Eliphaz 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.