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Job 3-4 Common English Bible (CEB)

Job responds differently

Afterward, Job spoke up and cursed the day he was born.

Job said:
Perish the day I was born,
    the night someone said,
    “A boy has been conceived.”
That day—let it be darkness;
    may God above ignore it,
    and light not shine on it.
May deepest darkness claim it
    and a cloud linger over it;
    may all that darkens the day terrify it.
May gloom seize that night;
    may it not be counted in the days of a year;
    may it not appear in the months.
May that night be childless;
    may no happy singing come in it.
May those who curse the day curse it,
    those with enough skill to awaken Leviathan.
May its evening stars stay dark;
    may it wait in vain for light;
    may it not see dawn’s gleam,
10     because it didn’t close the doors of my mother’s womb,[a]
    didn’t hide trouble from my eyes.

Job laments his misfortune

11 Why didn’t I die at birth,
    come forth from the womb and die?
12 Why did knees receive me
    and breasts let me nurse?
13 For now I would be lying down quietly;
    I’d sleep; rest would be mine
14         with kings and earth’s advisors,
        who rebuild ruins for themselves,
15         or with princes who have gold,
        who fill their houses with silver.
16 Or why wasn’t I like a buried miscarried infant,
    like babies who never see light?
17 There the wicked rage no more;
    there the weak rest.
18 Prisoners are entirely at ease;
    they don’t hear a boss’s voice.
19 Both small and great are there;
    a servant is free from his masters.
20 Why is light given to the hard worker,
    life to those bitter of soul,
21     those waiting in vain for death,
        who search for it more than for treasure,
22     who rejoice excitedly,
        who are thrilled when they find a grave?
23 Why is light given[b] to the person whose way is hidden,
    whom God has fenced in?
24 My groans become my bread;
    my roars pour out like water.
25 Because I was afraid of something awful,
    and it arrived;
    what I dreaded came to me.
26 I had no ease, quiet, or rest,
    and trembling came.

Eliphaz tries to comfort Job

Then Eliphaz, a native of Teman, responded:

If one tries to answer you, will you be annoyed?
    But who can hold words back?
Look, you’ve instructed many
    and given strength to drooping hands.
Your words have raised up the falling;
    you’ve steadied failing knees.
But now it comes to you, and you are dismayed;
    it has struck you, and you are frightened.
Isn’t your religion the source of[c] your confidence;
    the integrity of your conduct, the source of your hope?

Sinners don’t live long

Think! What innocent person has ever perished?
    When have those who do the right thing been destroyed?
As I’ve observed, those who plow sin
    and sow trouble will harvest it.
When God breathes deeply, they perish;
    by a breath of his nostril they are annihilated.
10 The roar of a lion and snarl of the king of beasts—
    yet the teeth of lions are shattered;
11         the lion perishes without prey,
            and its cubs are scattered.

A frightening dream

12 But a word sneaked up on me;
    my ears caught a hint of it.
13 In profound thoughts, visions of night,
    when deep sleep falls on people,
14         fear and dread struck me;
            all of my bones shook.
15 A breeze swept by my face;
    the hair of my skin bristled.
16 It stopped. I didn’t recognize its visible form,
    although a figure was in front of my eyes.
Silence! Then I heard a voice:
17     “Can a human be more righteous than God,
        a person purer than their maker?”

Its interpretation

18 If he doesn’t trust his servants
        and levels a charge against his messengers,
19     how much less those who dwell in houses of clay,
        whose foundations are in dust,
        and who are crushed like a moth?
20 They are smashed between morning and evening;
    they perish forever without anyone knowing.
21 Isn’t their tent cord pulled up?
    They die without wisdom.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. Job 3:10 Heb lacks mother’s.
  2. Job 3:23 Heb lacks is light given.
  3. Job 4:6 Heb lacks the source.
  4. Job 4:21 Some interpreters end the quotation here rather than 4:17.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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