30 Young people now insult me, although their fathers would have been a disgrace to my sheep dogs. 2 And those who insult me are helpless themselves. 3 They must claw the desert sand in the dark for something to satisfy their hunger.[a] 4 They gather tasteless shrubs for food and firewood, 5 and they are run out of towns, as though they were thieves. 6 Their only homes are ditches or holes between rocks, 7 where they bray like donkeys gathering around shrubs. 8 And like senseless donkeys they are chased away.
Those Worthless Nobodies
9 Those worthless nobodies make up jokes and songs to disgrace me. 10 They are hateful and keep their distance, even while spitting in my direction. 11 God has destroyed me, and so they don’t care what they do.[b] 12 Their attacks never stop, though I am defenseless, and my feet are trapped.[c] 13 Without any help, they prevent my escape, destroying me completely[d] 14 and leaving me crushed. 15 Terror has me surrounded; my reputation and my riches have vanished like a cloud.
I Am Sick at Heart
16 I am sick at heart! Pain has taken its toll. 17 Night chews on my bones, causing endless torment, 18 and God has shrunk my skin, choking me to death. 19 I have been thrown in the dirt and now am dirt myself. 20 I beg God for help, but there is no answer; and when I stand up, he simply stares. 21 God has turned brutal, 22 stirring up a windstorm to toss me about. 23 Soon he will send me home to the world of the dead, where we all must go.
24 No one refuses help to others, when disaster strikes.[e] 25 I mourned for the poor and those who suffered. 26 But when I beg for relief and light, all I receive are disaster and darkness. 27 My stomach is tied in knots; pain is my daily companion. 28 Suffering has scorched my skin, and in the city council I stand and cry out, 29 making mournful sounds like jackals[f] and owls. 30 My skin is so parched, that it peels right off, and my bones are burning. 31 My only songs are sorrow and sadness.
I Promised Myself
31 I promised myself never to stare with desire at a young woman. 2 God All-Powerful punishes men who do that. 3 In fact, God sends disaster on all who sin, 4 and he keeps a close watch on everything I do.
5 I am not dishonest or deceitful, 6 and I beg God to prove my innocence. 7 If I have disobeyed him or even wanted to, 8 then others can eat my harvest and uproot my crops. 9 If I have desired someone’s wife and chased after her, 10 then let some stranger steal my wife from me. 11 If I took someone’s wife, it would be a horrible crime, 12 sending me to destruction and my crops to the flames.[g]
13 When my servants complained against me, I was fair to them. 14 Otherwise, what answer would I give to God when he judges me? 15 After all, God is the one who gave life to each of us before we were born.
I Have Never Cheated Anyone
16 I have never cheated widows or others in need, 17 and I have always shared my food with orphans. 18 Since the time I was young, I have cared for orphans and helped widows.[h] 19 I provided clothes for the poor, 20 and I was praised for supplying woolen garments to keep them warm. 21 If I have ever raised my arm to threaten an orphan when the power was mine, 22 I hope that arm will fall from its socket. 23 I could not have been abusive; I was terrified at the thought that God might punish me. 24 I have never trusted the power of wealth, 25 or taken pride in owning many possessions. 26 I have never openly or secretly 27 worshiped the sun or moon. 28 Such horrible sins would have deserved punishment from God.
29 I have never laughed when my enemies were struck by disaster. 30 Neither have I sinned by asking God to send down on them the curse of death. 31 No one ever went hungry[i] at my house, 32 and travelers were always welcome. 33 Many have attempted to hide their sins from others— but I refused. 34 And the fear of public disgrace never forced me to keep silent about what I had done.
Why Doesn’t God Listen?
35 Why doesn’t God All-Powerful listen and answer? If God has something against me, let him speak up or put it in writing! 36 Then I would wear his charges on my clothes and forehead. 37 And with my head held high, I would tell him everything I have ever done.
38 I have never mistreated the land I farmed and made it mourn.[j] 39 Nor have I cheated my workers and caused them pain.[k] 40 If I had, I would pray for weeds instead of wheat to grow in my fields. After saying these things, Job was silent.
30.3hunger: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
30.11God. . . do: Or “They have destroyed me, and so they don’t care what else they do.”
30.12trapped: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
30.13destroying. . . completely: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
30.24strikes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 24.
30.29jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.
31.12flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
31.18widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
31.31ever went hungry: Or “was ever sexually abused” (see Genesis 19.1-11; Judges 19.22-30). In ancient Israel, the lives of one’s guests were sacred and had to be protected at any cost.
31.38mourn: In biblical times there were strict regulations for proper use of the land, and land that was abused was said to “mourn” and become no longer productive.
31.39pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.
26 Now listen, you descendants of Abraham! Pay attention, all of you Gentiles who are here to worship God! Listen to this message about how to be saved, because it is for everyone. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their leaders didn’t realize who Jesus was. And they didn’t understand the words of the prophets that they read each Sabbath. So they condemned Jesus just as the prophets had said.
28-29 They did exactly what the Scriptures said they would. Even though they couldn’t find any reason to put Jesus to death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed.
After Jesus had been put to death, he was taken down from the cross[a] and placed in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from death! 31 Then for many days Jesus appeared to his followers who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Now they are telling our people about him.
32 God made a promise to our ancestors. And we are here to tell you the good news 33 that he has kept this promise to us. It is just as the second Psalm says about Jesus,
“You are my son because today I have become your Father.”
34 God raised Jesus from death and will never let his body decay. It is just as God said,
“I will make to you the same holy promise that I made to David.”
35 And in another psalm it says, “God will never let the body of his Holy One decay.”
36 When David was alive, he obeyed God. Then after he died, he was buried in the family grave, and his body decayed. 37 But God raised Jesus from death, and his body did not decay.
38 My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins. 39 But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free. 40 Make sure that what the prophets have said doesn’t happen to you. They said,
41 “Look, you people who make fun of God! Be amazed and disappear. I will do something today that you won’t believe, even if someone tells you about it!”
42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the meeting, the people begged them to say more about these same things on the next Sabbath. 43 After the service, many Jews and a lot of Gentiles who worshiped God went with them. Paul and Barnabas begged them all to remain faithful to God, who had been so kind to them.
44 The next Sabbath almost everyone in town came to hear the message about the Lord.[b]45 When the Jewish people saw the crowds, they were very jealous. They insulted Paul and spoke against everything he said.
46 But Paul and Barnabas bravely said:
We had to tell God’s message to you before we told it to anyone else. But you rejected the message! This proves that you don’t deserve eternal life. Now we are going to the Gentiles. 47 The Lord has given us this command,
“I have placed you here as a light for the Gentiles. You are to take the saving power of God to people everywhere on earth.”
48 This message made the Gentiles glad, and they praised what they had heard about the Lord. [c] Everyone who had been chosen for eternal life then put their faith in the Lord.
49 The message about the Lord spread all over that region. 50 But the Jewish leaders went to some of the important men in the town and to some respected women who were religious. They turned them against Paul and Barnabas and started making trouble for them. They even chased them out of that part of the country.
51 Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from that place off their feet[d] and went on to the city of Iconium.
52 But the Lord’s followers in Antioch were very happy and were filled with the Holy Spirit.
13.28,29cross: This translates a Greek word that means “wood,” “pole,” or “tree.”
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