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Job 30-31 Acts 13:26-52 (Easy-to-Read Version)

Job 30-31

30 “But now men younger than I make fun of me—
    men whose fathers were too worthless to put with my sheep dogs.
Their fathers are still too weak to be of any use to me.
    All their strength is gone.
They are starving with nothing to eat,
    so they chew on the dry, ruined land.
They pull up salt plants in the desert
    and eat the roots from the broom tree.
They are forced away from other people,
    who shout at them as if they were thieves.
They must live in the dry riverbeds,
    hillside caves, and holes in the ground.
They howl in the bushes
    and huddle together under thornbushes.
They are a bunch of worthless people without names,
    who were forced to leave their country.

“Now their sons sing songs to make fun of me.
    My name has become a bad word to them.
10 They hate me and stay far away from me,
    except when they come to spit in my face!
11 God has taken the string from my bow and made me weak,
    so they feel free to do whatever they want to me.
12 They attack me on my right side.
    They knock my feet out from under me.
    They build ramps to attack and destroy me like a city.
13 They guard the road so that I cannot escape.
    They succeed in destroying me, without help from anyone.
14 They break a hole in the wall and come rushing through it,
    and the crashing rocks fall on me.
15 I am shaking with fear.
    They chased my honor away like dust in the wind.
    My safety disappears like a cloud.

16 “Now my life is almost gone, and soon I will die.
    Days of suffering have grabbed me.
17 All my bones ache at night.
    Pain never stops chewing on me.
18 God grabbed the collar of my coat
    and twisted my clothes out of shape.
19 He threw me into the mud,
    and I became like dust and ashes.

20 “God, I cry out to you for help, but you don’t answer.
    I stand up and pray, but you don’t pay attention to me.
21 You have become cruel to me;
    you use your power to hurt me.
22 You let the strong wind blow me away.
    You throw me around in the storm.
23 I know you will lead me to my death,
    to that place where all the living must go.

24 “Surely no one would attack a man who is already ruined,
    when he is hurt and crying for help.
25 God, you know that I cried for those who were in trouble.
    You know that I mourned for the poor.
26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came instead.
    When I looked for light, darkness came.
27 I constantly feel upset.
    And my suffering has only just begun.
28 I am always sad and depressed, without any relief.
    I stand up in the public meeting and cry for help,
29 making sad sounds like the wild dogs,
    like the ostriches in the desert.
30 My skin is burned and peeling away.
    My body is hot with fever.
31 My harp is tuned to play songs of sorrow.
    My flute makes sad sounds like someone crying.

31 “I made an agreement with my eyes
    not to look at a young woman in a way that would make me want her.
What does God above have for us?
    How does God All-Powerful repay people from his home high in heaven?[a]
He sends trouble to the wicked
    and disaster to those who do wrong.
God is the one who knows what I do
    and sees every step I take.

“I have not lied to anyone.
    I never tried to cheat people.
If God would use accurate scales,[b]
    he would know that I am innocent.
If I ever stepped off the right path,
    if my eyes led my heart to do evil,
    or if my hands are dirty with sin,
then let others eat what I planted.
    Let my crops be pulled up by the roots.

“If I have desired another woman
    or waited at my neighbor’s door to sin with his wife,
10 then let my wife serve someone else,
    and let other men sleep with her.
11 To do such a thing would be shameful,
    a sin that must be punished.
12 Such sin is like a fire that burns until it destroys everything.
    It would completely ruin my life’s work.

13 “If I refused to be fair to my slaves
    when they had a complaint against me,
14 then what will I do when I must face God?
    What will I say when he asks me to explain what I did?
15 The one who made me in my mother’s womb also made them.
    God shaped us all inside our mothers.

16 “I have never refused to help the poor.
    I always gave widows what they needed.
17 I have never been selfish with my food.
    I shared what I had with orphans.
18 All my life I have been like a father to orphans
    and have taken care of widows.
19 Whenever I found people suffering because they didn’t have clothes
    or saw a poor man with no coat,
20     I always gave them something to wear.
I used the wool from my own sheep to make them warm.
    And they thanked me with all their heart.
21 I never threatened an orphan,
    even when I knew I had support in court.[c]
22 If I ever did that, may my arm be pulled from its socket
    and fall from my shoulder!
23 But I didn’t do any of these bad things.
    I fear God’s punishment too much.
    His majesty scares me.[d]

24 “I have never trusted in riches.
    I never said even to pure gold, ‘You are my hope.’
25 I have been wealthy,
    but that didn’t make me proud.
I earned a lot of money,
    but that is not what made me happy.
26 I have never worshiped the bright sun
    or the beautiful moon.
27 I was never foolish enough
    to worship the sun and the moon.
28 This is also a sin that must be punished.
    If I had worshiped them, I would have been unfaithful to God All-Powerful.

29 “I have never been happy
    when my enemies were destroyed.
I have never laughed at my enemies
    when bad things happened to them.
30 I have never let my mouth sin by cursing my enemies
    and wishing for them to die.
31 The people in my house know that
    I have never let anyone go hungry.
32 I always invited strangers into my home
    so that they would not have to sleep in the streets.
33 I have not tried to hide my sins as some people do.
    I have never hidden my guilt.
34 I was never so afraid of what people might say or of making enemies
    that I kept my sins secret and avoided going out.

35 “How I wish someone would listen to me!
    I will sign my name to all I have said.
Now let God All-Powerful answer me.
    Let him make a list of what he thinks I did wrong.
36 I would wear it around my neck.
    I would put it on my head like a crown.
37 Then I could explain everything I have done.
    I could come to God with my head held high like a prince.

38 “I did not use my land in a wrong way.
    I never caused it to suffer.
39 I always paid the workers for the food I got from the land.
    I never let any of them starve.
40 If I ever did any of these bad things,
    let thorns and weeds grow in my fields instead of wheat and barley!”

Job’s words are finished.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 31:2 Or possibly, “I made an agreement with my eyes not to look with desire at the Virgin or the sacred things that belong to God All-Powerful.” Here, “the Virgin” refers to a goddess worshiped by the Canaanites.
  2. Job 31:6 accurate scales Literally, “scales of righteousness.” As a wordplay, this could mean either “accurate scales” or “scales that show a person is good.”
  3. Job 31:21 Or “I never shook my fist at an orphan who was at the gate asking for help.”
  4. Job 31:23 His majesty … me Or “I could not stand before his majesty.”
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Acts 13:26-52

26 “My brothers, sons in the family of Abraham, and you other people who also worship the true God, listen! The news about this salvation has been sent to us. 27 The Jews living in Jerusalem and their leaders did not realize that Jesus was the Savior. The words the prophets wrote about him were read every Sabbath day, but they did not understand. They condemned Jesus. When they did this, they made the words of the prophets come true. 28 They could not find any real reason why Jesus should die, but they asked Pilate to kill him.

29 “These Jews did all the bad things that the Scriptures said would happen to Jesus. Then they took Jesus down from the cross and put him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him up from death! 31 After this, for many days, those who had gone with Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem saw him. They are now his witnesses to our people.

32 “We tell you the Good News about the promise God made to our ancestors. 33 We are their descendants, and God has made this promise come true for us. God did this by raising Jesus from death. We also read about this in Psalm 2:

‘You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.’

34 God raised Jesus from death. Jesus will never go back to the grave and become dust. So God said,

‘I will give you the true and holy promises
    that I made to David.’

35 But in another Psalm it says,

‘You will not let your Holy One rot in the grave.’

36 “David did God’s will during the time he lived. Then he died and was buried like all his ancestors. And his body did rot in the grave! 37 But the one God raised from death did not rot in the grave. 38-39 Brothers, understand what we are telling you. You can have forgiveness of your sins through this Jesus. The Law of Moses could not free you from your sins. But you can be made right with God if you believe in Jesus. 40 So be careful! Don’t let what the prophets said happen to you:

41 ‘Listen, you people who doubt!
    You can wonder, but then go away and die;
because during your time,
    I will do something that you will not believe.
You will not believe it,
    even if someone explains it to you!’”

42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people asked them to come again on the next Sabbath day and tell them more about these things. 43 After the meeting, many of the people followed Paul and Barnabas, including many Jews and people who had changed their religion to be like Jews and worship the true God. Paul and Barnabas encouraged them to continue trusting in God’s grace.

44 On the next Sabbath day, almost all the people in the city came together to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews there saw all these people, they became very jealous. Shouting insults, they argued against everything Paul said. 46 But Paul and Barnabas spoke very boldly. They said, “We had to tell God’s message to you Jews first, but you refuse to listen. You have made it clear that you are not worthy of having eternal life. So we will now go to those who are not Jews. 47 This is what the Lord told us to do:

‘I have made you a light for the other nations,
    to show people all over the world the way to be saved.’”

48 When the non-Jewish people heard Paul say this, they were happy. They gave honor to the message of the Lord, and many of them believed it. These were the ones chosen to have eternal life.

49 And so the message of the Lord was being told throughout the whole country. 50 But the Jews there caused some of the important religious women and the leaders of the city to be angry and turn against Paul and Barnabas and throw them out of town. 51 So Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet.[a] Then they went to the city of Iconium. 52 But the Lord’s followers in Antioch were happy and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 13:51 shook the dust off their feet A warning. It showed they were finished talking to these people.
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Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by World Bible Translation Center

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