3 Then Job opened his mouth and cursed the day he was born. 2 He said,
3 “I wish the day I was born would be lost forever.
I wish the night they said, ‘It’s a boy!’ had never happened.
4 I wish that day had remained dark.
I wish God above had forgotten that day
and not let any light shine on it.
5 I wish that bitter day had remained as dark as death,
covered with the darkest clouds.
6 I wish the darkness had carried away that night,
that it was left off the calendar
and not included in any of the months.
7 I wish that night had produced nothing
and no happy shouts had been heard.
8 Some magicians think they can wake Leviathan.[a]
So let them say their curses and curse the day I was born.
9 Let that day’s morning star be dark.
Let that night wait for a morning that never comes.
I wish it had never seen the first rays of sunlight.
10 I wish it had stopped me from being born
and kept me from seeing all these troubles.
11 Why didn’t I die when I was born?
Why didn’t I die as I came from my mother’s womb?
12 Why did my mother hold me on her knees?
Why did her breasts feed me?
13 If I had died when I was born,
I would be at peace now.
I wish I were asleep and at rest
14 with the kings and their advisors
who built palaces that are now in ruins.
15 I wish I were buried with rulers
who filled their graves with gold and silver.
16 Why wasn’t I a child who died at birth
and was put in the ground?
I wish I had been buried like a baby
who never saw the light of day.
17 There the wicked stop causing trouble,
and the weary find rest.
18 Even prisoners find relief there;
they no longer hear their guards shouting at them.
19 Everyone—from the greatest to the least important—will be there,
and even the slave is free from his master.
20 “Why must a suffering person continue to live?
Why let anyone live such a bitter life?
21 Such people want to die, but death does not come.
They search for death more than for hidden treasure.
22 They would be happy to find their grave.
They would rejoice to find their tomb.
23 But God keeps their future a secret
and builds a wall around them to protect them.
24 When it is time to eat, all I can do is sigh with sadness, not joy.
My groans pour out like water.
25 I was afraid something terrible would happen,
and what I feared most has happened.
26 I cannot calm down or relax.
I am too upset to rest!”
4 Eliphaz from Teman answered:
2 “I must say something.
Would it upset you if I speak?
3 Job, you have taught many people.
You encouraged those who were ready to quit.
4 Your words helped those who were ready to fall.
You gave strength to those who could not stand by themselves.
5 But now trouble comes to you,
and you are discouraged.
Trouble hits you,
and you are upset.
6 You worship God.
You trust him.
You are a good man,
so let that be your hope.
7 Can you think of any innocent person who was ever destroyed?
Do you know of any place where good people are punished?
8 Yes, I have seen people whose lives were cut short,
but they were evil troublemakers.
9 They lost the breath God gave them.
They were cut off from his breath of life.
10 They were like roaring lions,
like growling lions with broken teeth—
11 like a lioness that cannot find prey.
They died, and their cubs starved to death.
12 “I happened to hear a message.
My ears caught a whisper of it.
13 Like a bad dream[b] in the night,
it ruined my sleep.
14 It frightened me,
and I trembled down to my bones.
15 A spirit passed by my face.
The hair on my body stood up!
16 The spirit stood still,
but I could not see what it was.
A shape stood before my eyes,
and there was silence.
Then I heard a quiet voice:
17 ‘A person cannot be more right than God.
People cannot be more pure than their Maker.
18 Look, God cannot even trust his heavenly servants.
He sees faults even in his angels.
19 So surely people are worse!
They live in houses of clay[c] built on dust.
They can be crushed as easily as a moth!
20 From dawn to sunset people are destroyed.
They die—gone forever—and no one even notices.
21 The ropes of their tent are pulled up,
and they die before gaining wisdom.’
44 “The Holy Tent[a] was with our ancestors in the desert. God told Moses how to make this tent. He made it like the plan that God showed him. 45 Later, Joshua led our ancestors to capture the lands of the other nations. Our people went in and God made the other people go out. When our people went into this new land, they took with them this same tent. Our people received this tent from their fathers, and our people kept it until the time of David. 46 God was very pleased with David. He asked God to let him build a Temple for the people of Jacob.[b] 47 But Solomon was the one who built the Temple.
48 “But the Most High God does not live in houses built by human hands. This is what the prophet[c] writes:
49 ‘The Lord says, Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is where I rest my feet.
So do you think you can build a house for me?
Do I need a place to rest?
50 Remember, I made all these things!’”
51 Then Stephen said, “You stubborn Jewish leaders! You refuse to give your hearts to God or even listen to him. You are always against what the Holy Spirit wants you to do. That’s how your ancestors were, and you are just like them! 52 They persecuted every prophet who ever lived. They even killed those who long ago said that the Righteous One would come. And now you have turned against that Righteous One and killed him. 53 You are the people who received God’s law, which he gave you through his angels. But you don’t obey it!”
54 When those in the council meeting heard this, they became very angry. They were so mad they were grinding their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. He looked up into heaven and saw the glory of God. And he saw Jesus standing at God’s right side. 56 Stephen said, “Look! I see heaven open. And I see the Son of Man standing at God’s right side.”
57 Everyone there started shouting loudly, covering their ears with their hands. Together they all ran at Stephen. 58 They took him out of the city and began throwing stones at him. The men who told lies against Stephen gave their coats to a young man named Saul. 59 As they were throwing the stones at him, Stephen was praying. He said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 He fell on his knees and shouted, “Lord, don’t blame them for this sin!” These were his last words before he died.