17 1 My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. 2 Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility.
3 “Give me, O God, the pledge you demand. Who else will put up security for me? 4 You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore you will not let them triumph. 5 If anyone denounces their friends for reward, the eyes of their children will fail.
6 “God has made me a byword to everyone, a man in whose face people spit. 7 My eyes have grown dim with grief; my whole frame is but a shadow. 8 The upright are appalled at this; the innocent are aroused against the ungodly. 9 Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.
10 “But come on, all of you, try again! I will not find a wise man among you. 11 My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart 12 turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near. 13 If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness, 14 if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’ 15 where then is my hope— who can see any hope for me? 16 Will it go down to the gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust?”
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “When will you end these speeches? Be sensible, and then we can talk. 3 Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight? 4 You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, is the earth to be abandoned for your sake? Or must the rocks be moved from their place?
5 “The lamp of a wicked man is snuffed out; the flame of his fire stops burning. 6 The light in his tent becomes dark; the lamp beside him goes out. 7 The vigor of his step is weakened; his own schemes throw him down. 8 His feet thrust him into a net; he wanders into its mesh. 9 A trap seizes him by the heel; a snare holds him fast. 10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground; a trap lies in his path. 11 Terrors startle him on every side and dog his every step. 12 Calamity is hungry for him; disaster is ready for him when he falls. 13 It eats away parts of his skin; death’s firstborn devours his limbs. 14 He is torn from the security of his tent and marched off to the king of terrors. 15 Fire resides[a] in his tent; burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling. 16 His roots dry up below and his branches wither above. 17 The memory of him perishes from the earth; he has no name in the land. 18 He is driven from light into the realm of darkness and is banished from the world. 19 He has no offspring or descendants among his people, no survivor where once he lived. 20 People of the west are appalled at his fate; those of the east are seized with horror. 21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who does not know God.”
19 Then Job replied:
2 “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? 3 Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me. 4 If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. 5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me, 6 then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me.
7 “Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice. 8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass; he has shrouded my paths in darkness. 9 He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head. 10 He tears me down on every side till I am gone; he uproots my hope like a tree. 11 His anger burns against me; he counts me among his enemies. 12 His troops advance in force; they build a siege ramp against me and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. 14 My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. 15 My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. 16 I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. 17 My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. 18 Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. 19 All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. 20 I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.[b]
21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me. 22 Why do you pursue me as God does? Will you never get enough of my flesh?
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, 24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on[c] lead, or engraved in rock forever! 25 I know that my redeemer[d] lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[e] 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet[f] in[g] my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him,[h]’ 29 you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment.[i]”
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed. 3 I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply.
4 “Surely you know how it has been from of old, ever since mankind[j] was placed on the earth, 5 that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment. 6 Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens and his head touches the clouds, 7 he will perish forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8 Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found, banished like a vision of the night. 9 The eye that saw him will not see him again; his place will look on him no more. 10 His children must make amends to the poor; his own hands must give back his wealth. 11 The youthful vigor that fills his bones will lie with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue, 13 though he cannot bear to let it go and lets it linger in his mouth, 14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents within him. 15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them up. 16 He will suck the poison of serpents; the fangs of an adder will kill him. 17 He will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and cream. 18 What he toiled for he must give back uneaten; he will not enjoy the profit from his trading. 19 For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses he did not build.
20 “Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure. 21 Nothing is left for him to devour; his prosperity will not endure. 22 In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him; the full force of misery will come upon him. 23 When he has filled his belly, God will vent his burning anger against him and rain down his blows on him. 24 Though he flees from an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him. 25 He pulls it out of his back, the gleaming point out of his liver. Terrors will come over him; 26 total darkness lies in wait for his treasures. A fire unfanned will consume him and devour what is left in his tent. 27 The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him. 28 A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters[k] on the day of God’s wrath. 29 Such is the fate God allots the wicked, the heritage appointed for them by God.”
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