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Job 12-15

Job’s Reply to Zophar

12 Then Job answered:

No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you!
But I also have a mind like you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who doesn’t know the things you are talking about?[a]

I am a laughingstock to my[b] friends,
by calling on God, who answers me.[c]
The righteous and upright man is a laughingstock.
The one who is at ease holds calamity in contempt
and thinks it is prepared for those whose feet are slipping.
The tents of robbers are safe,
and those who trouble God are secure;
God holds them in his hands.[d]

But ask the animals, and they will instruct you;
ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and it will instruct you;
let the fish of the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 The life of every living thing is in his hand,
as well as the breath of all mankind.
11 Doesn’t the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is found with the elderly,
and understanding comes with long life.

13 Wisdom and strength belong to God;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 Whatever he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
whoever he imprisons cannot be released.
15 When he withholds water, everything dries up,
and when he releases it, it destroys the land.
16 True wisdom and power belong to him.
The deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away barefoot
and makes judges go mad.
18 He releases the bonds[e] put on by kings
and fastens a belt around their waists.
19 He leads priests away barefoot
and overthrows established leaders.
20 He deprives trusted advisers of speech
and takes away the elders’ good judgment.
21 He pours out contempt on nobles
and disarms[f] the strong.
22 He reveals mysteries from the darkness
and brings the deepest darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, then destroys them;
he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
24 He deprives the world’s leaders of reason,
and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.
25 They grope around in darkness without light;
he makes them stagger like a drunkard.

13 Look, my eyes have seen all this;
my ears have heard and understood it.
Everything you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
Yet I prefer to speak to the Almighty
and argue my case before God.
You use lies like plaster;
you are all worthless healers.
If only you would shut up
and let that be your wisdom!

Hear now my argument,
and listen to my defense.[g]
Would you testify unjustly on God’s behalf
or speak deceitfully for him?
Would you show partiality to him
or argue the case in his defense?
Would it go well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you would deceive a man?
10 Surely he would rebuke you
if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would God’s majesty not terrify you?
Would his dread not fall on you?
12 Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ash;
your defenses are made of clay.

13 Be quiet,[h] and I will speak.
Let whatever comes happen to me.
14 I will put[i] myself at risk[j]
and take my life in my own hands.
15 Even if he kills me, I will hope in him.[k]
I will still defend my ways before him.
16 Yes, this will result in my deliverance,
for no godless person can appear before him.
17 Pay close attention to my words;
let my declaration ring in your ears.
18 Now then, I have prepared my case;
I know that I am right.
19 Can anyone indict me?
If so, I will be silent and die.

20 Only grant these two things to me, God,
so that I will not have to hide from your presence:
21 remove your hand from me,
and do not let your terror frighten me.
22 Then call, and I will answer,
or I will speak, and you can respond to me.
23 How many iniquities and sins have I committed?[l]
Reveal to me my transgression and sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you frighten a wind-driven leaf?
Will you chase after dry straw?
26 For you record bitter accusations against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks
and stand watch over all my paths,
setting a limit for the soles[m] of my feet.

28 A person wears out like something rotten,
like a moth-eaten garment.

14 Anyone born of woman
is short of days and full of trouble.
He blossoms like a flower, then withers;
he flees like a shadow and does not last.
Do you really take notice of one like this?
Will you bring me into judgment against you?[n]
Who can produce something pure from what is impure?
No one!
Since a person’s days are determined
and the number of his months depends on you,
and since you have set[o] limits he cannot pass,
look away from him and let him rest
so that he can enjoy his day like a hired worker.

There is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its shoots will not die.
If its roots grow old in the ground
and its stump starts to die in the soil,
the scent of water makes it thrive
and produce twigs like a sapling.
10 But a person dies and fades away;
he breathes his last—where is he?
11 As water disappears from a lake
and a river becomes parched and dry,
12 so people lie down never to rise again.
They will not wake up until the heavens are no more;
they will not stir from their sleep.

13 If only you would hide me in Sheol
and conceal me until your anger passes.
If only you would appoint a time for me
and then remember me.
14 When a person dies, will he come back to life?
If so, I would wait all the days of my struggle
until my relief comes.
15 You would call, and I would answer you.
You would long for the work of your hands.
16 For then you would count my steps
but would not take note of my sin.
17 My rebellion would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.

18 But as a mountain collapses and crumbles
and a rock is dislodged from its place,
19 as water wears away stones
and torrents wash away the soil from the land,
so you destroy a man’s hope.
20 You completely overpower him, and he passes on;
you change his appearance and send him away.
21 If his sons receive honor, he does not know it;
if they become insignificant, he is unaware of it.
22 He feels only the pain of his own body
and mourns only for himself.

Second Series of Speeches

Eliphaz Speaks

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

Does a wise man answer with empty[p] counsel
or fill himself[q] with the hot east wind?
Should he argue with useless talk
or with words that serve no good purpose?
But you even undermine the fear of God
and hinder meditation before him.
Your iniquity teaches you what to say,
and you choose the language of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, not I;
your own lips testify against you.

Were you the first human ever born,
or were you brought forth before the hills?
Do you listen in on the council of God,
or have a monopoly on wisdom?
What do you know that we don’t?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 Both the gray-haired and the elderly are with us—
older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,
even the words that deal gently with you?
12 Why has your heart misled you,
and why do your eyes flash
13 as you turn your anger[r] against God
and allow such words to leave your mouth?

14 What is a mere human, that he should be pure,
or one born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 If God puts no trust in his holy ones
and the heavens are not pure in his sight,
16 how much less one who is revolting and corrupt,
who drinks injustice like water?

17 Listen to me and I will inform you.
I will describe what I have seen,
18 what the wise have declared and not concealed,
that came from their ancestors,
19 to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigner passed among them.
20 A wicked person writhes in pain all his days,
throughout the number of years reserved for the ruthless.
21 Dreadful sounds fill his ears;
when he is at peace, a robber attacks him.
22 He doesn’t believe he will return from darkness;
he is destined for the sword.
23 He wanders about for food, asking, “Where is it?”
He knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Trouble and distress terrify him,
overwhelming him like a king prepared for battle.
25 For he has stretched out his hand against God
and has arrogantly opposed the Almighty.
26 He rushes headlong at him
with his thick, studded shields.
27 Though his face is covered with fat[s]
and his waistline bulges with it,
28 he will dwell in ruined cities,
in abandoned houses destined to become piles of rubble.
29 He will no longer be rich; his wealth will not endure.
His possessions[t] will not increase in the land.
30 He will not escape from the darkness;
flames will wither his shoots,
and by the breath of God’s mouth, he will depart.
31 Let him not put trust in worthless things, being led astray,
for what he gets in exchange will prove worthless.
32 It will be accomplished before his time,
and his branch will not flourish.
33 He will be like a vine that drops its unripe grapes
and like an olive tree that sheds its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless will have no children,
and fire will consume the tents of those who offer bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;
their womb prepares deception.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:3 Lit With whom are not such things as these?
  2. 12:4 Lit his
  3. 12:4 Lit him
  4. 12:6 Or secure; to those who bring their god in their hands
  5. 12:18 Text emended; MT reads discipline
  6. 12:21 Lit and loosens the belt of
  7. 13:6 Lit to the claims of my lips
  8. 13:13 Lit quiet before me
  9. 13:14 LXX; MT reads Why do I put
  10. 13:14 Lit I take my flesh in my teeth
  11. 13:15 Some Hb mss read I will be without hope
  12. 13:23 Lit sins are to me
  13. 13:27 Lit paths. You mark a line around the roots
  14. 14:3 LXX, Syr, Vg read him
  15. 14:5 Lit set his
  16. 15:2 Lit windy; Jb 16:3
  17. 15:2 Lit his belly
  18. 15:13 Or spirit
  19. 15:27 Lit with his fat
  20. 15:29 Text emended; MT reads Their gain
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1 Corinthians 15:29-58

Resurrection Supported by Christian Experience

29 Otherwise what will they do who are being baptized for the dead?[a] If the dead are not raised at all, then why are people baptized for them?[b] 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I face death every day, as surely as I may boast about you, brothers and sisters, in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus as a mere man, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.[c] 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Come to your senses[d] and stop sinning; for some people are ignorant about God. I say this to your shame.

The Nature of the Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come?” 36 You fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And as for what you sow—you are not sowing the body that will be, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he wants, and to each of the seeds its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same flesh; there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones. 41 There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; in fact, one star differs from another star in splendor. 42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; 43 sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; 44 sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written, The first man Adam became a living being;[e] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.

47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is[f] from heaven. 48 Like the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; like the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Victorious Resurrection

50 What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Listen, I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. 54 When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place:

Death has been swallowed up in victory.[g]
55 Where, death, is your victory?
Where, death, is your sting?[h]

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:29 Or baptized on account of the dead
  2. 15:29 Other mss read for the dead
  3. 15:32 Is 22:13
  4. 15:34 Lit Sober up
  5. 15:45 Gn 2:7
  6. 15:47 Other mss add the Lord
  7. 15:54 Is 25:8
  8. 15:55 Hs 13:14
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Psalm 39

Psalm 39

The Fleeting Nature of Life

For the choir director, for Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

I said, “I will guard my ways
so that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle
as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was speechless and quiet;
I kept silent, even from speaking good,
and my pain intensified.
My heart grew hot within me;
as I mused, a fire burned.
I spoke with my tongue:
Lord, make me aware of my end
and the number of my days
so that I will know how short-lived I am.
In fact, you have made my days just inches long,
and my life span is as nothing to you.
Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor.Selah
Yes, a person goes about like a mere shadow.
Indeed, they rush around in vain,
gathering possessions
without knowing who will get them.

“Now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the taunt of fools.
I am speechless; I do not open my mouth
because of what you have done.
10 Remove your torment from me.
Because of the force of your hand I am finished.
11 You discipline a person with punishment for iniquity,
consuming like a moth what is precious to him;
yes, every human being is only a vapor.Selah

12 “Hear my prayer, Lord,
and listen to my cry for help;
do not be silent at my tears.
For I am here with you as an alien,
a temporary resident like all my ancestors.
13 Turn your angry gaze from me
so that I may be cheered up
before I die and am gone.”

Read More
Proverbs 21:30-31

30 No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel
will prevail against the Lord.

31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but victory comes from the Lord.

Read More
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The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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