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Job 7-8 Common English Bible (CEB)

The human condition

Isn’t slavery everyone’s condition on earth,
    our days like those of a hired worker?
        Like a slave we pant for a shadow,
            await our task like a hired worker.
So I have inherited months of emptiness;
    nights of toil have been measured out for me.
If I lie down and think—When will I get up?—
    night drags on,[a] and restless thoughts fill me until dawn.
My flesh is covered with worms and crusted earth;
    my skin hardens and oozes.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;
    they reach their end without hope.[b]
Remember that my life is wind;
    my eyes won’t see pleasure again.
The eye that sees me now will no longer look on me;
    your eyes will be on me, and I won’t exist.
A cloud breaks apart and moves on—
    like the one who descends to the grave[c] and won’t rise,
10         won’t return home again,
        won’t be recognized in town anymore.

Job wants to be left alone

11 But I won’t keep quiet;
    I will speak in the adversity of my spirit,
    groan in the bitterness of my life.
12 Am I Sea[d] or the Sea Monster[e]
    that you place me under guard?
13 If I say, “My couch will comfort me,”
    my bed will diminish my murmuring.
14 You scare me with dreams,
    frighten me with visions.
15 I would choose strangling
    and death instead of my bones.
16 I reject life;[f] I don’t want to live long;
    leave me alone, for my days are empty.

A parody of Psalm 8

17 What are human beings, that you exalt them,
    that you take note of them,
18     visit them each morning,
    test them every moment?
19 Why not look away from me;
    let me alone until I swallow my spit?
20 If I sinned, what did I do to you,
    guardian of people?
Why have you made me your target
    so that I’m a burden to myself?
21 Why not forgive my sin,
    overlook my iniquity?
Then I would lie down in the dust;
    you would search hard for me,
    and I would not exist.

Bildad defends God

Bildad from Shuah responded:

How long will you mouth such things
    such that your utterances become a strong wind?
Does God pervert justice,
    or does the Almighty distort what is right?
If your children sinned against him,
    then he delivered them into the power of their rebellion.
If you will search eagerly for God,
    plead with the Almighty.
If you are pure and do the right thing,
    then surely he will become active on your behalf
    and reward your innocent dwelling.
Although your former state was ordinary,
    your future will be extraordinary.

Tradition

Ask a previous generation
        and verify the findings of your ancestors,
    for we are only recently here and don’t know
        because our days on earth are a shadow.
10 Won’t they instruct you and tell you;
    will words not[g] proceed from their hearts?

Examples from nature

11 Does papyrus grow apart from a marsh?
    Does a reed flourish without water?
12         While still tender, uncut,
        it will wither before every other grass.
13 So are the paths of all who forget God.
    Hope perishes for the godless,
14     whose confidence is a fragile thing,[h]
        their trust, a spider’s web.
15 He leans on its web, and it doesn’t stand;
    grasps it, and it can’t remain in place.
16 It’s like a well-watered plant in the sun;
    its runners spread over its gardens.
17 Its roots are entwined over a pile of rocks,
    for it sees a home among stones.
18 If it’s uprooted from its place,
    it lies, saying, “I can’t see you.”
19 Surely its way is a joy,
    for from the dust other plants[i] sprout.

God’s faithfulness

20 Surely God won’t reject integrity,
    won’t strengthen the hand of the wicked.
21 He will still fill your mouth with joy,
    your lips with a victorious shout.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
    and the tent of the wicked will vanish.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 7:4 Heb uncertain
  2. Job 7:6 Or thread
  3. Job 7:9 Heb Sheol
  4. Job 7:12 Heb Yam, a sea god
  5. Job 7:12 Heb Tannin, a sea dragon
  6. Job 7:16 Heb lacks life.
  7. Job 8:10 Heb lacks not.
  8. Job 8:14 Heb uncertain
  9. Job 8:19 Heb lacks plants.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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