Job (RSV) 16
16 1 Then Job answered:
2 "I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.
3 Shall windy 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 shake 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; he has made desolate all my company.
8 And he has shriveled me up, which is a witness against me; and my leanness has risen up against me, it testifies to my face.
9 He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10 Men have gaped at me with their mouth, they have struck me insolently upon the cheek, they mass 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 asunder; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces; he set me up as his target,
13 his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys, and does not spare; he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks me with breach upon breach; he runs upon me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and have laid my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping, and on my eyelids is deep darkness;
17 although there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure.
18 "O earth, cover not my blood, and let my cry find no resting place.
19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he that vouches for me is on high.
20 My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would maintain the right of a man with God, like that of a man with his neighbor.
22 For when a few years have come I shall go the way whence I shall not return.
17 1 My spirit is broken, my days are extinct, the grave is ready for me.
2 Surely there are mockers about me, and my eye dwells on their provocation.
3 "Lay down a pledge for me with thyself; who is there that will give surety for me?
4 Since thou hast closed their minds to understanding, therefore thou wilt not let them triumph.
5 He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property, the eyes of his children will fail.
6 "He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom men spit.
7 My eye has grown dim from grief, and all my members are like a shadow.
8 Upright men are appalled at this, and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
9 Yet the righteous holds to his way, and he that has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
10 But you, come on again, all of you, and I shall not find a wise man among you.
11 My days are past, my plans are broken off, the desires of my heart.
12 They make night into day; `The light,' they say, `is near to the darkness.'
13 If I look for Sheol as my house, if I spread my couch in darkness,
14 if I say to the pit, `You are my father,' and to the worm, `My mother,' or `My sister,'
15 where then is my hope? Who will see my hope?
16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol? Shall we descend together into the dust?"
18 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2 "How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we will speak.
3 Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself in your anger, shall the earth be forsaken for you, or the rock be removed out of its place?
5 "Yea, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine.
6 The light is dark in his tent, and his lamp above him is put out.
7 His strong steps are shortened and his own schemes throw him down.
8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks on a pitfall.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel, a snare lays hold of him.
10 A rope is hid for him in the ground, a trap for him in the path.
11 Terrors frighten him on every side, and chase him at his heels.
12 His strength is hunger-bitten, and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
13 By disease his skin is consumed, the first-born of death consumes his limbs.
14 He is torn from the tent in which he trusted, and is brought to the king of terrors.
15 In his tent dwells that which is none of his; brimstone is scattered upon his habitation.
16 His roots dry up beneath, and his branches wither above.
17 His memory perishes from the earth, and he has no name in the street.
18 He is thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world.
19 He has no offspring or descendant among his people, and no survivor where he used to live.
20 They of the west are appalled at his day, and horror seizes them of the east.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, such is the place of him who knows not God."
19 1 Then Job answered:
2 "How long will you torment me, and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me?
4 And even if it be true that I have erred, my error remains with myself.
5 If indeed you magnify yourselves against me, and make my humiliation an argument against me,
6 know then that God has put me in the wrong, and closed his net about me.
7 Behold, I cry out, `Violence!' but I am not answered; I call aloud, but there is no justice.
8 He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths.
9 He has stripped from me my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone, and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
11 He has kindled his wrath against me, and counts me as his adversary.
12 His troops come on together; they have cast up siegeworks against me, and encamp round about my tent.
13 "He has put my brethren far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
14 My kinsfolk and my close friends have failed me;
15 the guests in my house have forgotten me; my maidservants count me as a stranger; I have become an alien in their eyes.
16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must beseech him with my mouth.
17 I am repulsive to my wife, loathsome to the sons of my own mother.
18 Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me.
19 All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20 My bones cleave to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me!
22 Why do you, like God, pursue me? Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
23 "Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were graven in the rock for ever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth;
26 and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!
28 If you say, `How we will pursue him!' and, `The root of the matter is found in him';
29 be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, that you may know there is a judgment."
20 1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
2 "Therefore my thoughts answer me, because of my haste within me.
3 I hear censure which insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
4 Do you not know this from of old, since man was placed upon earth,
5 that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
6 Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds,
7 he will perish for ever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, `Where is he?'
8 He will fly away like a dream, and not be found; he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye which saw him will see him no more, nor will his place any more behold him.
10 His children will seek the favor of the poor, and his hands will give back his wealth.
11 His bones are full of youthful vigor, but it will lie down with him in the dust.
12 "Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he is loath to let it go, and holds it in his mouth,
14 yet his food is turned in his stomach; it is the gall of asps within him.
15 He swallows down riches and vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly.
16 He will suck the poison of asps; the tongue of a viper will kill him.
17 He will not look upon the rivers, the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18 He will give back the fruit of his toil, and will not swallow it down; from the profit of his trading he will get no enjoyment.
19 For he has crushed and abandoned the poor, he has seized a house which he did not build.
20 "Because his greed knew no rest, he will not save anything in which he delights.
21 There was nothing left after he had eaten; therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he will be in straits; all the force of misery will come upon him.
23 To fill his belly to the full God will send his fierce anger into him, and rain it upon him as his food.
24 He will flee from an iron weapon; a bronze arrow will strike him through.
25 It is drawn forth and comes out of his body, the glittering point comes out of his gall; terrors come upon him.
26 Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures; a fire not blown upon will devour him; what is left in his tent will be consumed.
27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity, and the earth will rise up against him.
28 The possessions of his house will be carried away, dragged off in the day of God's wrath.
29 This is the wicked man's portion from God, the heritage decreed for him by God."
21 1 Then Job answered:
2 "Listen carefully to my words, and let this be your consolation.
3 Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
4 As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me, and be appalled, and lay your hand upon your mouth.
6 When I think of it I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh.
7 Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
8 Their children are established in their presence, and their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them.
10 Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves, and does not cast her calf.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
12 They sing to the tambourine and the lyre, and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
13 They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol.
14 They say to God, `Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of thy ways.
15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?'
16 Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
17 "How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains in his anger?
18 That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away?
19 You say, `God stores up their iniquity for their sons.' Let him recompense it to themselves, that they may know it.
20 Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what do they care for their houses after them, when the number of their months is cut off?
22 Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those that are on high?
23 One dies in full prosperity, being wholly at ease and secure,
24 his body full of fat and the marrow of his bones moist.
25 Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of good.
26 They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.
27 "Behold, I know your thoughts, and your schemes to wrong me.
28 For you say, `Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked dwelt?'
29 Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony
30 that the wicked man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
31 Who declares his way to his face, and who requites him for what he has done?
32 When he is borne to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him; all men follow after him, and those who go before him are innumerable.
34 How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood."
22 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 "Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
4 Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you, and enters into judgment with you?
5 Is not your wickedness great? There is no end to your iniquities.
6 For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 You have given no water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
8 The man with power possessed the land, and the favored man dwelt in it.
9 You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
10 Therefore snares are round about you, and sudden terror overwhelms you;
11 your light is darkened, so that you cannot see, and a flood of water covers you.
12 "Is not God high in the heavens? See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13 Therefore you say, `What does God know? Can he judge through the deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.'
15 Will you keep to the old way which wicked men have trod?
16 They were snatched away before their time; their foundation was washed away.
17 They said to God, `Depart from us,' and `What can the Almighty do to us?'
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things -- but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it and are glad; the innocent laugh them to scorn,
20 saying, `Surely our adversaries are cut off, and what they left the fire has consumed.'
21 "Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty and humble yourself, if you remove unrighteousness far from your tents,
24 if you lay gold in the dust, and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent bed,
25 and if the Almighty is your gold, and your precious silver;
26 then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you; and you will pay your vows.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways.
29 For God abases the proud, but he saves the lowly.
30 He delivers the innocent man; you will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands."
23 1 Then Job answered:
2 "Today also my complaint is bitter, his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat!
4 I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me.
6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would give heed to me.
7 There an upright man could reason with him, and I should be acquitted for ever by my judge.
8 "Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him;
9 on the left hand I seek him, but I cannot behold him; I turn to the right hand, but I cannot see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.
13 But he is unchangeable and who can turn him? What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me; and many such things are in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me;
17 for I am hemmed in by darkness, and thick darkness covers my face.
24 1 "Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days?
2 Men remove landmarks; they seize flocks and pasture them.
3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless; they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
4 They thrust the poor off the road; the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
5 Behold, like wild asses in the desert they go forth to their toil, seeking prey in the wilderness as food for their children.
6 They gather their fodder in the field and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
7 They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold.
8 They are wet with the rain of the mountains, and cling to the rock for want of shelter.
9 (There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast, and take in pledge the infant of the poor.)
10 They go about naked, without clothing; hungry, they carry the sheaves;
11 among the olive rows of the wicked they make oil; they tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst.
12 From out of the city the dying groan, and the soul 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.
14 The murderer rises in the dark, that he may kill the poor and needy; and in the night he is as a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight, saying, `No eye will see me'; and he disguises his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the light.
17 For deep darkness is morning to all of them; for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.
18 "You say, "They are swiftly carried away upon the face of the waters; their portion is cursed in the land; no treader turns toward their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The squares of the town forget them; their name is no longer remembered; so wickedness is broken like a tree.'
21 "They feed on the barren childless woman, and do no good to the widow.
22 Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power; they rise up when they despair of life.
23 He gives them security, and they are supported; and his eyes are upon their ways.
24 They 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.
25 If it is not so, who will prove me a liar, and show that there is nothing in what I say?"
25 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2 "Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven.
3 Is there any number to his armies? Upon whom does his light not arise?
4 How then can man be righteous before God? How can he who is born of woman be clean?
5 Behold, even the moon is not bright and the stars are not clean in his sight;
6 how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!"
26 1 Then Job answered:
2 "How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength!
3 How you have counseled him who has no wisdom, and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
4 With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has come forth from you?
5 The shades below tremble, the waters and their inhabitants.
6 Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering.
7 He stretches out the north over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.
8 He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them.
9 He covers the face of the moon, and spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has described a circle upon the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astounded at his rebuke.
12 By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he smote Rahab.
13 By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14 Lo, these are 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?"
27 1 And Job 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;
3 as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;
4 my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit.
5 Far be it from me to say that you are right; till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
6 I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
7 "Let my enemy be as the wicked, and let him that rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
8 For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off, when God takes away his life?
9 Will God hear his cry, when trouble comes upon him?
10 Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times?
11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God; what 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 "This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage which oppressors receive from the Almighty:
14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; and his offspring have not enough to eat.
15 Those who survive him the pestilence buries, and their widows make no lamentation.
16 Though he heap up silver like dust, and pile up clothing like clay;
17 he may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver.
18 The house which he builds is like a spider's web, like a booth which a watchman makes.
19 He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more; he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood; in the night a whirlwind carries him off.
21 The east wind lifts him up and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place.
22 It hurls at him without pity; he flees from its power in headlong flight.
23 It claps its hands at him, and hisses at him from its place.
28 1 "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.
3 Men put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
4 They open shafts in a valley away from where men live; they are forgotten by travelers, they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro.
5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold.
7 "That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
8 The proud beasts have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it.
9 "Man puts his hand to the 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 binds up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hid he brings forth to light.
12 "But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, `It is not in me,' and the sea says, `It is not with me.'
15 It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20 "Whence then comes wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say, `We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.'
23 "God understands the way to it, and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight, and meted out the waters by measure;
26 when he made a decree for the rain, and a 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, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"
29 1 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:
2 "Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me;
3 when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness;
4 as I was in my autumn days, when the friendship of God was upon my tent;
5 when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
6 when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square,
8 the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood;
9 the princes refrained from talking, and laid their hand on their mouth;
10 the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue cleaved 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 delivered the poor who cried, and the fatherless who had none to help him.
13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18 Then I thought, `I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
19 my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches,
20 my glory fresh with me, and my bow ever new 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 dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence; and the light of my countenance they did not cast down.
25 I chose their way, and sat as chief, and I dwelt like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.
Job (RSV) 16