Eliphaz 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.”