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Job Says He Has Become a Byword

17 “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished,
The grave is ready for me.

“Surely there are mockers and mockery with me,
And my eye gazes on their obstinacy and provocation.

“Give me a pledge (guarantee, promise) with Yourself [acknowledge my innocence before my death];
Who is there that will [a]be my guarantor and give security for me?

“But You [Lord] have closed their hearts to understanding,
Therefore You will not exalt them [by giving a verdict against me].

“He who denounces and informs against his friends for a share of the spoil,
The eyes of his children will also languish and fail.

“But He has made me a byword and mockery among the people,
And I have become one in whose face people spit.

“My eye has grown dim (unexpressive) because of grief,
And all my [body’s] members are [wasted away] like a shadow.

“The upright will be [astonished and] appalled at this,
And the innocent will stir himself up against the godless and polluted.

“Nevertheless the righteous will hold to his ways,
And he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.(A)
“But as for all of you, come back again,
Even though I do not find a wise man among you.
“My days are past, my purposes and plans are frustrated and torn apart;
The wishes of my heart [are broken].
“These [thoughts try to] make the night into the day;
‘The light is near,’ they say in the presence of darkness [but they pervert the truth].
“But if I look to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) as my home,
If I make my bed in the darkness,
If I call out to the pit (grave), ‘You are my father’;
And to the worm [that feeds on decay], ‘You are my mother and my sister [because I will soon be closest to you],’
Where now is my hope?
And who regards or considers or is even concerned about my hope?
“Will my hope go down with me to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead)?
Shall we go down together in the dust?”

Bildad Speaks of the Wicked

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said,

“How long will you hunt for words and continue these speeches?
Do some clear thinking and show understanding and then we can talk.

“Why are we regarded as beasts,
As if [we are] stupid (senseless) in your eyes?

“You who tear yourself apart in anger,
Is the earth to be abandoned for your sake,
Or the rock to be moved out of its place?

“Indeed, the light of the wicked will be put out,
And the flame of his fire will not shine.(B)

“The light will be dark in his tent,
And his lamp beside him will be put out.(C)

“The vigorous stride will be shortened,
And his own counsel and the scheme [in which he trusted] will bring his downfall.

“For the wicked is thrown into a net by his own feet (wickedness),
And he steps on the webbing [of the lattice-covered pit].

“A snare catches him by the heel,
And a trap snaps shut on him.
“A noose is hidden for him on the ground,
And a trap for him on the path.
“Terrors frighten him on every side
And chase at his heels.
“The strength [of the wicked] is famished and weakened,
And disaster is ready at his side [if he stops].
“His skin is devoured by disease;
The firstborn of death [the worst of diseases] consumes his limbs.
“He is torn from his tent which he trusted [for safety],
And he is marched and brought to the king of terrors (death).
“Nothing of his dwells in his tent;
Brimstone (burning sulfur) is scattered over his dwelling [to purify it].
“The roots [of the wicked] are dried up below,
And above, his branch is cut off and withers.
“Memory of him perishes from the earth,
And he has no name on the street.
“He is driven and propelled from light into darkness,
And chased from the inhabited world.
“He has no offspring or prosperity among his people,
Nor any survivor where he sojourned.
“Those in the west are astonished and appalled at his fate,
And those in the east are seized with horror.
“Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked and the ungodly,
And such is the place of him who does not know or recognize or honor God.”

Job Feels Insulted

19 Then Job answered and said,

“How long will you torment and exasperate me
And crush me with words?

“These ten times you have insulted me;
You are not ashamed to wrong me [and harden your hearts against me].

“And if it were true that I have erred,
My error would remain with me [and I would be conscious of it].

“If indeed you [braggarts] vaunt and magnify yourselves over me
And prove my disgrace (humiliation) to me,

Know then that God has wronged me and overthrown me
And has closed His net around me.

Everything Is Against Him

“Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not heard;
I shout for help, but there is no justice.

“He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass,
And He has set darkness upon my paths.

“He has stripped me of my honor
And removed the crown from my head.
“He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone;
He has uprooted my hope like a tree.
“He has also kindled His wrath [like a fire] against me
And He considers and counts me as one of His adversaries.
“His troops come together
And build up their way and siege works against me
And camp around my tent.

“He has put my brothers far from me,
And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
“My relatives have failed [me],
And my intimate friends have forgotten me.
“Those who live [temporarily] in my house and my maids consider me a stranger;
I am a foreigner in their sight.
“I call to my servant, but he does not answer;
I have to implore him with words.
“My breath is repulsive to my wife,
And I am loathsome to my own brothers.
“Even young children despise me;
When I get up, they speak against me.
“All the men of my council hate me;
Those I love have turned against me.
“My bone clings to my skin and to my flesh,
And I have escaped [death] by the skin of my teeth.
“Have pity on me! Have pity on me, O you my friends,
For the hand of God has touched me.
“Why do you persecute me as God does?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh (anguish)?

Job Says, “My Redeemer Lives”

“Oh, that the words I now speak were written!
Oh, that they were recorded in a scroll!
“That with an iron stylus and [molten] lead
They were engraved in the rock forever!
“For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives,
And at the last He will take His stand upon the earth.(D)
“Even after my [mortal] skin is destroyed [by death],
Yet from my [immortal] flesh I will see God,
Whom I, even I, will see for myself,
And my eyes will see Him and not another!
My heart faints within me.
“If you say, ‘How shall we [continue to] persecute him?’
And ‘What pretext for a case against him can we find [since we claim the root of these afflictions is found in him]?’
Then beware and be afraid of the sword [of divine vengeance] for yourselves,
For wrathful are the punishments of that sword,
So that you may know there is judgment.”

Zophar Says, “The Triumph of the Wicked Is Short”

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said,

“Therefore my disquieting thoughts make me answer,
Because of the uneasiness that is within me.

“I have heard the reproof which insults me,
But the spirit of my understanding makes me answer.

“Do you not know this from the old days,
Since the time that man was placed on the earth,

That the triumphing of the wicked is short,
And the joy of the godless is only for a moment?(E)

“Though his pride reaches the heavens
And his head touches the clouds,

Yet he perishes forever like his own refuse;
Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’

“He flies away like a dream and cannot be found;
Yes, he is chased away like a vision of the night.

“The eye which saw him sees him no longer,
Neither does his [accustomed] place behold him any longer.
“His sons favor the poor [and pay his obligations],
And his hands give back his [ill-gotten] wealth.
“His bones are full of youthful strength
But it lies down with him in the dust.

“Though evil and wickedness are sweet in his mouth
And he hides it under his tongue,
Though he desires it and will not let it go
But holds it in his mouth,
Yet his food turns [to poison] in his stomach;
It is the venom of vipers within him.
“He swallows [his ill-gotten] riches,
But will vomit them up;
God will drive them out of his belly.
“He sucks the poison of vipers [which ill-gotten wealth contains];
The viper’s tongue slays him.
“He does not look at the rivers,
The flowing streams of honey and butter [to enjoy his wealth].
“He gives back what he has labored for and attained
And cannot swallow it [down to enjoy it];
As to the riches of his labor,
He cannot even enjoy them.
“For he has oppressed and neglected the poor;
He has violently taken away houses which he did not build.

“Because he knew no quietness or calm within him [because of his greed],
He does not retain anything he desires.
“There is nothing left of what he devoured;
Therefore his prosperity does not endure.
“In the fullness of his excess (great abundance) he will be in trouble;
The hand of everyone who suffers will come against him [he is miserable on every side].
“When he fills his belly,
God will send His fierce anger on him
And will rain it upon him while he is eating.(F)
“He may flee from the iron weapon,
But the bow of bronze will pierce him through.
The arrow is drawn forth and it comes out of his back [after passing through his body];
Yes, the glittering point comes out of his gall.
Terrors march in upon him;
Complete darkness (misfortune) is held in reserve for his treasures.
An unfanned fire will devour him;
It will consume the survivor in his tent.
“The heavens will reveal his wickedness and guilt,
And the earth will rise up against him.
“The produce and increase of his house will depart [with the victors];
His possessions will be dragged away in the day of God’s wrath.
“This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
And the heritage decreed and appointed to him by God.”


  1. Job 17:3 Lit strike hands with me.

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