The New King James Version

Job 17:1–20:29

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Job Prays for Relief

17 “My spirit is broken, My days are extinguished,

aThe grave is ready for me.

2 Are not mockers with me?

And does not my eye 1dwell on their bprovocation?

3 “Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself.

Who is he who cwill shake hands with me?

4 For You have hidden their heart from dunderstanding;

Therefore You will not exalt them.

5 He who speaks flattery to his friends,

Even the eyes of his children will efail.

6 “But He has made me fa byword of the people,

And I have become one in whose face men spit.

7 gMy eye has also grown dim because of sorrow,

And all my members are like shadows.

8 Upright men are astonished at this,

And the innocent stirs himself up against the hypocrite.

9 Yet the righteous will hold to his hway,

And he who has iclean hands will be stronger and stronger.

10 “But please, jcome back again, 2all of you,

For I shall not find one wise man among you.

11 kMy days are past,

My purposes are broken off,

Even the 3thoughts of my heart.

12 They change the night into day;

‘The light is near,’ they say, in the face of darkness.

13 If I wait for the grave as my house,

If I make my bed in the darkness,

14 If I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’

And to the worm, ‘You are my mother and my sister,’

15 Where then is my lhope?

As for my hope, who can see it?

16 Will they go down mto the gates of 4Sheol?

Shall we have nrest together in the dust?”

Bildad: The Wicked are Punished

18 Then aBildad the Shuhite answered and said:

2 “How long till you put an end to words?

Gain understanding, and afterward we will speak.

3 Why are we counted bas beasts,

And regarded as stupid in your sight?

4 cYou 1who tear yourself in anger,

Shall the earth be forsaken for you?

Or shall the rock be removed from its place?

5 “The dlight of the wicked indeed goes out,

And the flame of his fire does not shine.

6 The light is dark in his tent,

eAnd his lamp beside him is put out.

7 The steps of his strength are shortened,

And fhis own counsel casts him down.

8 For ghe is cast into a net by his own feet,

And he walks into a snare.

9 The net takes him by the heel,

And ha snare lays hold of him.

10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground,

And a trap for him in the road.

11 iTerrors frighten him on every side,

And drive him to his feet.

12 His strength is starved,

And jdestruction is ready at his side.

13 It devours patches of his skin;

The firstborn of death devours his 2limbs.

14 He is uprooted from kthe shelter of his tent,

And they parade him before the king of terrors.

15 They dwell in his tent who are none of his;

Brimstone is scattered on his dwelling.

16 lHis roots are dried out below,

And his branch withers above.

17 mThe memory of him perishes from the earth,

And he has no name 3among the renowned.

18 4He is driven from light into darkness,

And chased out of the world.

19 nHe has neither son nor posterity among his people,

Nor any remaining in his dwellings.

20 Those 5in the west are astonished oat his day,

As those 6in the east are frightened.

21 Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,

And this is the place of him who pdoes not know God.”

Job Trusts in His Redeemer

19 Then Job answered and said:

2 “How long will you torment my soul,

And break me in pieces with words?

3 These ten times you have 1reproached me;

You are not ashamed that you 2have wronged me.

4 And if indeed I have erred,

My error remains with me.

5 If indeed you aexalt yourselves against me,

And plead my disgrace against me,

6 Know then that bGod has wronged me,

And has surrounded me with His net.

7 “If I cry out concerning 3wrong, I am not heard.

If I cry aloud, there is no justice.

8 cHe has 4fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass;

And He has set darkness in my paths.

9 dHe has stripped me of my glory,

And taken the crown from my head.

10 He breaks me down on every side,

And I am gone;

My ehope He has uprooted like a tree.

11 He has also kindled His wrath against me,

And fHe counts me as one of His enemies.

12 His troops come together

And build up their road against me;

They encamp all around my tent.

13 “He ghas removed my brothers far from me,

And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.

14 My relatives have failed,

And my close friends have forgotten me.

15 Those who dwell in my house, and my maidservants,

Count me as a stranger;

I am an alien in their sight.

16 I call my servant, but he gives no answer;

I beg him with my mouth.

17 My breath is offensive to my wife,

And I am 5repulsive to the children of my own body.

18 Even hyoung children despise me;

I arise, and they speak against me.

19 iAll my close friends abhor me,

And those whom I love have turned against me.

20 jMy bone clings 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 struck me!

22 Why do you kpersecute me as God does,

And are not satisfied with my flesh?

23 “Oh, that my words were written!

Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!

24 That they were engraved on a rock

With an iron pen and lead, forever!

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,

And He shall stand at last on the earth;

26 And after my skin is 6destroyed, this I know,

That lin my flesh I shall see God,

27 Whom I shall see for myself,

And my eyes shall behold, and not another.

How my 7heart yearns within me!

28 If you should say, ‘How shall we persecute him?’—

Since the root of the matter is found in me,

29 Be afraid of the sword for yourselves;

For wrath brings the punishment of the sword,

That you may know there is a judgment.”

Zophar’s Sermon on the Wicked Man

20 Then aZophar the Naamathite answered and said:

2 “Therefore my anxious thoughts make me answer,

Because of the turmoil within me.

3 I have heard the rebuke 1that reproaches me,

And the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer.

4 “Do you not know this of bold,

Since man was placed on earth,

5 cThat the triumphing of the wicked is short,

And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a dmoment?

6 eThough his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens,

And his head reaches to the clouds,

7 Yet he will perish forever like his own refuse;

Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’

8 He will fly away flike a dream, and not be found;

Yes, he gwill be chased away like a vision of the night.

9 The eye that saw him will see him no more,

Nor will his place behold him anymore.

10 His children will seek the favor of the poor,

And his hands will restore his wealth.

11 His bones are full of hhis youthful vigor,

iBut it will lie down with him in the dust.

12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth,

And he hides it under his tongue,

13 Though he spares it and does not forsake it,

But still keeps it in his 2mouth,

14 Yet his food in his stomach turns sour;

It becomes cobra venom 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 cobras;

The viper’s tongue will slay him.

17 He will not see jthe streams,

The rivers flowing with honey and cream.

18 He will restore that for which he labored,

And will not swallow it down;

From the proceeds of business

He will get no enjoyment.

19 For he has 3oppressed and forsaken the poor,

He has violently seized a house which he did not build.

20 “Because khe knows no quietness in his 4heart,

He will not save anything he desires.

21 Nothing is left for him to eat;

Therefore his well-being will not last.

22 In his self-sufficiency he will be in distress;

Every hand of 5misery will come against him.

23 When he is about to fill his stomach,

God will cast on him the fury of His wrath,

And will rain it on him while he is eating.

24 lHe will flee from the iron weapon;

A bronze bow will pierce him through.

25 It is drawn, and comes out of the body;

Yes, mthe glittering point comes out of his 6gall.

nTerrors come upon him;

26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures.

oAn unfanned fire will consume him;

It shall go ill with him who is left in his tent.

27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity,

And the earth will rise up against him.

28 The increase of his house will depart,

And his goods will flow away in the day of His pwrath.

29 qThis is the portion from God for a wicked man,

The heritage appointed to him by God.”

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Lit. lodge


So with some Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg.; MT, Tg. all of them




The abode of the dead


Lit. one who tears his soul




Lit. before the outside, i.e., the distinguished or famous


Or They drive him


Lit. who came after


Lit. who have gone before


shamed or disgraced


A Jewish tradition make yourselves strange to me




walled off my way


Lit. strange


Lit. struck off


Lit. kidneys


Lit. of my insulting correction


Lit. palate




Lit. belly


Or the wretched or sufferer