Job Replies: The Lord Has Done This
12 Then Job answered and said:
2 “No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
3 But I have bunderstanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know csuch things as these?
4 I am da laughingstock to my friends;
I, who ecalled to God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
5 In the thought of one who is fat ease there is contempt for misfortune;
it is ready for those whose feet slip.
6 gThe tents of robbers are at peace,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hand.1
7 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;2
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9 Who among all these does not know
that hthe hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In ihis hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not jthe ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is with kthe aged,
and understanding in length of days.
13 l“With God3 are wisdom and might;
he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, none can rebuild;
if he mshuts a man in, none can open.
15 If he nwithholds the waters, they dry up;
if he osends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and psound wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads qcounselors away stripped,
and rjudges he makes fools.
18 He slooses the bonds of kings
and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted
tand takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He upours contempt on princes
and loosens the belt of the strong.
22 He vuncovers the deeps out of darkness
and brings wdeep darkness to light.
23 He xmakes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and yleads them away.
24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and zmakes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They agrope in the dark without light,
and he makes them bstagger like a drunken man.
Job Continues: Still I Will Hope in God
13 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
my ear has heard and understood it.
2 cWhat you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3 dBut I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to eargue my case with God.
4 As for you, fyou whitewash with lies;
gworthless physicians are you all.
5 Oh that you would hkeep silent,
and it would be your wisdom!
6 Hear now my argument
and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
7 Will you ispeak falsely for God
and speak ideceitfully for him?
8 Will you show partiality toward him?
Will you jplead the case for God?
9 Will it be well with you when he ksearches you out?
Or lcan you deceive him, as one deceives a man?
10 He will surely rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.
11 Will not his mmajesty terrify you,
and the dread of him fall upon you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of nashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and oput my life in my hand?
15 pThough he slay me, I will qhope in him;1
yet I will rargue my ways to his face.
16 This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
17 sKeep listening to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.
18 Behold, I have tprepared my case;
I know that I shall be in the right.
19 uWho is there who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
20 Only grant me two things,
then I will not vhide myself from your face:
21 wwithdraw your hand far from me,
and let not xdread of you terrify me.
22 yThen call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins?
zMake me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why ado you hide your face
and bcount me as your enemy?
25 Will you frighten ca driven leaf
and pursue dry dchaff?
26 For you ewrite bitter things against me
and make me inherit fthe iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in gthe stocks
and hwatch all my paths;
you set a limit for2 the soles of my feet.
28 Man3 wastes away like ia rotten thing,
like a garment that is jmoth-eaten.
Job Continues: Death Comes Soon to All
14 “Man who is kborn of a woman
is lfew of days and mfull of trouble.
2 He comes out like na flower and owithers;
he flees like pa shadow and continues not.
3 And do you qopen your eyes on such a one
and rbring me into judgment with you?
4 Who can bring sa clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
5 Since his tdays are determined,
and uthe number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
6 vlook away from him and leave him alone,1
that he may enjoy, like wa hired hand, his day.
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root grow old in the earth,
and xits stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out ybranches like a young plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and zwhere is he?
11 aAs waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
12 so a man lies down and rises not again;
till bthe heavens are no more he will not awake
or be croused out of his sleep.
13 Oh that you would dhide me in eSheol,
that you would dconceal me funtil your wrath be past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my gservice I would hwait,
till my renewal2 should come.
15 You would icall, and I would answer you;
you would long for the jwork of your hands.
16 For then you would knumber my steps;
you would not keep lwatch over my sin;
17 my transgression would be msealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.
18 “But the mountain falls and ncrumbles away,
and othe rock is removed from its place;
19 the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of man.
20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes;
you change his countenance, and send him away.
21 His sons come to honor, and he pdoes not know it;
they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
22 He feels only the pain of his own body,
and he mourns only for himself.”
Eliphaz Accuses: Job Does Not Fear God
15 Then qEliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 “Should ra wise man answer with swindy knowledge,
and fill his tbelly with uthe east wind?
3 Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which he can do no good?
4 But you are doing away with the fear of God1
and hindering meditation before God.
5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your vown mouth condemns you, and not I;
wyour own lips testify against you.
7 x“Are you the first man who was born?
Or ywere you brought forth zbefore the hills?
8 Have you listened in athe council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 bWhat do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 cBoth the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
older than your father.
11 Are the comforts of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
13 that you turn your dspirit against God
and bring such words out of your mouth?
14 eWhat is man, fthat he can be pure?
Or he who is gborn of a woman, that he can be righteous?
15 Behold, God2 hputs no trust in his iholy ones,
and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
16 jhow much less one who is abominable and kcorrupt,
a man who ldrinks injustice like water!
17 “I will show you; hear me,
and what I have seen I will declare
18 (what wise men have told,
without hiding it mfrom their fathers,
19 to whom alone the land was given,
and no nstranger passed among them).
20 The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
through all the oyears that are laid up for pthe ruthless.
21 qDreadful sounds are in his ears;
in rprosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
22 He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
and he is marked for the sword.
23 He swanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
24 distress and anguish terrify him;
they tprevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God
and defies the Almighty,
26 urunning vstubbornly against him
with a thickly bossed shield;
27 because he has wcovered his face with his fat
and gathered fat upon his waist
28 and has lived in desolate cities,
in houses that none should inhabit,
which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
29 he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the earth;3
30 he will not depart from darkness;
the flame will dry up his shoots,
and by xthe breath of his mouth he will depart.
31 Let him not ytrust in emptiness, deceiving himself,
for emptiness will be his payment.
32 It will be paid in full zbefore his time,
and his branch will not be green.
33 He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
34 For athe company of the godless is barren,
and bfire consumes the tents of bribery.
35 They cconceive trouble and give birth to evil,
and their dwomb prepares deceit.”
Job Replies: Miserable Comforters Are You
16 Then Job answered and said:
2 “I have heard emany such things;
fmiserable comforters are you all.
3 Shall gwindy words have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
4 I also could speak as you do,
if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you
and hshake my head at you.
5 I could strengthen 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?
7 Surely now God has worn me out;
ihe has1 made desolate all my company.
8 And he has shriveled me up,
which is ja witness against me,
and my kleanness has risen up against me;
it testifies to my face.
9 He has ltorn me in his wrath mand hated me;
he has ngnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10 Men have ogaped at me with their mouth;
they have pstruck me insolently on the cheek;
they qmass themselves together against me.
11 God gives me up to the ungodly
and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, and he broke me apart;
he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his rtarget;
13 his sarchers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys tand does not spare;
he upours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks me with vbreach upon breach;
he wruns upon me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed xsackcloth upon my skin
and have laid ymy strength zin the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
and on my eyelids is adeep darkness,
17 although there is no bviolence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, ccover not my blood,
and let my dcry find no resting place.
19 Even now, behold, my ewitness is in heaven,
and he who testifies for me is fon high.
20 My friends gscorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would hargue the case of a man with God,
as2 a son of man does with his neighbor.
22 For when a few years have come
I shall go the way ifrom which I shall not return.