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.”
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.