The Book of Job

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The Book of Job

  • Author: Moses
  • Place Written: Wilderness
  • When Written: c. 1470 B.C.E.

The Character and Wealth of Job

1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. His livestock were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred pairs of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the sons of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned,[1] and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Satan Allowed to Test Job

Now there was a day when the sons[2] of God[3] came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan also came among them. Jehovah said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered Jehovah and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” Jehovah said to Satan, “Have you set your heart upon my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Then Satan answered Jehovah, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have you not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse[4] you to your face.” 12 And Jehovah said to Satan, “Look, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the face[5] of Jehovah.

Satan Takes Job’s Property and Children

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their oldest brother, 14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon[6] and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their oldest brother, 19 and look, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20 Then Job arose and tore his garment and shaved his head and fell on the ground and bowed down. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Satan Attacks Job’s Health

2 Again there was a day when the sons[7] of God[8] came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan also came among them to present himself before Jehovah. And Jehovah said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered Jehovah and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And Jehovah said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Satan answered Jehovah and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his soul. However, put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse[9] you to your face.” And Jehovah said to Satan, “Look, he is in your hand; only spare his soul.”

So Satan went out from the presence of Jehovah, and he inflicted Job with loathsome skin sores from the sole of his foot up to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and he sat in the midst of the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse[10] God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job’s Three Friends

11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12 And when they lifted up their eyes at a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their garments and sprinkled dust on their heads toward the heavens. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.

Job Laments His Birth

3 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said:

“Let the day perish on which I was born,
    and the night that said,
    ‘A man is conceived.’
Let that day be darkness.
    May God above not seek it,
    nor light shine upon it.
Let darkness and death’s shadow claim it.
    Let clouds dwell upon it;
    let whatever darkens the day terrify it.
As for that night, let darkness seize it!
    Let it not rejoice[11] among the days of the year;
    let it not come into the number of the months.
Look, let that night be barren;
    let no joyful cry come in it.
Let those curse it who curse the day,
    who are ready to rouse up Leviathan.[12]
Let the stars of its twilight grow dark;
    let it hope for light, but have none,
    nor see the eyelids of the morning,
10 because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,
    nor hide trouble from my eyes.

11 “Why did I not die at birth,
    come out of the womb and expire?
12 Why did the knees receive me?
    Or why the breasts, that I should suck?
13 For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
    I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
14 with kings and counselors of the earth
    who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15 or with princes who had gold,
    who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not like a hidden miscarriage,
    as infants who have never see the light?
17 There the wicked cease from troubling,
    and there the weary are at rest.
18 There the prisoners are at ease together;
    they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
19 The small and the great are there,
    and the slave is free from his master.

20 “Why is light given to him who is in misery,
    and life to the bitter in soul,
21 who long for death, but it comes not,
    and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22 who rejoice greatly
    and are glad when they find the grave?
23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
    and whom God has hedged in?
24 For before my food my sighing comes,
    and my groanings are poured out like water.
25 For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
    and what I have feared has befallen me.
26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
    I have no rest, but trouble comes.”

Eliphaz Speaks: The Innocent Prosper

4 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“If one tries a word with you, will you be impatient?
    Yet who can put a restraint on words?
Look, you have instructed many,
    and you have strengthened the weak hands.
Your words have raised up him who was stumbling,
    and you have strengthened the feeble knees.
But now it has come to you, and you are weary;
    it touches you, and you are dismayed.
Is not your fear of God your confidence,
    and the integrity of your ways your hope?

Mocks Job’s integrity

“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
    Or where were the upright cut off?
As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
    and sow trouble reap the same.
By the breath of God they perish,
    and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
10 The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
    the teeth of the young lions are broken.
11 The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
    and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.

12 “Now a word was brought to me stealthily;
    my ear received the whisper of it.
13 Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
14 dread came upon me, and trembling,
    which made all my bones shake.
15 Then a spirit passed by my face;
    the hair of my flesh stood up.
16 It stood still,
    but I could not discern its appearance.
A form was before my eyes;
    there was silence, then I heard a voice:
17 ‘Can mortal man be more just than God?
    Can a man be more pure than his Maker?
18 Look, in his servants he has no faith,
    and his angels he charges with error;
19 how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
    whose foundation is in the dust,
    who are crushed before the moth.
20 From morning to evening they are crushed to pieces;
    they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
21 Is not their tent cord plucked up within them?
    They die, yet without wisdom?’

Eliphaz’ First Speech Continues

5 “Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
    To which of the holy ones[13] will you turn?
For the foolish one anger will kill,
    and jealousy slays the simple.
I have seen the fool taking root,
    but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.
His sons are far from safety;
    they are crushed in the gate,
    and there is no one to deliver them.
The hungry one eats what he harvests,
    And even out of the thorns one takes it
    and the robber[14] swallows up their wealth.
For affliction does not come from the dust,
    nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
but man is born to trouble
    as the sparks fly upward.

“But as for me, I would seek God,
    and to God I would submit my case,
who does great things and unsearchable,
    marvelous things without number:
10 he gives rain on the earth
    and sends waters on the fields;
11 he sets on high those who are lowly,
    and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12 He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
    so that their hands does not succeed.
13 He catches the wise in their own cunning,
    and the plans of the shrewd are thwarted.
14 They meet with darkness in the daytime
    and grope at noonday as in the night.
15 But he saves from the sword of their mouth
    and the poor from the hand of the mighty.
16 So the poor have hope,
    and unrighteousness shuts her mouth.

17 “Look, happy is the man whom God reproves;
    therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
18 For he causes pain, but he binds up;
    he breaks apart, but heals with his hands.
19 He will deliver you from six troubles;
    in seven no evil[k] shall touch you.
20 In famine he will redeem you from death,
    and in war from the power of the sword.
21 You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,
    and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
22 At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
    and you shall not fear the beasts of the earth.
23 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,
    and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.
24 You shall know that your tent is secure,
    and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
25 You shall know also that your offspring shall be many,
    and your descendants as the grass of the earth.
26 You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
    like a sheaf gathered up in its season.
27 Look, this we have searched out; it is true.
    Hear, and know it for your good.”

Job Replies: False Friends Scheming against Him

6 Then Job answered and said:

“Oh that my vexation were weighed,
    and all my calamity laid in the balances!
For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas;
    therefore my words have been rash.
For the arrows of the Almighty are within me;
    my spirit is drinking their venom;
    the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass,
    or the ox low over his fodder?
Will tasteless things be eaten without salt,
    or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
My soul refuses to touch them;
    they are like loathsome food to me.

“Oh that I might have my request,
    and that God would grant the thing that I long for,
that it would please God to crush me,
    that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
10 But it is still my comfort;
    I would leap for joy despite the unrelenting pain,
    for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should wait?
    And what is my end, that I should be patient?
12 Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh copper?
13 Is not my help in me,
    and is wisdom driven entirely from me?

14 “Anyone who withholds loyal love from his friend
    forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15 My brothers have dealt deceitfully as a seasonal stream,
    as the water of seasonal streams, they pass away,
16 which are dark because of ice,
    and where the snow hides itself.
17 When they melt, they disappear;
    when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 The caravans turn aside from their paths;
    they go up into the waste and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema looked,
    the travelers of Sheba hoped for them.
20 They were put to shame because they had trusted;
    they come there and are disappointed.
21 For this is how you have become nothing;
    you see terror, and you become afraid.
22 Have I said, ‘Give me something’?
    Or, ‘From your wealth make a bribe in my behalf’?
23 Or, ‘Deliver me from the adversary’s hand’?
    Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the ruthless’?

24 “Teach me, and I will be silent;
    make me understand how I have erred.
25 How forceful are the right words!
    But what does reproof reprove?
26 Do you intend to reprove my words,
    when the speeches of the desperate man are as wind?
27 You would even cast lots over the fatherless,
    and barter over your friend.

28 “So now, please, turn and look at me,
    for I will not lie to your face.
29 Return, please, let it not be injustice.
    Return again, my righteousness is in it.
30 Is there any injustice on my tongue?
    Cannot my palate discern disaster?

Job Reply Continues: He contends for His Own Righteousness

7 “Is there not forced labor for man on earth,
    and are not his days like the days of a hired labor?
Like a slave he pants for the shadow,
    and like a hired laborer who looks for his wages,
so I have been given months of futility,
    and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
    But the night is long,
    and I am full of tossing until the dawn.
My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
    my skin is broken, and is full of scabs and pus.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle
    and come to their end without hope.

“Remember that my life is a breath;
    my eye will not see good again.
The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
    your eyes will be on me, but I shall not be.
Like a cloud that fades and vanishes,
    so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.
10 He shall return no more to his house,
    nor does his place know him anymore.

11 “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
    I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
    I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
    that you set a guard over me?
13 When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
    my couch will ease my complaint,’
14 then you scare me with dreams
    and terrify me with visions,
15 so that my soul would choose strangling
    and death rather than my bones.
16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
    Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
17 What is man, that you should magnify him,
    and that you should set your heart on him,
18 and that you should visit him every morning
    that every moment you should test him?
19 How long will you not look away from me,
    nor leave me alone till I swallow my saliva?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you watcher of mankind?
    Why have you made me your target?
    Why have I become a burden to you?[15]
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression
    and take away my error?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
    you will look for me, but I shall be gone.”

Bildad Speaks: Job Is Blustering, Godless, and Unrighteous

8 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“How long will you say these things,
    and the words of your mouth be a mighty wind?
Does God pervert justice?
    Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
If your sons have sinned against him,
    he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
If you will seek God
    and plead with the Almighty for mercy,
if you are pure and upright,
    surely then he will rouse himself for you
    and restore your rightful place.[16]
And though your beginning was small,
    your end will grow very great.

“Indeed, please inquire, of the former generation,
    and pay attention to the things searched out by their fathers.
For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
    for our days on earth are a shadow.
10 Will they not teach you and tell you[17]
    and from their heart will they not bring forth words?

11 “Can a papyrus plant grow where there is no marsh?
    Can a reed grow tall without water?
12 While it is still in the bud and not cut down,
    they wither before any other plant.
13 So are the paths of all who forget God;
    the hope of the godless shall perish.
14 His confidence is severed,
    and his trust is a spider’s web.
15 He leans upon his house, but it will not stand;
    he takes hold of it, but it does not last.
16 He is a moist plant before the sun,
    and his shoots spread out in the garden.
17 In a stone heap his roots become entwined;
    he looks at a house of stones.
18 If he is destroyed from his place,
    that place will deny him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
19 Look, this is the joy of his way,
    and from the dust others spring up.

20 “Look, God will not reject a blameless man,
    nor take hold of the hand of evildoers.
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
    and your lips with shouting.
22 Those hating you will be clothed with shame,
    and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Job Replies: There Is No Mediator

9 Then Job answered and said:

“Truly I know that it is so:
    But how can a man be in the right before God?[18]
If one wished to contend with him,
    one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
He is wise in heart and mighty in strength
    who has hardened himself against him, and come off unharmed?
he removes mountains without anyone knowing it,
    when he overturns them in his anger,
who shakes the earth out of its place,
    and its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun, and it does not shine;
    who seals off the stars;
who alone stretches out the heavens
    and tramples the waves of the sea;
who makes the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10 who does great and unsearchable things,
    and marvelous things beyond number.
11 Look, he passes by me, and I see him not;
    he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12 Look, he takes away, who can hinder him?
    Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

13 “God will not withdraw his anger;
    the helpers of Raʹhab will bow down to him.
14 How then can I answer him,
    choosing my words with him?
15 Though I were in the right, I would not answer him;
    I could only plead for mercy from my accuser.
16 If I call out to him, will he answer me,
    I do not believe that he will listen to my voice.
17 For he crushes me with a storm
    and multiplies my wounds for no reason;
18 he will not let me catch my breath,
    but fills me with bitter things.
19 If it is a matter of power, look, he is the strong one!
    If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
20 Though I am righteous, my own mouth[19] would condemn me;
    even if I am blameless, he would declare me guilty.
21 I am blameless; I regard not myself;
    I despise this life of mine.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 If the scourge kills suddenly,
    he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
    he covers the faces of its judges.
    If it is not he, who then is it?

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee away; they see no good.
26 They go by like reed boats,
    like eagles that swoop down on their prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer,’
28 I become afraid of all my pains,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 I shall be condemned;
    why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow
    and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into a pit,
    and my own clothes will abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him,
    that we should come together in judgment.
33 There is no[20] mediator between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me,
    and let not dread of him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak and not fear him,
    for I am not so in myself.

Job Continues: Feeling Condemned

10 “My soul loathes my life;
I will give vent to my complaints;
    I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
    let me know why you are contending with me.
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
    to despise the work of your hands
    and favor the advice of the wicked?
Have you eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as man sees?
Are your days as the days of man,
    or your years as a man’s days,
that you search out my error
    and search for my sin,
although you know that I am not guilty,
    and there is none that can deliver out of your hand?
Your hands have shaped me and made me,
    yet you would destroy me completely.
Remember that you have made me like clay;
    and would you return me to the dust again?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12 You have granted me life and loyal love,
    and your care has preserved my spirit.
13 Yet these things you have hidden in your heart;
    I know that these things are from you.
14 If I sin, you watch me
    and will not acquit me of my error.
15 If I am guilty, woe to me!
    If I am in the right, I cannot raise my head,
for I am filled with dishonor
    and look on my affliction.
16 And were my head raised up, you would hunt me like a lion
    and again show your power against me.
17 You renew your witnesses against me
    and increase your anger toward me;
    hardship after hardship comes upon me.

18 “Why then have you brought me out of the womb?
    Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
19 and were as though I had not been,
    carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are not my days few?
    Cease then and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer
21 before I go—and I shall not return—
    to the land of darkness and the shadow of death,
22 a land of darkness, thick darkness,
    a land of deep shadow and disorder,
    where light is as thick darkness.”

Zophar Speaks: He Begins his Rebuke

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
    and should a man full of talk be justified?
Should your empty talk make men silent?,
    and when you mock, shall no man shame you?
For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure,
    and I am clean in your eyes.’
But oh, that God would speak
    and open his lips against you,
and that he would show you the secrets of wisdom!
    For practical wisdom has two sides.
Know then that God exacts of you less than your error deserves.

“Can you discover the deep things of God?
    Can you discover the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven. What can you accomplish?
    It is deeper than Sheol.[21] What can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth
    and broader than the sea.
10 If he passes through and imprisons
    and calls a court, then who can hinder him?
11 For he knows worthless men;
    when he sees error,[22] will he not take notice?
12 But an empty-headed man will understand
    when a wild donkey is born a man!

13 “If you prepare your heart,
    and stretch out your hands to him.
14 If error is in your hand, put it far away,
    and let not unrighteousness dwell in your tents.
15 Surely then you will lift up your face with no defect;
    you will be steadfast and will not fear.
16 You will forget your misery;
    you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
    its darkness will be like the morning.
18 And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
    you will look around and lie down in security.
19 You will lie down, and none will make you afraid;
    many will seek your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
    and they will find no place to escape,
    and their hope will be an expiring of the soul.”[23]

Job Replies: Jehovah Is in Control of Everything

12 Then Job answered and said:

“No doubt you are the people,
    and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you;
    I am not inferior to you.
    Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends;
    one calling to God that he should answer him,
    a righteous and blameless man is a laughingstock.
In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune;
    it is ready for those whose feet slip.
The tents of robbers are at peace,
    and those who provoke God are secure,
    those who have their god in their hands.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of Jehovah has done this?
10 In his hand is the soul of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words
    as the palate tastes food?
12 With aged men is wisdom,
    and with length of days understanding.

13 “With him are wisdom and might;
    to him belong counsel[24] and understanding.
14 Look, he tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt;
    if he shuts a man in, there can be no opening.
15 Look, he withholds the waters, they dry up;
    when he sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.
16 With him are strength and practical wisdom;
    the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped,
    and judges he makes fools.
18 He loosens the bonds[25] of kings
    and binds a loincloth around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
    and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives trusted advisers of speech
    and takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles
    and loosens the belt of the strong.
22 He uncovers the deep things out of darkness
    and he brings deep darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
24 He takes away the heart[26] of the chiefs of the people of the earth
    and makes them wander in a trackless wastelands.
25 They grope in the dark without light,
    and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Job Continues: He Speaks His Mind to God

13 “Look, my eye has seen all this,
    my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
    I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,
    and I desire to argue my case with God.
But you men, you w smear with lies;
    useless physicians are you all.
Oh that you would absolutely keep silent,
    and it would be wisdom on your part!
Hear, please, my argument
    and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you men speak unjustly on God’s behalf
    and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality to him?
    Will you contend for God?
Would it be well if he examined you?
    Or will you deceive him as you would deceives a man?
10 He will surely rebuke you
    if you secretly show partiality.[27]
11 Will not his majesty terrify you,
    and the dread of him fall upon you?
12 Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes;
    your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Keep silent before me, so that I may speak,
    and let whatever may come upon me come.
14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
    and put my soul in my hand?
15 Though he slay me, I will wait for him;[28]
    yet I will argue my ways before his face.
16 This will be my salvation,
    for no godless person may come in before him.
17 Listen carefully to my words,
    and let my declaration be in your ears.
18 Look, I have prepared my case;
    I know that I shall be in the right.
19 Who is he who will contend with me?
    For if I were to stay silent I would die.
20 Only two things, do not do to me,
    then I will not hide myself from your face:
21 withdraw your hand far from me,
    and let not your dread make me terrified.
22 Then call, and I will answer;
    or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many are my errors and my sins?
    Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
    and consider me as your enemy?
25 Will you frighten a driven leaf
    and pursue dry stubble?
26 For you write bitter things against me
    and make me inherit the errors of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks
    and watch all my paths;
    you set a limit for the soles of my feet.
28 So man decays like something rotten,
    like a garment eaten by moths.

Job Continues: Oh, to Live Again After Death

14 “Man who is born of a woman
    is short of days and full of trouble..
He comes forth like a flower and withers;
    he flees like a shadow and continues not.
And do you open your eyes on such a one
    and bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
    No one can.
Since his days are determined,
    and the number of his months is with you,
    and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
Look away from him so that he may rest,
    until, like a hired worker, he finishes out his day.

“For there is hope for a tree,
    if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
    and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
    and its stump die in the soil,
yet the scent of water it will sprout
    and put out branches like a young plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
    man breathes his last, and where is he?
11 As waters fail from the sea
    and a river wastes away and dries up,
12 so a man lies down and rises not again;
    till the heavens are no more they will not be awakened,
    and they will not be roused out of their sleep.[29]
13 Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
    that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
    that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man dies, will he live again?
    All the days of my service I would wait,
    till my relief should come.
15 You would call, and I would answer you;
    you would long for the work of your hands.
16 For then you keep counting my steps;
    you would not keep watch over my sin;
17 my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
    and you would cover over my error.

18 “But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
    and the rock is removed from its place;
19 the waters wear away the stones;
    the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
    so you destroy the hope of man.
20 You overpower him forever, and he passes away;
    you change his appearance, and you send him away.
21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
    they are brought low, and he does not perceive it.
22 He feels only the pain of his own body,
    and his soul within him mourns.”

Eliphaz’ Second Speech: Job Has no Fear of God

 15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
    and fill himself with the east wind?
Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
    or in words with which he can do no good?
For you undermine the fear of God
    and hinder meditation before God.
For your error trains your mouth,[30]
    and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
    your own lips testify against you.

“Are you the first man who was born?
    Or were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you heard in the secrets of God?
    And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
    What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
    older than your father.
11 Are the consolations of God not enough 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 that you turn your spirit against God
    and allow such words out of your own mouth?
14 What is man, that he should be pure?
    Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 Look, he puts no trust in his holy ones,
    and the heavens are not pure in his eyes;
16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
    a man who drinks unrighteousness like water!

17 “I will show you; hear me,
    and what I have seen I will declare
18 what wise men have related,
    and have held it back from their fathers,
19 to whom alone the land was given,
    and no stranger passed among them.
20 The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
    through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
21 Sounds of terror are in his ears;
    in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
22 He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
    and he is reserved for the sword.
23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’[31]
    He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
24 distress and anguish terrify him;
    they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God
    and rebels against the Almighty,
26 he stubbornly runs against him
    with the thick bosses[32] of his shields;
27 because he has covered his face with his fat
    and gathered fat upon his waist
28 and has lived in desolate cities,
    in houses that no man should inhabit,
    which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
29 he will not grow rich, and his wealth will not endure,
    nor will his possessions[33] spread over the land;
30 he will not escape from darkness;
    the flame will dry up his shoots,[34]
    and by the breath of his mouth he will go away.
31 Let him not trust in worthlessness, being led astray,
    for what he gets in exchange will be worthless.
32 It will be accomplished before his time,
    and his branch will not be green.
33 He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
    and like an olive tree that casts off its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless is barren,
    and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief and bring forth error,
    and their womb produces deceit.”

Job Replies: Miserable Comforters Are You

16 Then Job answered and said:

“I have heard many such things;
    miserable comforters are you all.
Shall windy words have an end?
    Or what provokes you that you answer?
I also could speak as you do,
    if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you
    and shake my head at you.
I could strengthen you with my mouth,
    and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.

“If I speak, my grief is not relieved,
    and if I cease doing, how much of it leaves me?
But now he has made me weary;
    he has devastated my company.
And he has shriveled me up,
    which is a witness against me,
and my leanness has risen up against me;
    it testifies to my face.
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 Men have opened their mouth wide against me;
    they have struck me contemptuously 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 apart;
    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 does not spare;
    he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks me with breach upon breach;
    he runs upon me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin
    and have laid my horn[35] in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
    and on my eyelids is deep darkness,
17 although there is no violence in my hands,
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, cover not my blood,
    and let my cry find no resting place.
19 Even now, look, my witness is in the heavens,
    and he who testifies for me is on high.
20 My friends scoff at me;
    my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would determine between a man and God,
    as a son of man does with his neighbor.
22 For when a few years have come
    I shall go the path by which I shall not return.

Job Continues: Where Is My Hope

17 “My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
    the graveyard is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers with me,
    and my eye dwells on their provocation.

“Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
    who is there who will shake hands with me?
For you have closed their hearts to understanding,
    therefore you will not exalt them.
He who denounces his friends for a price
    the eyes of his sons will fail.

“He has made me a proverb of the peoples,
    so that I became one in whose face men spit.
My eye has grown dim from grief,
    and all my members are like a shadow.
The upright are appalled at this,
    and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
Yet the righteous holds on to his way,
    and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
10 But you, come on again, all of you,
    and I shall not find a wise man 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.’[q]
13 If I hope for Sheol as my house,
    I will spread out my bed in darkness,
14 if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
    and to the maggot, ‘my mother,’ or ‘my sister,’
15 where then is my hope?
    And as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
    Shall we descend together into the dust?”

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“How long will you hunt for words?
    Consider, and then we will speak.
Why are we counted as cattle?
    And be considered stupid[36] in your eyes?
You who tear yourself in your anger,
    shall the earth be forsaken for you,
    or shall the rock be removed out of its place?

“Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
    and the spark of his fire does not shine.
The light is dark in his tent,
    and his lamp above him is put out.
His strong steps are shortened,
    and his own counsel will make him fall.
For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
    and he walks on a snare.
A trap seizes him by the heel;
    a snare lays hold of him.
10 A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
    a trap for him in the path.
11 Terrors frighten him on every side,
    and chase him at his heels.
12 His strength is famished,
    and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
13 His skin is eaten away;
    the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
14 He is torn away from the security of his tent
    and is brought to the king of terrors.
15 In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
    sulfur is scattered over his dwelling place.
16 His roots dry up beneath,
    And, up above, his branches will wither.
17 His memory perishes from the earth,
    and he has no name in the street.
18 He is driven from light into darkness,
    and chased from the inhabited world.
19 He has no sons or descendants among his people,
    and no survivor where he used to live.
20 Those in the west are appalled at his day,
    and those in the east are seized with horror.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
    such is the place of him who does not know God.”

Job Replies: Job Continues to Feel Persecuted

19 Then Job answered and said:

“How long will you torment me
    and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times you have reproached me;
    you are not ashamed to deal harshly with me.
And even if it be true that I have erred,
    my error remains with me.
If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
    and make the reproach against me justified,
know then that it is God who has wronged me
    and closed his net about me.
Look, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
    I call for help, but there is no justice.
He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
    and he has set darkness upon my paths.
He has stripped from me my glory
    and removed the crown from my head.
10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
    and my hope he has uprooted like a tree.
11 He has kindled his wrath against me
    and views me as his enemy.
12 His troops come together and besiege me;
    and they camp around my tent.

13 “He has driven my brothers far from me,
    and those who know me have turned away from me.
14 My relatives have failed me,
    my close friends have forgotten me.
15 The guests in my house and my slave girls consider me a stranger;
    I am a foreigner in their eyes.
16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
    I must beg him with my mouth for compassion.
17 My breath is strange to my wife,
    and I am a stench to the sons of my own mother.[37]
18 Even young boys 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 stick to my skin and to my flesh,
    and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
    for the hand of God has touched me!
22 Why do you persecute me as God does?
    Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?

23 “If only my words were written!
    If only they were inscribed in a book!
24 O that they were carved forever in the rock,
    With an iron stylus and lead!
25 As for me, I know that my Kinsman[38] lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[39]
26 After my skin has thus been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh, I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me![40]
28 If you say, ‘How we will persecute him?’
    since ‘the root of the problem is with me,’[41]
29 be afraid of the sword,
    for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
    that you may know there is a judgment.”

Zophar Speaks: The Sad Fate of the Wicked

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

“Therefore my thoughts answer me,
    because of my haste within me.
I have heard a reproof that insults me,
    and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
    since man was placed on earth,
that the triumphing of the wicked is short,
    and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Though his height mount up to the heavens,
    and his head reach to the clouds,
he will perish forever like his own dung;
    those who used to see him will say, ‘Where is he?’
He shall fly away like a dream and not be found;
    he shall be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw him shall see him no more,
    nor shall his place any more behold him.
10 His sons shall seek the favor of the poor,
    and his hands shall give back his wealth.
11 His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
    but it shall lie down with him in the dust.

12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth,
    though he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he savors it and does not let it go
    and holds it in his mouth,
14 yet his food in his bowels is turned;
    it is the venom of cobras within him.
15 He has swallowed wealth, but he will vomit it up;
    God will cast them out of his belly.
16 He shall suck the poison of cobras;
    the tongue of a viper shall kill him.
17 He will never look upon the rivers,
    the flowing streams of honey and curds.
18 He will give back the goods of his labor
    and he will not swallow;
the wealth from his trade
    he will not enjoy.
19 For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor;
    he has seized a house that he did not build.

20 “Because he knew no peace within himself,
    his desirable things will not help him escape.
21 There was nothing left for him to devour;
    therefore his prosperity will not last.
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency he will be anxious;
    the hand of everyone in misery will come upon him.
23 To fill his belly to the full,
    He will send his burning anger upon him
    and will rain it on him while he is eating.
24 He will flee from an iron weapon;
    a copper arrow will strike him through.
25 It is drawn forth and comes out of his body;
    the glittering weapon from his gall;
    terrors come upon him.
26 Total darkness is laid up for his treasures;
    a fire no man fanned will consume him;
    it shall consume that which is left in his tent.
27 The heavens will reveal his errors,
    and the earth will rise up against him.
28 The increase of his house shall be swept away,
    his things shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
29 This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
    the heritage decreed to him by God.”

Job Replies: Job Attacks Zophar’s False Assumption That the Wicked Always Prosper

21 Then Job answered and said:

“Listen carefully to my words,
    and let this be your consolation.
Bear with me, and I will speak,
    and after I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint to man?
    Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be astonished,
    and lay your hand over your mouth.
Even when I remember, I am disturbed,
    and shuddering seizes my flesh.
Why do the wicked live,
    grow old, and become mighty in power?
Their offspring are established in their sight,
    and their descendants before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
    and the rod of God is not upon them.
10 Their bulls breed without failure;
    their cows give birth and do not miscarry.
11 They send out their little boys like a flock,
    and their children dance.
12 They sing to the tambourine and the harp
    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, ‘Depart from us!
    We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
    And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
16 Look, is not their prosperity in their hand?
    The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17 “How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out?
    That their calamity comes upon them?
    That God[a] distributes pains in his anger?
18 That they are like straw before the wind,
    and like chaff that the storm carries away?
19 You say, ‘God stores up their errors for their sons.’
    Let him repay it to him, that they may know it.
20 Let their own eyes see their destruction,
    and let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what do they care for their houses after him,
    when the number of their months is cut off?
22 Will any teach God knowledge,
    since he judges those who are on high?
23 One dies in his full strength,
    being wholly at ease and secure.
24 His thighs[42] are filled with fat
    and the marrow of his bones moist.
25 And another dies in bitterness of soul,
    never having tasted good things.
26 They lie down alike in the dust,
    and the worms cover them.

27 “Look, 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 dwell?’
29 Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
    and do you not study their evidence
30 that the evil man is reserved for the day of calamity,
    that he is delivered in the day of wrath?
31 Who declares his way to his face,
    and who repays him for what he has done?
32 When he is carried to the grave,
    men shall keep watch over the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
    all mankind follows after him,
    and hose before him were without number.
34 So how will you comfort me with meaninglessness?
    There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

Eliphaz Speaks: Rebukes Toward Job

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Can a man be of use to God?
    Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous,
    or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
For your fear of him will he reprove you
    will he enter with you into the judgment?
Is not your wickedness is so great?
    There is no end to your errors.
For you seize a pledge from your brothers for nothing
    stripping off their garments, leaving them naked.
You have given no water to the weary to drink,
    and you hold back bread from the hungry.
The land belongs to the powerful man,
    and the honorable man dwells in it.
You have sent widows away empty,
    and the arms of the fatherless have been crushed.[43]
10 Therefore snares are all around you,
    and sudden terrors frighten you,
11 or darkness, so that you cannot see,
    and a flood of water covers you.

12 “Is not God high in the height of heaven?
    Look ay the height of the stars, how high they are!
13 But you say, ‘What does God know?
    Can he judge through the thick darkness?
14 Thick clouds are a covering for him, so that he does not see,
    and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old way
    that wicked men have trod?
16 Men snatched away before their time;
    their foundation was washed away.
17 They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
    and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’[44]
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things,
    but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it and are glad;
    the innocent one mocks at them,
20 saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
    and a fire will consume what is left of them.’

21 “Get to know him, and be at peace;
    thereby good things 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 tent,
24 if you lay gold in the dust,
    and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
25 then the Almighty will be your gold
    and your precious silver.
26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
    and lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
    and your vows you will pay.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
    and light will shine on your ways.
29 For you will be humiliated when you speak arrogantly’;
    but he will save the humble.
30 He delivers even the one who is not innocent,
    who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Job Replies: Where Can I Find God?

23 Then Job answered and said:

“Today also my complaint is rebellious;[45]
    my hand[46] is heavy on account of my sighing.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
    that I might come even to his seat!
I would present my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what he would answer me
    and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
    No; he would pay attention to me.
There the upright man could set matters straight with him,
    and I would be delivered forever by my judge.

“Look, I go forward, but he is not there,
    and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I cannot look upon him;
    he turns[47] to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tried me, I shall come out as 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 the words of his mouth more than my daily food.[48]
13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him back?
    What his soul desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he determined for me,
    and he has many such things in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
    when I consider, I am in fear of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me;
17 yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
    nor because thick darkness covers my face.

Job Continues: Why Aren’t the Ungodly Judged?

24 “Why does the Almighty not set a time,[49]
    and why do those who know him not see his day?[50]
Some move boundary markers;
    they seize flocks for their own pasture.[51]
They drive away the donkey of the fatherless;
    they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
They force the poor off the road;
    the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
Look, like wild donkeys in the wilderness
    They[52] go forth in their labor, seeking food;
    The wilderness produces them bread for their sons.
They harvest fodder in the field,
    and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
They lie all night naked, without clothing,
    and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains
    and cling to the rocks for lack of shelter.
The fatherless child is snatched away from the breast,
    and they take a pledge against the poor.
10 They go about naked, without clothing;
    and hungry, they carry the sheaves;
11 among the terrace walls they make oil;
    they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
12 From out of the city the dying groan,[53]
    and the souls of the wounded cry out;
    yet God charges no one with wrong.

13 “There are those who rebel against the light,
    who do not recognize its ways,
    and do not stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises at daybreak;
    he kills the poor and needy,
    and in the night he is like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
    saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
    and he covers his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses;
    they shut themselves up by day;
    they do not know the light.
17 For the morning is to all of them as thick darkness;
    they are familiar with the terrors of deep darkness.

18 “You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters;
    their portion is cursed in the land;
    they will not return to their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
    so does Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
    the maggot will feast on him;
they will be remembered no more,
    so wickedness is broken like a tree.’

21 “He preys on the barren woman who does not bear,
    and does no good to the widow.
22 He[54] draws away the mighty by his power;
    he rises up and has no assurance of life.[55]
23 He gives them security, and they are supported,
    and his eyes are upon their ways.
24 They are exalted a little while, and then are no more;
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;[56]
    they are cut off like the heads of grain.
25 And if it is not so, who will prove me a liar
    and make my words worth nothing?”

Bildad Speaks: Final Rebuke of Job’s Three Friends

25 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“Dominion and fear are with him;[57]
    he makes peace in his heights.
Is there any number to his armies?
    Upon whom does his light not arise?
How then can man be in the right before God?
    How can he who is born of woman be pure?
Look, even the moon is not bright,
    and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
how much less man, who is a maggot,
    and the son of man, who is a worm!”

Job Replies: Creation is But a Minor Example of God’s Power

26 Then Job answered and said:

“How you have helped him who has no power!
    How you have saved the arm that has no strength!
How you have counseled him who has no wisdom,
    and abundantly declared practical wisdom!
To whom have you uttered words,
    and whose breath has come out from you?
The dead tremble
    under the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is naked before him,[58]
    and Abaddon has no covering.
“He stretches out the north over empty space
    and hangs the earth on nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
    and the cloud is not torn open under them.
He covers the face of the full moon[59]
    and spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
    he makes a boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble
    and are stunned at his rebuke.
12 He stirs up the sea with his power;
    by his understanding he struck down Rahab.
13 By his breath[60] the heavens were made fair;
    his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14 Look, these are 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 Continues: The Godless Have No Hope

27 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

“As God lives, who has taken away my right,
    and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
for as long as my breath is in me,
    and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak falsehood,
    and my tongue will not utter deceit.
It is unthinkable for me to declare you men righteous;
    till I die I will not not relinquish my integrit.
I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
    my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.

“Let my enemy be as the wicked,
    and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
For what is the hope of the godless when he[61] cuts him off,
    when God takes away his soul?
Will God hear his cry
    when distress comes upon him?
10 Will he take delight in the Almighty?
    Will he call upon God at all times?
11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
    what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 Look, all of you have seen it yourselves;
    why then have you become altogether useless?

13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
    and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:
14 If his sons become many, it is for a sword,
    and his descendants will not have enough bread.
15 Those that remain of him shall be buried in death,[62]
    and his widows do not weep.
16 Though he heap up silver like dust,
    and stores up fine clothing like the clay,
17 he may gather it, but the righteous will wear it,
    and the innocent will divide the silver.
18 He builds his house like a moth,
    like a booth that a watchman has made.
19 He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more;[63]
    his eyes he has opened, but there will be nothing.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
    in the night a storm wind will carry him away.
21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone;
    it sweeps him away from his place.
22 It will hurl itself at him without pity;
    From its power he will try to flee.
23 It claps its hands at him
    and whistles at him from its place.

Job Continues: Wisdom Cannot Be Found or Bought

28 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
    and a place for gold that they refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
    and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness
    and searches out to the farthest limit
    the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
He opens shafts in a valley far away from where men dwell;
    they are forgotten by travelers;
    Some men dangle far from men, they swing to and fro.[64]
As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
    but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires,[p]
    and it has dust of gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows,
    and the eye of a black kite has not seen it.
The proud beasts have not trodden it;
    the lion has not passed over it.

“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock
    and overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
    and his eye sees every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams[65] so that they do not trickle,
    and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.

12 “But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
13 No man knows its value,[66]
    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 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 topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
    nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20 “But from where does wisdom come?
    And where is the source of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living
    and concealed from the birds of the heavens.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
    ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

23 “God understands the way to it,
    and he knows the place of it.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he set the weight of the wind
    and measured out the waters,
26 when he made for the rain a regulation
    and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27 then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to man,
‘Look, the fear of Jehovah, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Job: Once Respected For Who I was and What I Did

29 And Job again took up his proverbial discourse, and said:

“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
    as in the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone upon my head,
    and by his light I walked through darkness,
just as I happened to be in the days of my prime,
    when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
when the Almighty was yet with me,
    when my children were all around me,
when my steps were washed with butter,
    and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
When I went out to the gate of the city,
    when I prepared my seat in the square,
the young men saw me and withdrew,
    and the aged rose and stood;
the princes refrained from talking
    and laid their hand on their mouth;
10 the voice of the prominent men was hushed,
    and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
    and when the eye saw, it gave witness of me,
12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
    and the fatherless who had none to help him.
13 The blessing of the one ready to perish 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 would investigate the legal case of those I did not know.
17 I broke the jaws of the wrongdoer
    and tear the prey away from his teeth.
18 Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
    and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
19 my roots spread out to the waters,
    with the dew all night on my branches,
20 my glory is fresh with me,
    and the bow in my hand is renewed.’

21 “Men listened to me and waited
    and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After my words they did not speak again,
    and my word dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
    and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
    and the light of my face they did not cast down.
25 I chose their way and sat as chief,
    and I lived like a king among his troops,
    like one who comforts mourners.

Job: Despised By the Despicable, Unending Pain and Unanswered Prayers

30 “But now they laugh at me,
    men younger than I am,
whose fathers I would have refused
    to set with the dogs of my flock.
What use was the power of their hands to me,
    men whose vigor has perished?
Through want and hard hunger
    they gnaw the dry ground that was ruined and desolated;
they pick the salt herb from the bushes,
    and the roots of the broom tree for their food.[r]
They are driven out of the community;
    they shout after them as after a thief.
They dwell on the slopes of ravines,
    in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
Among the bushes they bray;
    under the nettles they gathered together.
As sons of the senseless and the nameless ones,
    they have been scourged out of the land.

“And now I have become their song;
    I am a byword to them.
10 They abhor me; they stand aloof from me;
    they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Because he[67] has loosed my cord and afflicted me,
    they have cast off restraint[68] in my presence.
12 On my right hand the rabble arises;
    they thrust aside my feet;
    they cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13 They break up my path;
    they promote my calamity;
    without anyone helping them.
14 As through a wide breach they come;
    amid the crash they roll on.
15 Terrors 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.
17 The night racks my bones,
    and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
18 With great force my garment is disfigured;
    it binds me about like the collar of my garment.
19 He[69] has cast me into the mire,
    and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you for help, but you do not answer me;
    I stand, and you only look at me.
21 You have cruelly turned against 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 storm.
23 For I know that you will bring me to death
    and to the house appointed for all living.

24 “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
    and in his disaster cry for help?[u]
25 Did not I weep for the one having a hard day?
    Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
26 But when I hoped for good, evil came,
    and when I waited for light, darkness came.
27 My intestines are in turmoil, and they are not still;
    days of affliction come to meet me.
28 I I walked about when there was no sun;[70]
    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.[71]
31 My harp is turned to mourning,
    and my flute[72] to the voice of those who weep.

Job: Have I Lusted, Mistreated Others, Worshiped Money or Idols, Concealed Sins?

31 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
    how then could I gaze at a virgin?
What would be my portion from God above
    and my heritage from the Almighty on high?
Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
    and calamity for the workers of what is harmful?
Does not he see my ways
    and number all my steps?

“If I have walked with falsehood
    and my foot has hastened to deceit;
Let him weigh me with just scales,
    and let God know my integrity!
if my step has turned from the way
    and my heart has followed after my eyes,
    and if any spot has defiled my hands,
then let me sow, and another eat,
    and let my crops be rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
    and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door,
10 then let my wife grind for another,
    and let other men kneel down over her.[73]
11 For that would be shameful conduct;
    that would be an error to be punished by the judges;
12 for it would be fire that consumes to Abaddon,
    and it would uproot all my produce.

13 “If I have rejected my male or female slaves,
    when they brought a complaint against me,
14 what then shall I do when God rises up?
    When he calls for an accounting, what shall I answer him?
15 Did not he who made me in the womb make him?
    And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16 “If I have refused anything that the poor desired,
    or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 or have eaten my morsel alone,
    and the fatherless has not eaten of it
18 for from my youth he grew up with me as with a father,
    and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow,
19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
    or that the needy had no covering,
20 if his loins has not blessed me,
    and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
    because I saw my help in the gate,
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
    and let my arm be broken at the elbow.
23 For calamity from God is a terror to me,
    and I could not have faced his majesty.

24 “If I have made gold my confidence
    or called fine gold my security,
25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant
    and because my hand had obtained so much,
26 if I have looked at the sun[e] when it shone,
    or the moon moving in its splendor,
27 and my heart has been secretly enticed,
    and my mouth has kissed my hand,
28 this also would be an error to be punished by the judges,
    for I would have denied God above.

29 “If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me,
    or exulted when evil befell him
30 I have not let my mouth sin
    by asking for his life with a curse,
31 if the men of my tent have not said,
    ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’
32 the sojourner has not lodged in the street;[74]
    I have opened my doors to the traveler,[75]
33 if I have covered my transgressions as others do
    by hiding my error in my heart,
34 because I feared the great multitude,
    and the contempt of families terrified me,
    so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors?
35 Oh, that I had one to hear me!
    Look, here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!
    And the indictment which my adversary has written,
36 Surely, I would carry it on my shoulder;
    I would bind it on me as a crown;
37 I would declare to him the number of 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 fruitage without payment
    and made the soul of its owners breathe their last,
40 let thorns grow instead of wheat,
    and foul weeds instead of barley.”
The words of Job end here.

Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his[76] own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He burned with anger at Job because he justified his soul rather than God. And his anger burned against his three friends because they had found no answer, yet they had condemned Job.[77] Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, his anger burned.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

“I am young in days,[78]
    and you are old;
therefore I was timid and afraid
    to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
    and many years teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit in man,
    the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
Many days[79] alone do not make one wise,
    nor old men who understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    I will also declare what I know.’

11 “Look, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise reasonings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12 I gave you my attention,
    and, look, none of you could refute Job
    or who answered his words.
13 Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
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 shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17 I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare what I know.
18 For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me compels me.
19 Look, my insides is like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak, that I may find relief;
    I will open my lips and give an answer.
21 I will not show partiality to any man
    or use an honorary title to any man.
22 For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.

Elihu Rebukes Job

33 “But now, hear my speech, O Job,
    and listen to all my words.
Look, I open my mouth;
    the tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
    and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
The Spirit of God has made me,
    and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Reply to me, if you can;
    set your words in order before me; take your stand.
Look, I am toward God as you are;
    I also am formed out of the clay.
Look, no fear of me should terrify you;
    no pressure from me should overwhelm you.

“Surely you have spoken in my hearing,
    and I have heard the sound of your words.
You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;
    I am clean, and there is no error 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 “Look, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
    for God is greater than man.
13 Why do you complain against him,
    because all your words he does not answer?
14 For God speaks once,
    and a second time, though no man regards it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
    during slumbers upon their beds,
16 then he opens the ears of men
    And puts a seal on his instruction upon them,
17 that he may turn man aside from his deed
    and to protect a man from pride;
18 he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.

19 “Man is also reproved by pain on his bed
    and with continual distress in his bones,
20 so that his life loathes bread,
    and his soul rejects choice food.
21 His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
    and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22 His soul draws near the pit,[80]
    and his life to those who bring death.
23 If there be for him an angel,
    a mediator, one of the thousand,
    to declare to man what is upright for him,[81]
24 and he shows him favor and says,
    ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit;[82]
    I have found a ransom;
25 let his flesh become fresher than in youth;
    let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
26 then man prays to God, and he accepts him;
    he sees his face with a shout of joy,
and he[83] will restore his righteousness to man.
27 He sings before men and says:
‘I sinned and distorted what was right,
    and it was not the proper thing for me.
28 He has redeemed my[84] soul from going into the pit,[85]
    and my life shall look upon the light.’

29 “Look, God does all these things,
    twice, three times, for a man,
30 to bring back his soul from the pit,[86]
    that he may be enlightened with the light[87] of life.
31 Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will speak.
32 If you have any words, answer me;
    speak, for I desire to justify you.
33 If not, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Declares God’s Justice

34 Then Elihu answered and said:

“Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know;
for the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.
Let us choose what is right;
    let us know among ourselves what is good.
For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
    and God has taken away my right;
against my own judgment do I tell lies?
    My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
What man is like Job,
    who drinks up scoffing like water,
who is in company with wrongdoers
    and walks with wicked men?
For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
    that he should take delight in God.’

10 “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
    far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
    and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11 For according to the work of a man he will reward him,
    and bring upon him the consequences of his ways
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[k] the whole world?
14 If he should set his heart to it
    and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together,
    and man would return to dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to the sound of my words.
17 Shall one who hates justice govern?
    And will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18 who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
    and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes,
    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 on the ways of a man,
    and he sees all his steps.
22 There is no darkness or deep shadow
    were wrongdoers can hide themselves.
23 For he[88] has no need to consider a man further,
    that he should go before God in judgment.
24 He breaks in pieces the mighty without investigation
    and sets others in their place.
25 Therefore he knows their works,
    he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26 He strikes them for their wickedness
    in a place where all can see,
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 remains silent, who can condemn him?
    When he hides his face, who can behold him,
    whether it be a nation or a man?
30 that a godless man may not reign,
    that he should not lay snares for the people.

31 “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have been punished; I will not offend anymore;
32 teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33 Shall his recompense be as you will,
    because you refuse it?
For you must choose, and not I;
    therefore declare what you know.[m]
34 Men of heart[89] will say to me,
    and the wise man who hears me,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words are without insight.’
36 Would that Job were tried to the end,
    because he answers like wicked men.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

Elihu Condemns Job

35 And Elihu answered and said:

“Is this what you have considered as justice?
    Do you say, ‘My righteousness is more than God’s,’
that you ask, ‘What advantage will it be to you?
    What profit will I have, more than if I had sinned?’
I will answer you
    and your friends[90] with you.
Look at the heavens, and see;
    and look the clouds, which are higher than you.
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
    Or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness affects only a man like yourself,
    and your righteousness a son of man.

“Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
10 But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
12 There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor will 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 he has not angrily called for an accounting,
    and that he does not know transgression,
16 Job opens his mouth wide in vain;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”

Elihu Praises God

36 And Elihu continued, and said:

“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God’s behalf.
I will get my knowledge from afar
    and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words are not false;
    one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

“Look, God is mighty, and does not despise any;
    he is mighty in strength of understanding.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
    but gives the afflicted their right.
He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
    but with kings on the throne
    he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
And if they are bound in chains
    and caught in the cords of affliction,
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 wrongdoing.
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 perish by the sword
    and die without knowledge.

13 “The godless at heart will harbor anger;
    they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14 They die in youth,
    and their life ends among the temple prostitutes.
15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
    and opens their ear in the oppression.
16 He also allured you from the mouth 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 full of the judgment on the wicked;
    judgment and justice take hold of you.
18 Beware that rage does not lead you into spitefulness,
    and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19 Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
    or all the forces of your strength?
20 Do not long for the night,
    when peoples vanish from their place.
21 Take care; do not turn to wrongdoing,
    for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22 Look, God is exalted in his power;
    who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has directed his way,
    or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?

24 “Remember to exalt his work,
    of which men have sung.
25 All men have looked on it;
    man beholds it from afar.
26 Look, God is great, and we know him not;
    the number of his years is unsearchable.
27 For he draws up the drops of water;
    they condense into rain from his mist,
28 which the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.
29 Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
    the thunderings of his pavilion?
30 Look, he spreads his lightning about him
    and covers the depths of the sea.
31 For by these he judges peoples;
    he gives food in abundance.
32 He covers his hands with the lightning
    and commands it to strike the mark.
33 His thunder declares his presence;
    the cattle also, concerning what is coming up.

Elihu Declares God’s Magnificence

37 “At this also my heart trembles
    and leaps out of its place.
Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
    and the rumbling that goes out his mouth.
Under the entire heavens he lets it go,
    and his lightning to the ends of the earth.
After it his voice roars;
    he thunders with his majestic voice,
    and he does not restrain the lightnings[q] when his voice is heard.
God thunders wondrously with his voice;
    he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
    likewise to the downpour, his strong rains.
He seals up the hand of every man,
    that all men whom he made may know it.
Then the beasts go into their lairs,
    and remain in their dens.
Out of the south comes the storm,
    and cold out of the north.
10 By the breath of God ice is given,
    and the broad waters are frozen.
11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
    he scatters his lightning in the clouds.
12 They turn around and around by his guidance,
    to carry out whatever he commands
    on the face of the habitable earth.
13 Whether for correction[91] or for his land
    or for loyal 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[r] of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
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,
    strong as a cast metal mirror?
19 Teach us what we shall say to him;
    we cannot prepare our words because of darkness.
20 Shall it be told him that I would speak?
    Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?

21 “And now no men looks on the light
    when it is bright in the skies,
    when the wind has passed and has cleansed them.
22 Out of the north comes golden splendor;
    God’s majesty is awe-inspiring.
23 The Almighty, we cannot find him;
    he is great in power;
    justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
24 Therefore men fear him;
    he does not regard any who are wise of heart.”

Jehovah Answers Job

38 Then Jehovah answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this who is obscuring my counsel by words without knowledge?
Now gird up your loins like a man;
    I will question you, and you inform me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
    Or who stretched the measuring line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk?
    Or who laid its cornerstone,[92]
when the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and established limits 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 stayed’?

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
    and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 that it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
    and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
    and all things stand forth like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
    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?
    Tell me, 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 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 direction is the light dispersed,
    or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

25 “Who has cut a channel for the flood
    or the way for the thunderous storm cloud,
26 to bring rain on a land where no man is,
    on the desert in which there is no man,
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
    and cause the grass to sprout?

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 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 its season,
    or can you guide the Bear along with its sons?
33 Do you know the laws governing the heavens?
    Can you establish their authority on the earth?

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
    that a flood of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
    and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts[v]
    or given understanding to the mind?[w]
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
    Or who can tip the water jars of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass
    and the clods stick fast 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 lair?
41 Who prepares for the raven its food,
    when its young ones cry to God for help,
    and wander about for lack of food?

Man’s Ignorance

39 “Do you know the time the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you watch the deer give birth to their young?
Can you number the months that they fulfill,
    and do you know the time when they give birth,
when they crouch down they give birth to their young,
    they get rid of their labor pains.
Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open;
    they go out and do not return to them.

“Who has set the wild donkey free?
    Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
to whom I have made the desert plain its home
    and the salt land for his dwelling place?
He scorns the tumult of the city;
    he does not hear the shouts of the driver.
He ranges the mountains as his pasture,
    and he searches after every green thing.

“Is the wild bull willing to serve you?
    Will he spend the night at your manger?
10 Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,
    or will he harrow the valleys after you?
11 Will you trust him because his strength is great,
    and will you leave to him your labor?
12 Do you have faith in him that he will return your grain
    and gather it to your threshing floor?

13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
    but are they the pinions and plumage of love?[a]
14 For she leaves her eggs to the earth
    and keeps them warm in the dust,
15 and she forgets that a foot may crush them
    and that the wild beast may trample them.
16 She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
    though her labor be in vain, yet she is without fear,
17 because God has made her forget wisdom
    and given her no share in understanding.
18 But when she rises up and spreads her wings,
    she laughs at the horse and his rider.

19 “Do you give the horse his might?
    Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
20 Do you make him leap like the locust?
    His majestic snorting is terrifying.
21 He paws[93] in the valley and rejoices in his strength;
    he goes out to meet the weapons.
22 He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
    he does not turn back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against him,
    the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24 With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
    he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25 When the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’
    He smells the battle from afar,
    the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,
    stretching his wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
    and makes his nest on high?
28 On the cliff he dwells and makes his home,
    on the rocky crag and stronghold.
29 From there he spies out the prey;
    his eyes behold it from far away.
30 His young ones suck up blood,
    and where the slain are, there is he.”

Jehovah Questions Job

40 And Jehovah said to Job:

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
    He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Job Promises Silence

Then Job answered Jehovah and said:

“Look, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
    I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
    twice, but I will proceed no further.”

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Now gird up your loins[94] like a man;
    I will question you, and you inform me.
Will you call into question my justice?
    Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?
Or do you have an arm like God,
    and can you thunder with a voice like his?

10 “Adorn yourself with glory and majesty;
    clothe yourself with dignity and splendor.
11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
    and look on everyone who is proud and abase him.
12 Look on everyone who is proud and bring him low
    and tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 Hide them in the dust together;
    bind their faces in the hidden place.
14 Then will I also acknowledge to you
    that your own right hand can save you.

15 “Look, Behemoth,[95]
    which I made as I made you;
    he eats grass like an ox.
16 Look, his strength in his loins,
    and his power in the muscles of his belly.
17 He stiffens his tail stiff like a cedar;
    the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18 His bones are tubes of copper,
    his limbs like bars of iron.

19 “He is first among the works of God;
    only its Maker can approach it with his sword!
20 For the mountains bring food for him
    where all the wild beasts play.
21 Under the lotus plants he lies,
    in the shelter of the reeds of the marsh.
22 The lotus trees cover him with shade;
    the willows of the brook surround him.
23 Look, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened;
    he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
24 Can anyone capture him while he is watching,
    or pierce his nose with a snare?[96]

God Describes the Leviathan

41 “Can you draw out Leviathan[97] with a fishhook
    or press down his tongue with a cord?
Can you put a rope in his nose
    or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he make many pleas to you?
    Will he speak to you soft words?
Will he make a covenant with you
    to take him for your servant forever?
Will you play with him as with a bird,
    or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
Will traders bargain over him?
    Will they divide him up among the merchants?
Can you fill his skin with harpoons
    or his head with fishing spears?
Lay your hands on him;
    remember the battle; you will not do it again![98]
9 Look, the hope of a man is false;
    will one be hurled down even at the sight of him.
10 No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.
    Who then is he who can stand before me?
11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
    Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.

12 “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
    or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
13 Who can strip off his outer garment?
    Who will come near its open jaws?
14 Who can open the doors of his face?
    Around his teeth is terror.
15 His strong scales are his pride,
    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 grasp one another and cannot be separated.
18 His sneezings flash forth light,
    and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19 Out of his mouth go burning torches;
    sparks of fire leap forth.
20 Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,
    as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 His breath kindles coals,
    and a flame goes forth from his mouth.
22 In his neck abides strength,
    and terror dances before him.
23 The folds of his flesh are joined together,
    firmly cast on him and immovable.
24 His heart is hard as a stone,
    hard as the lower millstone.
25 When he raises himself up the mighty[m] are afraid;
    because of the crashing they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,
    nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27 He counts iron as straw,
    and copper as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make him flee;
    slingstones are turned into stubble for him.
29 Clubs are counted as stubble;
    he laughs at the rattling of the javelin.
30 His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
    he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31 He makes the deep boil like a pot;
    he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 Behind itself it makes a pathway shine;[99]
    one would think the deep to be as gray-headedness.[100]
33 On earth there is not his like,
    one mase to be without fear.
34 He sees everything that is high;
    he is king over all the sons of pride.”

Jehovah Restores Job

42 Then Job answered Jehovah and said:

“I know that you can do all things,
    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘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.
You said, ‘Please listen, and I will speak;
    I will question you, and you inform me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you;
Therefore, I take back my words,
    and repent[101] in dust and ashes.”

Jehovah Rebukes Job’s Friends

After Jehovah had spoken these words to Job, Jehovah said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as Jehovah told them; and Jehovah accepted Job.

Jehovah Restores Job’s Fortunes

10 And Jehovah restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that Jehovah had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money,[102] and each a ring of gold.

12 And Jehovah blessed Job’s latter days more than his beginning. Thus, he had fourteen thousand sheep and goats and six thousand camels and a thousand pair of oxen and a thousand female donkeys. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15 And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. 16 And after this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man, and full of days.[103]

[1] MT “have cursed” The Sopherim scribes changed to read “have blessed.” GinsInt There are “a few passages into which changes have been introduced by the authorised redactors of the text, but which are not expressly mentioned in the official Lists. Foremost amongst these are instances in which the original reading described blasphemy or cursing God. Such profane phrases were deemed offensive to the ears of the devote[d] worshippers when the Scriptures were read publicly before the congregation.” LXX “have thought evil things” SYR “reviled” VG “blessed”

[2] LXX “angels”

[3] A Hebrew idiom that refers to angelic sons of God

[4] See 1:5 fn.

[5] That is, presence

[6] That is, attacked

[7] LXX “angels”

[8] A Hebrew idiom that refers to angelic sons of God

[9] See 1:5 fn.

[10] See 1:5 fn.

[11] LXX SYR AT VG “be joined” MT “rejoice”

[12] MT SYR VG “Leviathan” LXX “the great sea monster.” A reptile, serpent-like creature of the sea takes on mythological proportions, which is thought to refer to the crocodile or some other large, powerful aquatic animal.

[13] LXX “which one of the holy angels”

[14] LXXAquila LXXSymmachus SYR VG “thirsty”

[15] Original Hebrew LXX “you” MT “myself” This is one of the Eighteen Emendations of the Sopherim. Some notes read in the Masoretic text margin: “This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim” or similar words. The scribe who made these revisions had good intentions as he saw the original reading as though it showed a lack of respect for God or his people. Here we have an intentional scribal change because they thought it improper that Job might become a burden to Jehovah.

[16] That is, habitation

[17] LXX “Tell you” MT “say to you”

[18] MT “God” LXX “Jehovah”

[19] MT LXX SYR VG “my own mouth,” MTcorrection by a correction of the Masoretic Text “his own mouth”

[20] MT VG “there is no” LXX “if only there were”

[21] Sheol: (שְׁאֹל sheol) Sheol occurs sixty-six times in the UASV. The Greek Septuagint renders Sheol as Hades. It is the grave. It has the underlying meaning of a place of the dead, where they are conscious of nothing, awaiting a resurrection, for both the righteous and the unrighteous. (Gen. 37:35; Psa. 16:10; Ac 2:31; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15) It corresponds to “Hades” in the NT. It does not involve torment and punishment.

[22] The sense of the Hebrew (אָוֶן awen) relates to erring, acting illegally or wrongly. This aspect of sin refers to committing a perverseness, wrongness, lawlessness, law breaking, which can also include the rejection of the sovereignty of God. It is an act or a feeling that steps over the line of God’s moral standard, as something God forbids, or the person ignores carry out (doing) something that God requires, whether it be by one’s thoughts, feelings, speech, or actions. It also focuses on the liability or guilt of one’s wicked, wrongful act. This error may be deliberate or accidental; either willful deviation of what is right or unknowingly making a mistake. (Lev. 4:13-35; 5:1-6, 14-19; Num. 15:22-29; Ps 19:12-13) Of course, if it is intentional; then, the consequence is far more serious. (Num. 15:30-31) Error is in opposition to the truth, and those willfully sinning corrupt the truth, a course that only brings forth flagrant sin. (Isa 5:18-23) We can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. – Ex 9:27, 34-35; Heb. 3:13-15.

[23] Their only hope will be death, to breathe their last, a breathing out of life. Soul: (Heb. נֶפֶשׁ nephesh; Gr. ψυχή psuchē) The Hebrew word nephesh and the Greek word psyche basically refer to (1) people, (2) animals, or (3) the life that a person or animal has. (Gen. 1:20; 2:7; Num. 31:28; 1 Pet. 3:20) The Bible author’s use of both nephesh and psyche, in connection with earthly creatures, humans or animals, refer to that which is material, tangible, visible, and mortal. A soul breathes. (Gen. 2:7) A soul is a living creature that sins (Lev. 5:1) works (Lev. 22:30) can be kidnapped (Deut. 24:7), can be annoyed (Judges 16:16), tormented from the troubles of this imperfect life (Job 19:2), weeps because of grief (Ps 119:28), become troubled because of distress (John 12:27), become fearful (Ac 2:43), as well souls being in subjection to the government.  (Rom. 13:1) The Bible speaks of the life that the creature has (Ex. 4:16; Josh. 9:24; 2 Ki 7:7; Prov. 12:10; Matt. 20:28; Phil. 2:30) The human soul = body [dust of the ground] + active life force (“spirit”) [Hebrew, ruach] within the trillions of human cells which make up the human body + breath of life [Hebrew, neshamah] that sustains the life force from God. In other words, the “soul” is we, everything that we are, so the soul or the human can die. – Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.

 In other words, when we breathe our last breath, our cells begin to die. Death is the ending of all vital functions or processes in an organism or cell. When our heart stops beating, our blood is no longer circulating, carrying nourishment and oxygen (by breathing) to the trillions of cells in our body; we are what are termed, clinically dead. However, somatic death has yet to occur, meaning we can be revived, after many minutes of being clinically dead, if the heart and lungs can be restarted again, which gives the cells the oxygen they need.

After about three minutes of clinical death, the brain cells begin to die, meaning the chances of reviving the person is less likely as each second passes. We know that it is vital that the breathing and blood flow be maintained for the life force (ruach chaiyim) in the cells. Nevertheless, it is not the lack of breathing or the failure of the heart beating alone, but rather the active life force (“spirit”) [Hebrew, ruach] within the trillions of human cells which make up the human body + breath of life [Hebrew, neshamah] that sustains the life force from God.

[24] Counsel: (עֵצָה etsah) This is God’s advice or counsel that gives one direction in order to make a decision or follow a course of action. (2 Sam. 15:34; Hos. 10:6; Ps 13:3; 106:43) It also refers to a plan, scheme, or purpose where one considers a course of action, which often includes consulting a counselor or advisor. – Ps 14:6. (See 2 Sam. 15:31; 16:23; 17:7, 14, 23; Job 12:13; Isa. 11:2; 19:11)

[25] MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text (a change of vowel pointing) “bonds” MT “discipline”

[26] Heart: (לֵב leb; καρδία kardia) In biblical Hebrew the word for heart (leb) has twenty-four different meanings. Generally, it is a reference to the center of feelings. As in many cases, in Hebrew the heart here is referring to the mind, the center of a person’s thoughts and emotions. The sense is the place of the person’s thoughts (mind), volition, emotions, and knowledge of right from wrong (conscience), translated by some as mind. However, it can refer to the whole person: the mind (knowledge), emotions (feelings), and awareness (knowledge or perception of a situation or fact).

[27] MT “show partiality” AT SYR VG “treat him with partiality”

[28] MT “I will not wait” MTmargin AT SYR VG “I will wait for him.”

Most Heb. MSS have “I will have no hope” rather than “I will hope in him.”

[29] MTcorrection by a correction of the Masoretic Text VG “he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep”

[30] MT “your error trains your mouth” LXX “you are guilty by the words of your mouth” SYR “your mouth teaches sin”

[31] LXX “He has been appointed as bread for vultures”

[32] A boss of a shield (גַּב gab) is a stud on the center of a shield

[33] MT meaning is uncertain LXX “shadow” VG “root”

[34] LXX “May the wind wither his shoot, and may his flower fall off”

[35] Or strength

[36] Or possibly unclean

[37] Lit the sons of my womb

[38] That is, Redeemer

[39] Lit dust

[40] Or my kidneys have failed deep within me

[41] LXX VG several Heb. MSS “in him” MT “in me” 

[42] MT “thighs” LXX VG “bowels” SYR “sides” AT “breasts.” The Hebrew noun (עֲטִין atin) is uncertain but, based on the conclusion formed by admittedly incomplete information of some lexicographers (William Lee Holladay and Ludwig Köhler), it means “thighs.”

[43] LXX SYR AT VG “you have crushed the arms of the fatherless” MT “the arms of the fatherless have been crushed”

[44] LXX SYR “to us” MT “to him.”

[45] MT “rebellious” SYR AT VG MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text “bitter.”

[46] LXX SYR “his hand” MT “my hand”

[47] SYR VG “I turn” MT “he turns”

[48] LXX VG “in my bosom” MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text “more than my daily food”

[49] That is, his time for judging the wicked

[50] That is, his day of judgment

[51] LXX “and their shepherd” MT “their own pasture”

[52] That is, the poor

[53] SYR MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text “the dying groan” MT “men groan”

[54] That is, God

[55] MT “life” LXX VG three Heb. MSS “his life”

[56] LXX “like a mallow plant in the heat” MT “like all others”

[57] That is, God

[58] That is, God

[59] MT “his throne” MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text (vowel pointing) “his full moon”

[60] Or wind

[61] That is, God

[62] That is, buried by the plague

[63] MT “but he is not gathered” LXX SYR MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text “but he will do so no more”

[64] Job is describing a mining procedure, where men dangle from a robe into a mine shaft.

[65] LXX VG “He searches the sources of the streams” MT “He dams up streams so that they do not trickle”

[66] MT SYR VG “its value” LXX MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text “its way”

[67] That is, God

[68] Lit loosened my bowstring

[69] That is, God

[70] MT “sun” MTemendation by a small alteration of the Masoretic Text “comfort”

[71] Or possibly fever

[72] Or pipe

[73] That is, have sexual relations with her

[74] LXX “outside”

[75] MT “path” AT LXX SYR VG “traveler”

[76] MT “his” LXX SYR “their”

[77] Some Heb. MSS have “God” instead of “Job” This is one of the Eighteen Emendations of the Sopherim. Some notes read in the Masoretic text margin: “This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim” or similar words. The scribe who made these revisions had good intentions as he saw the original reading as though it showed a lack of respect for God or his people.

[78] Lit small in days

[79] MT “the many” LXX SYR VG “the aged”

[80] Or grave

[81] MT “upright for him” LXX “his own blame. He will show his want of understanding.”

[82] Or grave

[83] That is, God

[84] MT LXX SYR “my” MTmargin AT VG “his”

[85] Or grave

[86] Or grave

[87] MT “enlightened with the light” SYR “to see the light”

[88] That is, God

[89] That is, understanding

[90] MT “friends” LXX “three friends”

[91] Lit a rod

[92] A stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.

[93] LXX SYR VG “it paws” MT “they paw”

[94] That is, get ready for action

[95] An unknown, gigantic land animal, strong, known for its size, grass eater, thought to be the hippopotamus.

[96] MT LXX continue chapter 40 for eight more vss.

[97] MT SYR VG “Leviathan” LXX “the great sea monster.” A reptile, serpent-like creature of the sea takes on mythological proportions, which is thought to refer to the crocodile or some other large, powerful aquatic animal.

[98] MT LXX end chapter 40 here

[99] LXX “And the Tartarus of the abyss as a captive”

[100] MT “as gray-headedness” LXX “as a place to walk” SYR “as the dry land”

[101] Or I do feel regret

[102] Lit gave him one qesitah. A unit of money with no known value.

[103] LXX adds: 17a And it is written that he shall rise again with the ones whom the Lord shall raise up. 17b This man is described by the Syriac book as dwelling in the land of Uz on the borders of Edom and Arabia. And his name before was Jobab. 17c And, having taken an Arabian wife, he fathered a son, whose name was Enan. And he himself had as father Zerah, from the sons of Esau. And his mother was Bosorra, so that it made him fifth from Abraham.

17d And these were the kings who were ruling in Edom, which territory also he himself ruled: first, Bela, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dinhabah. And after Bela, Jobab, who was called Job. And after this, Husham, who was serving as leader from the territories of Thaiman. And after this, Hadad, son of Bered, who destroyed Midian in the field of Moab, and the name of his city was Avith. 17e And the friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the sons of Esau, king of the Temanites; Bildad, the tyrant of the Shuhites; and Zophar, the king of the Naamathites.

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