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Job Continues

Why Doesn’t God Set a Time?

24 Why doesn’t God
    set a time for court?
Why don’t his people know
    where he can be found?
Sinners remove boundary markers
and take care of sheep
    they have stolen.
They cheat orphans and widows
by taking their donkeys
    and oxen.
The poor are trampled
and forced to hide
    in the desert,
where they and their children
must live like wild donkeys
    and search for food.
If they want grain or grapes,[a]
they must go to the property
    of these sinners.
They sleep naked in the cold,
    because they have no cover,
and during a storm
their only shelters are caves
    among the rocky cliffs.

Children whose fathers have died
are taken from their mothers
    as payment for a debt.
10 Then they are forced to work
    naked in the grain fields
because they have no clothes,
    and they go hungry.
11 They crush olives to make oil
and grapes to make wine—
    but still they go thirsty.
12 And along the city streets,
the wounded and dying cry out,
    yet God does nothing.

Some Reject the Light

13 Some rebel and refuse
    to follow the light.
14 Soon after sunset they murder
the poor and the needy,
    and at night they steal.

15 Others wait for the dark,
    thinking they won’t be seen
if they sleep with the wife
    or husband of someone else.
16 Robbers hide during the day,
then break in after dark
    because they reject the light.
17 They prefer night to day,
since the terrors of the night
    are their friends.

Sinners Are Filthy Foam

18 Those sinners are filthy foam
    on the surface of the water.
And so, their fields and vineyards
will fall under a curse
    and won’t produce.
19 Just as the heat of summer
    swallows the snow,
the world of the dead
    swallows those who sin.
20 Forgotten here on earth,
and with their power broken,
    they taste sweet to worms.

21 Sinners take advantage of widows
    and other helpless women.[b]
22 But God’s mighty strength
    destroys those in power.
Even if they seem successful,
    they are doomed to fail.
23 God may let them feel secure,
but they are never
    out of his sight.
24 Great for a while; gone forever!
Sinners are mowed down
    like weeds,
    then they wither and die.
25 If I haven’t spoken the truth,
    then prove me wrong.

Bildad’s Third Speech

God Is the One To Fear

25 Bildad from Shuah[c] said:

God is the one to fear,
because God is in control
    and rules the heavens.
Who can count his army of stars?
    Isn’t God the source of light?
How can anyone be innocent
    in the sight of God?
To him, not even the light
of the moon and stars
    can ever be pure.
So how can we humans,
    when we are merely worms?

Job’s Reply to Bildad

You Have Really Been Helpful

26 Job said:

You have really been helpful
    to someone weak and weary.
You have given great advice
and wonderful wisdom
    to someone truly in need.
How can anyone possibly speak
    with such understanding?

Remember the terrible trembling
of those in the world of the dead
    below the mighty ocean.
Nothing in that land
of death and destruction
    is hidden from God,
who hung the northern sky
and suspended the earth
    on empty space.
God stores water in clouds,
    but they don’t burst,
and he wraps them around
    the face of the moon.
10 On the surface of the ocean,
God has drawn a boundary line
    between light and darkness.
11 And columns supporting the sky
    tremble at his command.

12 By his power and wisdom,
God conquered the force
    of the mighty ocean.[d]
13 The heavens became bright
    when he breathed,
and the escaping sea monster[e]
    died at the hands of God.
14 These things are merely a whisper
    of God’s power at work.
How little we would understand
if this whisper
    ever turned into thunder!

Job Continues

I Am Desperate

27 Job said:

I am desperate because
God All-Powerful
refuses
    to do what is right.
As surely as God lives,
and while he gives me breath,
    I will tell only the truth.
Until the day I die,
I will refuse to do wrong
    by saying you are right,
because each day my conscience
    agrees that I am innocent.

I pray that my enemies
will suffer no less
    than the wicked.
Such people are hopeless,
and God All-Powerful
    will cut them down,
without listening
    when they beg for mercy.
10 And that is what God should do,
because they don’t like him
    or ever pray.
11 Now I will explain in detail
    what God All-Powerful does.
12 All of you have seen these things
for yourselves.
    So you have no excuse.

How God Treats the Wicked

13 Here is how God All-Powerful
treats those who are wicked
    and brutal.
14 They may have many children,
but most of them
will go hungry
    or suffer a violent death.
15 Others will die of disease,
and their widows
    won’t be able to weep.
16 The wicked may collect riches
and clothes in abundance
    as easily as clay.
17 But God’s people will wear
clothes taken from them
    and divide up their riches.
18 No homes built by the wicked
will outlast a cocoon
    or a shack.
19 Those sinners may go to bed rich,
    but they will wake up poor.[f]
20 Terror will strike at night
    like a flood or a storm.
21 Then a scorching wind
    will sweep them away
22 without showing mercy,
    as they try to escape.
23 At last, the wind will celebrate
    because they are gone.

Job Continues

Gold and Silver Are Mined

28 Gold and silver are mined,
    then purified;
the same is done
    with iron and copper.
Miners carry lanterns
deep into the darkness
    to search for these metals.
They dig tunnels
in distant, unknown places,
    where they dangle by ropes.
Far beneath the grain fields,
    fires are built
to break loose those rocks
    that have jewels or gold.[g]

Miners go to places unseen
    by the eyes of hawks;
they walk on soil unknown
    to the proudest lions.
With their own hands
they remove sharp rocks
    and uproot mountains.
10 They dig through the rocks
in search of jewels
    and precious metals.
11 They also uncover
the sources of[h] rivers
    and discover secret places.

Where Is Wisdom Found?

12 But where is wisdom found?
13     No human knows the way.[i]
14 Nor can it be discovered
    in the deepest sea.
15 It is worth much more
than silver or pure gold
16     or precious stones.
17 Nothing is its equal—
    not gold or costly glass.[j]
18 Wisdom is worth much more than
    coral, jasper,[k] or rubies.
19 All the topaz[l] of Ethiopia[m]
and the finest gold
    cannot compare with it.
20 Where then is wisdom?
21 It is hidden from human eyes
    and even from birds.
22 Death and destruction
have merely heard rumors
    about where it is found.
23 God is the only one who knows
    the way to wisdom,
24 because he sees everything
    beneath the heavens.
25 When God divided out
    the wind and the water,
26 and when he decided the path
    for rain and lightning,
27 he also determined the truth
    and defined wisdom.
28 God told us, “Wisdom means
that you respect me, the Lord,
    and turn from sin.”

Footnotes

  1. 24.6 If they want grain or grapes: Poor people were allowed to gather what was left in the fields and vineyards after the harvest.
  2. 24.21 women: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21.
  3. 25.1 Shuah: See the note at 2.11.
  4. 26.12 the force of the mighty ocean: The Hebrew text has “the ocean. . . Rahab.” In this passage the sea monster Rahab stands for the fearsome power of the ocean (see the notes at 3.8 and 9.13).
  5. 26.13 sea monster: The Hebrew text has “snake,” which probably stands for some kind of fearsome sea monster, such as Leviathan (see Isaiah 27.1).
  6. 27.19 poor: Or “dead.”
  7. 28.6 gold: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 5,6.
  8. 28.11 uncover the sources of: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “dam up.”
  9. 28.13 the way: Or “its worth.”
  10. 28.17 costly glass: In the ancient world, objects made of glass were costly.
  11. 28.18 jasper: A valuable stone, usually green or clear.
  12. 28.19 topaz: A valuable, yellow stone.
  13. 28.19 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has “Cush,” which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.

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