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Bildad’s First Response to Job

Then Bildad the Shuhite replied to Job:

“How long will you go on like this?
    You sound like a blustering wind.
Does God twist justice?
    Does the Almighty twist what is right?
Your children must have sinned against him,
    so their punishment was well deserved.
But if you pray to God
    and seek the favor of the Almighty,
and if you are pure and live with integrity,
    he will surely rise up and restore your happy home.
And though you started with little,
    you will end with much.

“Just ask the previous generation.
    Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors.
For we were born but yesterday and know nothing.
    Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.
10 But those who came before us will teach you.
    They will teach you the wisdom of old.

11 “Can papyrus reeds grow tall without a marsh?
    Can marsh grass flourish without water?
12 While they are still flowering, not ready to be cut,
    they begin to wither more quickly than grass.
13 The same happens to all who forget God.
    The hopes of the godless evaporate.
14 Their confidence hangs by a thread.
    They are leaning on a spider’s web.
15 They cling to their home for security, but it won’t last.
    They try to hold it tight, but it will not endure.
16 The godless seem like a lush plant growing in the sunshine,
    its branches spreading across the garden.
17 Its roots grow down through a pile of stones;
    it takes hold on a bed of rocks.
18 But when it is uprooted,
    it’s as though it never existed!
19 That’s the end of its life,
    and others spring up from the earth to replace it.

20 “But look, God will not reject a person of integrity,
    nor will he lend a hand to the wicked.
21 He will once again fill your mouth with laughter
    and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
    and the home of the wicked will be destroyed.”

Job’s Third Speech: A Response to Bildad

Then Job spoke again:

“Yes, I know all this is true in principle.
    But how can a person be declared innocent in God’s sight?
If someone wanted to take God to court,[a]
    would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times?
For God is so wise and so mighty.
    Who has ever challenged him successfully?

“Without warning, he moves the mountains,
    overturning them in his anger.
He shakes the earth from its place,
    and its foundations tremble.
If he commands it, the sun won’t rise
    and the stars won’t shine.
He alone has spread out the heavens
    and marches on the waves of the sea.
He made all the stars—the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky.
10 He does great things too marvelous to understand.
    He performs countless miracles.

11 “Yet when he comes near, I cannot see him.
    When he moves by, I do not see him go.
12 If he snatches someone in death, who can stop him?
    Who dares to ask, ‘What are you doing?’
13 And God does not restrain his anger.
    Even the monsters of the sea[b] are crushed beneath his feet.

14 “So who am I, that I should try to answer God
    or even reason with him?
15 Even if I were right, I would have no defense.
    I could only plead for mercy.
16 And even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I’m not sure he would listen to me.
17 For he attacks me with a storm
    and repeatedly wounds me without cause.
18 He will not let me catch my breath,
    but fills me instead with bitter sorrows.
19 If it’s a question of strength, he’s the strong one.
    If it’s a matter of justice, who dares to summon him[c] to court?
20 Though I am innocent, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty.
    Though I am blameless, it[d] would prove me wicked.

21 “I am innocent,
    but it makes no difference to me—
    I despise my life.
22 Innocent or wicked, it is all the same to God.
    That’s why I say, ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When a plague[e] sweeps through,
    he laughs at the death of the innocent.
24 The whole earth is in the hands of the wicked,
    and God blinds the eyes of the judges.
    If he’s not the one who does it, who is?

25 “My life passes more swiftly than a runner.
    It flees away without a glimpse of happiness.
26 It disappears like a swift papyrus boat,
    like an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27 If I decided to forget my complaints,
    to put away my sad face and be cheerful,
28 I would still dread all the pain,
    for I know you will not find me innocent, O God.
29 Whatever happens, I will be found guilty.
    So what’s the use of trying?
30 Even if I were to wash myself with soap
    and clean my hands with lye,
31 you would plunge me into a muddy ditch,
    and my own filthy clothing would hate me.

32 “God is not a mortal like me,
    so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial.
33 If only there were a mediator between us,
    someone who could bring us together.
34 The mediator could make God stop beating me,
    and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment.
35 Then I could speak to him without fear,
    but I cannot do that in my own strength.

Job Frames His Plea to God

10 “I am disgusted with my life.
    Let me complain freely.
    My bitter soul must complain.
I will say to God, ‘Don’t simply condemn me—
    tell me the charge you are bringing against me.
What do you gain by oppressing me?
    Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands,
    while smiling on the schemes of the wicked?
Are your eyes like those of a human?
    Do you see things only as people see them?
Is your lifetime only as long as ours?
    Is your life so short
that you must quickly probe for my guilt
    and search for my sin?
Although you know I am not guilty,
    no one can rescue me from your hands.

“‘You formed me with your hands; you made me,
    yet now you completely destroy me.
Remember that you made me from dust—
    will you turn me back to dust so soon?
10 You guided my conception
    and formed me in the womb.[f]
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and you knit my bones and sinews together.
12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.
    My life was preserved by your care.

13 “‘Yet your real motive—
    your true intent—
14 was to watch me, and if I sinned,
    you would not forgive my guilt.
15 If I am guilty, too bad for me;
    and even if I’m innocent, I can’t hold my head high,
    because I am filled with shame and misery.
16 And if I hold my head high, you hunt me like a lion
    and display your awesome power against me.
17 Again and again you witness against me.
    You pour out your growing anger on me
    and bring fresh armies against me.

18 “‘Why, then, did you deliver me from my mother’s womb?
    Why didn’t you let me die at birth?
19 It would be as though I had never existed,
    going directly from the womb to the grave.
20 I have only a few days left, so leave me alone,
    that I may have a moment of comfort
21 before I leave—never to return—
    for the land of darkness and utter gloom.
22 It is a land as dark as midnight,
    a land of gloom and confusion,
    where even the light is dark as midnight.’”

Zophar’s First Response to Job

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied to Job:

“Shouldn’t someone answer this torrent of words?
    Is a person proved innocent just by a lot of talking?
Should I remain silent while you babble on?
    When you mock God, shouldn’t someone make you ashamed?
You claim, ‘My beliefs are pure,’
    and ‘I am clean in the sight of God.’
If only God would speak;
    if only he would tell you what he thinks!
If only he would tell you the secrets of wisdom,
    for true wisdom is not a simple matter.
Listen! God is doubtless punishing you
    far less than you deserve!

“Can you solve the mysteries of God?
    Can you discover everything about the Almighty?
Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—
    and who are you?
It is deeper than the underworld[g]
    what do you know?
It is broader than the earth
    and wider than the sea.
10 If God comes and puts a person in prison
    or calls the court to order, who can stop him?
11 For he knows those who are false,
    and he takes note of all their sins.
12 An empty-headed person won’t become wise
    any more than a wild donkey can bear a human child.[h]

13 “If only you would prepare your heart
    and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
14 Get rid of your sins,
    and leave all iniquity behind you.
15 Then your face will brighten with innocence.
    You will be strong and free of fear.
16 You will forget your misery;
    it will be like water flowing away.
17 Your life will be brighter than the noonday.
    Even darkness will be as bright as morning.
18 Having hope will give you courage.
    You will be protected and will rest in safety.
19 You will lie down unafraid,
    and many will look to you for help.
20 But the wicked will be blinded.
    They will have no escape.
    Their only hope is death.”

Footnotes

  1. 9:3 Or If God wanted to take someone to court.
  2. 9:13 Hebrew the helpers of Rahab, the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature.
  3. 9:19 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads me.
  4. 9:20 Or he.
  5. 9:23 Or disaster.
  6. 10:10 Hebrew You poured me out like milk / and curdled me like cheese.
  7. 11:8 Hebrew than Sheol.
  8. 11:12 Or than a wild male donkey can bear a tame colt.

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters,[a] of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.[b]

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter[c] and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers[d] at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.

10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.”[e] (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

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Footnotes

  1. 15:1 Greek brothers; also in 15:31, 50, 58.
  2. 15:2 Or unless you never believed it in the first place.
  3. 15:5 Greek Cephas.
  4. 15:6 Greek the brothers.
  5. 15:27 Ps 8:6.

Psalm 38

A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your rage!
Your arrows have struck deep,
    and your blows are crushing me.
Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
    my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me—
    it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
    because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
    All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
    and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
    My groans come from an anguished heart.

You know what I long for, Lord;
    you hear my every sigh.
10 My heart beats wildly, my strength fails,
    and I am going blind.
11 My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease.
    Even my own family stands at a distance.
12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me.
    Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me.
    All day long they plan their treachery.

13 But I am deaf to all their threats.
    I am silent before them as one who cannot speak.
14 I choose to hear nothing,
    and I make no reply.
15 For I am waiting for you, O Lord.
    You must answer for me, O Lord my God.
16 I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me
    or rejoice at my downfall.”

17 I am on the verge of collapse,
    facing constant pain.
18 But I confess my sins;
    I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
19 I have many aggressive enemies;
    they hate me without reason.
20 They repay me evil for good
    and oppose me for pursuing good.
21 Do not abandon me, O Lord.
    Do not stand at a distance, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    O Lord my savior.

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28 A false witness will be cut off,
    but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.

29 The wicked bluff their way through,
    but the virtuous think before they act.

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