28 “Surely there is a [a]mine for silver And a place [b]where they refine gold. 2 “Iron is taken from the dust, And copper is smelted from rock. 3 “Man puts an end to darkness, And to the farthest limit he searches out The rock in gloom and deep shadow. 4 “He [c]sinks a shaft far from [d]habitation, Forgotten by the foot; They hang and swing to and fro far from men. 5 “The earth, from it comes food, And underneath it is turned up as fire. 6 “Its rocks are the [e]source of sapphires, And its dust contains gold. 7 “The path no bird of prey knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye caught sight of it. 8 “The [f]proud beasts have not trodden it, Nor has the fierce lion passed over it. 9 “He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the [g]base. 10 “He hews out channels through the rocks, And his eye sees anything precious. 11 “He dams up the streams from [h]flowing, And what is hidden he brings out to the light.
The Search for Wisdom Is Harder
12 “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13 “Man does not know its value, Nor is it 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 “Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, Nor can silver be weighed as its price. 16 “It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire. 17 “Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold. 18 “Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls. 19 “The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold. 20 “Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? 21 “Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living And concealed from the birds of the sky. 22 “[i]Abaddon and Death say, ‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’
23 “God understands its way, And He knows its place. 24 “For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens. 25 “When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by measure, 26 When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the thunderbolt, 27 Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out. 28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
Job’s Past Was Glorious
29 And Job again took up his discourse and said,
2 “Oh that I were as in months gone by, As in the days when God watched over me; 3 When His lamp shone over my head, Andby His light I walked through darkness; 4 As I was in [j]the prime of my days, When the [k]friendship of God was over my tent; 5 When [l]the Almighty was yet with me, And my children were around me; 6 When my steps were bathed in butter, And the rock poured out for me streams of oil! 7 “When I went out to the gate of the city, When I [m]took my seat in the square, 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, And the old men arose and stood. 9 “The princes stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths; 10 The voice of the nobles was [n]hushed, And their tongue stuck to their palate. 11 “For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, 12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper. 13 “The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. 14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban. 15 “I was eyes to the blind And feet to the lame. 16 “I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. 17 “I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth. 18 “Then I [o]thought, ‘I shall die [p]in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand. 19 ‘My root is spread out to the waters, And dew lies all night on my branch. 20 ‘My glory is ever new with me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.’
21 “To me they listened and waited, And kept silent for my counsel. 22 “After my words they did not speak again, And my speech dropped on them. 23 “They waited for me as for the rain, And opened their mouth as for the spring rain. 24 “I smiled on them when they did not believe, And the light of my face they did not cast down. 25 “I chose a way for them and sat as chief, And dwelt as a king among the troops, As one who comforted the mourners.
Job’s Present State Is Humiliating
30 “But now those younger than I mock me, Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock. 2 “Indeed, what good was the strength of their hands to me? Vigor had perished from them. 3 “From want and famine they are gaunt Who gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation, 4 Who pluck [q]mallow by the bushes, And whose food is the root of the broom shrub. 5 “They are driven from the community; They shout against them as against a thief, 6 So that they dwell in dreadful [r]valleys, In holes of the earth and of the rocks. 7 “Among the bushes they [s]cry out; Under the nettles they are gathered together. 8 “[t]Fools, even [u]those without a name, They were scourged from the land.
9 “And now I have become their [v]taunt, I have even become a byword to them. 10 “They abhor me and stand aloof from me, And they do not [w]refrain from spitting at my face. 11 “Because [x]He has loosed [y]His [z]bowstring and afflicted me, They have cast off the bridle before me. 12 “On the right hand their [aa]brood arises; They thrust aside my feet and build up against me their ways of destruction. 13 “They break up my path, They profit [ab]from my destruction; No one restrains them. 14 “As through a wide breach they come, [ac]Amid the tempest they roll on. 15 “Terrors are turned against me; They pursue my [ad]honor as the wind, And my [ae]prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
16 “And now my soul is poured out [af]within me; Days of affliction have seized me. 17 “At night it pierces my bones [ag]within me, And my gnawing pains take no rest. 18 “By a great force my garment is distorted; It binds me about as the collar of my coat. 19 “He has cast me into the mire, And I have become like dust and ashes. 20 “I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me. 21 “You have [ah]become cruel to me; With the might of Your hand You persecute me. 22 “You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride; And You dissolve me in a storm. 23 “For I know that You will bring me to death And to the house of meeting for all living.
24 “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, Or in his disaster therefore cry out for help? 25 “Have I not wept for the [ai]one whose life is hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? 26 “When I expected good, then evil came; When I waited for light, then darkness came. 27 “[aj]I am seething within and cannot relax; Days of affliction confront me. 28 “I go about [ak]mourning without comfort; I stand up in the assembly andcry out for help. 29 “I have become a brother to jackals And a companion of ostriches. 30 “My skin turns black [al]on me, And my bones burn with [am]fever. 31 “Therefore my harp [an]is turned to mourning, And my flute to the sound of those who weep.
Job Asserts His Integrity
31 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin? 2 “And what is the portion of God from above Or the heritage of the Almighty from on high? 3 “Is it not calamity to the unjust And disaster to those who work iniquity? 4 “Does He not see my ways And number all my steps?
5 “If I have walked with falsehood, And my foot has hastened after deceit, 6 Let Him weigh me with [ao]accurate scales, And let God know my integrity. 7 “If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart [ap]followed my eyes, Or if any spot has stuck to my hands, 8 Let me sow and another eat, And let my [aq]crops be uprooted.
9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or I have lurked at my neighbor’s doorway, 10 May my wife grind for another, And let others [ar]kneel down over her. 11 “For that would be a lustful crime; Moreover, it would be an iniquity punishable by judges. 12 “For it would be fire that consumes to [as]Abaddon, And would uproot all my [at]increase.
13 “If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves When they filed a complaint against me, 14 What then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him? 15 “Did not He who made me in the womb make him, And the same one fashion us in the womb?
16 “If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 Or have eaten my morsel alone, And the orphan has not [au]shared it 18 (But from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, And from [av]infancy I guided her), 19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or that the needy had no covering, 20 If his loins have not [aw]thanked me, And if he has not been warmed with the fleece of my sheep, 21 If I have lifted up my hand against the orphan, Because I saw [ax]I had support in the gate, 22 Let my shoulder fall from the [ay]socket, And my arm be broken off [az]at the elbow. 23 “For calamity from God is a terror to me, And because of His [ba]majesty I can do nothing.
24 “If I have put my confidence ingold, And called fine gold my trust, 25 If I have gloated because my wealth was great, And because my hand had secured so much; 26 If I have looked at the [bb]sun when it shone Or the moon going in splendor, 27 And my heart became secretly enticed, And my hand [bc]threw a kiss from my mouth, 28 That too would have been an iniquity calling for[bd]judgment, For I would have denied God above.
29 “Have I rejoiced at the extinction of my enemy, Or [be]exulted when evil befell him? 30 “[bf]No, I have not [bg]allowed my mouth to sin By asking for his life in a curse. 31 “Have the men of my tent not said, ‘Who can [bh]find one who has not been satisfied with his meat’? 32 “The alien has not lodged outside, For I have opened my doors to the [bi]traveler. 33 “Have I covered my transgressions like [bj]Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34 Because I feared the great multitude, And the contempt of families terrified me, And kept silent and did not go out of doors? 35 “Oh that I had one to hear me! Behold, here is my [bk]signature; Let the Almighty answer me! And the indictment which my adversary has written, 36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, I would bind it to myself like a crown. 37 “I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.
38 “If my land cries out against me, And its furrows weep together; 39 If I have eaten its [bl]fruit without money, Or have caused [bm]its owners to lose their lives, 40 Let briars [bn]grow instead of wheat, And stinkweed instead of barley.”
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