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Job 22:1-31:40

22Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: 2“Can 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. 12“Is 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.’

21“Agree 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: 2“Today 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.

8“If 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!

24“Why 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 widow’s 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. 9“There 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.

13“There 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.

18“Swift 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. 21“They 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: 2“Dominion 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: 2“How 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: 2“As 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.

7“May 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? 13“This 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.

28“Surely 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. 7“That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon’s eye has not seen it. 8The proud wild animals have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. 9“They 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. 12“But 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.

20“Where 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.’ 23“God 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.’”

29Job again took up his discourse and said: 2“Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; 3when his lamp shone over my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; 4when I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent; 5when the Almighty was still with me, when my children were around me; 6when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!

7When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square, 8the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose up and stood; 9the nobles refrained from talking, and laid their hands on their mouths; 10the voices of princes were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 11When the ear heard, it commended me, and when the eye saw, it approved; 12because I delivered the poor who cried, and the orphan who had no helper. 13The blessing of the wretched came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. 14I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. 15I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. 16I was a father to the needy, and I championed the cause of the stranger. 17I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made them drop their prey from their teeth.

18Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days like the phoenix; 19my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches; 20my glory was fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.’ 21“They listened to me, and waited, and kept silence for my counsel. 22After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them like dew. 23They waited for me as for the rain; they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. 24I smiled on them when they had no confidence; and the light of my countenance they did not extinguish. 25I chose their way, and sat as chief, and I lived like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.

30“But now they make sport of me, those who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. 2What could I gain from the strength of their hands? All their vigor is gone. 3Through want and hard hunger they gnaw the dry and desolate ground, 4they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes, and to warm themselves the roots of broom. 5They are driven out from society; people shout after them as after a thief. 6In the gullies of wadis they must live, in holes in the ground, and in the rocks. 7Among the bushes they bray; under the nettles they huddle together. 8A senseless, disreputable brood, they have been whipped out of the land. 9“And now they mock me in song; I am a byword to them. 10They abhor me, they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me. 11Because God has loosed my bowstring and humbled me, they have cast off restraint in my presence. 12On my right hand the rabble rise up; they send me sprawling, and build roads for my ruin. 13They break up my path, they promote my calamity; no one restrains them. 14As through a wide breach they come; amid the crash they roll on.

15Terrors are turned upon me; my honor is pursued as by the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud. 16“And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. 17The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest. 18With violence he seizes my garment; he grasps me by the collar of my tunic. 19He has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. 20I cry to you and you do not answer me; I stand, and you merely look at me. 21You have turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you persecute me. 22You lift me up on the wind, you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm. 23I know that you will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. 24“Surely one does not turn against the needy, when in disaster they cry for help. 25Did I not weep for those whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? 26But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came. 27My inward parts are in turmoil, and are never still; days of affliction come to meet me. 28I go about in sunless gloom; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help. 29I am a brother of jackals, and a companion of ostriches. 30My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat. 31My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.

31“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin? 2What would be my portion from God above, and my heritage from the Almighty on high? 3Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity? 4Does he not see my ways, and number all my steps? 5“If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hurried to deceit— 6let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!— 7if my step has turned aside from the way, and my heart has followed my eyes, and if any spot has clung to my hands; 8then let me sow, and another eat; and let what grows for me be rooted out.

9“If my heart has been enticed by a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door; 10then let my wife grind for another, and let other men kneel over her. 11For that would be a heinous crime; that would be a criminal offense; 12for that would be a fire consuming down to Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my harvest. 13“If I have rejected the cause of my male or female slaves, when they brought a complaint against me; 14what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? 15Did not he who made me in the womb make them? And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16“If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17or have eaten my morsel alone, and the orphan has not eaten from it— 18for from my youth I reared the orphan like a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow— 19if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or a poor person without covering, 20whose loins have not blessed me, and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 21if I have raised my hand against the orphan, because I saw I had supporters at the gate; 22then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder, and let my arm be broken from its socket. 23For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.

24“If I have made gold my trust, or called fine gold my confidence; 25if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, or because my hand had gotten much; 26if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, 27and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand; 28this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I should have been false to God above. 29“If I have rejoiced at the ruin of those who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook them— 30I have not let my mouth sin by asking for their lives with a curse— 31if those of my tent ever said, ‘O that we might be sated with his flesh!’ — 32the stranger has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler—

33if I have concealed my transgressions as others do, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34because I stood in great fear of the multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors— 35Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary! 36Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me like a crown; 37I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him. 38“If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept together; 39if I have eaten its yield without payment, and caused the death of its owners; 40let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley.” The words of Job are ended.


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29 April 2019

From the oremus Bible Browser v2.5.1 29 April 2019.