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Job 15-25

Eliphaz Speaks: Job Undermines Religion

15Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 ‘Should the wise answer with windy knowledge,
   and fill themselves with the east wind?
3 Should they argue in unprofitable talk,
   or in words with which they can do no good?
4 But you are doing away with the fear of God,
   and hindering meditation before God.
5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
   and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
   your own lips testify against you.


7 ‘Are you the firstborn of the human race?
   Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Have you listened in the council of God?
   And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we do not know?
   What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 The grey-haired and the aged are on our side,
   those older than your father.
11 Are the consolations of God too small for you,
   or the word that deals gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away,
   and why do your eyes flash,*
13 so that you turn your spirit against God,
   and let such words go out of your mouth?
14 What are mortals, that they can be clean?
   Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?
15 God puts no trust even in his holy ones,
   and the heavens are not clean in his sight;
16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
   one who drinks iniquity like water!


17 ‘I will show you; listen to me;
   what I have seen I will declare—
18 what sages have told,
   and their ancestors have not hidden,
19 to whom alone the land was given,
   and no stranger passed among them.
20 The wicked writhe in pain all their days,
   through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
21 Terrifying sounds are in their ears;
   in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.
22 They despair of returning from darkness,
   and they are destined for the sword.
23 They wander abroad for bread, saying, “Where is it?”
   They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;
24 distress and anguish terrify them;
   they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.
25 Because they stretched out their hands against God,
   and bid defiance to the Almighty,*
26 running stubbornly against him
   with a thick-bossed shield;
27 because they have covered their faces with their fat,
   and gathered fat upon their loins,
28 they will live in desolate cities,
   in houses that no one should inhabit,
   houses destined to become heaps of ruins;
29 they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure,
   nor will they strike root in the earth;*
30 they will not escape from darkness;
   the flame will dry up their shoots,
   and their blossom* will be swept away* by the wind.
31 Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;
   for emptiness will be their recompense.
32 It will be paid in full before their time,
   and their branch will not be green.
33 They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine,
   and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.
34 For the company of the godless is barren,
   and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief and bring forth evil
   and their heart prepares deceit.’

Job Reaffirms His Innocence

16Then Job answered:
2 ‘I have heard many such things;
   miserable comforters are you all.
3 Have windy words no limit?
   Or what provokes you that you keep on talking?
4 I 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.
5 I could encourage you with my mouth,
   and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.


6 ‘If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
   and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
7 Surely now God has worn me out;
   he has* made desolate all my company.
8 And he has* shrivelled me up,
   which is a witness against me;
my leanness has risen up against me,
   and it testifies to my face.
9 He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me;
   he has gnashed his teeth at me;
   my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10 They have gaped at me with their mouths;
   they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
   they mass themselves together against me.
11 God gives me up to the ungodly,
   and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I 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;
13   his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy;
   he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He bursts upon me again and again;
   he rushes at me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin,
   and have laid my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
   and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17 though there is no violence in my hands,
   and my prayer is pure.


18 ‘O earth, do not cover my blood;
   let my outcry find no resting-place.
19 Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven,
   and he that vouches for me is on high.
20 My friends scorn me;
   my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God,
   as* one does for a neighbour.
22 For when a few years have come,
   I shall go the way from which I shall not return.

Job Prays for Relief

17My spirit is broken, my days are extinct,
   the grave is ready for me.
2 Surely there are mockers around me,
   and my eye dwells on their provocation.


3 ‘Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
   who is there that will give surety for me?
4 Since you have closed their minds to understanding,
   therefore you will not let them triumph.
5 Those who denounce friends for reward—
   the eyes of their children will fail.


6 ‘He has made me a byword of the peoples,
   and I am one before whom people spit.
7 My eye has grown dim from grief,
   and all my members are like a shadow.
8 The upright are appalled at this,
   and the innocent stir themselves up against the godless.
9 Yet the righteous hold to their way,
   and they that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger.
10 But you, come back now, all of you,
   and I shall not find a sensible person among you.
11 My days are past, my plans are broken off,
   the desires of my heart.
12 They make night into day;
   “The light”, they say, “is near to the darkness.”*
13 If I look for Sheol as my house,
   if I spread my couch in darkness,
14 if I say to the Pit, “You are my father”,
   and to the worm, “My mother”, or “My sister”,
15 where then is my hope?
   Who will see my hope?
16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
   Shall we descend together into the dust?’

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

18Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2 ‘How long will you hunt for words?
   Consider, and then we shall speak.
3 Why are we counted as cattle?
   Why are we stupid in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself in your anger—
   shall the earth be forsaken because of you,
   or the rock be removed out of its place?


5 ‘Surely the light of the wicked is put out,
   and the flame of their fire does not shine.
6 The light is dark in their tent,
   and the lamp above them is put out.
7 Their strong steps are shortened,
   and their own schemes throw them down.
8 For they are thrust into a net by their own feet,
   and they walk into a pitfall.
9 A trap seizes them by the heel;
   a snare lays hold of them.
10 A rope is hid for them in the ground,
   a trap for them in the path.
11 Terrors frighten them on every side,
   and chase them at their heels.
12 Their strength is consumed by hunger,*
   and calamity is ready for their stumbling.
13 By disease their skin is consumed,*
   the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs.
14 They are torn from the tent in which they trusted,
   and are brought to the king of terrors.
15 In their tents nothing remains;
   sulphur is scattered upon their habitations.
16 Their roots dry up beneath,
   and their branches wither above.
17 Their memory perishes from the earth,
   and they have no name in the street.
18 They are thrust from light into darkness,
   and driven out of the world.
19 They have no offspring or descendant among their people,
   and no survivor where they used to live.
20 They of the west are appalled at their fate,
   and horror seizes those of the east.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly,
   such is the place of those who do not know God.’

Job Replies: I Know That My Redeemer Lives

19Then Job answered:
2 ‘How long will you torment me,
   and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
   are you not ashamed to wrong me?
4 And even if it is true that I have erred,
   my error remains with me.
5 If indeed you magnify yourselves against me,
   and make my humiliation an argument against me,
6 know then that God has put me in the wrong,
   and closed his net around me.
7 Even when I cry out, “Violence!” I am not answered;
   I call aloud, but there is no justice.
8 He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass,
   and he has set darkness upon my paths.
9 He has stripped my glory from me,
   and taken the crown from my head.
10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
   he has uprooted my hope like a tree.
11 He has kindled his wrath against me,
   and counts me as his adversary.
12 His troops come on together;
   they have thrown up siege-works* against me,
   and encamp around my tent.


13 ‘He has put my family far from me,
   and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
14 My relatives and my close friends have failed me;
15   the guests in my house have forgotten me;
my serving-girls count me as a stranger;
   I have become an alien in their eyes.
16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
   I must myself plead with him.
17 My breath is repulsive to my wife;
   I am loathsome to my own family.
18 Even young children despise me;
   when I rise, they talk against me.
19 All my intimate friends abhor me,
   and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20 My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh,
   and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,
   for the hand of God has touched me!
22 Why do you, like God, pursue me,
   never satisfied with my flesh?


23 ‘O that my words were written down!
   O that they were inscribed in a book!
24 O that with an iron pen and with lead
   they were engraved on a rock for ever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer* lives,
   and that at the last he* will stand upon the earth;*
26 and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
   then in* my flesh I shall see God,*
27 whom I shall see on my side,*
   and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
   My heart faints within me!
28 If you say, “How we will persecute him!”
   and, “The root of the matter is found in him”;
29 be afraid of the sword,
   for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
   so that you may know there is a judgement.’

Zophar Speaks: Wickedness Receives Just Retribution

20Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
2 ‘Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer,
   because of the agitation within me.
3 I hear censure that insults me,
   and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.
4 Do you not know this from of old,
   ever since mortals were placed on earth,
5 that the exulting of the wicked is short,
   and the joy of the godless is but for a moment?
6 Even though they mount up high as the heavens,
   and their head reaches to the clouds,
7 they will perish for ever like their own dung;
   those who have seen them will say, “Where are they?”
8 They will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
   they will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye that saw them will see them no more,
   nor will their place behold them any longer.
10 Their children will seek the favour of the poor,
   and their hands will give back their wealth.
11 Their bodies, once full of youth,
   will lie down in the dust with them.


12 ‘Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth,
   though they hide it under their tongues,
13 though they are loath to let it go,
   and hold it in their mouths,
14 yet their food is turned in their stomachs;
   it is the venom of asps within them.
15 They swallow down riches and vomit them up again;
   God casts them out of their bellies.
16 They will suck the poison of asps;
   the tongue of a viper will kill them.
17 They will not look on the rivers,
   the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18 They 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.
19 For they have crushed and abandoned the poor,
   they have seized a house that they did not build.


20 ‘They knew no quiet in their bellies;
   in their greed they let nothing escape.
21 There was nothing left after they had eaten;
   therefore their prosperity will not endure.
22 In full sufficiency they will be in distress;
   all the force of misery will come upon them.
23 To fill their belly to the full
   God* will send his fierce anger into them,
   and rain it upon them as their food.*
24 They will flee from an iron weapon;
   a bronze arrow will strike them through.
25 It is drawn forth and comes out of their body,
   and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
   terrors come upon them.
26 Utter 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.
27 The heavens will reveal their iniquity,
   and the earth will rise up against them.
28 The possessions of their house will be carried away,
   dragged off on the day of God’s* wrath.
29 This is the portion of the wicked from God,
   the heritage decreed for them by God.’

Job Replies: The Wicked Often Go Unpunished

21Then Job answered:
2 ‘Listen carefully to my words,
   and let this be your consolation.
3 Bear with me, and I will speak;
   then after I have spoken, mock on.
4 As for me, is my complaint addressed to mortals?
   Why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me, and be appalled,
   and lay your hand upon your mouth.
6 When I think of it I am dismayed,
   and shuddering seizes my flesh.
7 Why do the wicked live on,
   reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
8 Their children are established in their presence,
   and their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe from fear,
   and no rod of God is upon them.
10 Their bull breeds without fail;
   their cow calves and never miscarries.
11 They send out their little ones like a flock,
   and their children dance around.
12 They sing to the tambourine and the lyre,
   and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
13 They spend their days in prosperity,
   and in peace they go down to Sheol.
14 They say to God, “Leave us alone!
   We do not desire to know your ways.
15 What is the Almighty,* that we should serve him?
   And what profit do we get if we pray to him?”
16 Is not their prosperity indeed their own achievement?*
   The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.


17 ‘How 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?
18 How often are they like straw before the wind,
   and like chaff that the storm carries away?
19 You say, “God stores up their iniquity for their children.”
   Let it be paid back to them, so that they may know it.
20 Let their own eyes see their destruction,
   and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.*
21 For what do they care for their household after them,
   when the number of their months is cut off?
22 Will any teach God knowledge,
   seeing that he judges those that are on high?
23 One dies in full prosperity,
   being wholly at ease and secure,
24 his loins full of milk
   and the marrow of his bones moist.
25 Another dies in bitterness of soul,
   never having tasted of good.
26 They lie down alike in the dust,
   and the worms cover them.


27 ‘Oh, I know your thoughts,
   and your schemes to wrong me.
28 For you say, “Where is the house of the prince?
   Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?”
29 Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
   and do you not accept their testimony,
30 that the wicked are spared on the day of calamity,
   and are rescued on the day of wrath?
31 Who declares their way to their face,
   and who repays them for what they have done?
32 When they are carried to the grave,
   a watch is kept over their tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to them;
   everyone will follow after,
   and those who went before are innumerable.
34 How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
   There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.’

Eliphaz Speaks: Job’s Wickedness Is Great

22Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 ‘Can a mortal be of use to God?
   Can even the wisest be of service to him?
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty* if you are righteous,
   or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
4 Is it for your piety that he reproves you,
   and enters into judgement with you?
5 Is not your wickedness great?
   There is no end to your iniquities.
6 For you have exacted pledges from your family for no reason,
   and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 You have given no water to the weary to drink,
   and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
8 The powerful possess the land,
   and the favoured live in it.
9 You have sent widows away empty-handed,
   and the arms of the orphans you have crushed.*
10 Therefore snares are around you,
   and sudden terror overwhelms you,
11 or 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!
13 Therefore you say, “What does God know?
   Can he judge through the deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see,
   and he walks on the dome of heaven.”
15 Will you keep to the old way
   that the wicked have trod?
16 They were snatched away before their time;
   their foundation was washed away by a flood.
17 They said to God, “Leave us alone”,
   and “What can the Almighty* do to us?”*
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things—
   but the plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.
19 The righteous see it and are glad;
   the innocent laugh them to scorn,
20 saying, “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.
22 Receive instruction from his mouth,
   and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty,* you will be restored,
   if you remove unrighteousness from your tents,
24 if you treat gold like dust,
   and gold of Ophir like the stones of the torrent-bed,
25 and if the Almighty* is your gold
   and your precious silver,
26 then you will delight in the Almighty,*
   and lift up your face to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
   and you will pay your vows.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
   and light will shine on your ways.
29 When others are humiliated, you say it is pride;
   for he saves the humble.
30 He will deliver even those who are guilty;
   they will escape because of the cleanness of your hands.’*

Job Replies: My Complaint Is Bitter

23Then Job answered:
2 ‘Today also my complaint is bitter;*
   his* hand is heavy despite my groaning.
3 O that I knew where I might find him,
   that I might come even to his dwelling!
4 I would lay my case before him,
   and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would learn what he would answer me,
   and understand what he would say to me.
6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
   No; but he would give heed to me.
7 There an upright person could reason with him,
   and I should be acquitted for ever by my judge.


8 ‘If I go forward, he is not there;
   or backward, I cannot perceive him;
9 on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;
   I turn* to the right, but I cannot see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
   when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
   I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
   I have treasured in* my bosom the words of his mouth.
13 But he stands alone and who can dissuade him?
   What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me;
   and many such things are in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
   when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
   the Almighty* has terrified me;
17 If only I could vanish in darkness,
   and thick darkness would cover my face!*

Job Complains of Violence on the Earth

24‘Why are times not kept by the Almighty,*
   and why do those who know him never see his days?
2 The wicked* remove landmarks;
   they seize flocks and pasture them.
3 They drive away the donkey of the orphan;
   they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
4 They thrust the needy off the road;
   the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
5 Like wild asses in the desert
   they go out to their toil,
scavenging in the waste-land
   food for their young.
6 They reap in a field not their own
   and they glean in the vineyard of the wicked.
7 They lie all night naked, without clothing,
   and have no covering in the cold.
8 They 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.
10 They go about naked, without clothing;
   though hungry, they carry the sheaves;
11 between their terraces* they press out oil;
   they tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst.
12 From 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.
14 The murderer rises at dusk
   to kill the poor and needy,
   and in the night is like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
   saying, “No eye will see me”;
   and he disguises his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses;
   by day they shut themselves up;
   they do not know the light.
17 For 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 towards their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow-waters;
   so does Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The 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.
22 Yet God* prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
   they rise up when they despair of life.
23 He gives them security, and they are supported;
   his eyes are upon their ways.
24 They 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.
25 If it is not so, who will prove me a liar,
   and show that there is nothing in what I say?’

Bildad Speaks: How Can a Mortal Be Righteous Before God?

25Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2 ‘Dominion and fear are with God;*
   he makes peace in his high heaven.
3 Is there any number to his armies?
   Upon whom does his light not arise?
4 How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
   How can one born of woman be pure?
5 If even the moon is not bright
   and the stars are not pure in his sight,
6 how much less a mortal, who is a maggot,
   and a human being, who is a worm!’

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From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.1 29 April 2019.