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English Standard Version

Job 3:1–37:24

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Job Laments His Birth

After this Job hopened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said:

i“Let the day perish on which I was born,

and the night that said,

‘A man is conceived.’

Let that day be darkness!

May God above not seek it,

nor light shine upon it.

Let gloom and jdeep darkness claim it.

Let clouds dwell upon it;

let the blackness of the day terrify it.

That night—let thick darkness seize it!

Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;

let it not come into the number of the months.

Behold, let that night be barren;

let no joyful cry enter it.

Let those curse it who curse the day,

who are ready to rouse up kLeviathan.

Let the stars of its dawn be dark;

let it hope for light, but have none,

nor see lthe eyelids of the morning,

10  because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,

nor hide trouble from my eyes.

11  “Why mdid I not die at birth,

come out from the womb and expire?

12  Why did nthe knees receive me?

Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?

13  For then I would have lain down and been quiet;

I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,

14  with kings and counselors of the earth

who orebuilt ruins for themselves,

15  or with princes who had gold,

who filled their houses with silver.

16  Or why was I not as a hidden pstillborn child,

as infants who never see the light?

17  There the wicked cease from troubling,

and there the weary are at qrest.

18  There the prisoners are at ease together;

they hear not the voice of rthe taskmaster.

19  The small and the great are there,

and the slave is free from his master.

20  “Why is light given to him who is in misery,

and life to sthe bitter in soul,

21  who tlong for death, but it comes not,

and dig for it more than for uhidden treasures,

22  who rejoice exceedingly

and are glad when they find the grave?

23  Why is light given to a man whose vway is hidden,

whom God has whedged in?

24  For my sighing comes xinstead of1 my bread,

and my ygroanings are poured out like water.

25  zFor the thing that I fear comes upon me,

and what I dread befalls me.

26  I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;

I have no rest, but trouble comes.”

Eliphaz Speaks: The Innocent Prosper

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?

Yet who can keep from speaking?

Behold, you have instructed many,

and you have astrengthened the weak hands.

Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,

and you have amade firm the feeble knees.

But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;

it touches you, and you are dismayed.

bIs not your fear of God1 your cconfidence,

and the integrity of your ways your hope?

“Remember: dwho that was innocent ever perished?

Or where were the upright cut off?

As I have seen, those who eplow iniquity

and sow trouble reap the same.

By fthe breath of God they perish,

and by gthe blast of his anger they are consumed.

10  The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,

hthe teeth of the young lions are broken.

11  The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,

and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.

12  “Now a word was brought to me stealthily;

my ear received ithe whisper of it.

13  Amid jthoughts from kvisions of the night,

when kdeep sleep falls on men,

14  dread came upon me, and trembling,

which made all my bones shake.

15  A spirit glided past my face;

the hair of my flesh stood up.

16  It stood still,

but I could not discern its appearance.

lA form was before my eyes;

there was silence, then I heard ma voice:

17  n‘Can mortal man be in the right before2 God?

Can a man be pure before his Maker?

18  Even in his servants ohe puts no trust,

and his angels he charges with error;

19  how much more those who dwell in houses of pclay,

whose foundation is in qthe dust,

who are crushed like3 rthe moth.

20  Between smorning and evening they are beaten to pieces;

they perish forever twithout anyone regarding it.

21  Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them,

udo they not die, and that without wisdom?’

“Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?

To which of vthe holy ones will you turn?

Surely vexation kills the fool,

and jealousy slays the simple.

wI have seen the fool taking root,

but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.

His children are xfar from safety;

they are crushed in ythe gate,

and there is no one to deliver them.

The hungry eat his harvest,

and he takes it even out of thorns,1

and the thirsty pant2 after his3 wealth.

For affliction does not come from the dust,

nor does trouble sprout from the ground,

but man is zborn to trouble

as the sparks fly upward.

“As for me, I would seek God,

and to God would I commit my cause,

who adoes great things and bunsearchable,

cmarvelous things without number:

10  he gives drain on the earth

and sends waters on the fields;

11  he esets on high those who are lowly,

and those who mourn are lifted to safety.

12  He ffrustrates the devices of the crafty,

so that their hands achieve no success.

13  He gcatches the wise in their own craftiness,

and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.

14  They meet with darkness in the daytime

and hgrope at noonday as in the night.

15  But he isaves the needy from the sword of their mouth

and from the hand of the mighty.

16  So the poor have hope,

and jinjustice shuts her mouth.

17  “Behold, kblessed is the one whom God reproves;

therefore ldespise not the discipline of the mAlmighty.

18  For he wounds, but he nbinds up;

he oshatters, but his hands heal.

19  He will pdeliver you from six troubles;

in seven no qevil4 shall touch you.

20  rIn famine he will redeem you from death,

and in war from the power of the sword.

21  You shall be shidden from the lash of the tongue,

and shall not fear destruction when it comes.

22  At destruction and famine you shall laugh,

and shall not fear tthe beasts of the earth.

23  For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,

and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.

24  You shall know that your utent is at peace,

and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.

25  You shall know also that your voffspring shall be many,

and your descendants as wthe grass of the earth.

26  You shall come to your grave in xripe old age,

like a sheaf gathered up in its season.

27  Behold, this we have ysearched out; it is true.

Hear, and know it for your good.”5

Job Replies: My Complaint Is Just

Then Job answered and said:

“Oh that my vexation were weighed,

and all my calamity laid in the balances!

For then it would be heavier than zthe sand of the sea;

therefore my words have been rash.

For athe arrows of the Almighty are in me;

my spirit drinks their poison;

the terrors of God are arrayed against me.

Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass,

or the ox low over his fodder?

Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,

or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?1

My appetite refuses to touch them;

they are as food that is loathsome to me.2

“Oh that I might have my request,

and that God would fulfill my hope,

that it would bplease God to crush me,

that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!

10  This would be my comfort;

I would even exult3 in pain cunsparing,

for I have not denied the words of dthe Holy One.

11  What is my strength, that I should wait?

And what is my end, that I should be patient?

12  Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?

13  Have I any help in me,

when resource is driven from me?

14  “He who ewithholds4 kindness from a ffriend

forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

15  My gbrothers are htreacherous as a torrent-bed,

as torrential istreams that pass away,

16  which are dark with ice,

and where the snow hides itself.

17  When they melt, they disappear;

when it is hot, they vanish from their place.

18  The caravans turn aside from their course;

they go up into jthe waste and perish.

19  The caravans of kTema look,

the travelers of lSheba hope.

20  They are mashamed because they were confident;

they come there and are mdisappointed.

21  For you have now become nothing;

you see my calamity and are afraid.

22  Have I said, ‘Make me a gift’?

Or, ‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?

23  Or, ‘Deliver me from the adversary’s hand’?

Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of nthe ruthless’?

24  “Teach me, and I will be silent;

make me understand how I have gone astray.

25  How forceful are upright words!

But what does reproof from you reprove?

26  Do you think that you can reprove words,

when the speech of a despairing man is owind?

27  You would even pcast lots over the fatherless,

and bargain over your friend.

28  “But now, be pleased to look at me,

for I will not lie to your face.

29  qPlease turn; let no injustice be done.

Turn now; my vindication is at stake.

30  Is there any injustice on my tongue?

Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity?

Job Continues: My Life Has No Hope

“Has not man ra hard service on earth,

and are not his sdays like the days of a hired hand?

Like a slave who longs for tthe shadow,

and like ua hired hand who looks for his vwages,

so I am allotted months of wemptiness,

xand nights of misery are apportioned to me.

yWhen I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’

But the night is long,

and I am full of tossing till the dawn.

My flesh is clothed with zworms and adirt;

my skin hardens, then bbreaks out afresh.

My days are cswifter than da weaver’s shuttle

and come to their end without hope.

“Remember that my life is a ebreath;

my eye will never again see good.

fThe eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;

while your eyes are on me, gI shall be gone.

As hthe cloud fades and vanishes,

so he who igoes down to Sheol does not come up;

10  he jreturns no more to his house,

nor does his kplace know him anymore.

11  “Therefore I will not lrestrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will mcomplain in nthe bitterness of my soul.

12  Am I the sea, or oa sea monster,

that you set a guard over me?

13  pWhen I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,’

14  then

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