Job Curses the Day He Was Born
1After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.2Job said:3“Let the day perish in which I was born,
and the night that said,
‘A man-child is conceived.’4Let that day be darkness!
May God above not seek it,
or light shine on it.5Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
Let clouds settle upon it;
let the blackness of the day terrify it.6That night—let thick darkness seize it!
let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
let it not come into the number of the months.7Yes, let that night be barren;
let no joyful cry be heard in it.8Let those curse it who curse the Sea,
those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.9Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
let it hope for light, but have none;
may it not see the eyelids of the morning—10because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb,
and hide trouble from my eyes.
11“Why did I not die at birth,
come forth from the womb and expire?12Why were there knees to receive me,
or breasts for me to suck?13Now I would be lying down and quiet;
I would be asleep; then I would be at rest14with kings and counselors of the earth
who rebuild ruins for themselves,15or with princes who have gold,
who fill their houses with silver.16Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child,
like an infant that never sees the light?17There the wicked cease from troubling,
and there the weary are at rest.18There the prisoners are at ease together;
they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.19The small and the great are there,
and the slaves are free from their masters.
20“Why is light given to one in misery,
and life to the bitter in soul,21who long for death, but it does not come,
and dig for it more than for hidden treasures;22who rejoice exceedingly,
and are glad when they find the grave?23Why is light given to one who cannot see the way,
whom God has fenced in?24For my sighing comes like my bread,
and my groanings are poured out like water.25Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me,
and what I dread befalls me.26I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest; but trouble comes.”
Chapter 4Eliphaz Speaks: Job Has Sinned
1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:2“If one ventures a word with you, will you be offended?
But who can keep from speaking?3See, you have instructed many;
you have strengthened the weak hands.4Your words have supported those who were stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.5But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
it touches you, and you are dismayed.6Is not your fear of God your confidence,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?
7“Think now, who that was innocent ever perished?
Or where were the upright cut off?8As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
and sow trouble reap the same.9By the breath of God they perish,
and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.10The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
and the teeth of the young lions are broken.11The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
and the whelps of the lioness are scattered.
12“Now a word came stealing to me,
my ear received the whisper of it.13Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on mortals,14dread came upon me, and trembling,
which made all my bones shake.15A spirit glided past my face;
the hair of my flesh bristled.16It 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 mortals be righteous before God?
Can human beings be pure before their Maker?18Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;19how much more those who live in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like a moth.20Between morning and evening they are destroyed;
they perish forever without any regarding it.21Their tent-cord is plucked up within them,
and they die devoid of wisdom.’
Chapter 5Job Is Corrected by God
1“Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?2Surely vexation kills the fool,
and jealousy slays the simple.3I have seen fools taking root,
but suddenly I cursed their dwelling.4Their children are far from safety,
they are crushed in the gate,
and there is no one to deliver them.5The hungry eat their harvest,
and they take it even out of the thorns;
and the thirsty pant after their wealth.6For misery does not come from the earth,
nor does trouble sprout from the ground;7but human beings are born to trouble
just as sparks fly upward.
8“As for me, I would seek God,
and to God I would commit my cause.9He does great things and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number.10He gives rain on the earth
and sends waters on the fields;11he sets on high those who are lowly,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety.12He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
so that their hands achieve no success.13He takes the wise in their own craftiness;
and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.14They meet with darkness in the daytime,
and grope at noonday as in the night.15But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth,
from the hand of the mighty.16So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts its mouth.
17“How happy is the one whom God reproves;
therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.18For he wounds, but he binds up;
he strikes, but his hands heal.19He will deliver you from six troubles;
in seven no harm shall touch you.20In famine he will redeem you from death,
and in war from the power of the sword.21You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,
and shall not fear destruction when it comes.22At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
and shall not fear the wild animals of the earth.23For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,
and the wild animals shall be at peace with you.24You shall know that your tent is safe,
you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.25You shall know that your descendants will be many,
and your offspring like the grass of the earth.26You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
as a shock of grain comes up to the threshing floor in its season.27See, we have searched this out; it is true.
Hear, and know it for yourself.”
Chapter 6Job Replies: My Complaint Is Just
1Then Job answered:2“O that my vexation were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances!3For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
therefore my words have been rash.4For the arrows of the Almighty are in me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.5Does the wild ass bray over its grass,
or the ox low over its fodder?6Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
or is there any flavor in the juice of mallows?7My appetite refuses to touch them;
they are like food that is loathsome to me.
8“O that I might have my request,
and that God would grant my desire;9that it would please God to crush me,
that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!10This would be my consolation;
I would even exult in unrelenting pain;
for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.11What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should be patient?12Is my strength the strength of stones,
or is my flesh bronze?13In truth I have no help in me,
and any resource is driven from me.
14“Those who withhold kindness from a friend
forsake the fear of the Almighty.15My companions are treacherous like a torrent-bed,
like freshets that pass away,16that run dark with ice,
turbid with melting snow.17In time of heat they disappear;
when it is hot, they vanish from their place.18The caravans turn aside from their course;
they go up into the waste, and perish.19The caravans of Tema look,
the travelers of Sheba hope.20They are disappointed because they were confident;
they come there and are confounded.21Such you have now become to me;
you see my calamity, and are afraid.22Have I said, ‘Make me a gift’?
Or, ‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?23Or, ‘Save me from an opponent's hand’?
Or, ‘Ransom me from the hand of oppressors’?
24“Teach me, and I will be silent;
make me understand how I have gone wrong.25How forceful are honest words!
But your reproof, what does it reprove?26Do you think that you can reprove words,
as if the speech of the desperate were wind?27You would even cast lots over the orphan,
and bargain over your friend.
28“But now, be pleased to look at me;
for I will not lie to your face.29Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done.
Turn now, my vindication is at stake.30Is there any wrong on my tongue?
Cannot my taste discern calamity?
Chapter 7Job: My Suffering Is without End
1“Do not human beings have a hard service on earth,
and are not their days like the days of a laborer?2Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
and like laborers who look for their wages,3so I am allotted months of emptiness,
and nights of misery are apportioned to me.4When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I rise?’
But the night is long,
and I am full of tossing until dawn.5My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
my skin hardens, then breaks out again.6My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle,
and come to their end without hope.
7“Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.8The eye that beholds me will see me no more;
while your eyes are upon me, I shall be gone.9As the cloud fades and vanishes,
so those who go down to Sheol do not come up;10they return no more to their houses,
nor do their places know them any more.
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.12Am I the Sea, or the Dragon,
that you set a guard over me?13When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
my couch will ease my complaint,’14then you scare me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,15so that I would choose strangling
and death rather than this body.16I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
Let me alone, for my days are a breath.17What are human beings, that you make so much of them,
that you set your mind on them,18visit them every morning,
test them every moment?19Will you not look away from me for a while,
let me alone until I swallow my spittle?20If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me your target?
Why have I become a burden to you?21Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.”
Chapter 8Bildad Speaks: Job Should Repent
1Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:2“How long will you say these things,
and the words of your mouth be a great wind?3Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert the right?4If your children sinned against him,
he delivered them into the power of their transgression.5If you will seek God
and make supplication to the Almighty,6if you are pure and upright,
surely then he will rouse himself for you
and restore to you your rightful place.7Though your beginning was small,
your latter days will be very great.
8“For inquire now of bygone generations,
and consider what their ancestors have found;9for we are but of yesterday, and we know nothing,
for our days on earth are but a shadow.10Will they not teach you and tell you
and utter words out of their understanding?
11“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?12While yet in flower and not cut down,
they wither before any other plant.13Such are the paths of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless shall perish.14Their confidence is gossamer,
a spider's house their trust.15If one leans against its house, it will not stand;
if one lays hold of it, it will not endure.16The wicked thrive before the sun,
and their shoots spread over the garden.17Their roots twine around the stoneheap;
they live among the rocks.18If they are destroyed from their place,
then it will deny them, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’19See, these are their happy ways,
and out of the earth still others will spring.
20“See, God will not reject a blameless person,
nor take the hand of evildoers.21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
and your lips with shouts of joy.22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”
Chapter 9Job Replies: There Is No Mediator
1Then Job answered:2“Indeed I know that this is so;
but how can a mortal be just before God?3If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand.4He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength
—who has resisted him, and succeeded?—5he who removes mountains, and they do not know it,
when he overturns them in his anger;6who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;7who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;8who alone stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the Sea;9who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;10who does great things beyond understanding,
and marvelous things without number.11Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.12He snatches away; who can stop him?
Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13“God will not turn back his anger;
the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him.14How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?15Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.16If I summoned him and he answered me,
I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.17For he crushes me with a tempest,
and multiplies my wounds without cause;18he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.19If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?20Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.21I am blameless; I do not know myself;
I loathe my life.22It is all one; therefore I say,
he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.23When disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.24The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he covers the eyes 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.26They go by like skiffs of reed,
like an eagle swooping on the prey.27If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint;
I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer,’28I become afraid of all my suffering,
for I know you will not hold me innocent.29I shall be condemned;
why then do I labor in vain?30If I wash myself with soap
and cleanse my hands with lye,31yet you will plunge me into filth,
and my own clothes will abhor me.32For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should come to trial together.33There is no umpire between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.34If he would take his rod away from me,
and not let dread of him terrify me,35then I would speak without fear of him,
for I know I am not what I am thought to be.
Chapter 10Job: I Loathe My Life
1“I loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.2I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
let me know why you contend against me.3Does it seem good to you to oppress,
to despise the work of your hands
and favor the schemes of the wicked?4Do you have eyes of flesh?
Do you see as humans see?5Are your days like the days of mortals,
or your years like human years,6that you seek out my iniquity
and search for my sin,7although you know that I am not guilty,
and there is no one to deliver out of your hand?8Your hands fashioned and made me;
and now you turn and destroy me.9Remember that you fashioned me like clay;
and will you turn me to dust again?10Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?11You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and knit me together with bones and sinews.12You have granted me life and steadfast love,
and your care has preserved my spirit.13Yet these things you hid in your heart;
I know that this was your purpose.14If I sin, you watch me,
and do not acquit me of my iniquity.15If I am wicked, woe to me!
If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
and look upon my affliction.16Bold as a lion you hunt me;
you repeat your exploits against me.17You renew your witnesses against me,
and increase your vexation toward me;
you bring fresh troops against me.
18“Why did you bring me forth from the womb?
Would that I had died before any eye had seen me,19and were as though I had not been,
carried from the womb to the grave.20Are not the days of my life few?
Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort21before I go, never to return,
to the land of gloom and deep darkness,22the land of gloom and chaos,
where light is like darkness.”
Chapter 11Zophar Speaks: Job's Guilt Deserves Punishment
1Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:2“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
and should one full of talk be vindicated?3Should your babble put others to silence,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you?4For you say, ‘My conduct is pure,
and I am clean in God's sight.’5But oh, that God would speak,
and open his lips to you,6and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
For wisdom is many-sided.
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7“Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?8It is higher than heaven —what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?9Its measure is longer than the earth,
and broader than the sea.10If he passes through, and imprisons,
and assembles for judgment, who can hinder him?11For he knows those who are worthless;
when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?12But a stupid person will get understanding,
when a wild ass is born human.
13“If you direct your heart rightly,
you will stretch out your hands toward him.14If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
and do not let wickedness reside in your tents.15Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
you will be secure, and will not fear.16You will forget your misery;
you will remember it as waters that have passed away.17And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.18And you will have confidence, because there is hope;
you will be protected and take your rest in safety.19You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid;
many will entreat your favor.20But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
all way of escape will be lost to them,
and their hope is to breathe their last.”
Chapter 12Job Replies: I Am a Laughingstock
1Then Job answered:2“No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.3But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?4I am a laughingstock to my friends;
I, who called upon God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, I am a laughingstock.5Those at ease have contempt for misfortune,
but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.6The tents of robbers are at peace,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hands.
7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;8ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.9Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?10In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.11Does not the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?12Is wisdom with the aged,
and understanding in length of days?
13“With God are wisdom and strength;
he has counsel and understanding.14If he tears down, no one can rebuild;
if he shuts someone in, no one can open up.15If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.16With him are strength and wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.17He leads counselors away stripped,
and makes fools of judges.18He looses the sash of kings,
and binds a waistcloth on their loins.19He leads priests away stripped,
and overthrows the mighty.20He deprives of speech those who are trusted,
and takes away the discernment of the elders.21He pours contempt on princes,
and looses the belt of the strong.22He uncovers the deeps out of darkness,
and brings deep darkness to light.23He makes nations great, then destroys them;
he enlarges nations, then leads them away.24He strips understanding from the leaders of the earth,
and makes them wander in a pathless waste.25They grope in the dark without light;
he makes them stagger like a drunkard.
Chapter 131“Look, my eye has seen all this,
my ear has heard and understood it.2What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.3But I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to argue my case with God.4As for you, you whitewash with lies;
all of you are worthless physicians.5If you would only keep silent,
that would be your wisdom!6Hear now my reasoning,
and listen to the pleadings of my lips.7Will you speak falsely for God,
and speak deceitfully for him?8Will you show partiality toward him,
will you plead the case for God?9Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another?10He will surely rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.11Will not his majesty terrify you,
and the dread of him fall upon you?12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes,
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13“Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.14I will take my flesh in my teeth,
and put my life in my hand.15See, he will kill me; I have no hope;
but I will defend my ways to his face.16This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.17Listen carefully to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.18I have indeed prepared my case;
I know that I shall be vindicated.19Who is there that will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.Job's Despondent Prayer
20Only grant two things to me,
then I will not hide myself from your face:21withdraw your hand far from me,
and do not let dread of you terrify me.22Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.23How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.24Why do you hide your face,
and count me as your enemy?25Will you frighten a windblown leaf
and pursue dry chaff?26For you write bitter things against me,
and make me reap the iniquities of my youth.27You put my feet in the stocks,
and watch all my paths;
you set a bound to the soles of my feet.28One wastes away like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Chapter 141“A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,2comes up like a flower and withers,
flees like a shadow and does not last.3Do you fix your eyes on such a one?
Do you bring me into judgment with you?4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
No one can.5Since their days are determined,
and the number of their months is known to you,
and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,6look away from them, and desist,
that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.
7“For there is hope for a tree,
if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.8Though its root grows old in the earth,
and its stump dies in the ground,9yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth branches like a young plant.10But mortals die, and are laid low;
humans expire, and where are they?11As waters fail from a lake,
and a river wastes away and dries up,12so mortals lie down and do not rise again;
until the heavens are no more, they will not awake
or be roused out of their sleep.13Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!14If mortals die, will they live again?
All the days of my service I would wait
until my release should come.15You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hands.16For then you would not number my steps,
you would not keep watch over my sin;17my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.
18“But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
and the rock is removed from its place;19the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of mortals.20You prevail forever against them, and they pass away;
you change their countenance, and send them away.21Their children come to honor, and they do not know it;
they are brought low, and it goes unnoticed.22They feel only the pain of their own bodies,
and mourn only for themselves.”
Chapter 15Eliphaz Speaks: Job Undermines Religion
1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:2“Should the wise answer with windy knowledge,
and fill themselves with the east wind?3Should they argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which they can do no good?4But you are doing away with the fear of God,
and hindering meditation before God.5For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.6Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
your own lips testify against you.
7“Are you the firstborn of the human race?
Were you brought forth before the hills?8Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?9What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?10The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
those older than your father.11Are the consolations of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?12Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,13so that you turn your spirit against God,
and let such words go out of your mouth?14What are mortals, that they can be clean?
Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?15God puts no trust even in his holy ones,
and the heavens are not clean in his sight;16how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
one who drinks iniquity like water!
17“I will show you; listen to me;
what I have seen I will declare—18what sages have told,
and their ancestors have not hidden,19to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them.20The wicked writhe in pain all their days,
through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.21Terrifying sounds are in their ears;
in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.22They despair of returning from darkness,
and they are destined for the sword.23They wander abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;24distress and anguish terrify them;
they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.25Because they stretched out their hands against God,
and bid defiance to the Almighty,26running stubbornly against him
with a thick-bossed shield;27because they have covered their faces with their fat,
and gathered fat upon their loins,28they will live in desolate cities,
in houses that no one should inhabit,
houses destined to become heaps of ruins;29they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure,
nor will they strike root in the earth;30they will not escape from darkness;
the flame will dry up their shoots,
and their blossom will be swept away by the wind.31Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;
for emptiness will be their recompense.32It will be paid in full before their time,
and their branch will not be green.33They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine,
and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.34For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of bribery.35They conceive mischief and bring forth evil
and their heart prepares deceit.”
Chapter 16Job Reaffirms His Innocence
1Then Job answered:2“I have heard many such things;
miserable comforters are you all.3Have windy words no limit?
Or what provokes you that you keep on talking?4I also could talk as you do,
if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you,
and shake my head at you.5I could encourage you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
6“If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?7Surely now God has worn me out;
he has made desolate all my company.8And he has shriveled me up,
which is a witness against me;
my leanness has risen up against me,
and it testifies to my face.9He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me;
he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.10They have gaped at me with their mouths;
they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
they mass themselves together against me.11God gives me up to the ungodly,
and casts me into the hands of the wicked.12I was at ease, and he broke me in two;
he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target;13his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy;
he pours out my gall on the ground.14He bursts upon me again and again;
he rushes at me like a warrior.15I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin,
and have laid my strength in the dust.16My face is red with weeping,
and deep darkness is on my eyelids,17though there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
18“O earth, do not cover my blood;
let my outcry find no resting place.19Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven,
and he that vouches for me is on high.20My friends scorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,21that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God,
as one does for a neighbor.22For when a few years have come,
I shall go the way from which I shall not return.Chapter 17Job Prays for Relief
1My spirit is broken, my days are extinct,
the grave is ready for me.2Surely there are mockers around me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.
3“Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
who is there that will give surety for me?4Since you have closed their minds to understanding,
therefore you will not let them triumph.5Those who denounce friends for reward—
the eyes of their children will fail.
6“He has made me a byword of the peoples,
and I am one before whom people spit.7My eye has grown dim from grief,
and all my members are like a shadow.8The upright are appalled at this,
and the innocent stir themselves up against the godless.9Yet the righteous hold to their way,
and they that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger.10But you, come back now, all of you,
and I shall not find a sensible person among you.11My days are past, my plans are broken off,
the desires of my heart.12They make night into day;
‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’13If I look for Sheol as my house,
if I spread my couch in darkness,14if I say to the Pit, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’15where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?16Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?”
Chapter 18Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked
1Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:2“How long will you hunt for words?
Consider, and then we shall speak.3Why are we counted as cattle?
Why are we stupid in your sight?4You who tear yourself in your anger—
shall the earth be forsaken because of you,
or the rock be removed out of its place?
5“Surely the light of the wicked is put out,
and the flame of their fire does not shine.6The light is dark in their tent,
and the lamp above them is put out.7Their strong steps are shortened,
and their own schemes throw them down.8For they are thrust into a net by their own feet,
and they walk into a pitfall.9A trap seizes them by the heel;
a snare lays hold of them.10A rope is hid for them in the ground,
a trap for them in the path.11Terrors frighten them on every side,
and chase them at their heels.12Their strength is consumed by hunger,
and calamity is ready for their stumbling.13By disease their skin is consumed,
the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs.14They are torn from the tent in which they trusted,
and are brought to the king of terrors.15In their tents nothing remains;
sulfur is scattered upon their habitations.16Their roots dry up beneath,
and their branches wither above.17Their memory perishes from the earth,
and they have no name in the street.18They are thrust from light into darkness,
and driven out of the world.19They have no offspring or descendant among their people,
and no survivor where they used to live.20They of the west are appalled at their fate,
and horror seizes those of the east.21Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly,
such is the place of those who do not know God.”
Chapter 19Job Replies: I Know That My Redeemer Lives
1Then Job answered:2“How long will you torment me,
and break me in pieces with words?3These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
are you not ashamed to wrong me?4And even if it is true that I have erred,
my error remains with me.5If indeed you magnify yourselves against me,
and make my humiliation an argument against me,6know then that God has put me in the wrong,
and closed his net around me.7Even when I cry out, ‘Violence!’ I am not answered;
I call aloud, but there is no justice.8He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.9He has stripped my glory from me,
and taken the crown from my head.10He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
he has uprooted my hope like a tree.11He has kindled his wrath against me,
and counts me as his adversary.12His troops come on together;
they have thrown up siegeworks against me,
and encamp around my tent.
13“He has put my family far from me,
and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.14My relatives and my close friends have failed me;15the guests in my house have forgotten me;
my serving girls count me as a stranger;
I have become an alien in their eyes.16I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
I must myself plead with him.17My breath is repulsive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my own family.18Even young children despise me;
when I rise, they talk against me.19All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.20My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.21Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!22Why do you, like God, pursue me,
never satisfied with my flesh?
23“O that my words were written down!
O that they were inscribed in a book!24O that with an iron pen and with lead
they were engraved on a rock forever!25For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;26and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then in my flesh I shall see God,27whom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!28If you say, ‘How we will persecute him!’
and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him’;29be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
so that you may know there is a judgment.”
Chapter 20Zophar Speaks: Wickedness Receives Just Retribution
1Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:2“Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer,
because of the agitation within me.3I hear censure that insults me,
and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.4Do you not know this from of old,
ever since mortals were placed on earth,5that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless is but for a moment?6Even though they mount up high as the heavens,
and their head reaches to the clouds,7they will perish forever like their own dung;
those who have seen them will say, ‘Where are they?’8They will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
they will be chased away like a vision of the night.9The eye that saw them will see them no more,
nor will their place behold them any longer.10Their children will seek the favor of the poor,
and their hands will give back their wealth.11Their bodies, once full of youth,
will lie down in the dust with them.
12“Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth,
though they hide it under their tongues,13though they are loath to let it go,
and hold it in their mouths,14yet their food is turned in their stomachs;
it is the venom of asps within them.15They swallow down riches and vomit them up again;
God casts them out of their bellies.16They will suck the poison of asps;
the tongue of a viper will kill them.17They will not look on the rivers,
the streams flowing with honey and curds.18They will give back the fruit of their toil,
and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of their trading
they will get no enjoyment.19For they have crushed and abandoned the poor,
they have seized a house that they did not build.
20“They knew no quiet in their bellies;
in their greed they let nothing escape.21There was nothing left after they had eaten;
therefore their prosperity will not endure.22In full sufficiency they will be in distress;
all the force of misery will come upon them.23To fill their belly to the full
God will send his fierce anger into them,
and rain it upon them as their food.24They will flee from an iron weapon;
a bronze arrow will strike them through.25It is drawn forth and comes out of their body,
and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
terrors come upon them.26Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures;
a fire fanned by no one will devour them;
what is left in their tent will be consumed.27The heavens will reveal their iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against them.28The possessions of their house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God's wrath.29This is the portion of the wicked from God,
the heritage decreed for them by God.”
Chapter 21Job Replies: The Wicked Often Go Unpunished
1Then Job answered:2“Listen carefully to my words,
and let this be your consolation.3Bear with me, and I will speak;
then after I have spoken, mock on.4As for me, is my complaint addressed to mortals?
Why should I not be impatient?5Look at me, and be appalled,
and lay your hand upon your mouth.6When I think of it I am dismayed,
and shuddering seizes my flesh.7Why do the wicked live on,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?8Their children are established in their presence,
and their offspring before their eyes.9Their houses are safe from fear,
and no rod of God is upon them.10Their bull breeds without fail;
their cow calves and never miscarries.11They send out their little ones like a flock,
and their children dance around.12They sing to the tambourine and the lyre,
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.13They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.14They say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We do not desire to know your ways.15What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’16Is not their prosperity indeed their own achievement?
The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.
17“How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
How often does calamity come upon them?
How often does God distribute pains in his anger?18How often are they like straw before the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?19You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’
Let it be paid back to them, so that they may know it.20Let their own eyes see their destruction,
and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.21For what do they care for their household after them,
when the number of their months is cut off?22Will any teach God knowledge,
seeing that he judges those that are on high?23One dies in full prosperity,
being wholly at ease and secure,24his loins full of milk
and the marrow of his bones moist.25Another dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted of good.26They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worms cover them.
27“Oh, I know your thoughts,
and your schemes to wrong me.28For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’29Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony,30that the wicked are spared in the day of calamity,
and are rescued in the day of wrath?31Who declares their way to their face,
and who repays them for what they have done?32When they are carried to the grave,
a watch is kept over their tomb.33The clods of the valley are sweet to them;
everyone will follow after,
and those who went before are innumerable.34How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”
Chapter 22Eliphaz Speaks: Job's Wickedness Is Great
1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:2“Can a mortal be of use to God?
Can even the wisest be of service to him?3Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?4Is it for your piety that he reproves you,
and enters into judgment with you?5Is not your wickedness great?
There is no end to your iniquities.6For you have exacted pledges from your family for no reason,
and stripped the naked of their clothing.7You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.8The powerful possess the land,
and the favored live in it.9You have sent widows away empty-handed,
and the arms of the orphans you have crushed.10Therefore snares are around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,11or darkness so that you cannot see;
a flood of water covers you.
12“Is not God high in the heavens?
See the highest stars, how lofty they are!13Therefore you say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the deep darkness?14Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see,
and he walks on the dome of heaven.’15Will you keep to the old way
that the wicked have trod?16They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away by a flood.17They said to God, ‘Leave us alone,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’18Yet he filled their houses with good things—
but the plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.19The righteous see it and are glad;
the innocent laugh them to scorn,20saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
and what they left, the fire has consumed.’
21“Agree with God, and be at peace;
in this way good will come to you.22Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.23If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored,
if you remove unrighteousness from your tents,24if you treat gold like dust,
and gold of Ophir like the stones of the torrent-bed,25and if the Almighty is your gold
and your precious silver,26then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,
and lift up your face to God.27You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will pay your vows.28You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.29When others are humiliated, you say it is pride;
for he saves the humble.30He will deliver even those who are guilty;
they will escape because of the cleanness of your hands.”
Chapter 23Job Replies: My Complaint Is Bitter
1Then Job answered:2“Today also my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy despite my groaning.3Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
that I might come even to his dwelling!4I would lay my case before him,
and fill my mouth with arguments.5I would learn what he would answer me,
and understand what he would say to me.6Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No; but he would give heed to me.7There an upright person could reason with him,
and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.
8“If I go forward, he is not there;
or backward, I cannot perceive him;9on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;
I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.10But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.11My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.12I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.13But he stands alone and who can dissuade him?
What he desires, that he does.14For he will complete what he appoints for me;
and many such things are in his mind.15Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.16God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;17If only I could vanish in darkness,
and thick darkness would cover my face!
Chapter 24Job Complains of Violence on the Earth
1“Why are times not kept by the Almighty,
and why do those who know him never see his days?2The wicked remove landmarks;
they seize flocks and pasture them.3They drive away the donkey of the orphan;
they take the widow's ox for a pledge.4They thrust the needy off the road;
the poor of the earth all hide themselves.5Like wild asses in the desert
they go out to their toil,
scavenging in the wasteland
food for their young.6They reap in a field not their own
and they glean in the vineyard of the wicked.7They lie all night naked, without clothing,
and have no covering in the cold.8They are wet with the rain of the mountains,
and cling to the rock for want of shelter.
9“There are those who snatch the orphan child from the breast,
and take as a pledge the infant of the poor.10They go about naked, without clothing;
though hungry, they carry the sheaves;11between their terraces they press out oil;
they tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst.12From the city the dying groan,
and the throat of the wounded cries for help;
yet God pays no attention to their prayer.
13“There are those who rebel against the light,
who are not acquainted with its ways,
and do not stay in its paths.14The murderer rises at dusk
to kill the poor and needy,
and in the night is like a thief.15The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
and he disguises his face.16In the dark they dig through houses;
by day they shut themselves up;
they do not know the light.17For deep darkness is morning to all of them;
for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.
18“Swift are they on the face of the waters;
their portion in the land is cursed;
no treader turns toward their vineyards.19Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
so does Sheol those who have sinned.20The womb forgets them;
the worm finds them sweet;
they are no longer remembered;
so wickedness is broken like a tree.
21“They harm the childless woman,
and do no good to the widow.22Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
they rise up when they despair of life.23He gives them security, and they are supported;
his eyes are upon their ways.24They are exalted a little while, and then are gone;
they wither and fade like the mallow;
they are cut off like the heads of grain.25If it is not so, who will prove me a liar,
and show that there is nothing in what I say?”
Chapter 25Bildad Speaks: How Can a Mortal Be Righteous Before God?
1Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:2“Dominion and fear are with God;
he makes peace in his high heaven.3Is there any number to his armies?
Upon whom does his light not arise?4How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?5If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his sight,6how much less a mortal, who is a maggot,
and a human being, who is a worm!”
Chapter 26Job Replies: God's Majesty Is Unsearchable
1Then Job answered:2“How you have helped one who has no power!
How you have assisted the arm that has no strength!3How you have counseled one who has no wisdom,
and given much good advice!4With whose help have you uttered words,
and whose spirit has come forth from you?5The shades below tremble,
the waters and their inhabitants.6Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.7He stretches out Zaphon over the void,
and hangs the earth upon nothing.8He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not torn open by them.9He covers the face of the full moon,
and spreads over it his cloud.10He has described a circle on the face of the waters,
at the boundary between light and darkness.11The pillars of heaven tremble,
and are astounded at his rebuke.12By his power he stilled the Sea;
by his understanding he struck down Rahab.13By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.14These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways;
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?”
Chapter 27Job Maintains His Integrity
1Job again took up his discourse and said:2“As God lives, who has taken away my right,
and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,3as long as my breath is in me
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,4my lips will not speak falsehood,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.5Far be it from me to say that you are right;
until I die I will not put away my integrity from me.6I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
7“May my enemy be like the wicked,
and may my opponent be like the unrighteous.8For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts them off,
when God takes away their lives?9Will God hear their cry
when trouble comes upon them?10Will they take delight in the Almighty?
Will they call upon God at all times?11I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
that which is with the Almighty I will not conceal.12All of you have seen it yourselves;
why then have you become altogether vain?
13“This is the portion of the wicked with God,
and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:14If their children are multiplied, it is for the sword;
and their offspring have not enough to eat.15Those who survive them the pestilence buries,
and their widows make no lamentation.16Though they heap up silver like dust,
and pile up clothing like clay—17they may pile it up, but the just will wear it,
and the innocent will divide the silver.18They build their houses like nests,
like booths made by sentinels of the vineyard.19They go to bed with wealth, but will do so no more;
they open their eyes, and it is gone.20Terrors overtake them like a flood;
in the night a whirlwind carries them off.21The east wind lifts them up and they are gone;
it sweeps them out of their place.22It hurls at them without pity;
they flee from its power in headlong flight.23It claps its hands at them,
and hisses at them from its place.
Chapter 28Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found
1“Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold to be refined.2Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted from ore.3Miners put an end to darkness,
and search out to the farthest bound
the ore in gloom and deep darkness.4They open shafts in a valley away from human habitation;
they are forgotten by travelers,
they sway suspended, remote from people.5As for the earth, out of it comes bread;
but underneath it is turned up as by fire.6Its stones are the place of sapphires,
and its dust contains gold.
7“That path no bird of prey knows,
and the falcon's eye has not seen it.8The proud wild animals have not trodden it;
the lion has not passed over it.
9“They put their hand to the flinty rock,
and overturn mountains by the roots.10They cut out channels in the rocks,
and their eyes see every precious thing.11The sources of the rivers they probe;
hidden things they bring to light.
12“But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?13Mortals do not know the way to it,
and it is not found in the land of the living.14The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’15It cannot be gotten for gold,
and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.16It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or sapphire.17Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.18No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls.19The chrysolite of Ethiopia cannot compare with it,
nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20“Where then does wisdom come from?
And where is the place of understanding?21It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
and concealed from the birds of the air.22Abaddon and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’
23“God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.24For he looks to the ends of the earth,
and sees everything under the heavens.25When he gave to the wind its weight,
and apportioned out the waters by measure;26when he made a decree for the rain,
and a way for the thunderbolt;27then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.28And he said to humankind,
‘Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”
Chapter 29Job Finishes His Defense
1Job again took up his discourse and said:2“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me;3when his lamp shone over my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness;4when I was in my prime,
when the friendship of God was upon my tent;5when the Almighty was still with me,
when my children were around me;6when my steps were washed with milk,
and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!7When I went out to the gate of the city,
when I took my seat in the square,8the young men saw me and withdrew,
and the aged rose up and stood;9the nobles refrained from talking,
and laid their hands on their mouths;10the voices of princes were hushed,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.11When the ear heard, it commended me,
and when the eye saw, it approved;12because I delivered the poor who cried,
and the orphan who had no helper.13The blessing of the wretched came upon me,
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.14I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.15I was eyes to the blind,
and feet to the lame.16I was a father to the needy,
and I championed the cause of the stranger.17I broke the fangs of the unrighteous,
and made them drop their prey from their teeth.18Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
and I shall multiply my days like the phoenix;19my roots spread out to the waters,
with the dew all night on my branches;20my glory was fresh with me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
21“They listened to me, and waited,
and kept silence for my counsel.22After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them like dew.23They waited for me as for the rain;
they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.24I smiled on them when they had no confidence;
and the light of my countenance they did not extinguish.25I chose their way, and sat as chief,
and I lived like a king among his troops,
like one who comforts mourners.
Chapter 301“But now they make sport of me,
those who are younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
to set with the dogs of my flock.2What could I gain from the strength of their hands?
All their vigor is gone.3Through want and hard hunger
they gnaw the dry and desolate ground,4they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes,
and to warm themselves the roots of broom.5They are driven out from society;
people shout after them as after a thief.6In the gullies of wadis they must live,
in holes in the ground, and in the rocks.7Among the bushes they bray;
under the nettles they huddle together.8A senseless, disreputable brood,
they have been whipped out of the land.
9“And now they mock me in song;
I am a byword to them.10They abhor me, they keep aloof from me;
they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.11Because God has loosed my bowstring and humbled me,
they have cast off restraint in my presence.12On my right hand the rabble rise up;
they send me sprawling,
and build roads for my ruin.13They break up my path,
they promote my calamity;
no one restrains them.14As through a wide breach they come;
amid the crash they roll on.15Terrors are turned upon me;
my honor is pursued as by the wind,
and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
16“And now my soul is poured out within me;
days of affliction have taken hold of me.17The night racks my bones,
and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.18With violence he seizes my garment;
he grasps me by the collar of my tunic.19He has cast me into the mire,
and I have become like dust and ashes.20I cry to you and you do not answer me;
I stand, and you merely look at me.21You have turned cruel to me;
with the might of your hand you persecute me.22You lift me up on the wind, you make me ride on it,
and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.23I know that you will bring me to death,
and to the house appointed for all living.
24“Surely one does not turn against the needy,
when in disaster they cry for help.25Did I not weep for those whose day was hard?
Was not my soul grieved for the poor?26But when I looked for good, evil came;
and when I waited for light, darkness came.27My inward parts are in turmoil, and are never still;
days of affliction come to meet me.28I go about in sunless gloom;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.29I am a brother of jackals,
and a companion of ostriches.30My skin turns black and falls from me,
and my bones burn with heat.31My lyre is turned to mourning,
and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.
Chapter 311“I have made a covenant with my eyes;
how then could I look upon a virgin?2What would be my portion from God above,
and my heritage from the Almighty on high?3Does not calamity befall the unrighteous,
and disaster the workers of iniquity?4Does he not see my ways,
and number all my steps?
5“If I have walked with falsehood,
and my foot has hurried to deceit—6let me be weighed in a just balance,
and let God know my integrity!—7if my step has turned aside from the way,
and my heart has followed my eyes,
and if any spot has clung to my hands;8then let me sow, and another eat;
and let what grows for me be rooted out.
9“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door;10then let my wife grind for another,
and let other men kneel over her.11For that would be a heinous crime;
that would be a criminal offense;12for that would be a fire consuming down to Abaddon,
and it would burn to the root all my harvest.
13“If I have rejected the cause of my male or female slaves,
when they brought a complaint against me;14what then shall I do when God rises up?
When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?15Did not he who made me in the womb make them?
And did not one fashion us in the womb?
16“If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,
or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,17or have eaten my morsel alone,
and the orphan has not eaten from it—18for from my youth I reared the orphan like a father,
and from my mother's womb I guided the widow —19if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
or a poor person without covering,20whose loins have not blessed me,
and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;21if I have raised my hand against the orphan,
because I saw I had supporters at the gate;22then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
and let my arm be broken from its socket.23For I was in terror of calamity from God,
and I could not have faced his majesty.
24“If I have made gold my trust,
or called fine gold my confidence;25if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
or because my hand had gotten much;26if I have looked at the sun when it shone,
or the moon moving in splendor,27and my heart has been secretly enticed,
and my mouth has kissed my hand;28this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
for I should have been false to God above.
29“If I have rejoiced at the ruin of those who hated me,
or exulted when evil overtook them—30I have not let my mouth sin
by asking for their lives with a curse—31if those of my tent ever said,
‘O that we might be sated with his flesh!’ —32the stranger has not lodged in the street;
I have opened my doors to the traveler—33if I have concealed my transgressions as others do,
by hiding my iniquity in my bosom,34because I stood in great fear of the multitude,
and the contempt of families terrified me,
so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—35Oh, that I had one to hear me!
(Here is my signature! let the Almighty answer me!)
Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!36Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
I would bind it on me like a crown;37I would give him an account of all my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
38“If my land has cried out against me,
and its furrows have wept together;39if I have eaten its yield without payment,
and caused the death of its owners;40let thorns grow instead of wheat,
and foul weeds instead of barley.”
The words of Job are ended.
Chapter 32Elihu Rebukes Job's Friends
1So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.2Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God;3he was angry also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong.4Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he.5But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.6Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered:
“I am young in years,
and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
to declare my opinion to you.7I said, ‘Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom.’8But truly it is the spirit in a mortal,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding.9It is not the old that are wise,
nor the aged that understand what is right.10Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
let me also declare my opinion.’
11“See, I waited for your words,
I listened for your wise sayings,
while you searched out what to say.12I gave you my attention,
but there was in fact no one that confuted Job,
no one among you that answered his words.13Yet do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
God may vanquish him, not a human.’14He 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.16And am I to wait, because they do not speak,
because they stand there, and answer no more?17I also will give my answer;
I also will declare my opinion.18For I am full of words;
the spirit within me constrains me.19My heart is indeed like wine that has no vent;
like new wineskins, it is ready to burst.20I must speak, so that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.21I will not show partiality to any person
or use flattery toward anyone.22For I do not know how to flatter—
or my Maker would soon put an end to me!
Chapter 33Elihu Rebukes Job
1“But now, hear my speech, O Job,
and listen to all my words.2See, I open my mouth;
the tongue in my mouth speaks.3My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
and what my lips know they speak sincerely.4The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.5Answer me, if you can;
set your words in order before me; take your stand.6See, before God I am as you are;
I too was formed from a piece of clay.7No fear of me need terrify you;
my pressure will not be heavy on you.
8“Surely, you have spoken in my hearing,
and I have heard the sound of your words.9You say, ‘I am clean, without transgression;
I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me.10Look, he finds occasions against me,
he counts me as his enemy;11he puts my feet in the stocks,
and watches all my paths.’
12“But in this you are not right. I will answer you:
God is greater than any mortal.13Why do you contend against him,
saying, ‘He will answer none of my words’?14For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though people do not perceive it.15In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on mortals,
while they slumber on their beds,16then he opens their ears,
and terrifies them with warnings,17that he may turn them aside from their deeds,
and keep them from pride,18to spare their souls from the Pit,
their lives from traversing the River.19They are also chastened with pain upon their beds,
and with continual strife in their bones,20so that their lives loathe bread,
and their appetites dainty food.21Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen;
and their bones, once invisible, now stick out.22Their souls draw near the Pit,
and their lives to those who bring death.23Then, if there should be for one of them an angel,
a mediator, one of a thousand,
one who declares a person upright,24and he is gracious to that person, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down into the Pit;
I have found a ransom;25let his flesh become fresh with youth;
let him return to the days of his youthful vigor.’26Then he prays to God, and is accepted by him,
he comes into his presence with joy,
and God repays him for his righteousness.27That person sings to others and says,
‘I sinned, and perverted what was right,
and it was not paid back to me.28He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit,
and my life shall see the light.’
29“God indeed does all these things,
twice, three times, with mortals,30to bring back their souls from the Pit,
so that they may see the light of life.31Pay heed, Job, listen to me;
be silent, and I will speak.32If you have anything to say, answer me;
speak, for I desire to justify you.33If not, listen to me;
be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”
Chapter 34Elihu Proclaims God's Justice
1Then Elihu continued and said:2“Hear my words, you wise men,
and give ear to me, you who know;3for the ear tests words
as the palate tastes food.4Let us choose what is right;
let us determine among ourselves what is good.5For Job has said, ‘I am innocent,
and God has taken away my right;6in spite of being right I am counted a liar;
my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’7Who is there like Job,
who drinks up scoffing like water,8who goes in company with evildoers
and walks with the wicked?9For he has said, ‘It profits one nothing
to take delight in God.’
10“Therefore, hear me, you who have sense,
far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.11For according to their deeds he will repay them,
and according to their ways he will make it befall them.12Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
and the Almighty will not pervert justice.13Who gave him charge over the earth
and who laid on him the whole world?14If he should take back his spirit to himself,
and gather to himself his breath,15all flesh would perish together,
and all mortals return to dust.
16“If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I say.17Shall one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn one who is righteous and mighty,18who says to a king, ‘You scoundrel!’
and to princes, ‘You wicked men!’;19who shows no partiality to nobles,
nor regards the rich more than the poor,
for they are all the work of his hands?20In a moment they die;
at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
21“For his eyes are upon the ways of mortals,
and he sees all their steps.22There is no gloom or deep darkness
where evildoers may hide themselves.23For he has not appointed a time for anyone
to go before God in judgment.24He shatters the mighty without investigation,
and sets others in their place.25Thus, knowing their works,
he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.26He strikes them for their wickedness
while others look on,27because they turned aside from following him,
and had no regard for any of his ways,28so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
and he heard the cry of the afflicted—29When he is quiet, who can condemn?
When he hides his face, who can behold him,
whether it be a nation or an individual?—30so that the godless should not reign,
or those who ensnare the people.
31“For has anyone said to God,
‘I have endured punishment; I will not offend any more;32teach me what I do not see;
if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?33Will he then pay back to suit you,
because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
therefore declare what you know.34Those who have sense will say to me,
and the wise who hear me will say,35‘Job speaks without knowledge,
his words are without insight.’36Would that Job were tried to the limit,
because his answers are those of the wicked.37For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he claps his hands among us,
and multiplies his words against God.”
Chapter 35Elihu Condemns Self-Righteousness
1Elihu continued and said:2“Do you think this to be just?
You say, ‘I am in the right before God.’3If you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
How am I better off than if I had sinned?’4I will answer you
and your friends with you.5Look at the heavens and see;
observe the clouds, which are higher than you.6If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?7If you are righteous, what do you give to him;
or what does he receive from your hand?8Your wickedness affects others like you,
and your righteousness, other human beings.
9“Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.10But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
who gives strength in the night,11who teaches us more than the animals of the earth,
and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?’12There they cry out, but he does not answer,
because of the pride of evildoers.13Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
nor does the Almighty regard it.14How much less when you say that you do not see him,
that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!15And now, because his anger does not punish,
and he does not greatly heed transgression,16Job opens his mouth in empty talk,
he multiplies words without knowledge.”
Chapter 36Elihu Exalts God's Goodness
1Elihu continued and said:2“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.3I will bring my knowledge from far away,
and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.4For truly my words are not false;
one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.
5“Surely God is mighty and does not despise any;
he is mighty in strength of understanding.6He does not keep the wicked alive,
but gives the afflicted their right.7He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
but with kings on the throne
he sets them forever, and they are exalted.8And if they are bound in fetters
and caught in the cords of affliction,9then he declares to them their work
and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.10He opens their ears to instruction,
and commands that they return from iniquity.11If they listen, and serve him,
they complete their days in prosperity,
and their years in pleasantness.12But if they do not listen, they shall perish by the sword,
and die without knowledge.
13“The godless in heart cherish anger;
they do not cry for help when he binds them.14They die in their youth,
and their life ends in shame.15He delivers the afflicted by their affliction,
and opens their ear by adversity.16He also allured you out of distress
into a broad place where there was no constraint,
and what was set on your table was full of fatness.
17“But you are obsessed with the case of the wicked;
judgment and justice seize you.18Beware that wrath does not entice you into scoffing,
and do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.19Will your cry avail to keep you from distress,
or will all the force of your strength?20Do not long for the night,
when peoples are cut off in their place.21Beware! Do not turn to iniquity;
because of that you have been tried by affliction.22See, God is exalted in his power;
who is a teacher like him?23Who has prescribed for him his way,
or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?
Elihu Proclaims God's Majesty
24“Remember to extol his work,
of which mortals have sung.25All people have looked on it;
everyone watches it from far away.26Surely God is great, and we do not know him;
the number of his years is unsearchable.27For he draws up the drops of water;
he distills his mist in rain,28which the skies pour down
and drop upon mortals abundantly.29Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
the thunderings of his pavilion?30See, he scatters his lightning around him
and covers the roots of the sea.31For by these he governs peoples;
he gives food in abundance.32He covers his hands with the lightning,
and commands it to strike the mark.33Its crashing tells about him;
he is jealous with anger against iniquity.
Chapter 371“At this also my heart trembles,
and leaps out of its place.2Listen, listen to the thunder of his voice
and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.3Under the whole heaven he lets it loose,
and his lightning to the corners of the earth.4After it his voice roars;
he thunders with his majestic voice
and he does not restrain the lightnings when his voice is heard.5God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.6For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth’;
and the shower of rain, his heavy shower of rain,7serves as a sign on everyone's hand,
so that all whom he has made may know it.8Then the animals go into their lairs
and remain in their dens.9From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.10By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.11He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.12They turn round and round by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.13Whether for correction, or for his land,
or for love, he causes it to happen.
14“Hear this, O Job;
stop and consider the wondrous works of God.15Do you know how God lays his command upon them,
and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?16Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect,17you whose garments are hot
when the earth is still because of the south wind?18Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
hard as a molten mirror?19Teach us what we shall say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.20Should he be told that I want to speak?
Did anyone ever wish to be swallowed up?21Now, no one can look on the light
when it is bright in the skies,
when the wind has passed and cleared them.22Out of the north comes golden splendor;
around God is awesome majesty.23The Almighty —we cannot find him;
he is great in power and justice,
and abundant righteousness he will not violate.24Therefore mortals fear him;
he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
Chapter 38The Lord Answers Job
1Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?3Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.5Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?6On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone7when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
8“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb?—9when I made the clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,10and prescribed bounds for it,
and set bars and doors,11and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stopped’?
12“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,13so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?14It is changed like clay under the seal,
and it is dyed like a garment.15Light is withheld from the wicked,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
16“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?17Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?18Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
19“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,20that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?21Surely 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,23which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?24What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25“Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a way for the thunderbolt,26to bring rain on a land where no one lives,
on the desert, which is empty of human life,27to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground put forth grass?
28“Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?29From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?30The 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?32Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?33Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
so that a flood of waters may cover you?35Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?36Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,
or given understanding to the mind?37Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,38when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods cling together?
39“Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,40when they crouch in their dens,
or lie in wait in their covert?41Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God,
and wander about for lack of food?
Chapter 391“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the deer?2Can you number the months that they fulfill,
and do you know the time when they give birth,3when they crouch to give birth to their offspring,
and are delivered of their young?4Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
they go forth, and do not return to them.
5“Who has let the wild ass go free?
Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,6to which I have given the steppe for its home,
the salt land for its dwelling place?7It scorns the tumult of the city;
it does not hear the shouts of the driver.8It ranges the mountains as its pasture,
and it searches after every green thing.
9“Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will it spend the night at your crib?10Can you tie it in the furrow with ropes,
or will it harrow the valleys after you?11Will you depend on it because its strength is great,
and will you hand over your labor to it?12Do you have faith in it that it will return,
and bring your grain to your threshing floor?
13“The ostrich's wings flap wildly,
though its pinions lack plumage.14For it leaves its eggs to the earth,
and lets them be warmed on the ground,15forgetting that a foot may crush them,
and that a wild animal may trample them.16It deals cruelly with its young, as if they were not its own;
though its labor should be in vain, yet it has no fear;17because God has made it forget wisdom,
and given it no share in understanding.18When it spreads its plumes aloft,
it laughs at the horse and its rider.
19“Do you give the horse its might?
Do you clothe its neck with mane?20Do you make it leap like the locust?
Its majestic snorting is terrible.21It paws violently, exults mightily;
it goes out to meet the weapons.22It laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
it does not turn back from the sword.23Upon it rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear, and the javelin.24With fierceness and rage it swallows the ground;
it cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.25When the trumpet sounds, it says ‘Aha!’
From a distance it smells the battle,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26“Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars,
and spreads its wings toward the south?27Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
and makes its nest on high?28It lives on the rock and makes its home
in the fastness of the rocky crag.29From there it spies the prey;
its eyes see it from far away.30Its young ones suck up blood;
and where the slain are, there it is.”
Chapter 401And the Lord said to Job:2“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Anyone who argues with God must respond.”
Job's Response to God
3Then Job answered the Lord:4“See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.5I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but will proceed no further.”
God's Challenge to Job
6Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:7“Gird up your loins like a man;
I will question you, and you declare to me.8Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be justified?9Have you an arm like God,
and can you thunder with a voice like his?
10“Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
clothe yourself with glory and splendor.11Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
and look on all who are proud, and abase them.12Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
tread down the wicked where they stand.13Hide them all in the dust together;
bind their faces in the world below.14Then I will also acknowledge to you
that your own right hand can give you victory.
15“Look at Behemoth,
which I made just as I made you;
it eats grass like an ox.16Its strength is in its loins,
and its power in the muscles of its belly.17It makes its tail stiff like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are knit together.18Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like bars of iron.
19“It is the first of the great acts of God—
only its Maker can approach it with the sword.20For the mountains yield food for it
where all the wild animals play.21Under the lotus plants it lies,
in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.22The lotus trees cover it for shade;
the willows of the wadi surround it.23Even if the river is turbulent, it is not frightened;
it is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth.24Can one take it with hooks
or pierce its nose with a snare?
Chapter 411 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook,
or press down its tongue with a cord?2Can you put a rope in its nose,
or pierce its jaw with a hook?3Will it make many supplications to you?
Will it speak soft words to you?4Will it make a covenant with you
to be taken as your servant forever?5Will you play with it as with a bird,
or will you put it on leash for your girls?6Will traders bargain over it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?7Can you fill its skin with harpoons,
or its head with fishing spears?8Lay hands on it;
think of the battle; you will not do it again!9 Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed;
were not even the gods overwhelmed at the sight of it?10No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up.
Who can stand before it?11Who can confront it and be safe?
—under the whole heaven, who?
12“I will not keep silence concerning its limbs,
or its mighty strength, or its splendid frame.13Who can strip off its outer garment?
Who can penetrate its double coat of mail?14Who can open the doors of its face?
There is terror all around its teeth.15Its back is made of shields in rows,
shut up closely as with a seal.16One is so near to another
that no air can come between them.17They are joined one to another;
they clasp each other and cannot be separated.18Its sneezes flash forth light,
and its eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.19From its mouth go flaming torches;
sparks of fire leap out.20Out of its nostrils comes smoke,
as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.21Its breath kindles coals,
and a flame comes out of its mouth.22In its neck abides strength,
and terror dances before it.23The folds of its flesh cling together;
it is firmly cast and immovable.24Its heart is as hard as stone,
as hard as the lower millstone.25When it raises itself up the gods are afraid;
at the crashing they are beside themselves.26Though the sword reaches it, it does not avail,
nor does the spear, the dart, or the javelin.27It counts iron as straw,
and bronze as rotten wood.28The arrow cannot make it flee;
slingstones, for it, are turned to chaff.29Clubs are counted as chaff;
it laughs at the rattle of javelins.30Its underparts are like sharp potsherds;
it spreads itself like a threshing sledge on the mire.31It makes the deep boil like a pot;
it makes the sea like a pot of ointment.32It leaves a shining wake behind it;
one would think the deep to be white-haired.33On earth it has no equal,
a creature without fear.34It surveys everything that is lofty;
it is king over all that are proud.”
Chapter 42Job Is Humbled and Satisfied
1Then Job answered the Lord:2“I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.3‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.4‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you declare to me.’5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;6therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”