Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

23 Then Job answered:

Today also my complaint is bitter.[a](A)
His[b] hand is heavy despite my groaning.
If only I knew how to find him,
so that I could go to his throne.
I would plead my case before him(B)
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn how[c] he would answer me;
and understand what he would say to me.
Would he prosecute(C) me forcefully?
No, he would certainly pay attention to me.
Then an upright man could reason(D) with him,
and I would escape from my Judge[d](E) forever.

If I go east, he is not there,
and if I go west, I cannot perceive him.(F)
When he is at work to the north, I cannot see him;
when he turns south, I cannot find him.
10 Yet he knows the way I have taken;[e]
when he has tested me,(G) I will emerge as pure gold.
11 My feet have followed in his tracks;
I have kept to his way(H) and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands from his lips;
I have treasured[f] the words(I) from his mouth
more than my daily food.

13 But he is unchangeable; who can oppose him?
He does what he desires.(J)
14 He will certainly accomplish what he has decreed for me,
and he has many more things like these in mind.[g]
15 Therefore I am terrified(K) in his presence;
when I consider this, I am afraid of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;(L)
the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not destroyed[h] by the darkness,(M)
by the thick darkness that covers my face.

24 Why does the Almighty not reserve times for judgment?(N)
Why do those who know him never see his days?
The wicked displace boundary markers.
They steal a flock and provide pasture for it.
They drive away the donkeys owned by the fatherless(O)
and take the widow’s ox as collateral.
They push the needy off the road;
the poor of the land are forced into hiding.(P)
Like wild donkeys in the wilderness,
the poor go out to their task of foraging for food;
the desert provides nourishment for their children.
They gather their fodder in the field
and glean the vineyards of the wicked.
Without clothing, they spend the night naked,
having no covering against the cold.(Q)
Drenched by mountain rains,
they huddle against[i] the rocks, shelterless.
The fatherless infant is snatched from the breast;
the nursing child of the poor is seized as collateral.[j]
10 Without clothing, they wander about naked.
They carry sheaves but go hungry.(R)
11 They crush olives in their presses;[k]
they tread the winepresses, but go thirsty.
12 From the city, men[l] groan;
the mortally wounded cry for help,
yet God pays no attention to this crime.(S)

13 The wicked are those who rebel against the light.
They do not recognize its ways
or stay on its paths.
14 The murderer rises at dawn
to kill the poor and needy,
and by night he becomes a thief.
15 The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
thinking, “No eye will see me,”
and he covers his face.
16 In the dark they break[m] into houses;
by day they lock themselves in,[n]
never experiencing the light.
17 For the morning is like darkness to them.
Surely they are familiar with the terrors of darkness!

18 They float[o] on the surface of the water.
Their section of the land is cursed,
so that they never go to their vineyards.
19 As dry ground and heat snatch away the melted snow,
so Sheol(T) steals those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
worms feed on them;
they are remembered(U) no more.
So injustice is broken like a tree.
21 They prey on[p] the childless woman who is unable to conceive,
and do not deal kindly with the widow.
22 Yet God drags away[q] the mighty by his power;
when he rises up, they have no assurance of life.
23 He gives them a sense of security, so they can rely on it,(V)
but his eyes(W) watch over their ways.
24 They are exalted for a moment, then gone;
they are brought low and shrivel up like everything else.[r]
They wither like heads of grain.(X)

25 If this is not true, then who can prove me a liar(Y)
and show that my speech is worthless?

Footnotes

  1. 23:2 Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads rebellion
  2. 23:2 LXX, Syr; MT reads My
  3. 23:5 Lit the words
  4. 23:7 Or judgment
  5. 23:10 Lit way with me
  6. 23:12 LXX, Vg read treasured in my bosom
  7. 23:14 Lit these with him
  8. 23:17 Or silenced
  9. 24:8 Lit they embrace
  10. 24:9 Text emended; MT reads breast; they seize collateral against the poor
  11. 24:11 Lit olives between their rows
  12. 24:12 One Hb ms, Syr read the dying
  13. 24:16 Lit dig
  14. 24:16 Lit they seal for themselves
  15. 24:18 Lit are insignificant
  16. 24:21 LXX, Tg read They harm
  17. 24:22 Or God prolongs the life of
  18. 24:24 LXX reads like a mallow plant in the heat

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