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Chapter 27

Job’s Reply. Job took up his theme again and said:

As God lives,[a] who takes away my right,(A)
    the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
So long as I still have life breath in me,
    the breath of God in my nostrils,
My lips shall not speak falsehood,
    nor my tongue utter deceit!
Far be it from me to account you right;
    till I die I will not renounce my innocence.(B)
My justice I maintain and I will not relinquish it;
    my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
[b]Let my enemy be as the wicked
    and my adversary as the unjust!
For what hope has the impious when he is cut off,
    when God requires his life?
Will God then listen to his cry
    when distress comes upon him,
10 If he delights in the Almighty
    and calls upon God constantly?
11 I will teach you what is in God’s hand,
    and the way of the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 Look, you yourselves have all seen it;
    why do you spend yourselves in empty words!
13 This is the portion of the wicked with God,
    the heritage oppressors receive from the Almighty:(C)
14 Though his children be many, the sword awaits them.
    His descendants shall want for bread.
15 His survivors shall be buried in death;
    their widows shall not weep.
16 Though he heap up silver like dust
    and store away mounds of clothing,
17 What he has stored the righteous shall wear,
    and the innocent shall divide the silver.
18 He builds his house as of cobwebs,
    or like a booth put up by a watchman.
19 He lies down a rich man, one last time;
    he opens his eyes—nothing is there.(D)
20 Terrors flood over him like water,
    at night the tempest carries him off.
21 The east wind seizes him and he is gone;
    it sweeps him from his place;
22 It hurls itself at him without pity,
    as he tries to flee from its power.
23 It claps its hands at him,
    and whistles at him from its place.


  1. 27:2–6 As God lives…far be it: Job affirms two oaths about his innocence by the very God whom he has accused of violating his right. Such is the paradoxical situation of a tortured person who cannot give the lie to his personal justice, but also refuses to renounce God. He dares God to be “just” as he, Job, understands this.
  2. 27:7–23 These verses are inconsistent with Job’s views elsewhere, and may be part of a missing speech of Zophar; cf. notes on 24:18–24 and 25:1. Or possibly they are an ironic description of the fate of the three friends.

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