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Zophar Speaks: Job’s Guilt Deserves Punishment

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
    and should one full of talk be vindicated?(A)
Should your babble put others to silence,
    and when you mock, shall no one shame you?(B)
For you say, ‘My conduct[a] is pure,
    and I am clean in God’s[b] sight.’(C)
But O that God would speak
    and open his lips to you
and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
    For wisdom is many-sided.[c]
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.(D)

“Can you find out the deep things of God?
    Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?[d](E)
It is higher than heaven[e]—what can you do?
    Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?(F)
Its measure is longer than the earth
    and broader than the sea.
10 If he passes through and imprisons
    and assembles for judgment, who can hinder him?(G)
11 For he knows those who are worthless;
    when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?(H)
12 But the stupid will get understanding
    when a wild ass is born human.[f]

13 “If you direct your heart rightly,
    you will stretch out your hands toward him.(I)
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
    and do not let wickedness reside in your tents.(J)
15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
    you will be secure and will not fear.(K)
16 You will forget your misery;
    you will remember it as waters that have passed away.(L)
17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
    its darkness will be like the morning.(M)
18 And you will have confidence because there is hope;
    you will be protected[g] and take your rest in safety.(N)
19 You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid;
    many will entreat your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
    all way of escape will be lost to them,
    and their hope is to breathe their last.”(O)

Job Replies: I Am a Laughingstock

12 Then Job answered:

“No doubt you are the people,
    and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you;
    I am not inferior to you.
    Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends;
    I, who called upon God and he answered me,
    a just and blameless man, I am a laughingstock.(P)
Those at ease have contempt for misfortune,[h]
    but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.(Q)
The tents of robbers are at peace,
    and those who provoke God are secure,
    who bring their god in their hands.[i](R)

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth,[j] and they will teach you,
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?(S)
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of every human being.(T)
11 Does not the ear test words
    as the palate tastes food?(U)
12 Is wisdom with the aged
    and understanding in length of days?(V)

13 “With God[k] are wisdom and strength;
    he has counsel and understanding.(W)
14 If he tears down, no one can rebuild;
    if he shuts someone in, no one can open up.(X)
15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
    if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.(Y)
16 With him are strength and wisdom;
    the deceived and the deceiver are his.(Z)
17 He leads counselors away stripped
    and makes fools of judges.(AA)
18 He looses the sash of kings
    and binds a waistcloth on their loins.(AB)
19 He leads priests away stripped
    and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted
    and takes away the discernment of the elders.(AC)
21 He pours contempt on princes
    and looses the belt of the strong.(AD)
22 He uncovers deep things from the darkness
    and brings deep darkness to light.(AE)
23 He makes nations great, then destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, then leads them away.(AF)
24 He strips understanding from the leaders[l] of the earth
    and makes them wander in a pathless waste.(AG)
25 They grope in the dark without light;
    he makes them stagger like a drunkard.(AH)

13 “Look, my eye has seen all this;
    my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
    I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,[m]
    and I desire to argue my case with God.(AI)
As for you, you whitewash with lies;
    all of you are worthless physicians.(AJ)
If you would only keep silent,
    that would be your wisdom!(AK)
Hear now my reasoning,
    and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak falsely for God
    and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality toward him;
    will you plead the case for God?
Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
    Or can you deceive him as one person deceives another?(AL)
10 He will surely rebuke you
    if in secret you show partiality.
11 Will not his majesty terrify you
    and the dread of him fall upon you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
    your defenses are defenses of clay.(AM)

13 “Let me have silence, and I will speak,
    and let come on me what may.
14 I will take my flesh in my teeth
    and put my life in my hand.[n](AN)
15 See, he will kill me; I have no hope;[o]
    but I will defend my ways to his face.(AO)
16 This will be my salvation,
    that the godless shall not come before him.(AP)
17 Listen carefully to my words,
    and let my declaration be in your ears.(AQ)
18 I have indeed prepared my case;
    I know that I shall be vindicated.
19 Who is there who will contend with me?
    For then I would be silent and die.(AR)

Job’s Despondent Prayer

20 “Only grant two things to me;
    then I will not hide myself from your face:
21 withdraw your hand far from me,
    and do not let dread of you terrify me.(AS)
22 Then call, and I will answer;
    or let me speak, and you reply to me.(AT)
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins?
    Make me know my transgression and my sin.(AU)
24 Why do you hide your face
    and count me as your enemy?(AV)
25 Will you frighten a windblown leaf
    and pursue dry chaff?(AW)
26 For you write bitter things against me
    and make me reap[p] the iniquities of my youth.(AX)
27 You put my feet in the stocks
    and watch all my paths;
    you set a bound to the soles of my feet.
28 One wastes away like a rotten thing,
    like a garment that is moth-eaten.(AY)


  1. 11.4 Gk: Heb teaching
  2. 11.4 Heb your
  3. 11.6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. 11.7 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  5. 11.8 Heb The heights of heaven
  6. 11.12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. 11.18 Or you will look around
  8. 12.5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  9. 12.6 Or whom God brought forth by his hand; meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. 12.8 Or speak to the earth
  11. 12.13 Heb him
  12. 12.24 Heb adds of the people
  13. 13.3 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  14. 13.14 Gk: Heb Why should I take . . . in my hand?
  15. 13.15 Or Though he kill me, yet I will trust in him
  16. 13.26 Heb inherit

The Conversion of Saul

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest(A) and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.(B) He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”(C) He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one.(D) Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing;[a] so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”(E) 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying,(F) 12 and he has seen in a vision[b] a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.”(G) 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel;(H) 16 I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”(I) 17 So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul[c] and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”(J) 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul Preaches in Damascus

For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus,(K) 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”(L)

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  1. 9.8 Other ancient authorities read no one
  2. 9.12 Other ancient authorities lack in a vision
  3. 9.17 Gk him