15Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: 2Should the wise answer with windy knowledge, and fill themselves with the east wind? 3Should they argue in unprofitable talk, or in words with which they can do no good? 4But you are doing away with the fear of God, and hindering meditation before God. 5For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty. 6Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you. 7Are you the firstborn of the human race? Were you brought forth before the hills? 8Have you listened in the council of God? And do you limit wisdom to yourself? 9What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not clear to us? 10The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, those older than your father. 11Are the consolations of God too small for you, or the word that deals gently with you? 12Why does your heart carry you away, and why do your eyes flash, 13so that you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth? 14What are mortals, that they can be clean? Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous? 15God puts no trust even in his holy ones, and the heavens are not clean in his sight; 16how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, one who drinks iniquity like water!
17I will show you; listen to me; what I have seen I will declare 18what sages have told, and their ancestors have not hidden, 19to whom alone the land was given, and no stranger passed among them. 20The wicked writhe in pain all their days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless. 21Terrifying sounds are in their ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them. 22They despair of returning from darkness, and they are destined for the sword. 23They wander abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand; 24distress and anguish terrify them; they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle. 25Because they stretched out their hands against God, and bid defiance to the Almighty, 26running stubbornly against him with a thick-bossed shield; 27because they have covered their faces with their fat, and gathered fat upon their loins, 28they will live in desolate cities, in houses that no one should inhabit, houses destined to become heaps of ruins; 29they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure, nor will they strike root in the earth; 30they will not escape from darkness; the flame will dry up their shoots, and their blossom will be swept away by the wind. 31Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves; for emptiness will be their recompense. 32It will be paid in full before their time, and their branch will not be green. 33They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine, and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree. 34For the company of the godless is barren, and fire consumes the tents of bribery. 35They conceive mischief and bring forth evil and their heart prepares deceit.
16Then Job answered: 2I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all. 3Have windy words no limit? Or what provokes you that you keep on talking? 4I also could talk as you do, if you were in my place; I could join words together against you, and shake my head at you. 5I could encourage you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
6If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me? 7Surely now God has worn me out; he has made desolate all my company. 8And he has shriveled me up, which is a witness against me; my leanness has risen up against me, and it testifies to my face. 9He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me. 10They have gaped at me with their mouths; they have struck me insolently on the cheek; they mass themselves together against me. 11God gives me up to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked. 12I was at ease, and he broke me in two; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces; he set me up as his target; 13his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy; he pours out my gall on the ground. 14He bursts upon me again and again; he rushes at me like a warrior. 15I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and have laid my strength in the dust. 16My face is red with weeping, and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17though there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure. 18O earth, do not cover my blood; let my outcry find no resting place. 19Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven, and he that vouches for me is on high. 20My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God, 21that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God, as one does for a neighbor. 22For when a few years have come, I shall go the way from which I shall not return.
17My spirit is broken, my days are extinct, the grave is ready for me. 2Surely there are mockers around me, and my eye dwells on their provocation. 3Lay down a pledge for me with yourself; who is there that will give surety for me? 4Since you have closed their minds to understanding, therefore you will not let them triumph. 5Those who denounce friends for reward the eyes of their children will fail. 6He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom people spit. 7My eye has grown dim from grief, and all my members are like a shadow. 8The upright are appalled at this, and the innocent stir themselves up against the godless. 9Yet the righteous hold to their way, and they that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger.
10But you, come back now, all of you, and I shall not find a sensible person among you. 11My days are past, my plans are broken off, the desires of my heart. 12They make night into day; The light, they say, is near to the darkness. 13If I look for Sheol as my house, if I spread my couch in darkness, 14if I say to the Pit, You are my father, and to the worm, My mother, or My sister, 15where then is my hope? Who will see my hope? 16Will it go down to the bars of Sheol? Shall we descend together into the dust?
18Then Bildad the Shuhite answered: 2How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we shall speak. 3Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight? 4You who tear yourself in your anger shall the earth be forsaken because of you, or the rock be removed out of its place?
5Surely the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of their fire does not shine. 6The light is dark in their tent, and the lamp above them is put out. 7Their strong steps are shortened, and their own schemes throw them down. 8For they are thrust into a net by their own feet, and they walk into a pitfall. 9A trap seizes them by the heel; a snare lays hold of them. 10A rope is hid for them in the ground, a trap for them in the path.
11Terrors frighten them on every side, and chase them at their heels. 12Their strength is consumed by hunger, and calamity is ready for their stumbling. 13By disease their skin is consumed, the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs. 14They are torn from the tent in which they trusted, and are brought to the king of terrors. 15In their tents nothing remains; sulfur is scattered upon their habitations. 16Their roots dry up beneath, and their branches wither above. 17Their memory perishes from the earth, and they have no name in the street. 18They are thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world. 19They have no offspring or descendant among their people, and no survivor where they used to live. 20They of the west are appalled at their fate, and horror seizes those of the east. 21Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, such is the place of those who do not know God.
19Then Job answered: 2How long will you torment me, and break me in pieces with words? 3These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me? 4And even if it is true that I have erred, my error remains with me. 5If indeed you magnify yourselves against me, and make my humiliation an argument against me, 6know then that God has put me in the wrong, and closed his net around me. 7Even when I cry out, Violence! I am not answered; I call aloud, but there is no justice.
8He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths. 9He has stripped my glory from me, and taken the crown from my head. 10He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone, he has uprooted my hope like a tree. 11He has kindled his wrath against me, and counts me as his adversary. 12His troops come on together; they have thrown up siegeworks against me, and encamp around my tent. 13He has put my family far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. 14My relatives and my close friends have failed me; 15the guests in my house have forgotten me; my serving girls count me as a stranger; I have become an alien in their eyes. 16I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must myself plead with him. 17My breath is repulsive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. 18Even young children despise me; when I rise, they talk against me. 19All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me. 20My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. 21Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! 22Why do you, like God, pursue me, never satisfied with my flesh?
23O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! 24O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! 25For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; 26and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, 27whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! 28If you say, How we will persecute him! and, The root of the matter is found in him; 29be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, so that you may know there is a judgment.
20Then Zophar the Naamathite answered: 2Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer, because of the agitation within me. 3I hear censure that insults me, and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me. 4Do you not know this from of old, ever since mortals were placed on earth, 5that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless is but for a moment? 6Even though they mount up high as the heavens, and their head reaches to the clouds, 7they will perish forever like their own dung; those who have seen them will say, Where are they? 8They will fly away like a dream, and not be found; they will be chased away like a vision of the night. 9The eye that saw them will see them no more, nor will their place behold them any longer.
10Their children will seek the favor of the poor, and their hands will give back their wealth. 11Their bodies, once full of youth, will lie down in the dust with them. 12Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth, though they hide it under their tongues, 13though they are loath to let it go, and hold it in their mouths, 14yet their food is turned in their stomachs; it is the venom of asps within them. 15They swallow down riches and vomit them up again; God casts them out of their bellies. 16They will suck the poison of asps; the tongue of a viper will kill them. 17They will not look on the rivers, the streams flowing with honey and curds. 18They will give back the fruit of their toil, and will not swallow it down; from the profit of their trading they will get no enjoyment. 19For they have crushed and abandoned the poor, they have seized a house that they did not build. 20They knew no quiet in their bellies; in their greed they let nothing escape. 21There was nothing left after they had eaten; therefore their prosperity will not endure. 22In full sufficiency they will be in distress; all the force of misery will come upon them.
23To fill their belly to the full God will send his fierce anger into them, and rain it upon them as their food. 24They will flee from an iron weapon; a bronze arrow will strike them through. 25It is drawn forth and comes out of their body, and the glittering point comes out of their gall; terrors come upon them. 26Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures; a fire fanned by no one will devour them; what is left in their tent will be consumed. 27The heavens will reveal their iniquity, and the earth will rise up against them. 28The possessions of their house will be carried away, dragged off in the day of Gods wrath. 29This is the portion of the wicked from God, the heritage decreed for them by God.
21Then Job answered: 2Listen carefully to my words, and let this be your consolation. 3Bear with me, and I will speak; then after I have spoken, mock on. 4As for me, is my complaint addressed to mortals? Why should I not be impatient? 5Look at me, and be appalled, and lay your hand upon your mouth. 6When I think of it I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh.
7Why do the wicked live on, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? 8Their children are established in their presence, and their offspring before their eyes. 9Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. 10Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and never miscarries. 11They send out their little ones like a flock, and their children dance around. 12They sing to the tambourine and the lyre, and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. 13They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol. 14They say to God, Leave us alone! We do not desire to know your ways. 15What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him? 16Is not their prosperity indeed their own achievement? The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.
17How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? How often does calamity come upon them? How often does God distribute pains in his anger? 18How often are they like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away? 19You say, God stores up their iniquity for their children. Let it be paid back to them, so that they may know it. 20Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21For what do they care for their household after them, when the number of their months is cut off? 22Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those that are on high? 23One dies in full prosperity, being wholly at ease and secure, 24his loins full of milk and the marrow of his bones moist. 25Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of good. 26They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.
27Oh, I know your thoughts, and your schemes to wrong me. 28For you say, Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked lived? 29Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony, 30that the wicked are spared in the day of calamity, and are rescued in the day of wrath? 31Who declares their way to their face, and who repays them for what they have done? 32When they are carried to the grave, a watch is kept over their tomb. 33The clods of the valley are sweet to them; everyone will follow after, and those who went before are innumerable. 34How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.
22Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: 2Can a mortal be of use to God? Can even the wisest be of service to him? 3Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless? 4Is it for your piety that he reproves you, and enters into judgment with you?
5Is not your wickedness great? There is no end to your iniquities. 6For you have exacted pledges from your family for no reason, and stripped the naked of their clothing. 7You have given no water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry. 8The powerful possess the land, and the favored live in it. 9You have sent widows away empty-handed, and the arms of the orphans you have crushed. 10Therefore snares are around you, and sudden terror overwhelms you, 11or darkness so that you cannot see; a flood of water covers you. 12Is not God high in the heavens? See the highest stars, how lofty they are! 13Therefore you say, What does God know? Can he judge through the deep darkness? 14Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the dome of heaven.
15Will you keep to the old way that the wicked have trod? 16They were snatched away before their time; their foundation was washed away by a flood. 17They said to God, Leave us alone, and What can the Almighty do to us? 18Yet he filled their houses with good things but the plans of the wicked are repugnant to me. 19The righteous see it and are glad; the innocent laugh them to scorn, 20saying, Surely our adversaries are cut off, and what they left, the fire has consumed.
21Agree with God, and be at peace; in this way good will come to you. 22Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. 23If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored, if you remove unrighteousness from your tents, 24if you treat gold like dust, and gold of Ophir like the stones of the torrent-bed, 25and if the Almighty is your gold and your precious silver, 26then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God. 27You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows. 28You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways. 29When others are humiliated, you say it is pride; for he saves the humble. 30He will deliver even those who are guilty; they will escape because of the cleanness of your hands.
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!
24Why are times not kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days? 2The wicked remove landmarks; they seize flocks and pasture them. 3They drive away the donkey of the orphan; they take the widows ox for a pledge. 4They thrust the needy off the road; the poor of the earth all hide themselves. 5Like wild asses in the desert they go out to their toil, scavenging in the wasteland food for their young. 6They reap in a field not their own and they glean in the vineyard of the wicked. 7They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold. 8They are wet with the rain of the mountains, and cling to the rock for want of shelter. 9There are those who snatch the orphan child from the breast, and take as a pledge the infant of the poor. 10They go about naked, without clothing; though hungry, they carry the sheaves; 11between their terraces they press out oil; they tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst. 12From the city the dying groan, and the throat of the wounded cries for help; yet God pays no attention to their prayer.
13There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths. 14The murderer rises at dusk to kill the poor and needy, and in the night is like a thief. 15The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight, saying, No eye will see me; and he disguises his face. 16In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the light. 17For deep darkness is morning to all of them; for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.
18Swift are they on the face of the waters; their portion in the land is cursed; no treader turns toward their vineyards. 19Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned. 20The womb forgets them; the worm finds them sweet; they are no longer remembered; so wickedness is broken like a tree. 21They harm the childless woman, and do no good to the widow. 22Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power; they rise up when they despair of life. 23He gives them security, and they are supported; his eyes are upon their ways. 24They are exalted a little while, and then are gone; they wither and fade like the mallow; they are cut off like the heads of grain. 25If it is not so, who will prove me a liar, and show that there is nothing in what I say?
25Then Bildad the Shuhite answered: 2Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven. 3Is there any number to his armies? Upon whom does his light not arise? 4How then can a mortal be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? 5If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his sight, 6how much less a mortal, who is a maggot, and a human being, who is a worm!
26Then Job answered: 2How you have helped one who has no power! How you have assisted the arm that has no strength! 3How you have counseled one who has no wisdom, and given much good advice! 4With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has come forth from you?
5The shades below tremble, the waters and their inhabitants. 6Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering. 7He stretches out Zaphon over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing. 8He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not torn open by them. 9He covers the face of the full moon, and spreads over it his cloud. 10He has described a circle on the face of the waters, at the boundary between light and darkness. 11The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astounded at his rebuke. 12By his power he stilled the Sea; by his understanding he struck down Rahab. 13By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent. 14These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways; and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?
27Job again took up his discourse and said: 2As God lives, who has taken away my right, and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, 3as long as my breath is in me and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, 4my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit. 5Far be it from me to say that you are right; until I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
7May my enemy be like the wicked, and may my opponent be like the unrighteous. 8For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts them off, when God takes away their lives? 9Will God hear their cry when trouble comes upon them? 10Will they take delight in the Almighty? Will they call upon God at all times?
11I will teach you concerning the hand of God; that which is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 12All of you have seen it yourselves; why then have you become altogether vain? 13This is the portion of the wicked with God, and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty: 14If their children are multiplied, it is for the sword; and their offspring have not enough to eat. 15Those who survive them the pestilence buries, and their widows make no lamentation. 16Though they heap up silver like dust, and pile up clothing like clay 17they may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. 18They build their houses like nests, like booths made by sentinels of the vineyard. 19They go to bed with wealth, but will do so no more; they open their eyes, and it is gone. 20Terrors overtake them like a flood; in the night a whirlwind carries them off. 21The east wind lifts them up and they are gone; it sweeps them out of their place. 22It hurls at them without pity; they flee from its power in headlong flight. 23It claps its hands at them, and hisses at them from its place.
28Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold to be refined. 2Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. 3Miners put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness. 4They open shafts in a valley away from human habitation; they are forgotten by travelers, they sway suspended, remote from people. 5As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire. 6Its stones are the place of sapphires, and its dust contains gold. 7That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcons eye has not seen it. 8The proud wild animals have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. 9They put their hand to the flinty rock, and overturn mountains by the roots. 10They cut out channels in the rocks, and their eyes see every precious thing. 11The sources of the rivers they probe; hidden things they bring to light. 12But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13Mortals do not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living.
14The deep says, It is not in me, and the sea says, It is not with me. 15It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed out as its price. 16It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. 17Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. 18No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. 19The chrysolite of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? 21It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air. 22Abaddon and Death say, We have heard a rumor of it with our ears. 23God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. 24For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens. 25When he gave to the wind its weight, and apportioned out the waters by measure; 26when he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the thunderbolt; 27then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out. 28And he said to humankind, Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
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