3and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. 4His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
5When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
6One day the angels
7The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
8Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” 9“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
11But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
12The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD . 13One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,
15and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
16While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
17While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 18While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,
19when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 20At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship
21and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
1On another day the angels
2And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
3Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” 4“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.
5But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” 7So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.
8Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10He replied, “You are talking like a foolish
Job Speaks 1After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
3“May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’
4That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it.
5May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it.
6That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months.
7May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it.
8May those who curse days
9May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,
10for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.
11“Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?
12Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed?
13For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest
14with kings and rulers of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
15with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.
16Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?
17There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest.
18Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout.
19The small and the great are there, and the slaves are freed from their owners.
20“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul,
21to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?
23Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?
24For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water.
Eliphaz 1Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2“If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking?
3Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands.
4Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.
5But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed.
6Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?
7“Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?
8As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.
9At the breath of God they perish; at the blast of his anger they are no more.
10The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken.
11The lion perishes for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
12“A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it.
13Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on people,
14fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake.
15A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end.
16It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice:
17‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?
18If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error,
19how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth!
1“Call if you will, but who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn?
2Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.
3I myself have seen a fool taking root, but suddenly his house was cursed.
4His children are far from safety, crushed in court without a defender.
5The hungry consume his harvest, taking it even from among thorns, and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
6For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground.
7Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.
8“But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.
9He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.
10He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside.
11The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
13He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away.
14Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night.
15He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful.
16So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.
17“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
18For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
19From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you.
20In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword.
21You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.
22You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals.
23For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
24You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.
25You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth.
Job 1Then Job replied:
2“If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales!
3It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas— no wonder my words have been impetuous.
4The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me.
5Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder?
6Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow
7I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill.
8“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for,
9that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life!
10Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
11“What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?
12Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze?
13Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?
14“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow
16when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow,
17but that stop flowing in the dry season, and in the heat vanish from their channels.
18Caravans turn aside from their routes; they go off into the wasteland and perish.
19The caravans of Tema look for water, the traveling merchants of Sheba look in hope.
20They are distressed, because they had been confident; they arrive there, only to be disappointed.
21Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid.
22Have I ever said, ‘Give something on my behalf, pay a ransom for me from your wealth,
23deliver me from the hand of the enemy, rescue me from the clutches of the ruthless’?
24“Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.
25How painful are honest words! But what do your arguments prove?
26Do you mean to correct what I say, and treat my desperate words as wind?
27You would even cast lots for the fatherless and barter away your friend.
28“But now be so kind as to look at me. Would I lie to your face?
1“Do not mortals have hard service on earth? Are not their days like those of hired laborers?
2Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired laborer waiting to be paid,
3so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
4When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.
5My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering.
6“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.
7Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.
8The eye that now sees me will see me no longer; you will look for me, but I will be no more.
9As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so one who goes down to the grave does not return.
10He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more.
11“Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard?
13When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint,
14even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
15so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine.
16I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.
17“What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention,
18that you examine them every morning and test them every moment?
19Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?
20If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?
Bildad 1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2“How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind.
3Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
4When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
5But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty,
6if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.
7Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.
8“Ask the former generation and find out what their ancestors learned,
9for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.
10Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?
11Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?
12While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass.
13Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
14What they trust in is fragile
15They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.
16They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden;
17it entwines its roots around a pile of rocks and looks for a place among the stones.
18But when it is torn from its spot, that place disowns it and says, ‘I never saw you.’
19Surely its life withers away, and
20“Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers.
Job 1Then Job replied:
2“Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?
3Though they wished to dispute with him, they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.
4His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?
5He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger.
6He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble.
7He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars.
8He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.
9He is the Maker of the Bear
10He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.
11When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.
12If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13God does not restrain his anger; even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.
14“How then can I dispute with him? How can I find words to argue with him?
15Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.
16Even if I summoned him and he responded, I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
17He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason.
18He would not let me catch my breath but would overwhelm me with misery.
19If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him
20Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me; if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.
21“Although I am blameless, I have no concern for myself; I despise my own life.
22It is all the same; that is why I say, ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, he blindfolds its judges. If it is not he, then who is it?
25“My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
26They skim past like boats of papyrus, like eagles swooping down on their prey.
27If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,’
28I still dread all my sufferings, for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain?
30Even if I washed myself with soap and my hands with cleansing powder,
31you would plunge me into a slime pit so that even my clothes would detest me.
32“He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.
33If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together,
1“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
2I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me.
3Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?
4Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees?
5Are your days like those of a mortal or your years like those of a strong man,
6that you must search out my faults and probe after my sin—
7though you know that I am not guilty and that no one can rescue me from your hand?
8“Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?
9Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?
10Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese,
11clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews?
12You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
13“But this is what you concealed in your heart, and I know that this was in your mind:
14If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished.
15If I am guilty—woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in
16If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion and again display your awesome power against me.
17You bring new witnesses against me and increase your anger toward me; your forces come against me wave upon wave.
18“Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
19If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
20Are not my few days almost over? Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy
Zophar 1Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2“Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?
3Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock?
4You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’
5Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you
6and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
9Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
10“If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him?
11Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note?
12But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.
13“Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him,
14if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear.
16You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.
17Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.
18You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
Job 1Then Job replied:
2“Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you!
3But I have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know all these things?
4“I have become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called on God and he answered— a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure— those God has in his hand.
7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
11Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?
12Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
13“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.
14What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; those he imprisons cannot be released.
15If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16To him belong strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver are his.
17He leads rulers away stripped and makes fools of judges.
18He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth
19He leads priests away stripped and overthrows officials long established.
20He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders.
21He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty.
22He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light.
23He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
1“My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it.
2What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.
3But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.
4You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you!
5If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.
6Hear now my argument; listen to the pleas of my lips.
7Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8Will you show him partiality? Will you argue the case for God?
9Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?
10He would surely call you to account if you secretly showed partiality.
11Would not his splendor terrify you? Would not the dread of him fall on you?
12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay.
13“Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may.
14Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands?
15Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely
16Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him!
17Listen carefully to what I say; let my words ring in your ears.
18Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated.
19Can anyone bring charges against me? If so, I will be silent and die.
20“Only grant me these two things, God, and then I will not hide from you:
21Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors.
22Then summon me and I will answer, or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin.
24Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?
25Will you torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff?
26For you write down bitter things against me and make me reap the sins of my youth.
1“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.
2They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
3Do you fix your eye on them? Will you bring them
4Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!
5A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
6So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.
7“At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.
8Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil,
9yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.
10But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.
11As the water of a lake dries up or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
12so he lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep.
13“If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me!
14If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal
15You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.
16Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin.
17My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.
18“But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place,
19as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy a person’s hope.
20You overpower them once for all, and they are gone; you change their countenance and send them away.
Eliphaz 1Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2“Would a wise person answer with empty notions or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
3Would they argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value?
4But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God.
5Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
6Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you.
7“Are you the first man ever born? Were you brought forth before the hills?
8Do you listen in on God’s council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
9What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have?
10The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father.
11Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?
12Why has your heart carried you away, and why do your eyes flash,
13so that you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth?
14“What are mortals, that they could be pure, or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?
15If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt, who drink up evil like water!
17“Listen to me and I will explain to you; let me tell you what I have seen,
18what the wise have declared, hiding nothing received from their ancestors
19(to whom alone the land was given when no foreigners moved among them):
20All his days the wicked man suffers torment, the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.
21Terrifying sounds fill his ears; when all seems well, marauders attack him.
22He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness; he is marked for the sword.
23He wanders about for food like a vulture; he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24Distress and anguish fill him with terror; troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
25because he shakes his fist at God and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26defiantly charging against him with a thick, strong shield.
27“Though his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh,
28he will inhabit ruined towns and houses where no one lives, houses crumbling to rubble.
29He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30He will not escape the darkness; a flame will wither his shoots, and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.
31Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.
32Before his time he will wither, and his branches will not flourish.
33He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes, like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
Job 1Then Job replied:
2“I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you!
3Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?
4I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you.
5But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
6“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away.
7Surely, God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household.
8You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness; my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
9God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
10People open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me.
11God has turned me over to the ungodly and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target;
13his archers surround me. Without pity, he pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground.
14Again and again he bursts upon me; he rushes at me like a warrior.
15“I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust.
16My face is red with weeping, dark shadows ring my eyes;
17yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.
18“Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest!
19Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high.
20My intercessor is my friend
1My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me.
2Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility.
3“Give me, O God, the pledge you demand. Who else will put up security for me?
4You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore you will not let them triumph.
5If anyone denounces their friends for reward, the eyes of their children will fail.
6“God has made me a byword to everyone, a man in whose face people spit.
7My eyes have grown dim with grief; my whole frame is but a shadow.
8The upright are appalled at this; the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.
9Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.
10“But come on, all of you, try again! I will not find a wise man among you.
11My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart
12turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near.
13If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness,
14if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’
Bildad 1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2“When will you end these speeches? Be sensible, and then we can talk.
3Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight?
4You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, is the earth to be abandoned for your sake? Or must the rocks be moved from their place?
5“The lamp of a wicked man is snuffed out; the flame of his fire stops burning.
6The light in his tent becomes dark; the lamp beside him goes out.
7The vigor of his step is weakened; his own schemes throw him down.
8His feet thrust him into a net; he wanders into its mesh.
9A trap seizes him by the heel; a snare holds him fast.
10A noose is hidden for him on the ground; a trap lies in his path.
11Terrors startle him on every side and dog his every step.
12Calamity is hungry for him; disaster is ready for him when he falls.
13It eats away parts of his skin; death’s firstborn devours his limbs.
14He is torn from the security of his tent and marched off to the king of terrors.
16His roots dry up below and his branches wither above.
17The memory of him perishes from the earth; he has no name in the land.
18He is driven from light into the realm of darkness and is banished from the world.
19He has no offspring or descendants among his people, no survivor where once he lived.
Job 1Then Job replied:
2“How long will you torment me and crush me with words?
3Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me.
4If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone.
5If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me,
6then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me.
7“Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice.
8He has blocked my way so I cannot pass; he has shrouded my paths in darkness.
9He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head.
10He tears me down on every side till I am gone; he uproots my hope like a tree.
11His anger burns against me; he counts me among his enemies.
12His troops advance in force; they build a siege ramp against me and encamp around my tent.
13“He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
14My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me.
15My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger.
16I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth.
17My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family.
18Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me.
19All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me.
20I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.
21“Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me.
22Why do you pursue me as God does? Will you never get enough of my flesh?
23“Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll,
24that they were inscribed with an iron tool on
25I know that my redeemer
26And after my skin has been destroyed, yet
27I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
28“If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him,
Zophar 1Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2“My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed.
3I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply.
4“Surely you know how it has been from of old, ever since mankind
5that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
6Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens and his head touches the clouds,
7he will perish forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found, banished like a vision of the night.
9The eye that saw him will not see him again; his place will look on him no more.
10His children must make amends to the poor; his own hands must give back his wealth.
11The youthful vigor that fills his bones will lie with him in the dust.
12“Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue,
13though he cannot bear to let it go and lets it linger in his mouth,
14yet his food will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents within him.
15He will spit out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them up.
16He will suck the poison of serpents; the fangs of an adder will kill him.
17He will not enjoy the streams, the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18What he toiled for he must give back uneaten; he will not enjoy the profit from his trading.
19For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses he did not build.
20“Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure.
21Nothing is left for him to devour; his prosperity will not endure.
22In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him; the full force of misery will come upon him.
23When he has filled his belly, God will vent his burning anger against him and rain down his blows on him.
24Though he flees from an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him.
25He pulls it out of his back, the gleaming point out of his liver. Terrors will come over him;
26total darkness lies in wait for his treasures. A fire unfanned will consume him and devour what is left in his tent.
27The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him.
28A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters
Job 1Then Job replied:
2“Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you give me.
3Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
4“Is my complaint directed to a human being? Why should I not be impatient?
5Look at me and be appalled; clap your hand over your mouth.
6When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body.
7Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?
8They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes.
9Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them.
10Their bulls never fail to breed; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about.
12They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the sound of the pipe.
13They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.
14Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways.