4Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: 2If one ventures a word with you, will you be offended? But who can keep from speaking? 3See, you have instructed many; you have strengthened the weak hands. 4Your words have supported those who were stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees. 5But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed. 6Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?
7Think now, who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? 8As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. 9By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
8Then Bildad the Shuhite answered: 2How long will you say these things, and the words of your mouth be a great wind? 3Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
20See, God will not reject a blameless person, nor take the hand of evildoers. 21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy. 22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.
11Then Zophar the Naamathite answered: 2Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and should one full of talk be vindicated? 3Should your babble put others to silence, and when you mock, shall no one shame you? 4For you say, My conduct is pure, and I am clean in Gods sight.
23Then Job answered: 2Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling! 4I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. 5I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me. 6Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; but he would give heed to me. 7There an upright person could reason with him, and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.
8If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; 9on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him. 10But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold. 11My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. 12I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.
13But he stands alone and who can dissuade him? What he desires, that he does. 14For he will complete what he appoints for me; and many such things are in his mind. 15Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him. 16God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; 17If only I could vanish in darkness, and thick darkness would cover my face!
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011