2 “Will you be patient and let me say a word? For who could keep from speaking out?
3 “In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. 4 Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees. 5 But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. 6 Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?
7 “Stop and think! Do the innocent die? When have the upright been destroyed? 8 My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same. 9 A breath from God destroys them. They vanish in a blast of his anger. 10 The lion roars and the wildcat snarls, but the teeth of strong lions will be broken. 11 The fierce lion will starve for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness will be scattered.
12 “This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear. 13 It came to me in a disturbing vision at night, when people are in a deep sleep. 14 Fear gripped me, and my bones trembled. 15 A spirit[a] swept past my face, and my hair stood on end.[b] 16 The spirit stopped, but I couldn’t see its shape. There was a form before my eyes. In the silence I heard a voice say, 17 ‘Can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’
18 “If God does not trust his own angels and has charged his messengers with foolishness, 19 how much less will he trust people made of clay! They are made of dust, crushed as easily as a moth. 20 They are alive in the morning but dead by evening, gone forever without a trace. 21 Their tent-cords are pulled and the tent collapses, and they die in ignorance.
Eliphaz’s Response Continues
5 “Cry for help, but will anyone answer you? Which of the angels[c] will help you? 2 Surely resentment destroys the fool, and jealousy kills the simple. 3 I have seen that fools may be successful for the moment, but then comes sudden disaster. 4 Their children are abandoned far from help; they are crushed in court with no one to defend them. 5 The hungry devour their harvest, even when it is guarded by brambles.[d] The thirsty pant after their wealth.[e] 6 But evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth. 7 People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.
8 “If I were you, I would go to God and present my case to him. 9 He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles. 10 He gives rain for the earth and water for the fields. 11 He gives prosperity to the poor and protects those who suffer. 12 He frustrates the plans of schemers so the work of their hands will not succeed. 13 He traps the wise in their own cleverness so their cunning schemes are thwarted. 14 They find it is dark in the daytime, and they grope at noon as if it were night. 15 He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong, and rescues them from the clutches of the powerful. 16 And so at last the poor have hope, and the snapping jaws of the wicked are shut.
17 “But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin. 18 For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal. 19 From six disasters he will rescue you; even in the seventh, he will keep you from evil. 20 He will save you from death in time of famine, from the power of the sword in time of war. 21 You will be safe from slander and have no fear when destruction comes. 22 You will laugh at destruction and famine; wild animals will not terrify you. 23 You will be at peace with the stones of the field, and its wild animals will be at peace with you. 24 You will know that your home is safe. When you survey your possessions, nothing will be missing. 25 You will have many children; your descendants will be as plentiful as grass! 26 You will go to the grave at a ripe old age, like a sheaf of grain harvested at the proper time!
27 “We have studied life and found all this to be true. Listen to my counsel, and apply it to yourself.”
Job’s Second Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
6 Then Job spoke again:
2 “If my misery could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales, 3 they would outweigh all the sands of the sea. That is why I spoke impulsively. 4 For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. Their poison infects my spirit. God’s terrors are lined up against me. 5 Don’t I have a right to complain? Don’t wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen bellow when they have no food? 6 Don’t people complain about unsalted food? Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg?[f] 7 My appetite disappears when I look at it; I gag at the thought of eating it!
8 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my desire. 9 I wish he would crush me. I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me. 10 At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 But I don’t have the strength to endure. I have nothing to live for. 12 Do I have the strength of a stone? Is my body made of bronze? 13 No, I am utterly helpless, without any chance of success.
14 “One should be kind to a fainting friend, but you accuse me without any fear of the Almighty.[g] 15 My brothers, you have proved as unreliable as a seasonal brook that overflows its banks in the spring 16 when it is swollen with ice and melting snow. 17 But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears. The brook vanishes in the heat. 18 The caravans turn aside to be refreshed, but there is nothing to drink, so they die. 19 The caravans from Tema search for this water; the travelers from Sheba hope to find it. 20 They count on it but are disappointed. When they arrive, their hopes are dashed. 21 You, too, have given no help. You have seen my calamity, and you are afraid. 22 But why? Have I ever asked you for a gift? Have I begged for anything of yours for myself? 23 Have I asked you to rescue me from my enemies, or to save me from ruthless people? 24 Teach me, and I will keep quiet. Show me what I have done wrong. 25 Honest words can be painful, but what do your criticisms amount to? 26 Do you think your words are convincing when you disregard my cry of desperation? 27 You would even send an orphan into slavery[h] or sell a friend. 28 Look at me! Would I lie to your face? 29 Stop assuming my guilt, for I have done no wrong. 30 Do you think I am lying? Don’t I know the difference between right and wrong?
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