2 “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be your consolation. 3 Bear with me that I may speak, And after I have spoken, keep mocking.
4 “As for me, is my complaint against man? And if it were, why should I not be impatient? 5 Look at me and be astonished; Put your hand over your mouth. 6 Even when I remember I am terrified, And trembling takes hold of my flesh. 7 Why do the wicked live and become old, Yes, become mighty in power? 8 Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them. 10 Their bull breeds without failure; Their cow calves without miscarriage. 11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance. 12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, And rejoice to the sound of the flute. 13 They spend their days in wealth, And in a moment go down to the grave.[a] 14 Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. 15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’ 16 Indeed their prosperity is not in their hand; The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? How often does their destruction come upon them, The sorrows God distributes in His anger? 18 They are like straw before the wind, And like chaff that a storm carries away. 19 They say, ‘God lays up one’s[b] iniquity for his children’; Let Him recompense him, that he may know it. 20 Let his eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21 For what does he care about his household after him, When the number of his months is cut in half?
22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge, Since He judges those on high? 23 One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and secure; 24 His pails[c] are full of milk, And the marrow of his bones is moist. 25 Another man dies in the bitterness of his soul, Never having eaten with pleasure. 26 They lie down alike in the dust, And worms cover them.
27 “Look, I know your thoughts, And the schemes with which you would wrong me. 28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince? And where is the tent,[d] The dwelling place of the wicked?’ 29 Have you not asked those who travel the road? And do you not know their signs? 30 For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath. 31 Who condemns his way to his face? And who repays him for what he has done? 32 Yet he shall be brought to the grave, And a vigil kept over the tomb. 33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him; Everyone shall follow him, As countless have gone before him. 34 How then can you comfort me with empty words, Since falsehood remains in your answers?”
Eliphaz Accuses Job of Wickedness
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 “Can a man be profitable to God, Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous? Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless? 4 “Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you, And enters into judgment with you? 5 Is not your wickedness great, And your iniquity without end? 6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, And stripped the naked of their clothing. 7 You have not given the weary water to drink, And you have withheld bread from the hungry. 8 But the mighty man possessed the land, And the honorable man dwelt in it. 9 You have sent widows away empty, And the strength of the fatherless was crushed. 10 Therefore snares are all around you, And sudden fear troubles you, 11 Or darkness so that you cannot see; And an abundance of water covers you.
12 “Is not God in the height of heaven? And see the highest stars, how lofty they are! 13 And you say, ‘What does God know? Can He judge through the deep darkness? 14 Thick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see, And He walks above the circle of heaven.’ 15 Will you keep to the old way Which wicked men have trod, 16 Who were cut down before their time, Whose foundations were swept away by a flood? 17 They said to God, ‘Depart from us! What can the Almighty do to them?’[e] 18 Yet He filled their houses with good things; But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 “The righteous see it and are glad, And the innocent laugh at them: 20 ‘Surely our adversaries[f] are cut down, And the fire consumes their remnant.’
21 “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. 22 Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, And lay up His words in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; You will remove iniquity far from your tents. 24 Then you will lay your gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks. 25 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold[g] And your precious silver; 26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, And lift up your face to God. 27 You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, And you will pay your vows. 28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways. 29 When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come!’ Then He will save the humble person. 30 He will even deliver one who is not innocent; Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”
Job Proclaims God’s Righteous Judgments
23 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; My[h] hand is listless because of my groaning. 3 Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat! 4 I would present my case before Him, And fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would know the words which He would answer me, And understand what He would say to me. 6 Would He contend with me in His great power? No! But He would take note of me. 7 There the upright could reason with Him, And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.
8 “Look, I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9 When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. 10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.
13 “But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. 14 For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such things are with Him. 15 Therefore I am terrified at His presence; When I consider this, I am afraid of Him. 16 For God made my heart weak, And the Almighty terrifies me; 17 Because I was not cut off from the presence of darkness, And He did not hide deep darkness from my face.
Job Complains of Violence on the Earth
24 “Since times are not hidden from the Almighty, Why do those who know Him see not His days?
2 “Some remove landmarks; They seize flocks violently and feed on them; 3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; They take the widow’s ox as a pledge. 4 They push the needy off the road; All the poor of the land are forced to hide. 5 Indeed, like wild donkeys in the desert, They go out to their work, searching for food. The wilderness yields food for them and for their children. 6 They gather their fodder in the field And glean in the vineyard of the wicked. 7 They spend the night naked, without clothing, And have no covering in the cold. 8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, And huddle around the rock for want of shelter.
9 “Some snatch the fatherless from the breast, And take a pledge from the poor. 10 They cause the poor to go naked, without clothing; And they take away the sheaves from the hungry. 11 They press out oil within their walls, And tread winepresses, yet suffer thirst. 12 The dying groan in the city, And the souls of the wounded cry out; Yet God does not charge them with wrong.
13 “There are those who rebel against the light; They do not know its ways Nor abide in its paths. 14 The murderer rises with the light; He kills the poor and needy; And in the night he is like a thief. 15 The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, Saying, ‘No eye will see me’; And he disguises his face. 16 In the dark they break into houses Which they marked for themselves in the daytime; They do not know the light. 17 For the morning is the same to them as the shadow of death; If someone recognizes them, They are in the terrors of the shadow of death.
18 “They should be swift on the face of the waters, Their portion should be cursed in the earth, So that no one would turn into the way of their vineyards. 19 As drought and heat consume the snow waters, So the grave[i]consumes those who have sinned. 20 The womb should forget him, The worm should feed sweetly on him; He should be remembered no more, And wickedness should be broken like a tree. 21 For he preys on the barren who do not bear, And does no good for the widow.
22 “But God draws the mighty away with His power; He rises up, but no man is sure of life. 23 He gives them security, and they rely on it; Yet His eyes are on their ways. 24 They are exalted for a little while, Then they are gone. They are brought low; They are taken out of the way like all others; They dry out like the heads of grain.
25 “Now if it is not so, who will prove me a liar, And make my speech worth nothing?”
Bildad: How Can Man Be Righteous?
25 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “Dominion and fear belong to Him; He makes peace in His high places. 3 Is there any number to His armies? Upon whom does His light not rise? 4 How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? 5 If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, 6 How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?”
Job: Man’s Frailty and God’s Majesty
26 But Job answered and said:
2 “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength? 3 How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? And how have you declared sound advice to many? 4 To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit came from you?
5 “The dead tremble, Those under the waters and those inhabiting them. 6 Sheol is naked before Him, And Destruction has no covering. 7 He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He binds up the water in His thick clouds, Yet the clouds are not broken under it. 9 He covers the face of His throne, And spreads His cloud over it. 10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, At the boundary of light and darkness. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble, And are astonished at His rebuke. 12 He stirs up the sea with His power, And by His understanding He breaks up the storm. 13 By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. 14 Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”
Job Maintains His Integrity
27 Moreover Job continued his discourse, and said:
2 “As God lives, who has taken away my justice, And the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, 3 As long as my breath is in me, And the breath of God in my nostrils, 4 My lips will not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit. 5 Far be it from me That I should say you are right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.
7 “May my enemy be like the wicked, And he who rises up against me like the unrighteous. 8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, Though he may gain much, If God takes away his life? 9 Will God hear his cry When trouble comes upon him? 10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call on God?
11 “I will teach you about the hand of God; What is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 12 Surely all of you have seen it; Why then do you behave with complete nonsense?
13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God, And the heritage of oppressors, received from the Almighty: 14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. 15 Those who survive him shall be buried in death, And their[j] widows shall not weep, 16 Though he heaps up silver like dust, And piles up clothing like clay— 17 He may pile it up, but the just will wear it, And the innocent will divide the silver. 18 He builds his house like a moth,[k] Like a booth which a watchman makes. 19 The rich man will lie down, But not be gathered up;[l] He opens his eyes, And he is no more. 20 Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night. 21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone; It sweeps him out of his place. 22 It hurls against him and does not spare; He flees desperately from its power. 23 Men shall clap their hands at him, And shall hiss him out of his place.
Job’s Discourse on Wisdom
28 “Surely there is a mine for silver, And a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the earth, And copper is smelted from ore. 3 Man puts an end to darkness, And searches every recess For ore in the darkness and the shadow of death. 4 He breaks open a shaft away from people; In places forgotten by feet They hang far away from men; They swing to and fro. 5 As for the earth, from it comes bread, But underneath it is turned up as by fire; 6 Its stones are the source of sapphires, And it contains gold dust. 7 That path no bird knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it. 8 The proud lions[m] 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 roots. 10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, And his eye sees every precious thing. 11 He dams up the streams from trickling; What is hidden he brings forth to light.
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 It cannot be purchased for gold, Nor can silver be weighed for its price. 16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx or sapphire. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral or quartz, For the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20 “From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living, And concealed from the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’ 23 God understands its way, And He knows its place. 24 For He looks to the ends of the earth, And sees under the whole heavens, 25 To establish a weight for the wind, And apportion the waters by measure. 26 When He made a law for the rain, And a path for the thunderbolt, 27 Then He saw wisdom[n] and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He 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 Summary Defense
29 Job further continued his discourse, and said:
2 “Oh, that I were as in months past, As in the days when God watched over me; 3 When His lamp shone upon my head, And when by His light I walked through darkness; 4 Just as I was in the days of my prime, When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; 5 When the Almighty was yet with me, When my children were around me; 6 When my steps were bathed with cream,[o] And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!
7 “When I went out to the gate by the city, When I took my seat in the open square, 8 The young men saw me and hid, And the aged arose and stood; 9 The princes refrained from talking, And put their hand on their mouth; 10 The voice of nobles was hushed, And their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth. 11 When the ear heard, then it blessed me, And when the eye saw, then it approved me; 12 Because I delivered the poor who cried out, The fatherless and the one who had no helper. 13 The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow’s heart to 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 I was feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor, And I searched out the case that I did not know. 17 I broke the fangs of the wicked, And plucked the victim from his teeth.
18 “Then I said, ‘I shall die in my nest, And multiply my days as the sand. 19 My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch. 20 My glory is fresh within me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.’ 21 “Men listened to me and waited, And kept silence for my counsel. 22 After my words they did not speak again, And my speech settled on them as dew. 23 They waited for me as for the rain, And they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain. 24 If I mocked at them, they did not believe it, And the light of my countenance they did not cast down. 25 I chose the way for them, and sat as chief; So I dwelt as a king in the army, As one who comforts mourners.
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