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Job 23:1-27:23; 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11; Psalms 41:1-13; Proverbs 22:5-6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Job 23-27

Job’s Reply to Eliphaz

23 Then Job answered:

Today also my complaint is bitter.[a]
His[b] hand is heavy despite my groaning.
If only I knew how to find Him,
so that I could go to His throne.
I would plead my case before Him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn how[c] He would answer me;
and understand what He would say to me.
Would He prosecute me forcefully?
No, He will certainly pay attention to me.
Then an upright man could reason with Him,
and I would escape from my Judge forever.

If I go east, He is not there,
and if I go west, I cannot perceive Him.
When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him;
when He turns south, I cannot find Him.
10 Yet He knows the way I have taken;[d]
when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.
11 My feet have followed in His tracks;
I have kept to His way and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of His lips;
I have treasured[e] the words of His mouth
more than my daily food.

13 But He is unchangeable; who can oppose Him?
He does what He desires.
14 He will certainly accomplish what He has decreed for me,
and He has many more things like these in mind.[f]
15 Therefore I am terrified in His presence;
when I consider this, I am afraid of Him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not destroyed[g] by the darkness,
by the thick darkness that covers my face.

24 Why does the Almighty not reserve times for judgment?
Why do those who know Him never see His days?
The wicked displace boundary markers.
They steal a flock and provide pasture for it.
They drive away the donkeys owned by the fatherless
and take the widow’s ox as collateral.
They push the needy off the road;
the poor of the land are forced into hiding.
Like wild donkeys in the desert,
the poor go out to their task of foraging for food;
the wilderness provides nourishment for their children.
They gather their fodder in the field
and glean the vineyards of the wicked.
Without clothing, they spend the night naked,
having no covering against the cold.
Drenched by mountain rains,
they huddle against[h] the rocks, shelterless.
The fatherless infant is snatched from the breast;
the nursing child of the poor is seized as collateral.[i]
10 Without clothing, they wander about naked.
They carry sheaves but go hungry.
11 They crush olives in their presses;[j]
they tread the winepresses, but go thirsty.
12 From the city, men[k] groan;
the mortally wounded cry for help,
yet God pays no attention to this crime.

13 The wicked are those who rebel against the light.
They do not recognize its ways
or stay on its paths.
14 The murderer rises at dawn
to kill the poor and needy,
and by night he becomes a thief.
15 The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
thinking: No eye will see me;
he covers his face.
16 In the dark they break[l] into houses;
by day they lock themselves in,[m]
never experiencing the light.
17 For the morning is like darkness to them.
Surely they are familiar with the terrors of darkness!

18 They float[n] on the surface of the water.
Their section of the land is cursed,
so that they never go to their vineyards.
19 As dry ground and heat snatch away the melted snow,
so Sheol steals those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
worms feed on them;
they are remembered no more.
So injustice is broken like a tree.
21 They prey on[o] the childless woman who is unable to conceive,
and do not deal kindly with the widow.
22 Yet God drags away[p] the mighty by His power;
when He rises up, they have no assurance of life.
23 He gives them a sense of security, so they can rely on it,
but His eyes watch over their ways.
24 They are exalted for a moment, then they are gone;
they are brought low and shrivel up like everything else.[q]
They wither like heads of grain.

25 If this is not true, then who can prove me a liar
and show that my speech is worthless?

Bildad Speaks

25 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:

Dominion and dread belong to Him,
the One who establishes harmony in the heavens.[r]
Can His troops be numbered?
Does His light not shine on everyone?
How can a person be justified before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon does not shine
and the stars are not pure in His sight,
how much less man, who is a maggot,
and the son of man, who is a worm!

Job’s Reply to Bildad

26 Then Job answered:

How you have helped the powerless
and delivered the arm that is weak!
How you have counseled the unwise
and thoroughly explained the path to success!
Who did you speak these words to?
Whose breath came out of your mouth?

The departed spirits tremble
beneath the waters and all that inhabit them.
Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches the northern skies over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst beneath their weight.
He obscures the view of His throne,
spreading His cloud over it.
10 He laid out the horizon on the surface of the waters
at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars that hold up the sky tremble,
astounded at His rebuke.
12 By His power He stirred the sea,
and by His understanding He crushed Rahab.
13 By His breath the heavens gained their beauty;
His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.[s]
14 These are but the fringes of His ways;
how faint is the word we hear of Him!
Who can understand His mighty thunder?

27 Job continued his discourse, saying:

As God lives, who has deprived me of justice,
and the Almighty who has made me bitter,
as long as my breath is still in me
and the breath from God remains in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak unjustly,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
I will never affirm that you are right.
I will maintain my integrity[t] until I die.
I will cling to my righteousness and never let it go.
My conscience will not accuse me as long as I live!

May my enemy be like the wicked
and my opponent like the unjust.
For what hope does the godless man have when he is cut off,
when God takes away his life?
Will God hear his cry
when distress comes on him?
10 Will he delight in the Almighty?
Will he call on God at all times?
11 I will teach you about God’s power.
I will not conceal what the Almighty has planned.[u]
12 All of you have seen this for yourselves,
why do you keep up this empty talk?

13 This is a wicked man’s lot from God,
the inheritance the ruthless receive from the Almighty.
14 Even if his children increase, they are destined for the sword;
his descendants will never have enough food.
15 Those who survive him will be buried by the plague,
yet their widows will not weep for them.
16 Though he piles up silver like dust
and heaps up a wardrobe like clay—
17 he may heap it up, but the righteous will wear it,
and the innocent will divide up his silver.
18 The house he built is like a moth’s cocoon
or a booth set up by a watchman.
19 He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, it is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a storm wind sweeps him away at night.
21 An east wind picks him up, and he is gone;
it carries him away from his place.
22 It blasts at him without mercy,
while he flees desperately from its grasp.
23 It claps its hands at him
and scorns him from its place.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 23:2 Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads rebellion
  2. Job 23:2 LXX, Syr; MT reads My
  3. Job 23:5 Lit the words
  4. Job 23:10 Lit way with me
  5. Job 23:12 LXX, Vg read treasured in my bosom
  6. Job 23:14 Lit these with Him
  7. Job 23:17 Or silenced
  8. Job 24:8 Lit they embrace
  9. Job 24:9 Text emended; MT reads breast; they seize collateral against the poor
  10. Job 24:11 Lit olives between their rows
  11. Job 24:12 One Hb ms, Syr read the dying
  12. Job 24:16 Lit dig
  13. Job 24:16 Lit they seal for themselves
  14. Job 24:18 Lit are insignificant
  15. Job 24:21 LXX, Tg read They harm
  16. Job 24:22 Or God prolongs [the life of]
  17. Job 24:24 LXX reads like a mallow plant in the heat
  18. Job 25:2 Lit in His heights
  19. Job 26:13 = Leviathan
  20. Job 27:5 Lit will not remove my integrity from me
  21. Job 27:11 Lit what is with the Almighty
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2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11

A Clear Conscience

12 For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly[a] wisdom but by God’s grace. 13 Now we are writing nothing to you other than what you can read and also understand. I hope you will understand completely— 14 as you have partially understood us—that we are your reason for pride, as you are ours, in the day of our[b] Lord Jesus.

A Visit Postponed

15 I planned with this confidence to come to you first, so you could have a double benefit,[c] 16 and to go on to Macedonia with your help, then come to you again from Macedonia and be given a start by you on my journey to Judea. 17 So when I planned this, was I irresponsible? Or what I plan, do I plan in a purely human[d] way so that I say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” simultaneously? 18 As God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes and no.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus[e] and Timothy—did not become “Yes and no”; on the contrary, a final “Yes” has come in Him. 20 For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in Him. Therefore, the “Amen” is also spoken through Him by us for God’s glory. 21 Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us. 22 He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.

23 I call on God as a witness, on my life, that it was to spare you that I did not come to Corinth. 24 I do not mean that we have control of[f] your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand by faith. In fact, I made up my mind about this:[g] I would not come to you on another painful visit.[h] For if I cause you pain, then who will cheer me other than the one being hurt by me?[i] I wrote this very thing so that when I came I wouldn’t have pain from those who ought to give me joy, because I am confident about all of you that my joy will also be yours. For I wrote to you with many tears out of an extremely troubled and anguished heart—not that you should be hurt, but that you should know the abundant love I have for you.

A Sinner Forgiven

If anyone has caused pain, he has caused pain not so much to me but to some degree—not to exaggerate—to all of you. The punishment inflicted by the majority is sufficient for that person. As a result, you should instead forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, this one may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. I wrote for this purpose: to test your character to see if you are obedient in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I do too. For what I have forgiven—if I have forgiven anything—it is for you in the presence of Christ. 11 I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 1:12 The word fleshly (characterized by flesh) indicates that the wisdom is natural rather than spiritual.
  2. 2 Corinthians 1:14 Other mss omit our
  3. 2 Corinthians 1:15 Other mss read a second joy
  4. 2 Corinthians 1:17 Or a worldly, or a fleshly, or a selfish
  5. 2 Corinthians 1:19 Or Silas; Ac 15:22-32; 16:19-40; 17:1-16
  6. 2 Corinthians 1:24 Or we lord it over, or we rule over
  7. 2 Corinthians 2:1 Lit I decided this for myself
  8. 2 Corinthians 2:1 Lit not again in sorrow to come to you
  9. 2 Corinthians 2:2 Lit the one pained
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Psalm 41

Psalm 41

Victory in Spite of Betrayal

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.

Happy is one who cares for the poor;
the Lord will save him in a day of adversity.
The Lord will keep him and preserve him;
he will be blessed in the land.
You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed;
You will heal him on the bed where he lies.

I said, “Lord, be gracious to me;
heal me, for I have sinned against You.”
My enemies speak maliciously about me:
“When will he die and be forgotten?”
When one of them comes to visit, he speaks deceitfully;
he stores up evil in his heart;
he goes out and talks.
All who hate me whisper together about me;
they plan to harm me.
“Lethal poison has been poured into him,
and he won’t rise again from where he lies!”
Even my friend[a] in whom I trusted,
one who ate my bread,
has raised his heel against me.

10 But You, Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up;
then I will repay them.
11 By this I know that You delight in me:
my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
12 You supported me because of my integrity
and set me in Your presence forever.

13 May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 41:9 Lit Even a man of my peace
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Proverbs 22:5-6

There are thorns and snares on the path of the crooked;
the one who guards himself stays far from them.

Teach a youth about the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.

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