Job’s Friends Are No Help

Then Job responded,

(A)Oh if only my grief were actually weighed
And laid in the balances together with my disaster!
For then it would be (B)heavier than the sand of the seas;
For that reason my words have been rash.
For the (C)arrows of the Almighty are within me,
[a]My spirit drinks their (D)poison;
The (E)terrors of God line up against me.
Does the (F)wild donkey bray over his grass,
Or does the ox low over his feed?
Can something tasteless be eaten without salt,
Or is there any taste in the [b]juice of an alkanet plant?
My soul (G)refuses to touch them;
They are like loathsome food to me.

“Oh, that my request might come to pass,
And that God would grant my hope!
Oh, that God would (H)decide to crush me,
That He would let loose His hand and cut me off!
10 But it is still my comfort,
And I rejoice in unsparing pain,
That I (I)have not [c]denied the words of the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should [d](J)endure?
12 Is my strength the strength of stones,
Or is my flesh bronze?
13 Is it that my (K)help is not within me,
And that a (L)good outcome is driven away from me?

14 “For the (M)despairing man there should be kindness from his friend;
So that he does not (N)abandon the [e]fear of the Almighty.
15 My brothers have acted (O)deceitfully like a [f]wadi,
Like the torrents of [g]wadis which drain away,
16 Which are darkened because of ice,
And into which the snow [h]melts.
17 When (P)they dry up, they vanish;
When it is hot, they disappear from their place.
18 The [i]paths of their course wind along,
They go up into wasteland and perish.
19 The caravans of (Q)Tema looked,
The travelers of (R)Sheba hoped for them.
20 They (S)were put to shame, for they had trusted,
They came there and were humiliated.
21 Indeed, you have now become such,
(T)You see terrors and are afraid.
22 Have I said, ‘Give me something,’
Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth,’
23 Or, ‘Save me from the hand of the enemy,’
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?

24 “Teach me, and (U)I will be silent;
And show me how I have done wrong.
25 How painful are honest words!
But what does your argument prove?
26 Do you intend to rebuke my words,
When the (V)words of one in despair belong to the wind?
27 You would even (W)cast lots for (X)the orphans,
And (Y)barter over your friend.
28 Now please look at me,
And see if I am (Z)lying to your face.
29 Please turn away, let there be no injustice;
Turn away, (AA)my righteousness is still in it.
30 Is there injustice on my tongue?
Does (AB)my palate not discern disasters?

Job’s Life Seems Futile

[j]Is a person not (AC)forced to labor on earth,
And are his days not like the days of (AD)a hired worker?
As a slave pants for the shade,
And as a hired worker who eagerly waits for his wages,
So I am allotted worthless months,
And (AE)nights of trouble are apportioned to me.
When I (AF)lie down, I say,
‘When shall I arise?’
But the night continues,
And I am continually tossing until dawn.
My (AG)flesh is clothed with maggots and a crust of dirt,
My skin hardens and [k]oozes.
My days are (AH)swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And they come to an end (AI)without hope.

“Remember that my life (AJ)is a mere breath;
My eye will (AK)not see goodness again.
The (AL)eye of him who sees me will no longer look at me;
Your eyes will be on me, but (AM)I will not exist.
When a (AN)cloud vanishes, it is gone;
In the same way (AO)one who goes down to [l](AP)Sheol does not come up.
10 He will not return to his house again,
Nor will (AQ)his place know about him anymore.

11 “Therefore (AR)I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or (AS)the sea monster,
That You set a guard over me?
13 If I say, ‘(AT)My couch will comfort me,
My bed will [m]ease my complaint,’
14 Then You frighten me with dreams,
And terrify me by visions,
15 So that my soul would choose suffocation,
Death rather than my [n]pains.
16 I [o](AU)waste away; I will not live forever.
Leave me alone, (AV)for my days are only a breath.
17 (AW)What is man that You exalt him,
And that You [p]are concerned about him,
18 That (AX)You examine him every morning
And put him to the test every moment?
19 [q](AY)Will You never turn Your gaze away from me,
Nor leave me alone until I swallow my spittle?
20 (AZ)Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
(BA)Watcher of mankind?
Why have You made me Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
21 Why then (BB)do You not forgive my wrongdoing
And take away my [r]guilt?
For now I will (BC)lie down in the dust;
And You will search for me, (BD)but I will no longer exist.”

Bildad Says God Rewards the Good

Then Bildad the Shuhite responded,

“How long will you say these things,
And the (BE)words of your mouth be a mighty wind?
Does (BF)God pervert justice?
Or does [s]the Almighty pervert what is right?
(BG)If your sons sinned against Him,
Then He turned them over to the [t]power of their wrongdoing.
If you will (BH)search for God
And implore the compassion of [u]the Almighty,
If you are pure and upright,
Surely now (BI)He will stir Himself for you
And restore your righteous [v](BJ)estate.
Though your beginning was insignificant,
Yet your (BK)end will increase greatly.

“Please (BL)inquire of past generations,
And consider the things searched out by their fathers.
For we are only of yesterday and know nothing,
Because (BM)our days on earth are as a shadow.
10 Will they not teach you and tell you,
And bring forth words from their minds?

11 “Can papyrus grow tall without a marsh?
Can the rushes grow without water?
12 While it is still green and not cut down,
Yet it withers before any other [w]plant.
13 So are the paths of (BN)all who forget God;
And the (BO)hope of the godless will perish,
14 His confidence is fragile,
And his trust is a (BP)spider’s [x]web.
15 He depends on his (BQ)house, but it does not stand;
He holds on to it, but it does not endure.
16 He (BR)flourishes before the sun,
And his (BS)shoots spread out over his garden.
17 His roots wrap around a rock pile,
He [y]grasps a house of stones.
18 If he is [z]removed from (BT)his place,
Then it will deny him, saying, ‘(BU)I never saw you.’
19 Behold, (BV)this is the joy of His way;
And out of the dust others will spring.
20 Behold, (BW)God will not reject a person of integrity,
Nor (BX)will He [aa]help evildoers.
21 He will yet fill (BY)your mouth with laughter,
And your lips with joyful shouting.
22 Those who hate you will be (BZ)clothed with shame,
And the (CA)tent of the wicked will no longer exist.”

Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Mankind

Then Job responded,

“In truth I know that this is so;
But how can a (CB)person be in the right with God?
If one wished to (CC)dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.
(CD)Wise in heart and (CE)mighty in strength,
Who has [ab](CF)defied Him [ac]without harm?
(CG)It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know how,
When He overturns them in His anger.
It is He who (CH)shakes the earth from its place,
And its (CI)pillars tremble;
Who commands the (CJ)sun [ad]not to shine,
And puts a seal on the stars;
Who alone (CK)stretches out the heavens,
And [ae](CL)tramples down the waves of the sea;
Who makes the (CM)Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
And the [af](CN)constellations of the south.
10 It is He who (CO)does great things, [ag]the unfathomable,
And wondrous works without number.
11 If He were to pass by me, (CP)I would not see Him;
Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him.
12 If He were to snatch away, who could (CQ)restrain Him?
Who could say to Him, ‘(CR)What are You doing?’

13 “God will not turn back His anger;
Beneath Him the helpers of [ah](CS)Rahab cower.
14 How then can (CT)I [ai]answer Him,
And choose my words [aj]before Him?
15 For (CU)though I were right, I could not [ak]answer;
I would have to (CV)implore the mercy of my Judge.
16 If I called and He answered me,
I could not believe that He was listening to my voice.
17 For He (CW)bruises me with a storm
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 He will (CX)not allow me to get my breath,
But He saturates me with (CY)bitterness.
19 If it is a matter of power, (CZ)behold, He is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can summon [al]Him?
20 (DA)Though I am righteous, my mouth will (DB)condemn me;
Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.
21 I am (DC)guiltless;
I do not take notice of myself;
I (DD)reject my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He (DE)destroys the guiltless and the wicked.’
23 If the whip kills suddenly,
He (DF)mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 The earth (DG)is handed over to the wicked;
He (DH)covers the faces of its judges.
If it is not He, then who is it?

25 “Now (DI)my days are swifter than a runner;
They flee away, (DJ)they see no good.
26 They slip by like (DK)reed boats,
Like an (DL)eagle that swoops on [am]its prey.
27 Though I say, ‘I will forget (DM)my complaint,
I will [an]put my face in order and be cheerful,’
28 I am (DN)afraid of all my pains,
I know that (DO)You will not acquit me.
29 I am (DP)guilty,
Why then should I struggle in vain?
30 If I (DQ)washed myself with snow,
And cleansed (DR)my hands with lye,
31 Then You would plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would loathe me.
32 For (DS)He is not a man, as I am, that (DT)I may answer Him—
That we may go to [ao]court together!
33 There is no (DU)arbitrator between us,
Who can place his hand upon us both.
34 Let Him (DV)remove His rod from me,
And let not the dread of Him terrify me.
35 Then I (DW)would speak and not fear Him;
But I am not like that in myself.

Footnotes

  1. Job 6:4 Lit Whose poison my spirit drinks
  2. Job 6:6 Heb hallamuth, meaning uncertain
  3. Job 6:10 Lit hidden
  4. Job 6:11 Lit prolong my soul
  5. Job 6:14 Or reverence for
  6. Job 6:15 I.e., dry stream bed(s), except in the rainy season
  7. Job 6:15 I.e., dry stream bed(s), except in the rainy season
  8. Job 6:16 Lit hides itself
  9. Job 6:18 Or caravans turn from their course, they go up into the waste and perish
  10. Job 7:1 Lit Has not man compulsory labor
  11. Job 7:5 Lit melts
  12. Job 7:9 I.e., the netherworld
  13. Job 7:13 Lit bear
  14. Job 7:15 Lit bones
  15. Job 7:16 Or loathe
  16. Job 7:17 Lit set Your heart on
  17. Job 7:19 Lit How long will You not
  18. Job 7:21 Or unjust deed
  19. Job 8:3 Heb Shaddai
  20. Job 8:4 Lit hand
  21. Job 8:5 Heb Shaddai
  22. Job 8:6 Lit place
  23. Job 8:12 Lit reed
  24. Job 8:14 Lit house
  25. Job 8:17 Heb sees
  26. Job 8:18 Lit swallowed up
  27. Job 8:20 Lit strengthen the hand of
  28. Job 9:4 Lit stiffened his neck against
  29. Job 9:4 Lit and remained safe
  30. Job 9:7 Lit and it does not shine
  31. Job 9:8 Lit treads upon the heights of
  32. Job 9:9 Lit chambers
  33. Job 9:10 Lit until there is no searching out
  34. Job 9:13 I.e., a sea monster, not to be confused with Rahab in Joshua 2
  35. Job 9:14 Or plead my case
  36. Job 9:14 Lit with
  37. Job 9:15 Or plead my case
  38. Job 9:19 As in LXX; Heb me
  39. Job 9:26 Lit food
  40. Job 9:27 I.e., improve the look
  41. Job 9:32 Lit judgment