Job 29

Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity

27 And Job again rtook up his discourse, and said:

As God lives, who has staken away my right,

and the Almighty, who has tmade my soul bitter,

as long as my breath is in me,

and uthe spirit of God is in my nostrils,

my lips will not speak vfalsehood,

and my tongue will not utter vdeceit.

Far be it from me to say that you are right;

till I die I will not put away my wintegrity from me.

I xhold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;

my heart does not yreproach me for any of my days.

Let my enemy be as the wicked,

and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.

zFor what is the hope of the godless awhen God cuts him off,

when God takes away his life?

bWill God hear his cry

when distress comes upon him?

10  Will he ctake delight in the Almighty?

Will he call upon God at all times?

11  I will teach you concerning the hand of God;

dwhat is with the Almighty I will not conceal.

12  Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;

why then have you become altogether vain?

13  eThis is the portion of a wicked man with God,

and the heritage that foppressors receive from the Almighty:

14  If his gchildren are multiplied, it is for hthe sword,

and his descendants have not enough bread.

15  Those who survive him the pestilence buries,

and his iwidows do not weep.

16  Though he jheap up silver like dust,

and pile up clothing like clay,

17  he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,

and kthe innocent will divide the silver.

18  He builds his lhouse like a moth's,

like ma booth that na watchman makes.

19  He goes to bed rich, but will odo so no more;

he opens his eyes, and phis wealth is gone.

20  qTerrors overtake him like ra flood;

in the night a whirlwind scarries him off.

21  tThe east wind lifts him up and he is gone;

it usweeps him out of his place.

22  It1 hurls at him vwithout pity;

he flees from its2 power in headlong flight.

23  It wclaps its hands at him

and xhisses at him from its place.

Job Continues: Where Is Wisdom?

28  Surely there is a mine for silver,

and a place for gold that they yrefine.

Iron is taken out of the earth,

and copper is smelted from the ore.

Man puts an end to darkness

and searches out to the farthest limit

the ore in zgloom and adeep darkness.

He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;

they are forgotten by travelers;

they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.

As for the earth, bout of it comes bread,

but underneath it is turned up as by fire.

Its stones are the place of csapphires,1

and it has dust of gold.

That path no bird of prey knows,

and the falcon's eye has not seen it.

dThe proud beasts have not trodden it;

ethe lion has not passed over it.

Man puts his hand to fthe flinty rock

and overturns mountains by the roots.

10  He cuts out channels in the rocks,

and his eye sees every precious thing.

11  He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,

and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.

12  gBut where shall wisdom be found?

And where is the place of understanding?

13  Man does not know its worth,

and it is not found in hthe land of the living.

14  iThe deep says, It is not in me,

and the sea says, It is not with me.

15  It jcannot be bought for gold,

and silver cannot be weighed as its price.

16  It cannot be valued in kthe gold of lOphir,

in precious monyx or nsapphire.

17  Gold and glass cannot equal it,

nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

18  No mention shall be made of ocoral or of crystal;

the price of wisdom is above oppearls.

19  qThe topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,

nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20  From where, then, does wisdom come?

And where is the place of understanding?

21  It is hidden from the eyes of rall living

and concealed from the birds of the air.

22  sAbaddon and Death say,

We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.

23  tGod understands the way to it,

and he knows its place.

24  For he ulooks to the ends of the earth

and sees everything under the heavens.

25  When he vgave to the wind its weight

and apportioned the waters by measure,

26  when he made a decree for the rain

and wa way for the lightning of the thunder,

27  then he saw it and declared it;

he established it, and searched it out.

28  And he said to man,

Behold, xthe fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,

and to yturn away from evil is understanding.

Job's Summary Defense

29 And Job again ztook up his discourse, and said:

Oh, that I were as in the months of old,

as in the days when God watched over me,

when his alamp shone upon my head,

and by his light I walked through darkness,

as I was in my prime,1

when the bfriendship of God was upon my tent,

when the Almighty was yet with me,

when my cchildren were all around me,

when my steps were dwashed with ebutter,

and fthe rock poured out for me streams of goil!

When I went out to hthe gate of the city,

when I prepared my seat in the square,

the young men saw me and withdrew,

and the aged rose and stood;

the princes refrained from talking

and ilaid their hand on their mouth;

10  the voice of the nobles was hushed,

and their jtongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.

11  When the ear heard, it called me blessed,

and when the eye saw, it approved,

12  because I kdelivered the poor who cried for help,

and the fatherless who had none to help him.

13  lThe blessing of him who was mabout to perish came upon me,

and I caused nthe widow's heart to sing for joy.

14  I oput on righteousness, and it clothed me;

my justice was like a robe and pa turban.

15  I was qeyes to the blind

and feet to the lame.

16  I was a father to the needy,

and I searched out rthe cause of him whom I did not know.

17  I sbroke tthe fangs of the unrighteous

and made him drop his prey from his teeth.

18  uThen I thought, I shall die in my vnest,

and I shall multiply my days as wthe sand,

19  my xroots spread out to ythe waters,

with the dew all night on my zbranches,

20  my glory fresh with me,

and my abow ever bnew in my hand.

21  Men listened to me and waited

and kept silence for my counsel.

22  After I spoke they did not speak again,

and my word cdropped upon them.

23  They waited for me as for the rain,

and they dopened their mouths as for the espring rain.

24  I smiled on them when they had no confidence,

and fthe light of my gface they did not cast down.

25  I chose their way and sat as chief,

and I lived like ha king among his troops,

like one who comforts mourners.

30  But now they ilaugh at me,

men who are jyounger than I,

whose fathers I would have disdained

to set with the dogs of my flock.

What could I gain from the strength of their hands,

kmen whose lvigor is gone?

Through want and hard hunger

they mgnaw nthe dry ground by night in owaste and desolation;

they pick saltwort and the leaves of bushes,

and the roots of the broom tree for their food.1

pThey are driven out from human company;

they shout after them as after a thief.

In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell,

in holes of the earth and of qthe rocks.

Among the bushes they rbray;

under sthe nettles they huddle together.

A senseless, a nameless brood,

they have been whipped out of the land.

And now I have become their tsong;

I am ua byword to them.

10  They vabhor me; they keep aloof from me;

they do not hesitate to wspit at the sight of me.

11  Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,

they have cast off restraint2 in my presence.

12  On my xright hand the rabble rise;

they push away my feet;

they ycast up against me their ways of destruction.

13  They break up my path;

they promote my zcalamity;

they need no one to help them.

14  As through a wide abreach they come;

amid the crash they roll on.

15  bTerrors are turned upon me;

my honor is pursued as by the wind,

and my prosperity has passed away like ca cloud.

16  And now my soul is dpoured out within me;

days of affliction have taken hold of me.

17  eThe night fracks my bones,

and the pain that ggnaws me takes no rest.

18  With great force my garment is hdisfigured;

it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.

19  God3 has cast me into the mire,

and I have become like idust and ashes.

20  I cry to you for help and you do not answer me;

I stand, and you only look at me.

21  You have jturned cruel to me;

with the might of your hand you kpersecute me.

22  lYou lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it,

and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.

23  mFor I know that you will bring me to death

and to the house appointed for nall living.

24  Yet does not one in a oheap of ruins stretch out his hand,

and in his disaster cry for help?4

25  Did not I pweep for him whose day was hard?

Was not my soul grieved for the needy?

26  But qwhen I hoped for good, evil came,

and when I waited for light, rdarkness came.

27  My inward parts are in turmoil and never still;

days of affliction scome to meet me.

28  I tgo about darkened, but not by the sun;

I stand up in uthe assembly and cry for help.

29  I am a brother of vjackals

and a companion of wostriches.

30  My xskin turns black and falls from me,

and my ybones burn with heat.

31  My zlyre is aturned to mourning,

and my zpipe to the voice of those who weep.

Job's Final Appeal

31  I have made a covenant with my beyes;

how then could I gaze at a virgin?

What would be cmy portion from God above

and cmy heritage from the Almighty on high?

Is not calamity for the unrighteous,

and disaster for the workers of iniquity?

dDoes not he see my ways

and enumber all my steps?

If I have walked with falsehood

and my foot has hastened to deceit;

(Let me be fweighed in a just balance,

and let God know my integrity!)

if my step has turned aside from the way

and gmy heart has gone after my eyes,

and if any hspot has stuck to my hands,

then let me isow, and another eat,

and let what grows for me1 be rooted out.

If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,

and I have jlain in wait at my neighbor's door,

10  then let my wife kgrind for another,

and let others lbow down on her.

11  For that would be a heinous crime;

that would be an iniquity mto be punished by the judges;

12  for that would be a fire nthat consumes as far as Abaddon,

and it would burn to the root all my increase.

13  If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,

when they brought a complaint against me,

14  what then shall I do when God rises up?

When he omakes inquiry, what shall I answer him?

15  Did pnot he who made me in the womb make him?

And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16  If I have qwithheld anything that the poor desired,

or have rcaused the eyes of the widow to fail,

17  or have eaten my morsel alone,

and the fatherless has not eaten of it

18  (for from my youth the fatherless2 grew up with me as with a father,

and from my mother's womb I guided the widow3),

19  if I have seen anyone sperish for tlack of clothing,

or the needy without tcovering,

20  if his body has not ublessed me,4

and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,

21  if I have raised my hand against vthe fatherless,

because I saw my help in wthe gate,

22  then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,

and let my arm be broken from its socket.

23  For I was xin terror of calamity from God,

and I could not have faced his xmajesty.

24  yIf I have made gold my ztrust

or called afine gold my confidence,

25  if I have brejoiced because my wealth was abundant

or because cmy hand had found much,

26  dif I have looked at the sun5 when it shone,

or ethe moon moving in splendor,

27  and my heart has been secretly enticed,

and my mouth has kissed my hand,

28  this also would be fan iniquity to be punished by the judges,

for I would have been false to God above.

29  If I have grejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,

or exulted when evil overtook him

30  (hI have not let my mouth sin

by asking for his life with a curse),

31  if the men of my tent have not said,

Who is there that has not been filled with his imeat?

32  (jthe sojourner has not lodged in the street;

I have opened my doors to the traveler),

33  if I khave concealed my transgressions las others do6

by hiding my iniquity in my heart,

34  because I stood in great fear of mthe multitude,

and the contempt of families terrified me,

so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors

35  Oh, that I had one to hear me!

(Here is my signature! Let the Almighty nanswer me!)

Oh, that I had othe indictment written by my adversary!

36  Surely I would carry it on my pshoulder;

I would qbind it on me as ra crown;

37  I 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,

39  sif I have eaten its yield without payment

and made its owners tbreathe their last,

40  let uthorns grow instead of wheat,

and foul weeds instead of barley.

The words of Job are ended.