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Job’s First Speech

At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth. He said:

“Let the day of my birth be erased,
    and the night I was conceived.
Let that day be turned to darkness.
    Let it be lost even to God on high,
    and let no light shine on it.
Let the darkness and utter gloom claim that day for its own.
    Let a black cloud overshadow it,
    and let the darkness terrify it.
Let that night be blotted off the calendar,
    never again to be counted among the days of the year,
    never again to appear among the months.
Let that night be childless.
    Let it have no joy.
Let those who are experts at cursing—
    whose cursing could rouse Leviathan[a]
    curse that day.
Let its morning stars remain dark.
    Let it hope for light, but in vain;
    may it never see the morning light.
10 Curse that day for failing to shut my mother’s womb,
    for letting me be born to see all this trouble.

11 “Why wasn’t I born dead?
    Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?
12 Why was I laid on my mother’s lap?
    Why did she nurse me at her breasts?
13 Had I died at birth, I would now be at peace.
    I would be asleep and at rest.
14 I would rest with the world’s kings and prime ministers,
    whose great buildings now lie in ruins.
15 I would rest with princes, rich in gold,
    whose palaces were filled with silver.
16 Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child,
    like a baby who never lives to see the light?
17 For in death the wicked cause no trouble,
    and the weary are at rest.
18 Even captives are at ease in death,
    with no guards to curse them.
19 Rich and poor are both there,
    and the slave is free from his master.

20 “Oh, why give light to those in misery,
    and life to those who are bitter?
21 They long for death, and it won’t come.
    They search for death more eagerly than for hidden treasure.
22 They’re filled with joy when they finally die,
    and rejoice when they find the grave.
23 Why is life given to those with no future,
    those God has surrounded with difficulties?
24 I cannot eat for sighing;
    my groans pour out like water.
25 What I always feared has happened to me.
    What I dreaded has come true.
26 I have no peace, no quietness.
    I have no rest; only trouble comes.”

Eliphaz’s First Response to Job

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied to Job:

“Will you be patient and let me say a word?
    For who could keep from speaking out?

“In the past you have encouraged many people;
    you have strengthened those who were weak.
Your words have supported those who were falling;
    you encouraged those with shaky knees.
But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart.
    You are terrified when it touches you.
Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence?
    Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?

“Stop and think! Do the innocent die?
    When have the upright been destroyed?
My experience shows that those who plant trouble
    and cultivate evil will harvest the same.
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[b] swept past my face,
    and my hair stood on end.[c]
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.

Footnotes

  1. 3:8 The identification of Leviathan is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster in ancient literature.
  2. 4:15a Or wind; also in 4:16.
  3. 4:15b Or its wind sent shivers up my spine.

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