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Job 12:1-15:35; 1 Corinthians 15:29-58; Psalms 39:1-13; Proverbs 21:30-31 (Common English Bible)

Job 12-15

A living joke

12 Job responded:

Surely you are the people,
    and wisdom will die with you.
I am also intelligent;
    I’m not inferior to you.
    Who isn’t like these people?[a]
I’m a joke to friends
        who called to God and he answered;
    the innocent and blameless one is a joke,
    a torch[b] of contempt to one who is idle,
    a fixed point for slipping feet.

Proverbial wisdom

Raiders’ tents are prosperous
    and God’s provokers secure,
    who carry God in their hands.[c]
But ask Behemoth, and he will teach you,
    the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
    or talk to earth, and it will teach you;
    the fish of the sea will recount it for you.
Among all these, who hasn’t known
    that the Lord’s hand did this?
10 In whose grasp is the life of every thing,
    the breath of every person?
11 Doesn’t the ear test words
    and the palate taste food?
12 “In old age is wisdom;
    understanding in a long life.”

God’s majesty

13 With him are wisdom and power;
    counsel and understanding are his.
14 If he tears down, it can’t be rebuilt;
    if he ties a person up, he can’t be set free.
15 If he restricts water, they have drought;
    if he lets it loose, it overturns the land.
16 With him are might and success;
    the deceiver and the deceived are his.
17 He leads advisors away barefoot;
        makes madmen of judges;
18     unties the belt of kings,
        binds a garment around their loins;
19     leads priests away barefoot;
    overthrows the well-established;
20     silences the talk of trusted people;
    takes away elders’ discernment;
21     pours contempt on royalty;
    loosens the belt of the strong;
22     discloses deep secrets of darkness,
    makes utter darkness enter the light;
23     makes nations prominent and destroys them,
    expands nations and leads them astray;
24     takes away the power to think from earth’s leaders,
    making them wander in untraveled wastelands.
25     They feel their way in the dark without light;
        he makes them stumble like drunks.

Self-defense

13 Look, my eye has seen it all;
    my ear has heard and understood it.
Just as you know, I also know;
    I’m not inferior to you.
But I want to speak to the Almighty;
    I would gladly present my case to God.

Friends attacked

You, however, are plasterers of lies;
    ineffective healers, all of you.
Would that you were completely quiet;
    that would be your wisdom.
Hear my teaching
    and pay attention to the arguments of my lips.
Will you speak injustice for God,
    speak deceit on his behalf?
Will you be partial
    or contend for God?
Will it go well when he searches you,
    or can you fool him as you fool people?
10 He will certainly correct you
    if you’ve been secretly partial.
11 Wouldn’t his majesty scare you
    and dread of him fall on you?
12 Your old sayings are proverbs made of ashes,
    your sayings defenses made of clay.

Job will speak out

13 Be quiet and I will speak,
    come what may.
14 For what reason will I take my flesh in my teeth,
    put my life in jeopardy?
15 He will slay me; I’m without hope;[d]
    I will surely prove my way to his face.
16 Also this will be my vindication,
    that a godless person won’t come before him.
17 Listen closely to my words
    so that my remarks will be in your ears.

Against God

18 Look, I have laid out my case;
    I know that I’m innocent.
19 Who would dare contend with me,
    for then I would be quiet and die.
20 Only don’t do two things to me,
    then I won’t hide from your face.
21 Remove your hand far from me
    and don’t terrify me with your anger.
22 Then call and I’ll answer,
    or I’ll speak and you can reply.
23 How many are my offenses and sins?
    Inform me about my rebellions and sins.
24 Why hide your face from me
    and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you cause a wind-tossed leaf to tremble, or will you pursue dry straw?
26 You even write bitter things about me,
    make me inherit my youthful indiscretions.
27 You tie up my feet and restrict all actions;
    you stamp marks on the bottom of my feet.

Human destiny

28 Surely a person wastes away like refuse,
    like clothing that a moth eats.

14 All of us[e] are born of women,
    have few days, and are full of turmoil.
Like a flower, we[f] bloom, then wither,
    flee like a shadow, and don’t last.
(Yes, you open your eyes on this one;
    you bring me into trial against you.)
Who can make pure from impure?
    Nobody.
If our days are fixed, the number of our months with you,
    you set a statute and we can’t exceed it.
Look away from us that we may rest,
    until we are satisfied like a worker at day’s end.

Trees versus humans

Indeed there is hope for a tree.
    If it’s cut down and still sprouting
    and its shoots don’t fail,
    if its roots age in the ground
        and its stump dies in the dust,
    at the scent of water, it will bud
        and produce sprouts like a plant.
10 But a human dies and lies there;
    a person expires, and where is he?
11 Water vanishes from the sea;
    a river dries up completely.
12 But a human lies down and doesn’t rise
        until the heavens cease;
    they don’t get up and awaken from sleep.

Momentary hope

13 I wish you would hide me in the underworld,[g]
    conceal me until your anger passes,
    set a time for me, and remember me.
14 If people die, will they live again?
    All the days of my service I would wait
        until my restoration took place.
15 You would call, and I would answer you;
    you would long for your handiwork.
16 Though you now number my steps,
    you would not keep a record of my sin.
17 My rebellion is sealed in a bag;
    you would cover my sin.

God crushes hope

18 But an eroding mountain breaks up,
    and rock is displaced.
19 Water wears away boulders;
    floods carry away soil;
    you destroy a people’s hope.
20 You overpower them relentlessly, and they die;
    you change their appearance and send them away.
21 Their children achieve honor, and they don’t know it;
    their children become insignificant, and they don’t see it.
22 They only feel the pain of their body,
    and they mourn for themselves.

Job’s intelligence questioned

15 Eliphaz answered:

Will the wise respond with windy knowledge
    and fill their belly with the east wind?
Will they argue with a word that has no benefit
    and with unprofitable words?
You are truly making religion ineffective
    and restraining meditation before God.
Your mouth multiplies your sins a thousand times;
    you opt for a clever tongue.
Your mouth condemns you, not I;
    your lips argue against you.
Were you born the first Adam,
    brought forth before the hills?
Did you listen in God’s council;
    is wisdom limited to you?
What do you know that we don’t know;
    what do you understand that isn’t among us?
10 Both the graybeard and the aged are with us;
    those much older than your father.
11 Are God’s comforts not enough for you,
    a word spoken gently with you?
12 Why has your mind seized you,
    why have your eyes flashed,
13     so that you return your breath to God
    and utter such words from your mouth?
14 What are humans that they might be pure,
    and those born of woman that they might be innocent?
15 If he doesn’t trust his holy ones
    and the heavens aren’t pure in his eyes,
16     how much less those who are abominable and corrupt,
        for they drink sin like water.

The wicked’s downfall

17 Listen to me; I will argue with you;
    what I’ve seen, I will declare to you;
18     what the wise have told and have not concealed from their family,
19     to whom alone the earth was given
        and no stranger passed in their midst.
20 All the days of the wicked are painful;
    the number of years reserved for the hateful;
21 a sound of terror pierces[h] their ears;
    when safe, raiders overtake them.
22 They can’t count on turning away from darkness;
    they are destined for a sword.
23 They wander about for bread. “Where is it?”
    They know that their day of darkness is fixed.
24 Adversity and stress scare them,
    master them like a king ready to strike;
25     for they raise a fist against God
        and try to overpower the Almighty.
26 They run toward him aggressively,
    with a massive and strong shield.
27 They cover their face with grease
    and make their loins gross.
28 They lived in ruined cities,
    unoccupied houses that turn to rubble.
29 They won’t get rich; their wealth won’t last;
    their property won’t extend over the earth.
30 They can’t turn away from darkness;
    a flame will dry out their shoots,
        and they will be taken away by the wind from his mouth.
31 They shouldn’t trust in what has no worth,
    for their reward will be worthless.
32 Before their branch is formed,
        before it is green,
33     like the vine, they will drop early grapes
        and cast off their blossoms like the olive.
34 The ruthless gang is barren,
        and fire consumes the tents of bribers.
35     They conceive toil and give birth to sorrow;
        their belly establishes deceit.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 12:3 Heb lacks people.
  2. Job 12:5 Heb uncertain
  3. Job 12:6 Heb uncertain
  4. Job 13:15 Or Though he slay me, yet I will trust him.
  5. Job 14:1 Heb adam
  6. Job 14:2 Or he; also he in 14:5-6
  7. Job 14:13 Heb Sheol
  8. Job 15:21 Heb lacks pierces.
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1 Corinthians 15:29-58

29 Otherwise, what are those who are getting baptized for the dead doing? If the dead aren’t raised, then why are they being baptized for them? 30 And what about us? Why are we in danger all day every day? 31 Brothers and sisters, I swear by the pride I have in you in Christ Jesus our Lord, I’m facing death every day. 32 From a human point of view, what good does it do me if I fought wild animals in Ephesus? If the dead aren’t raised, let’s eat and drink because tomorrow we’ll die.[a] 33 Don’t be deceived, bad company corrupts good character. 34 Sober up by acting like you should and don’t sin. Some of you are ignorant about God—I say this because you should be ashamed of yourselves!

35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come back?” 36 Look, fool! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t come back to life unless it dies. 37 What you put in the ground doesn’t have the shape that it will have, but it’s a bare grain of wheat or some other seed. 38 God gives it the sort of shape that he chooses, and he gives each of the seeds its own shape. 39 All flesh isn’t alike. Humans have one kind of flesh, animals have another kind of flesh, birds have another kind of flesh, and fish have another kind. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The heavenly bodies have one kind of glory, and the earthly bodies have another kind of glory. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, the moon has another kind of glory, and the stars have another kind of glory (but one star is different from another star in its glory). 42 It’s the same with the resurrection of the dead: a rotting body is put into the ground, but what is raised won’t ever decay. 43 It’s degraded when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised in glory. It’s weak when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised in power. 44 It’s a physical body when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised as a spiritual body.

If there’s a physical body, there’s also a spiritual body. 45 So it is also written, The first human, Adam, became a living person,[b] and the last Adam became a spirit that gives life. 46 But the physical body comes first, not the spiritual one—the spiritual body comes afterward. 47 The first human was from the earth made from dust; the second human is from heaven. 48 The nature of the person made of dust is shared by people who are made of dust, and the nature of the heavenly person is shared by heavenly people. 49 We will look like[c] the heavenly person in the same way as we have looked like the person made from dust.

50 This is what I’m saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood can’t inherit God’s kingdom. Something that rots can’t inherit something that doesn’t decay. 51 Listen, I’m telling you a secret: All of us won’t die, but we will all be changed— 52 in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the final trumpet. The trumpet will blast, and the dead will be raised with bodies that won’t decay, and we will be changed. 53 It’s necessary for this rotting body to be clothed with what can’t decay, and for the body that is dying to be clothed in what can’t die. 54 And when the rotting body has been clothed in what can’t decay, and the dying body has been clothed in what can’t die, then this statement in scripture will happen:

Death has been swallowed up by a victory.[d]
55         Where is your victory, Death?
        Where is your sting, Death?[e]

(56 Death’s sting is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.) 57 Thanks be to God, who gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 As a result of all this, my loved brothers and sisters, you must stand firm, unshakable, excelling in the work of the Lord as always, because you know that your labor isn’t going to be for nothing in the Lord.

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Psalm 39

Psalm 39

For the music leader. To Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

39 I promised I would watch my steps
    so as not to sin with my tongue;
    promised to keep my mouth shut
    as long as the wicked were in my presence.
So I was completely quiet, silent.
    I kept my peace, but it did no good.
    My pain got worse.
My heart got hot inside me;
    while stewing over it, the fire burned.
Then I spoke out with my tongue:
    “Let me know my end, Lord.
    How many days do I have left?
    I want to know how brief my time is.”
You’ve made my days so short;
    my lifetime is like nothing in your eyes.
        Yes, a human life is nothing but a puff of air! Selah

Yes, people wander around like shadows;
    yes, they hustle and bustle, but pointlessly;
        they don’t even know who will get the wealth they’ve amassed.
So now, Lord, what should I be waiting for?
        My hope is set on you.
Deliver me from all my sins;
    don’t make me some foolish person’s joke.
I am completely silent; I won’t open my mouth
    because you have acted.
10 Get this plague of yours off me!
    I’m being destroyed by the blows from your fist.
11 You discipline people for their sin, punishing them;
    like a moth, you ruin what they treasure.
        Yes, a human life is just a puff of air! Selah

12 Hear my prayer, Lord!
    Listen closely to my cry for help!
Please don’t ignore my tears!
    I’m just a foreigner—
        an immigrant staying with you,
        just like all my ancestors were.
13 Look away from me
    so I can be happy again
    before I pass away and am gone.

Read More
Proverbs 21:30-31

30 No wisdom, understanding,
    or advice can stand up against the Lord.
31 A horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory belongs to the Lord.

Read More
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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