2 “How long will you say these things? And will the words of your mouth be a mighty wind? 3 “Does God pervert justice? Or does [a]the Almighty pervert righteousness? 4 “If your children have sinned against Him, Then He has handed them over to the power of their transgression and punished them. 5 “If you would [diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, 6 Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place. 7 “Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will greatly increase.
8 “Inquire, please, of past generations, And consider and apply yourself to the things searched out by their fathers. 9 “For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are [like] a shadow [just a breath or a vapor]. 10 “Will they (the fathers) not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their hearts [the deepest part of their nature]?
11 “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the rushes or reed grass grow without water? 12 “While it is still green (in flower) and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant [when without water]. 13 “So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the godless will perish, 14 For his confidence is fragile and breaks, And his trust is [like] a spider’s web. 15 “He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; He holds tightly to it, but it does not endure. 16 “He thrives and prospers [like a green plant] before the sun, And his branches spread out over his garden. 17 “His [godless] roots are wrapped around a pile of rocks, And he gazes at a house of stones. 18 “If he is snatched from his place [in the garden], Then his place will forget him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’ 19 “Behold, this is the joy of His way; And from out of the dust others will spring up and grow [to take his place]. 20 “Behold, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He strengthen or support evildoers. 21 “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with joyful shouting [if you are found blameless]. 22 “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tents of the wicked will be no longer.”
Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man
9 Then Job answered and said,
2 “Yes, I know it is true. But how can a mortal man be right before God? 3 “If one should want to contend or dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times. 4 “God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed? 5 “It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it, When He overturns them in His anger; 6 Who shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; 7 Who commands the sun, and it does not shine; Who seals up the stars [from view]; 8 Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the [b]waves of the sea; 9 Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the [vast starry] spaces of the south; 10 Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable, Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number. 11 “Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him; He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him. 12 “Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back? Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’
13 “God will not turn back His anger; The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him. 14 “How can I answer Him [and plead my case], Choosing my words [to reason] with Him? 15 For though I were righteous, I could not answer. I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge. 16 “If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. 17 “For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause. 18 “He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills and saturates me with bitterness. 19 “If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty! And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him? 20 “Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty; Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty. 21 “[Though] I am blameless, I do not care about myself; I despise my life. 22 “It is all one; therefore I say, ‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’ 23 “When [His] scourge kills suddenly, He mocks at the despair of the innocent. 24 “The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice]. If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]?
25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They vanish, they see no good. 26 “They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds, Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey. 27 “If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’ 28 I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come]; I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished. 29 “I am accounted wicked and held guilty; Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]? 30 “If I were to wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye, 31 You would still plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body]. 32 “For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him, That we may go to court and judgment together. 33 “There is no arbitrator between us, Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were]. 34 “Let Him take His rod away from me, And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me. 35 “Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him; But I am not like that in myself.
Job Despairs of God’s Dealings
10 “I am disgusted with my life and loathe it! I will give free expression to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 “I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me [and declare me guilty]! Show me why You contend and argue and struggle with me. 3 ‘Does it indeed seem right to You to oppress, To despise and reject the work of Your hands, And to look with favor on the schemes of the wicked? 4 ‘Do You have eyes of flesh? Do You see as a man sees? 5 ‘Are Your days as the days of a mortal, Are Your years as man’s years, 6 That You seek my guilt And search for my sin? 7 ‘Although You know that I am not guilty or wicked, Yet there is no one who can rescue me from Your hand.
8 ‘Your hands have formed and made me altogether. Would You [turn around and] destroy me? 9 ‘Remember now, that You have made me as clay; So will You turn me into dust again? 10 ‘Have You not poured me out like milk And curdled me like cheese? 11 ‘[You have] clothed me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 ‘You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your providence (divine care, supervision) has preserved my spirit. 13 ‘Yet these [present evils] You have hidden in Your heart [since my creation]: I know that this was within You [in Your purpose and thought]. 14 ‘If I sin, then You would take note and observe me, And You would not acquit me of my guilt. 15 ‘If I am wicked, woe to me [for judgment comes]! And if I am righteous, I dare not lift up my head. For I am sated and filled with disgrace and the sight of my misery. 16 ‘Should I lift my head up, You would hunt me like a lion; And again You would show Your marvelous power against me. 17 ‘You renew Your witnesses against me And increase Your indignation and anger toward me; Hardship after hardship is with me [attacking me time after time].
18 ‘Why then did You bring me out of the womb? Would that I had perished and no eye had seen me! 19 ‘I should have been as though I had not existed; [I should have been] carried from the womb to the grave.’ 20 “Would He not let my few days alone, Withdraw from me that I may have a little cheer 21 Before I go—and I shall not return— To the land of darkness and the deep shadow [of death], 22 The [sunless] land of utter gloom as darkness itself, [The land] of the shadow of death, without order, And [where] it shines as [thick] darkness.”
26 But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south to the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” (This is a desert road). 27 So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch [a man of great authority], a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading [the scroll of] the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” 30 Philip ran up and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I [understand] unless someone guides me [correctly]?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now this was the passage of Scripture which he was reading:
“Like a sheep He was led to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He does not open His mouth. 33 “In humiliation His judgment was taken away [justice was denied Him]. Who will describe His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch replied to Philip, “Please tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip spoke and beginning with this Scripture he preached Jesus to him [explaining that He is the promised Messiah and the source of salvation]. 36 As they continued along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch exclaimed, “Look! Water! What forbids me from being baptized?” 37 [a][Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he ordered that the chariot be stopped; and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord [suddenly] took Philip [and carried him] away [to a different place]; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at [b]Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the good news [of salvation] to all the cities, until he came to [c]Caesarea [Maritima].
Acts 8:40Caesarea Maritima (Caesarea-on-the-Sea) was a coastal city and artificial harbor built by Herod the Great. It was an important city, both politically and militarily, and its harbor was the largest on the eastern Mediterranean coast. It was the capital of Judea, and the official residence of the prefects and procurators appointed by Rome. Both Pontius Pilate (prefect, a.d. 26-36) and Antonius Felix (procurator, a.d. 52-60) would have been based here during their respective terms of office.
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