2 “Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge, And fill [a]himself with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, Or by speeches with which he can do no good? 4 Yes, you cast off fear, And restrain [b]prayer before God. 5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, And you choose the tongue of the crafty. 6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you.
7 “Are you the first man who was born? Or were you made before the hills? 8 Have you heard the counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself? 9 What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not in us? 10 Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us, Much older than your father. 11 Are the consolations of God too small for you, And the word spoken[c]gently with you? 12 Why does your heart carry you away, And [d]what do your eyes wink at, 13 That you turn your spirit against God, And let such words go out of your mouth?
14 “Whatis man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous? 15 If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight, 16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy, Who drinks iniquity like water!
17 “I will tell you, hear me; What I have seen I will declare, 18 What wise men have told, Not hiding anything receivedfrom their fathers, 19 To whom alone the [e]land was given, And no alien passed among them: 20 The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And the number of years is hidden from the oppressor. 21 [f]Dreadful sounds are in his ears; In prosperity the destroyer comes upon him. 22 He does not believe that he will return from darkness, For a sword is waiting for him. 23 He wanders about for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand. 24 Trouble and anguish make him afraid; They overpower him, like a king ready for [g]battle. 25 For he stretches out his hand against God, And acts defiantly against the Almighty, 26 Running stubbornly against Him With his strong, embossed shield.
27 “Though he has covered his face with his fatness, And made his waist heavy with fat, 28 He dwells in desolate cities, In houses which no one inhabits, Which are destined to become ruins. 29 He will not be rich, Nor will his wealth continue, Nor will his possessions overspread the earth. 30 He will not depart from darkness; The flame will dry out his branches, And by the breath of His mouth he will go away. 31 Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself, For futility will be his reward. 32 It will be accomplished before his time, And his branch will not be green. 33 He will shake off his unripe grape like a vine, And cast off his blossom like an olive tree. 34 For the company of hypocrites will be barren, And fire will consume the tents of bribery. 35 They conceive trouble and bring forth futility; Their womb prepares deceit.”
Job Reproaches His Pitiless Friends
16 Then Job answered and said:
2 “I have heard many such things; Miserable[h] comforters are you all! 3 Shall [i]words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? 4 I also could speak as you do, If your soul were in my soul’s place. I could heap up words against you, And shake my head at you; 5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.
6 “Though I speak, my grief is not relieved; And if I remain silent, how am I eased? 7 But now He has worn me out; You have made desolate all my company. 8 You have shriveled me up, And it is a witness against me; My leanness rises up against me And bears witness to my face. 9 He tears me in His wrath, and hates me; He gnashes at me with His teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze on me. 10 They gape at me with their mouth, They strike me reproachfully on the cheek, They gather together against me. 11 God has delivered me to the ungodly, And turned me over to the hands of the wicked. 12 I was at ease, but He has shattered me; He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces; He has set me up for His target, 13 His archers surround me. He pierces my [j]heart and does not pity; He pours out my gall on the ground. 14 He breaks me with wound upon wound; He runs at me like a [k]warrior.
15 “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, And laid my [l]head in the dust. 16 My face is [m]flushed from weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death; 17 Although no violence is in my hands, And my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, do not cover my blood, And let my cry have no resting place! 19 Surely even now my witness is in heaven, And my evidence is on high. 20 My friends scorn me; My eyes pour out tears to God. 21 Oh, that one might plead for a man with God, As a man pleads for his [n]neighbor! 22 For when a few years are finished, I shall go the way of no return.
Job Prays for Relief
17 “My spirit is broken, My days are extinguished, The grave is ready for me. 2 Are not mockers with me? And does not my eye [o]dwell on their provocation?
3 “Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself. Who is he whowill shake hands with me? 4 For You have hidden their heart from understanding; Therefore You will not exalt them. 5 He who speaks flattery to his friends, Even the eyes of his children will fail.
6 “But He has made me a byword of the people, And I have become one in whose face men spit. 7 My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow, And all my members are like shadows. 8 Upright men are astonished at this, And the innocent stirs himself up against the hypocrite. 9 Yet the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.
10 “But please, come back again, [p]all of you, For I shall not find one wise man among you. 11 My days are past, My purposes are broken off, Even the [q]thoughts of my heart. 12 They change the night into day; ‘The light is near,’ they say, in the face of darkness. 13 If I wait for the grave as my house, If I make my bed in the darkness, 14 If I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’ And to the worm, ‘You are my mother and my sister,’ 15 Where then is my hope? As for my hope, who can see it? 16 Will they go down to the gates of [r]Sheol? Shall we haverest together in the dust?”
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