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Job 26-28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Job Replies: God’s Majesty Is Unsearchable

26 Then Job answered:

“How you have helped one who has no power!
    How you have assisted the arm that has no strength!
How you have counseled one who has no wisdom,
    and given much good advice!
With whose help have you uttered words,
    and whose spirit has come forth from you?
The shades below tremble,
    the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is naked before God,
    and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out Zaphon[a] over the void,
    and hangs the earth upon nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
    and the cloud is not torn open by them.
He covers the face of the full moon,
    and spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has described a circle on the face of the waters,
    at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble,
    and are astounded at his rebuke.
12 By his power he stilled the Sea;
    by his understanding he struck down Rahab.
13 By his wind the heavens were made fair;
    his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14 These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways;
    and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
    But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Job Maintains His Integrity

27 Job again took up his discourse and said:

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

“May my enemy be like the wicked,
    and may my opponent be like the unrighteous.
For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts them off,
    when God takes away their lives?
Will God hear their cry
    when trouble comes upon them?
10 Will they take delight in the Almighty?[c]
    Will they call upon God at all times?
11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
    that which is with the Almighty[d] I will not conceal.
12 All of you have seen it yourselves;
    why then have you become altogether vain?

13 “This is the portion of the wicked with God,
    and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:[e]
14 If their children are multiplied, it is for the sword;
    and their offspring have not enough to eat.
15 Those who survive them the pestilence buries,
    and their widows make no lamentation.
16 Though they heap up silver like dust,
    and pile up clothing like clay—
17 they may pile it up, but the just will wear it,
    and the innocent will divide the silver.
18 They build their houses like nests,
    like booths made by sentinels of the vineyard.
19 They go to bed with wealth, but will do so no more;
    they open their eyes, and it is gone.
20 Terrors overtake them like a flood;
    in the night a whirlwind carries them off.
21 The east wind lifts them up and they are gone;
    it sweeps them out of their place.
22 It[f] hurls at them without pity;
    they flee from its[g] power in headlong flight.
23 It[h] claps its[i] hands at them,
    and hisses at them from its[j] place.

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
    and a place for gold to be refined.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
    and copper is smelted from ore.
Miners put[k] an end to darkness,
    and search out to the farthest bound
    the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
They open shafts in a valley away from human habitation;
    they are forgotten by travelers,
    they sway suspended, remote from people.
As for the earth, out of it comes bread;
    but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires,[l]
    and its dust contains gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows,
    and the falcon’s eye has not seen it.
The proud wild animals have not trodden it;
    the lion has not passed over it.

“They put their hand to the flinty rock,
    and overturn mountains by the roots.
10 They cut out channels in the rocks,
    and their eyes see every precious thing.
11 The sources of the rivers they probe;[m]
    hidden things they bring to light.

12 “But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
13 Mortals do not know the way to it,[n]
    and it is not found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
    and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It cannot be gotten for gold,
    and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
    in precious onyx or sapphire.[o]
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
    nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
    the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The chrysolite of Ethiopia[p] cannot compare with it,
    nor can it be valued in pure gold.

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

23 “God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth,
    and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight,
    and apportioned out the waters by measure;
26 when he made a decree for the rain,
    and a way for the thunderbolt;
27 then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to humankind,
‘Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
    and to depart from evil is understanding.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 26:7 Or the North
  2. Job 27:2 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  3. Job 27:10 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  4. Job 27:11 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  5. Job 27:13 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  6. Job 27:22 Or He (that is God)
  7. Job 27:22 Or his
  8. Job 27:23 Or He (that is God)
  9. Job 27:23 Or his
  10. Job 27:23 Or his
  11. Job 28:3 Heb He puts
  12. Job 28:6 Or lapis lazuli
  13. Job 28:11 Gk Vg: Heb bind
  14. Job 28:13 Gk: Heb its price
  15. Job 28:16 Or lapis lazuli
  16. Job 28:19 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
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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