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Job Continues his Prayer

Life Is Short and Sorrowful

14 Life is short and sorrowful
    for every living soul.
We are flowers that fade
    and shadows that vanish.
And so, I ask you, God,
    why pick on me?
There’s no way a human
    can be completely pure.
Our time on earth is brief;
the number of our days
    is already decided by you.
Why don’t you leave us alone
and let us find some happiness
    while we toil and labor?

When a Tree Is Chopped Down

When a tree is chopped down,
there is always the hope
    that it will sprout again.
Its roots and stump may rot,
but at the touch of water,
    fresh twigs shoot up.
10 Humans are different—
    we die, and that’s the end.
11 We are like streams and lakes
    after the water has gone;
12 we fall into the sleep of death,
never to rise again,
    until the sky disappears.
13 Please hide me, God,
    deep in the ground—
and when you are angry no more,
    remember to rescue me.

Will We Humans Live Again?

14 Will we humans live again?
I would gladly suffer
    and wait for my time.
15 My Creator, you would want me;
you would call out,
    and I would answer.
16 You would take care of me,
    but not count my sins—
17 you would put them in a bag,
tie it tight,
    and toss them away.
18 But in the real world,
mountains tumble,
    and rocks crumble;
19 streams wear away stones
and wash away soil.
    And you destroy our hopes!
20 You change the way we look,
then send us away,
    wiped out forever.
21 We never live to know
if our children are praised
    or disgraced.
22 We feel no pain but our own,
and when we mourn,
    it’s only for ourselves.

Eliphaz’s Second Speech

If You Had Any Sense

15 Eliphaz from Teman[a] said:

Job, if you had any sense,
you would stop spreading
    all of this hot air.
Your words are enough
to make others turn from God
    and lead them to doubt.
And your sinful, scheming mind
    is the source of all you say.
I am not here as your judge;
your own words are witnesses
    against you.

Were you the first human?
    Are you older than the hills?
Have you ever been present
when God’s council[b] meets?
    Do you alone have wisdom?
Do you know and understand
    something we don’t?
10 We have the benefit of wisdom
    older than your father.
11 And you have been offered
comforting words from God.
    Isn’t this enough?

12 Your emotions are out of control,
    making you look fierce;
13 that’s why you attack God
    with everything you say.
14 No human is pure and innocent,
15 and neither are angels—
    not in the sight of God.
If God doesn’t trust his angels,
16     what chance do humans have?
We are so terribly evil
    that we thirst for sin.

Just Listen to What I Know

17 Just listen to what I know,
    and you will learn
18 wisdom known by others
    since ancient times.
19 Those who gained such insights
    also gained the land,
and they were not influenced
    by foreign teachings.
20 But suffering is in store
    each day for those who sin.
21 Even in times of success,
they constantly hear
    the threat of doom.
22 Darkness, despair, and death
    are their destiny.
23 They scrounge around for food,
all the while dreading
    the approaching darkness.
24 They are overcome with despair,
like a terrified king
    about to go into battle.
25 This is because they rebelled
    against God All-Powerful
26 and have attacked him
    with their weapons.

27 They may be rich and fat,
28 but they will live in the ruins
    of deserted towns.
29 Their property and wealth
    will shrink and disappear.
30 They won’t escape the darkness,
and the blazing breath of God
    will set their future aflame.
31 They have put their trust
    in something worthless;
now they will become worthless
32 like a date palm tree
    without a leaf.[c]
33 Or like vineyards or orchards
whose blossoms and unripe fruit
    drop to the ground.
34 Yes, the godless and the greedy
will have nothing but flames
    feasting on their homes,
35 because they are the parents
    of trouble and vicious lies.

Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

I Have Often Heard This

16 Job said:

I have often heard this,
    and it offers no comfort.
So why don’t you keep quiet?
    What’s bothering you?
If I were in your place,
it would be easy to criticize
    or to give advice.
But I would offer hope
    and comfort instead.

If I speak, or if I don’t,
I hurt all the same.
    My torment continues.
God has worn me down
    and destroyed my family;
my shriveled up skin proves
    that I am his prisoner.
God is my hateful enemy,
glaring at me
and attacking
    with his sharp teeth.
10 Everyone is against me;
    they sneer and slap my face.
11 And God is the one
who handed me over
    to this merciless mob.

Everything Was Going Well

12 Everything was going well,
until God grabbed my neck
    and shook me to pieces.
God set me up as the target
13     for his arrows,
and without showing mercy,
he slashed my stomach open,
    spilling out my insides.
14 God never stops attacking,
15     and so, in my sorrow
I dress in sackcloth[d]
    and sit in the dust.
16 My face is red with tears,
and dark shadows
    circle my eyes,
17 though I am not violent,
    and my prayers are sincere.

18 If I should die,
I beg the earth
not to cover
    my cry for justice.
19 Even now, God in heaven
is both my witness
    and my protector.
20 My friends have rejected me,
    but God is the one I beg[e]
21 to show that I am right,
    just as a friend should.
22 Because in only a few years,
    I will be dead and gone.

Footnotes

  1. 15.1 Teman: See the note at 2.11.
  2. 15.8 God’s council: The angels and others who gather to discuss matters with God (see 1.6; 2.1).
  3. 15.32 leaf: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of Verse 32.
  4. 16.15 sackcloth: A rough, dark-colored cloth made from goat hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow.
  5. 16.20 My friends. . . beg: Or “God is my friend, and he is the one I beg.”