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Job Complains to God

My Hopes Have Died

17 My hopes have died,
my time is up,
    and the grave is ready.
All I can see are angry crowds,
    making fun of me.
If you, Lord, don’t help,
who will pay the price
    for my release?
My friends won’t really listen,
    all because of you,
and so you must be the one
    to prove them wrong.
They have condemned me,
just to benefit themselves;
    now blind their children.

You, God, are the reason
    I am insulted and spit on.
I am almost blind with grief;
    my body is a mere shadow.

People who are truly good
    would feel so alarmed,
that they would become angry
    at my worthless friends.
They would do the right thing
and because they did,
    they would grow stronger.[a]
10 But none of my friends
    show any sense.

11 My life is drawing to an end;
    hope has disappeared.
12 But all my friends can do
    is offer empty hopes.[b]
13 I could tell the world below
    to prepare me a bed.
14 Then I could greet the grave
    as my father
and say to the worms,
    “Hello, mother and sisters!”

15 But what kind of hope is that?
16 Will it keep me company
    in the world of the dead?

Bildad’s Second Speech

How Long Will You Talk?

18 Bildad from Shuah[c] said:

How long will you talk?
    Be sensible! Let us speak.
Or do you think that we
    are dumb animals?
You cut yourself in anger.
Will that shake the earth
    or even move the rocks?

The lamps of sinful people
soon are snuffed out,
    leaving their tents dark.
Their powerful legs become weak,
and they stumble on schemes
    of their own doing.
Before they know it,
they are trapped
in a net,
10     hidden along the path.
11 Terror strikes and pursues
    from every side.
12 Starving, they run,
    only to meet disaster,
13 then afterwards to be eaten alive
    by death itself.

14 Those sinners are dragged
from the safety of their tents
    to die a gruesome death.
15 Then their tents and possessions
    are burned to ashes,
16 and they are left like trees,
    dried up from the roots.
17 They are gone and forgotten,
18 thrown far from the light
    into a world of darkness,
19 without any children
    to carry on their name.
20 Everyone, from east to west,
    is overwhelmed with horror.
21 Such is the fate of sinners
and their families
    who don’t know God.

Job’s Reply to Bildad

How Long Will You Torture Me?

19 Job said:

How long will you torture me
    with your words?
Isn’t ten times enough
for you to accuse me?
    Aren’t you ashamed?
Even if I have sinned,
    you haven’t been harmed.
You boast of your goodness,
claiming I am suffering
    because I am guilty.
But God is the one at fault
    for finding fault with me.

Though I pray to be rescued
    from this torment,
no whisper of justice
    answers me.
God has me trapped
with a wall of darkness
    and stripped of respect.
10 God rips me apart,
    uproots my hopes,
11 and attacks with fierce anger,
    as though I were his enemy.
12 His entire army advances,
    then surrounds my tent.

I Am Forgotten

13 God has turned relatives
and friends against me,
14     and I am forgotten.
15 My guests and my servants
    consider me a stranger,
16 and when I call my servants,
    they pay no attention.
17 My breath disgusts my wife;
everyone in my family
    turns away.
18 Young children can’t stand me,
and when I come near,
    they make fun.
19 My best friends and loved ones
    have turned from me.
20 I am skin and bones—
    just barely alive.
21 My friends, I beg you for pity!
    God has made me his target.
22 Hasn’t he already done enough?
    Why do you join the attack?

23 I wish that my words
could be written down
24     or chiseled into rock.
25 I know that my Savior[d] lives,
and at the end
    he will stand on this earth.
26 My flesh may be destroyed,
yet from this body
    I will see God.[e]
27 Yes, I will see him for myself,
    and I long for that moment.

28 My friends, you think up ways
to blame and torment me,
saying
    I brought it on myself.
29 But watch out for the judgment,
    when God will punish you!

Zophar’s Second Speech

Your Words Are Disturbing

20 Zophar from Naamah[f] said:

Your words are disturbing;
    now I must speak.
You have accused
    and insulted me,
    and reason requires a reply.
Since the time of creation,
    everyone has known
that sinful people are happy
    for only a while.
Though their pride and power
    may reach to the sky,
they will disappear like dust,
and those who knew them
    will wonder what happened.
They will be forgotten
    like a dream
and vanish from the sight
    of family and friends.
10 Their children will have to repay
what the parents took
    from the poor.
11 Indeed, the wicked will die
and go to their graves
    in the prime of life.

Sinners Love the Taste of Sin

12 Sinners love the taste of sin;
they relish every bite
13     and swallow it slowly.
14 But their food will turn sour
    and poison their stomachs.
15 Then God will make them lose
    the wealth they gobbled down.
16 They will die from the fangs
    of poisonous snakes
17 and never enjoy rivers flowing
    with milk and honey.
18 Their hard work will result
    in nothing gained,
19 because they cheated the poor
    and took their homes.

20 Greedy people want everything
    and are never satisfied.[g]
21 But when nothing remains
for them to grab,
    they will be nothing.
22 Once they have everything,
distress and despair
    will strike them down,
23 and God will make them swallow
    his blazing anger.[h]

24 While running from iron spears,
they will be killed
    by arrows of bronze,
25 whose shining tips go straight
    through their bodies.
They will be trapped by terror,
26 and what they treasure most
    will be lost in the dark.
God will send flames
to destroy them in their tents
    with all their property.
27 The heavens and the earth
    will testify against them,
28 and all their possessions
will be dragged off
    when God becomes angry.
29 This is what God has decided
    for those who are evil.

Footnotes

  1. 17.9 stronger: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 8,9.
  2. 17.12 hopes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
  3. 18.1 Shuah: See the note at 2.11.
  4. 19.25 Savior: Or “Defender.”
  5. 19.26 God: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 25,26.
  6. 20.1 Naamah: See the note at 2.11.
  7. 20.20 are never satisfied: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. 20.23 anger: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 23.

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