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Job 29-30 Common English Bible (CEB)

Job’s previous blessing

29 Job took up his subject again:

Oh, that life was like it used to be,
        like days when God watched over me;
    when his lamp shone on my head,
        I walked by his light in the dark;
    when I was in my prime;
        when God’s counsel was in my tent;
    when the Almighty was with me,
        my children around me;
    when my steps were washed with cream
        and a rock poured out pools of oil for me.

Previous honor

When I went out to the city gate,
        took my seat in the square,
    the young saw me and drew back;
        the old rose and stood;
    princes restrained speech,
        put their hand on their mouth;
10     the voices of officials were hushed,
        their tongue stuck to their palate.

Job’s implementation of justice

11 Indeed, the ear that heard blessed me;
        the eye that looked commended me,
12     because I rescued the weak who cried out,
        the orphans who lacked help.
13 The blessing of the perishing reached me;
    I made the widow’s heart sing;
14 I put on justice, and it clothed me,
    righteousness as my coat and turban;
15 I was eyes to the blind,
    feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy;
    the case I didn’t know, I examined.
17 I shattered the fangs of the wicked,
    rescued prey from their teeth.

Job’s expected blessing

18 I thought, I’ll die in my nest,
        multiply days like sand,[a]
19     my roots opening to water,
        dew lingering on my branches,
20     my honor newly with me,
        my bow ever successful in my hand.

Previous honor

21 People listened to me and waited,
    were silent for my advice.
22 After my speech, they didn’t respond.
    My words fell gently on them;
23         they waited for me as for rain,
        opened their mouth as for spring rain.
24 I smiled[b] on them; they couldn’t believe it.
    They never showed me disfavor.
25 I decided their path, sat as chief.
    I lived like a king with his troops,
        like one who comforts mourners.


30 But now those younger than I mock me,
    whose fathers I refused to put beside my sheepdogs.
Their strength, what’s it to me,
    their energy having perished?
Stiff from want and hunger,
    those who gnaw dry ground,
    yesterday’s desolate waste,
    who pluck off the leaves on a bush,
    the root of the broom—
    a shrub is their food.
People banish them from society,
        shout at them as if to a thief;
    so they live in scary ravines,
        holes in the ground and rocks.
Among shrubs, they make sounds like donkeys;
    they are huddled together under a bush,
    children of fools and the nameless,
        whipped out of the land.

Specific mocking behavior

And now I’m their song;
    I’m their cliché!
10 They detest me, keep their distance,
    don’t withhold spit from my face.
11 Because he loosened my bowstring and afflicted me,
    they throw off restraint in my presence.
12 On the right, upstarts[c] rise and target my feet,
    build their siege ramps against me,
13     destroy my road, profit from my fall,
        with no help.
14 They advance as if through a destroyed wall;[d]
    they roll along beneath the ruin.
15 Terrors crash upon me;
    they sweep away my honor like wind;
        my safety disappears like a cloud.

Accusation against God

16 Now my life is poured out on me;
    days of misery have seized me.
17 At night he bores my bones;
    my gnawing pain won’t rest.
18 With great force he grasps[e] my clothing;[f]
    it binds me like the neck of my shirt.
19 He hurls me into mud;
    I’m a cliché, like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you, and you don’t answer;
    I stand up, but you just look at me.
21 You are cruel to me,
    attack me with the strength of your hand.
22 You lift me to the wind and make me ride;
    you melt me in its roar.
23 I know you will return me to death,
    the house appointed for all the living.

Job’s agony

24 Surely he won’t strike someone in ruins
        if in distress he cries out to him,
25     if I didn’t weep for those who have a difficult day
        or my soul grieve for the needy;
26     for I awaited good, but evil came;
        I expected light, but gloom arrived.
27 My insides, churning, are never quiet;
    days of affliction confront me.
28 I walk in the dark, lacking sunshine;
    I rise in the assembly and cry out.
29 I have become a brother to jackals,
    a companion to young ostriches.
30 My skin is charred;
    my bones are scorched by the heat.
31 My lyre is for mourning,
    my flute, a weeping sound.


  1. Job 29:18 Heb uncertain
  2. Job 29:24 Or laughed at
  3. Job 30:12 Heb uncertain
  4. Job 30:14 Or a wide opening
  5. Job 30:18 LXX
  6. Job 30:18 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible


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