parts are in turmoil and never still;
    days of affliction (FG)come to meet me.
28 I (FH)go about darkened, but not by the sun;
    I stand up in (FI)the assembly and cry for help.
29 I am a brother of (FJ)jackals
    and a companion of (FK)ostriches.
30 My (FL)skin turns black and falls from me,
    and my (FM)bones burn with heat.
31 My (FN)lyre is (FO)turned to mourning,
    and my (FP)pipe to the voice of those who weep.

Job's Final Appeal

31 “I have made a covenant with my (FQ)eyes;
    how then could I gaze at a virgin?
What would be (FR)my portion from God above
    and (FS)my heritage from the Almighty on high?
Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
    and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
(FT)Does not he see my ways
    and (FU)number all my steps?

“If I have walked with falsehood
    and my foot has hastened to deceit;
(Let me be (FV)weighed in a just balance,
    and let God know my integrity!)
if my step has turned aside from the way
    and (FW)my heart has gone after my eyes,
    and if any (FX)spot has stuck to my hands,
then let me (FY)sow, and another eat,
    and let what grows for me[l] be rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
    and I have (FZ)lain in wait at my neighbor's door,
10 then let my wife (GA)grind for another,
    and let others (GB)bow down on her.
11 For that would be a heinous crime;
    that would be an iniquity (GC)to be punished by the judges;
12 for that would be a fire (GD)that consumes as far as Abaddon,
    and it would burn to the root all my increase.

13 “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,
    when they brought a complaint against me,
14 what then shall I do when God rises up?
    When he (GE)makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
15 Did (GF)not he who made me in the womb make him?
    And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16 “If I have (GG)withheld anything that the poor desired,
    or have (GH)caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 or have eaten my morsel alone,
    and the fatherless has not eaten of it
18 (for from my youth the fatherless[m] grew up with me as with a father,
    and from my mother's womb I guided the widow[n]),
19 if I have seen anyone (GI)perish for (GJ)lack of clothing,
    or the needy without (GK)covering,
20 if his body has not (GL)blessed me,[o]
    and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against (GM)the fatherless,
    because I saw my help in (GN)the gate,
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
    and let my arm be broken from its socket.
23 For I was (GO)in terror of calamity from God,
    and I could not have faced his (GP)majesty.

24 (GQ)“If I have made gold my (GR)trust
    or called (GS)fine gold my confidence,
25 if I have (GT)rejoiced because my wealth was abundant
    or because (GU)my hand had found much,
26 (GV)if I have looked at the sun[p] when it shone,
    or (GW)the moon moving in splendor,
27 and my heart has been secretly enticed,
    and my mouth has kissed my hand,
28 this also would be (GX)an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
    for I would have been false to God above.

29 “If I have (GY)rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,
    or exulted when evil overtook him
30 ((GZ)I have not let my mouth sin
    by asking for his life with a curse),
31 if the men of my tent have not said,
    ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his (HA)meat?’
32 ((HB)the sojourner has not lodged in the street;
    I have opened my doors to the traveler),
33 if I (HC)have concealed my transgressions (HD)as others do[q]
    by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
34 because I stood in great fear of (HE)the multitude,
    and the contempt of families terrified me,
    so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—
35 Oh, that I had one to hear me!
    (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty (HF)answer me!)
    Oh, that I had (HG)the indictment written by my adversary!
36 Surely I would carry it on my (HH)shoulder;
    I would (HI)bind it on me as (HJ)a crown;
37 I would give him an account of all my steps;
    like a prince I would approach him.

38 “If my land has cried out against me
    and its furrows have wept together,
39 (HK)if I have eaten its yield without payment
    and made its owners (HL)breathe their last,
40 let (HM)thorns grow instead of wheat,
    and foul weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.


  1. Job 25:2 Hebrew him
  2. Job 26:6 Hebrew him
  3. Job 26:9 Or his throne
  4. Job 27:22 Or He (that is, God); also verse 23
  5. Job 27:22 Or his; also verse 23
  6. Job 28:6 Or lapis lazuli; also verse 16
  7. Job 29:4 Hebrew my autumn days
  8. Job 30:4 Or warmth
  9. Job 30:11 Hebrew the bridle
  10. Job 30:19 Hebrew He
  11. Job 30:24 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  12. Job 31:8 Or let my descendants
  13. Job 31:18 Hebrew he
  14. Job 31:18 Hebrew her
  15. Job 31:20 Hebrew if his loins have not blessed me
  16. Job 31:26 Hebrew the light
  17. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did

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