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Job 26-42

Job Replies: God’s Majesty Is Unsearchable

26Then Job answered:
2 ‘How you have helped one who has no power!
   How you have assisted the arm that has no strength!
3 How you have counselled one who has no wisdom,
   and given much good advice!
4 With whose help have you uttered words,
   and whose spirit has come forth from you?
5 The shades below tremble,
   the waters and their inhabitants.
6 Sheol is naked before God,
   and Abaddon has no covering.
7 He stretches out Zaphon* over the void,
   and hangs the earth upon nothing.
8 He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
   and the cloud is not torn open by them.
9 He covers the face of the full moon,
   and spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has described a circle on the face of the waters,
   at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble,
   and are astounded at his rebuke.
12 By his power he stilled the Sea;
   by his understanding he struck down Rahab.
13 By his wind the heavens were made fair;
   his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14 These 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?’

Job Maintains His Integrity

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,
3 as long as my breath is in me
   and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
4 my lips will not speak falsehood,
   and my tongue will not utter deceit.
5 Far be it from me to say that you are right;
   until I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
6 I 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.
8 For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts them off,
   when God takes away their lives?
9 Will God hear their cry
   when trouble comes upon them?
10 Will they take delight in the Almighty?*
   Will they call upon God at all times?
11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
   that which is with the Almighty* I will not conceal.
12 All 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:*
14 If their children are multiplied, it is for the sword;
   and their offspring have not enough to eat.
15 Those who survive them the pestilence buries,
   and their widows make no lamentation.
16 Though they heap up silver like dust,
   and pile up clothing like clay—
17 they may pile it up, but the just will wear it,
   and the innocent will divide the silver.
18 They build their houses like nests,
   like booths made by sentinels of the vineyard.
19 They go to bed with wealth, but will do so no more;
   they open their eyes, and it is gone.
20 Terrors overtake them like a flood;
   in the night a whirlwind carries them off.
21 The east wind lifts them up and they are gone;
   it sweeps them out of their place.
22 It* hurls at them without pity;
   they flee from its* power in headlong flight.
23 It* claps its* hands at them,
   and hisses at them from its* place.

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28‘Surely there is a mine for silver,
   and a place for gold to be refined.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth,
   and copper is smelted from ore.
3 Miners put* an end to darkness,
   and search out to the farthest bound
   the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
4 They open shafts in a valley away from human habitation;
   they are forgotten by travellers,
   they sway suspended, remote from people.
5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread;
   but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
6 Its 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.
8 The 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.
10 They cut out channels in the rocks,
   and their eyes see every precious thing.
11 The 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?
13 Mortals do not know the way to it,*
   and it is not found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, “It is not in me”,
   and the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought for gold,
   and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
   in precious onyx or sapphire.*
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
   nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
   the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The 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?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
   and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
   “We have heard a rumour of it with our ears.”

23 ‘God understands the way to it,
   and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth,
   and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight,
   and apportioned out the waters by measure;
26 when he made a decree for the rain,
   and a way for the thunderbolt;
27 then he saw it and declared it;
   he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to humankind,
“Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
   and to depart from evil is understanding.”

Job Finishes His Defence

29Job again took up his discourse and said:
2 ‘O that I were as in the months of old,
   as in the days when God watched over me;
3 when his lamp shone over my head,
   and by his light I walked through darkness;
4 when I was in my prime,
   when the friendship of God was upon my tent;
5 when the Almighty* was still with me,
   when my children were around me;
6 when my steps were washed with milk,
   and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 When I went out to the gate of the city,
   when I took my seat in the square,
8 the young men saw me and withdrew,
   and the aged rose up and stood;
9 the nobles refrained from talking,
   and laid their hands on their mouths;
10 the voices of princes were hushed,
   and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 When the ear heard, it commended me,
   and when the eye saw, it approved;
12 because I delivered the poor who cried,
   and the orphan who had no helper.
13 The blessing of the wretched came upon me,
   and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
   my justice was like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind,
   and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
   and I championed the cause of the stranger.
17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous,
   and made them drop their prey from their teeth.
18 Then I thought, “I shall die in my nest,
   and I shall multiply my days like the phoenix;*
19 my roots spread out to the waters,
   with the dew all night on my branches;
20 my 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.
22 After I spoke they did not speak again,
   and my word dropped upon them like dew.*
23 They waited for me as for the rain;
   they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence;
   and the light of my countenance they did not extinguish.*
25 I 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.
2 What could I gain from the strength of their hands?
   All their vigour is gone.
3 Through want and hard hunger
   they gnaw the dry and desolate ground,
4 they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes,
   and to warm themselves the roots of broom.
5 They are driven out from society;
   people shout after them as after a thief.
6 In the gullies of wadis they must live,
   in holes in the ground, and in the rocks.
7 Among the bushes they bray;
   under the nettles they huddle together.
8 A 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.
10 They abhor me, they keep aloof from me;
   they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
11 Because God has loosed my bowstring and humbled me,
   they have cast off restraint in my presence.
12 On my right hand the rabble rise up;
   they send me sprawling,
   and build roads for my ruin.
13 They break up my path,
   they promote my calamity;
   no one restrains* them.
14 As through a wide breach they come;
   amid the crash they roll on.
15 Terrors are turned upon me;
   my honour 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.
17 The night racks my bones,
   and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
18 With violence he seizes my garment;*
   he grasps me by* the collar of my tunic.
19 He has cast me into the mire,
   and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you and you do not answer me;
   I stand, and you merely look at me.
21 You have turned cruel to me;
   with the might of your hand you persecute me.
22 You lift me up on the wind, you make me ride on it,
   and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
23 I 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.*
25 Did I not weep for those whose day was hard?
   Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 But when I looked for good, evil came;
   and when I waited for light, darkness came.
27 My inward parts are in turmoil, and are never still;
   days of affliction come to meet me.
28 I go about in sunless gloom;
   I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I am a brother of jackals,
   and a companion of ostriches.
30 My skin turns black and falls from me,
   and my bones burn with heat.
31 My 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?
2 What would be my portion from God above,
   and my heritage from the Almighty* on high?
3 Does not calamity befall the unrighteous,
   and disaster the workers of iniquity?
4 Does he not see my ways,
   and number all my steps?

5 ‘If I have walked with falsehood,
   and my foot has hurried to deceit—
6 let me be weighed in a just balance,
   and let God know my integrity!—
7 if my step has turned aside from the way,
   and my heart has followed my eyes,
   and if any spot has clung to my hands;
8 then 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 neighbour’s door;
10 then let my wife grind for another,
   and let other men kneel over her.
11 For that would be a heinous crime;
   that would be a criminal offence;
12 for 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;
14 what then shall I do when God rises up?
   When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
15 Did 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,
17 or have eaten my morsel alone,
   and the orphan has not eaten from it—
18 for from my youth I reared the orphan* like a father,
   and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow*
19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
   or a poor person without covering,
20 whose loins have not blessed me,
   and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 if I have raised my hand against the orphan,
   because I saw I had supporters at the gate;
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
   and let my arm be broken from its socket.
23 For 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;
25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
   or because my hand had acquired much;
26 if I have looked at the sun* when it shone,
   or the moon moving in splendour,
27 and my heart has been secretly enticed,
   and my mouth has kissed my hand;
28 this 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—
30 I have not let my mouth sin
   by asking for their lives with a curse—
31 if those of my tent ever said,
   “O that we might be sated with his flesh!”*
32 the stranger has not lodged in the street;
   I have opened my doors to the traveller—
33 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do,*
   by hiding my iniquity in my bosom,
34 because 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—
35 O that I had one to hear me!
   (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty* answer me!)
   O that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
   I would bind it on me like a crown;
37 I 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;
39 if I have eaten its yield without payment,
   and caused the death of its owners;
40 let thorns grow instead of wheat,
   and foul weeds instead of barley.’

The words of Job are ended.

Elihu Rebukes Job’s Friends

32So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; 3he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong.* 4Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. 5But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.

Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered:
‘I am young in years,
   and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
   to declare my opinion to you.
7 I said, “Let days speak,
   and many years teach wisdom.”
8 But truly it is the spirit in a mortal,
   the breath of the Almighty,* that makes for understanding.
9 It is not the old* that are wise,
   nor the aged that understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, “Listen to me;
   let me also declare my opinion.”

11 ‘See, I waited for your words,
   I listened for your wise sayings,
   while you searched out what to say.
12 I gave you my attention,
   but there was in fact no one that confuted Job,
   no one among you that answered his words.
13 Yet do not say, “We have found wisdom;
   God may vanquish him, not a human.”
14 He has not directed his words against me,
   and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15 ‘They are dismayed, they answer no more;
   they have not a word to say.
16 And am I to wait, because they do not speak,
   because they stand there, and answer no more?
17 I also will give my answer;
   I also will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
   the spirit within me constrains me.
19 My heart is indeed like wine that has no vent;
   like new wineskins, it is ready to burst.
20 I must speak, so that I may find relief;
   I must open my lips and answer.
21 I will not show partiality to any person
   or use flattery towards anyone.
22 For I do not know how to flatter—
   or my Maker would soon put an end to me!

Elihu Rebukes Job

33‘But now, hear my speech, O Job,
   and listen to all my words.
2 See, I open my mouth;
   the tongue in my mouth speaks.
3 My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
   and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
4 The spirit of God has made me,
   and the breath of the Almighty* gives me life.
5 Answer me, if you can;
   set your words in order before me; take your stand.
6 See, before God I am as you are;
   I too was formed from a piece of clay.
7 No fear of me need terrify you;
   my pressure will not be heavy on you.

8 ‘Surely, you have spoken in my hearing,
   and I have heard the sound of your words.
9 You say, “I am clean, without transgression;
   I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me.
10 Look, he finds occasions against me,
   he counts me as his enemy;
11 he puts my feet in the stocks,
   and watches all my paths.”

12 ‘But in this you are not right. I will answer you:
   God is greater than any mortal.
13 Why do you contend against him,
   saying, “He will answer none of my* words”?
14 For God speaks in one way,
   and in two, though people do not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
   when deep sleep falls on mortals,
   while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he opens their ears,
   and terrifies them with warnings,
17 that he may turn them aside from their deeds,
   and keep them from pride,
18 to spare their souls from the Pit,
   their lives from traversing the River.
19 They are also chastened with pain upon their beds,
   and with continual strife in their bones,
20 so that their lives loathe bread,
   and their appetites dainty food.
21 Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen;
   and their bones, once invisible, now stick out.
22 Their souls draw near the Pit,
   and their lives to those who bring death.
23 Then, if there should be for one of them an angel,
   a mediator, one of a thousand,
   one who declares a person upright,
24 and he is gracious to that person, and says,
   “Deliver him from going down into the Pit;
   I have found a ransom;
25 let his flesh become fresh with youth;
   let him return to the days of his youthful vigour”;
26 then he prays to God, and is accepted by him,
   he comes into his presence with joy,
and God* repays him for his righteousness.
27   That person sings to others and says,
“I sinned, and perverted what was right,
   and it was not paid back to me.
28 He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit,
   and my life shall see the light.”

29 ‘God indeed does all these things,
   twice, three times, with mortals,
30 to bring back their souls from the Pit,
   so that they may see the light of life.*
31 Pay heed, Job, listen to me;
   be silent, and I will speak.
32 If you have anything to say, answer me;
   speak, for I desire to justify you.
33 If not, listen to me;
   be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.’

Elihu Proclaims God’s Justice

34Then Elihu continued and said:
2 ‘Hear my words, you wise men,
   and give ear to me, you who know;
3 for the ear tests words
   as the palate tastes food.
4 Let us choose what is right;
   let us determine among ourselves what is good.
5 For Job has said, “I am innocent,
   and God has taken away my right;
6 in spite of being right I am counted a liar;
   my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.”
7 Who is there like Job,
   who drinks up scoffing like water,
8 who goes in company with evildoers
   and walks with the wicked?
9 For he has said, “It profits one nothing
   to take delight in God.”

10 ‘Therefore, hear me, you who have sense,
   far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
   and from the Almighty* that he should do wrong.
11 For according to their deeds he will repay them,
   and according to their ways he will make it befall them.
12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
   and the Almighty* will not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth
   and who laid on him* the whole world?
14 If he should take back his spirit* to himself,
   and gather to himself his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together,
   and all mortals return to dust.

16 ‘If you have understanding, hear this;
   listen to what I say.
17 Shall one who hates justice govern?
   Will you condemn one who is righteous and mighty,
18 who says to a king, “You scoundrel!”
   and to princes, “You wicked men!”;
19 who shows no partiality to nobles,
   nor regards the rich more than the poor,
   for they are all the work of his hands?
20 In a moment they die;
   at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
   and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

21 ‘For his eyes are upon the ways of mortals,
   and he sees all their steps.
22 There is no gloom or deep darkness
   where evildoers may hide themselves.
23 For he has not appointed a time* for anyone
   to go before God in judgement.
24 He shatters the mighty without investigation,
   and sets others in their place.
25 Thus, knowing their works,
   he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26 He strikes them for their wickedness
   while others look on,
27 because they turned aside from following him,
   and had no regard for any of his ways,
28 so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
   and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29 When he is quiet, who can condemn?
   When he hides his face, who can behold him,
   whether it be a nation or an individual?—
30 so that the godless should not reign,
   or those who ensnare the people.

31 ‘For has anyone said to God,
   “I have endured punishment; I will not offend any more;
32 teach me what I do not see;
   if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more”?
33 Will he then pay back to suit you,
   because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
   therefore declare what you know.*
34 Those who have sense will say to me,
   and the wise who hear me will say,
35 “Job speaks without knowledge,
   his words are without insight.”
36 Would that Job were tried to the limit,
   because his answers are those of the wicked.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
   he claps his hands among us,
   and multiplies his words against God.’

Elihu Condemns Self-Righteousness

35Elihu continued and said:
2 ‘Do you think this to be just?
   You say, “I am in the right before God.”
3 If you ask, “What advantage have I?
   How am I better off than if I had sinned?”
4 I will answer you
   and your friends with you.
5 Look at the heavens and see;
   observe the clouds, which are higher than you.
6 If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
   And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him;
   or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness affects others like you,
   and your righteousness, other human beings.

9 ‘Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
   they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
10 But no one says, “Where is God my Maker,
   who gives strength in the night,
11 who teaches us more than the animals of the earth,
   and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?”
12 There they cry out, but he does not answer,
   because of the pride of evildoers.
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
   nor does the Almighty* regard it.
14 How much less when you say that you do not see him,
   that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
15 And now, because his anger does not punish,
   and he does not greatly heed transgression,*
16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk,
   he multiplies words without knowledge.’

Elihu Exalts God’s Goodness

36Elihu continued and said:
2 ‘Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
   for I have yet something to say on God’s behalf.
3 I will bring my knowledge from far away,
   and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
4 For truly my words are not false;
   one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

5 ‘Surely God is mighty and does not despise any;
   he is mighty in strength of understanding.
6 He does not keep the wicked alive,
   but gives the afflicted their right.
7 He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
   but with kings on the throne
   he sets them for ever, and they are exalted.
8 And if they are bound in fetters
   and caught in the cords of affliction,
9 then he declares to them their work
   and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
10 He opens their ears to instruction,
   and commands that they return from iniquity.
11 If they listen, and serve him,
   they complete their days in prosperity,
   and their years in pleasantness.
12 But if they do not listen, they shall perish by the sword,
   and die without knowledge.

13 ‘The godless in heart cherish anger;
   they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14 They die in their youth,
   and their life ends in shame.*
15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction,
   and opens their ear by adversity.
16 He also allured you out of distress
   into a broad place where there was no constraint,
   and what was set on your table was full of fatness.

17 ‘But you are obsessed with the case of the wicked;
   judgement and justice seize you.
18 Beware that wrath does not entice you into scoffing,
   and do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19 Will your cry avail to keep you from distress,
   or will all the force of your strength?
20 Do not long for the night,
   when peoples are cut off in their place.
21 Beware! Do not turn to iniquity;
   because of that you have been tried by affliction.
22 See, God is exalted in his power;
   who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed for him his way,
   or who can say, “You have done wrong”?

Elihu Proclaims God’s Majesty

24 ‘Remember to extol his work,
   of which mortals have sung.
25 All people have looked on it;
   everyone watches it from far away.
26 Surely God is great, and we do not know him;
   the number of his years is unsearchable.
27 For he draws up the drops of water;
   he distils* his mist in rain,
28 which the skies pour down
   and drop upon mortals abundantly.
29 Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
   the thunderings of his pavilion?
30 See, he scatters his lightning around him
   and covers the roots of the sea.
31 For by these he governs peoples;
   he gives food in abundance.
32 He covers his hands with the lightning,
   and commands it to strike the mark.
33 Its crashing* tells about him;
   he is jealous* with anger against iniquity.

37‘At this also my heart trembles,
   and leaps out of its place.
2 Listen, listen to the thunder of his voice
   and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
3 Under the whole heaven he lets it loose,
   and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
4 After it his voice roars;
   he thunders with his majestic voice
   and he does not restrain the lightnings* when his voice is heard.
5 God thunders wondrously with his voice;
   he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6 For to the snow he says, “Fall on the earth”;
   and the shower of rain, his heavy shower of rain,
7 serves as a sign on everyone’s hand,
   so that all whom he has made may know it.*
8 Then the animals go into their lairs
   and remain in their dens.
9 From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
   and cold from the scattering winds.
10 By the breath of God ice is given,
   and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
   the clouds scatter his lightning.
12 They turn round and round by his guidance,
   to accomplish all that he commands them
   on the face of the habitable world.
13 Whether for correction, or for his land,
   or for love, he causes it to happen.

14 ‘Hear this, O Job;
   stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
15 Do you know how God lays his command upon them,
   and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16 Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
   the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect,
17 you whose garments are hot
   when the earth is still because of the south wind?
18 Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
   unyielding as a cast mirror?
19 Teach us what we shall say to him;
   we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
20 Should he be told that I want to speak?
   Did anyone ever wish to be swallowed up?
21 Now, no one can look on the light
   when it is bright in the skies,
   when the wind has passed and cleared them.
22 Out of the north comes golden splendour;
   around God is awesome majesty.
23 The Almighty*—we cannot find him;
   he is great in power and justice,
   and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
24 Therefore mortals fear him;
   he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.’

The Lord Answers Job

38Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2 ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up your loins like a man,
   I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

4 ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
   Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
   Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
   or who laid its cornerstone
7 when the morning stars sang together
   and all the heavenly beings* shouted for joy?

8 ‘Or who shut in the sea with doors
   when it burst out from the womb?—
9 when I made the clouds its garment,
   and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed bounds for it,
   and set bars and doors,
11 and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
   and here shall your proud waves be stopped”?

12 ‘Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
   and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
   and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
   and it is dyed* like a garment.
15 Light is withheld from the wicked,
   and their uplifted arm is broken.

16 ‘Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
   or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
   or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
   Declare, if you know all this.

19 ‘Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
   and where is the place of darkness,
20 that you may take it to its territory
   and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21 Surely you know, for you were born then,
   and the number of your days is great!

22 ‘Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
   or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
   for the day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
   or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

25 ‘Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain,
   and a way for the thunderbolt,
26 to bring rain on a land where no one lives,
   on the desert, which is empty of human life,
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
   and to make the ground put forth grass?

28 ‘Has the rain a father,
   or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
   and who has given birth to the hoar-frost of heaven?
30 The waters become hard like stone,
   and the face of the deep is frozen.

31 ‘Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
   or loose the cords of Orion?
32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
   or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
   Can you establish their rule on the earth?

34 ‘Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
   so that a flood of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go
   and say to you, “Here we are”?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,*
   or given understanding to the mind?*
37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?
   Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass
   and the clods cling together?

39 ‘Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
   or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 when they crouch in their dens,
   or lie in wait in their covert?
41 Who provides for the raven its prey,
   when its young ones cry to God,
   and wander about for lack of food?

39‘Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
   Do you observe the calving of the deer?
2 Can you number the months that they fulfil,
   and do you know the time when they give birth,
3 when they crouch to give birth to their offspring,
   and are delivered of their young?
4 Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
   they go forth, and do not return to them.

5 ‘Who has let the wild ass go free?
   Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,
6 to which I have given the steppe for its home,
   the salt land for its dwelling-place?
7 It scorns the tumult of the city;
   it does not hear the shouts of the driver.
8 It ranges the mountains as its pasture,
   and it searches after every green thing.

9 ‘Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
   Will it spend the night at your crib?
10 Can you tie it in the furrow with ropes,
   or will it harrow the valleys after you?
11 Will you depend on it because its strength is great,
   and will you hand over your labour to it?
12 Do you have faith in it that it will return,
   and bring your grain to your threshing-floor?*

13 ‘The ostrich’s wings flap wildly,
   though its pinions lack plumage.*
14 For it leaves its eggs to the earth,
   and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15 forgetting that a foot may crush them,
   and that a wild animal may trample them.
16 It deals cruelly with its young, as if they were not its own;
   though its labour should be in vain, yet it has no fear;
17 because God has made it forget wisdom,
   and given it no share in understanding.
18 When it spreads its plumes aloft,*
   it laughs at the horse and its rider.

19 ‘Do you give the horse its might?
   Do you clothe its neck with mane?
20 Do you make it leap like the locust?
   Its majestic snorting is terrible.
21 It paws* violently, exults mightily;
   it goes out to meet the weapons.
22 It laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
   it does not turn back from the sword.
23 Upon it rattle the quiver,
   the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24 With fierceness and rage it swallows the ground;
   it cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25 When the trumpet sounds, it says “Aha!”
   From a distance it smells the battle,
   the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

26 ‘Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars,
   and spreads its wings towards the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
   and makes its nest on high?
28 It lives on the rock and makes its home
   in the fastness of the rocky crag.
29 From there it spies the prey;
   its eyes see it from far away.
30 Its young ones suck up blood;
   and where the slain are, there it is.’

40And the Lord said to Job:
2 ‘Shall a fault-finder contend with the Almighty?*
   Anyone who argues with God must respond.’

Job’s Response to God

3 Then Job answered the Lord:
4 ‘See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
   I lay my hand on my mouth.
5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
   twice, but will proceed no further.’

God’s Challenge to Job

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
7 ‘Gird up your loins like a man;
   I will question you, and you declare to me.
8 Will you even put me in the wrong?
   Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
9 Have you an arm like God,
   and can you thunder with a voice like his?

10 ‘Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
   clothe yourself with glory and splendour.
11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
   and look on all who are proud, and abase them.
12 Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
   tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 Hide them all in the dust together;
   bind their faces in the world below.*
14 Then I will also acknowledge to you
   that your own right hand can give you victory.

15 ‘Look at Behemoth,
   which I made just as I made you;
   it eats grass like an ox.
16 Its strength is in its loins,
   and its power in the muscles of its belly.
17 It makes its tail stiff like a cedar;
   the sinews of its thighs are knit together.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
   its limbs like bars of iron.

19 ‘It is the first of the great acts of God—
   only its Maker can approach it with the sword.
20 For the mountains yield food for it
   where all the wild animals play.
21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
   in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
22 The lotus trees cover it for shade;
   the willows of the wadi surround it.
23 Even if the river is turbulent, it is not frightened;
   it is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth.
24 Can one take it with hooks*
   or pierce its nose with a snare?

41*‘Can you draw out Leviathan* with a fish-hook,
   or press down its tongue with a cord?
2 Can you put a rope in its nose,
   or pierce its jaw with a hook?
3 Will it make many supplications to you?
   Will it speak soft words to you?
4 Will it make a covenant with you
   to be taken as your servant for ever?
5 Will you play with it as with a bird,
   or will you put it on a leash for your girls?
6 Will traders bargain over it?
   Will they divide it up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill its skin with harpoons,
   or its head with fishing-spears?
8 Lay hands on it;
   think of the battle; you will not do it again!
9 *Any hope of capturing it* will be disappointed;
   were not even the gods* overwhelmed at the sight of it?
10 No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up.
   Who can stand before it?*
11 Who can confront it* and be safe?*
   —under the whole heaven, who?*

12 ‘I will not keep silence concerning its limbs,
   or its mighty strength, or its splendid frame.
13 Who can strip off its outer garment?
   Who can penetrate its double coat of mail?*
14 Who can open the doors of its face?
   There is terror all around its teeth.
15 Its back* is made of shields in rows,
   shut up closely as with a seal.
16 One is so near to another
   that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined one to another;
   they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
18 Its sneezes flash forth light,
   and its eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19 From its mouth go flaming torches;
   sparks of fire leap out.
20 Out of its nostrils comes smoke,
   as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 Its breath kindles coals,
   and a flame comes out of its mouth.
22 In its neck abides strength,
   and terror dances before it.
23 The folds of its flesh cling together;
   it is firmly cast and immovable.
24 Its heart is as hard as stone,
   as hard as the lower millstone.
25 When it raises itself up the gods are afraid;
   at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches it, it does not avail,
   nor does the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27 It counts iron as straw,
   and bronze as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make it flee;
   slingstones, for it, are turned to chaff.
29 Clubs are counted as chaff;
   it laughs at the rattle of javelins.
30 Its underparts are like sharp potsherds;
   it spreads itself like a threshing-sledge on the mire.
31 It makes the deep boil like a pot;
   it makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a shining wake behind it;
   one would think the deep to be white-haired.
33 On earth it has no equal,
   a creature without fear.
34 It surveys everything that is lofty;
   it is king over all that are proud.’

Job Is Humbled and Satisfied

42Then Job answered the Lord:
2 ‘I know that you can do all things,
   and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?”
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
   things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 “Hear, and I will speak;
   I will question you, and you declare to me.”
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
   but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I despise myself,
   and repent in dust and ashes.’

Job’s Friends Are Humiliated

After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt-offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done.’ 9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

Job’s Fortunes Are Restored Twofold

10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money* and a gold ring. 12The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this Job lived for one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17And Job died, old and full of days.


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