Job’s Opening Speech

After this, Job began to speak and cursed the day he was born. He said:

May the day I was born perish,
and the night that said,
“A boy is conceived.”(A)
If only that day had turned to darkness!
May God above not care about it,
or light shine on it.
May darkness and gloom(B) reclaim it,
and a cloud settle over it.
May what darkens the day terrify it.
If only darkness had taken that night away!
May it not appear[a] among the days of the year
or be listed in the calendar.[b]
Yes, may that night be barren;
may no joyful shout(C) be heard in it.
Let those who curse days
condemn(D) it,
those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.(E)
May its morning stars grow dark.
May it wait for daylight but have none;
may it not see the breaking[c] of dawn.
10 For that night did not shut
the doors of my mother’s womb,
and hide sorrow from my eyes.

11 Why was I not stillborn;
why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?(F)
12 Why did the knees receive me,
and why were there breasts for me to nurse?(G)
13 Now I would certainly be lying down in peace;
I would be asleep.(H)
Then I would be at rest(I)
14 with the kings and counselors(J) of the earth,
who rebuilt ruined cities for themselves,
15 or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses(K) with silver.
16 Or why was I not hidden like a miscarried child,(L)
like infants who never see daylight?
17 There the wicked(M) cease to make trouble,
and there the weary find rest.
18 The captives are completely at rest;(N)
they do not hear a taskmaster’s voice.(O)
19 Both small and great are there,
and the slave is set free from his master.(P)

20 Why is light given to one burdened with grief,
and life to those whose existence is bitter,(Q)
21 who wait for death,(R) but it does not come,
and search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with much joy
and are glad when they reach the grave?(S)
23 Why is life given to a man whose path is hidden,(T)
whom God has hedged in?
24 I sigh when food(U) is put before me,[d]
and my groans pour out like water.(V)
25 For the thing I feared has overtaken me,
and what I dreaded has happened to me.(W)
26 I cannot relax or be calm;
I have no rest,(X) for turmoil has come.

First Series of Speeches

Eliphaz Speaks

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

Should anyone try to speak with you
when you are exhausted?
Yet who can keep from speaking?
Indeed, you have instructed many
and have strengthened(Y) weak hands.
Your words have steadied the one who was stumbling
and braced the knees that were buckling.(Z)
But now that this has happened to you,
you have become exhausted.
It strikes(AA) you, and you are dismayed.
Isn’t your piety your confidence,
and the integrity of your life[e] your hope?(AB)
Consider: Who has perished when he was innocent?
Where have the honest[f] been destroyed?(AC)
In my experience, those who plow injustice
and those who sow trouble(AD) reap the same.(AE)
They perish at a single blast(AF) from God
and come to an end by the breath of his nostrils.(AG)
10 The lion may roar and the fierce lion(AH) growl,
but the teeth of young lions are broken.(AI)
11 The strong lion dies if it catches no prey,
and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.(AJ)

12 A word was brought to me in secret;
my ears caught a whisper of it.(AK)
13 Among unsettling thoughts from visions in the night,(AL)
when deep sleep(AM) comes over men,
14 fear and trembling came over me(AN)
and made all my bones shake.
15 I felt a draft[g] on my face,
and the hair on my body stood up.
16 A figure stood there,
but I could not recognize its appearance;
a form loomed before my eyes.
I heard a whispering voice:
17 “Can a mortal be righteous before God?
Can a man be more pure than his Maker?” (AO)
18 If God puts no trust in his servants
and he charges his angels with foolishness,[h](AP)
19 how much more those who dwell in clay houses,(AQ)
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like a moth!
20 They are smashed to pieces from dawn to dusk;
they perish forever while no one notices.(AR)
21 Are their tent cords not pulled up?
They die without wisdom.(AS)

Footnotes

  1. 3:6 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads rejoice
  2. 3:6 Lit or enter the number of months
  3. 3:9 Lit the eyelids
  4. 3:24 Or My sighing serves as my food
  5. 4:6 Lit ways
  6. 4:7 Or the upright, or those with integrity
  7. 4:15 Or a spirit
  8. 4:18 Or error; Hb obscure

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