Job 31

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.

Elihu Rebukes Job's Three Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was vrighteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel wthe Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself xrather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had ydeclared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

I am young in years,

and you are zaged;

therefore I was timid and afraid

to declare my opinion to you.

I said, Let days speak,

and many years teach wisdom.

But it is athe spirit in man,

bthe breath of the Almighty, that makes him cunderstand.

dIt is not the old1 who are wise,

nor the aged who understand what is right.

10  Therefore I say, Listen to me;

let me also declare my opinion.

11  Behold, I waited for your words,

I listened for your wise sayings,

while you searched out what to say.

12  I gave you my attention,

and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job

or who answered his words.

13  Beware elest you say, We have found wisdom;

God may vanquish him, not a man.

14  He has not directed his words against me,

and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15  They are dismayed; they answer no more;

they have not a word to say.

16  And shall I wait, because they do not speak,

because they stand there, and answer no more?

17  I also will answer with my share;

I also will declare my opinion.

18  For I am full of words;

the spirit within me constrains me.

19  Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;

like new fwineskins ready to burst.

20  gI must speak, that I may find hrelief;

I must open my lips and answer.

21  I will not ishow partiality to any man

or use flattery toward any person.

22  For I do not know how to flatter,

else my Maker would soon take me away.

Elihu Rebukes Job

33  But now, hear my speech, O Job,

and listen to all my words.

Behold, I jopen my mouth;

the tongue in my mouth speaks.

My words declare the uprightness of my heart,

and what my lips know they speak sincerely.

kThe Spirit of God has made me,

and lthe breath of the Almighty gives me life.

mAnswer me, if you can;

nset your words in order before me; take your stand.

Behold, I am toward God as you are;

I too was pinched off from a piece of oclay.

Behold, no pfear of me need terrify you;

my qpressure will not be heavy upon you.

Surely you have spoken in my ears,

and I have heard the sound of your words.

You say, I am rpure, without stransgression;

I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.

10  Behold, he finds occasions against me,

he tcounts me as his enemy,

11  he uputs my feet in the stocks

and vwatches all my paths.

12  Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,

for God is greater than man.

13  Why do you wcontend against him,

saying, He xwill answer none of man's1 words?2

14  For God yspeaks in one way,

zand in two, though man adoes not perceive it.

15  In ba dream, in ca vision of dthe night,

when cdeep sleep falls on men,

while they slumber on their beds,

16  then he eopens the ears of men

and terrifies3 them with warnings,

17  that he may turn man aside from his fdeed

and conceal pride from a man;

18  he keeps back his soul from the pit,

his life from gperishing by the sword.

19  Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed

and with continual strife in his hbones,

20  so that his ilife loathes bread,

and his appetite jthe choicest food.

21  His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,

and his bones that were not seen kstick out.

22  His soul draws near lthe pit,

and his life to mthose who bring death.

23  If there be for him nan angel,

oa mediator, pone of the thousand,

to declare to man what is qright for him,

24  and he is merciful to him, and says,

Deliver him from going down into the pit;

I have found ra ransom;

25  let his flesh sbecome fresh with youth;

let him return to the days of his youthful vigor;

26  then man4 tprays to God, and he accepts him;

he usees his face with a shout of joy,

and he vrestores to man his righteousness.

27  He sings before men and says:

I wsinned and perverted what was right,

and it was not repaid to me.

28  He has redeemed my xsoul from going down yinto the pit,

and my life shall zlook upon the light.

29  Behold, God does all these things,

twice, athree times, with a man,

30  to bring back his soul from the pit,

that he may be lighted with bthe light of life.

31  Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;

be silent, and I will speak.

32  If you have any words, canswer me;

dspeak, for I desire to justify you.

33  If not, elisten to me;

be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.