Job’s Present Misery
30 “But now they mock me, those who are younger 1 than I,
whose fathers I disdained too much 2
to put with my sheep dogs. 3
2 Moreover, the strength of their 4 hands –
what use was it to me?
Men whose strength 5 had perished;
3 gaunt 6 with want and hunger,
they would gnaw 7 the parched land,
in former time desolate and waste. 8
4 By the brush 9 they would gather 10 herbs from the salt marshes, 11
and the root of the broom tree was their food.
5 They were banished from the community 12 –
people 13 shouted at them
like they would shout at thieves 14 –
6 so that they had to live 15
in the dry stream beds, 16
in the holes of the ground, and among the rocks.
7 They brayed 17 like animals among the bushes
and were huddled together 18 under the nettles.
8 Sons of senseless and nameless people, 19
they were driven out of the land with whips. 20
9 “And now I have become their taunt song;
I have become a byword 21 among them.
10 They detest me and maintain their distance; 22
they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Because God has untied 23 my tent cord and afflicted me,
people throw off all restraint in my presence. 24
12 On my right the young rabble 25 rise up;
they drive me from place to place, 26
and build up siege ramps 27 against me. 28
13 They destroy 29 my path;
they succeed in destroying me 30
without anyone assisting 31 them.
14 They come in as through a wide breach;
amid the crash 32 they come rolling in. 33
15 Terrors are turned loose 34 on me;
they drive away 35 my honor like the wind,
and like a cloud my deliverance has passed away.
16 “And now my soul pours itself out within me; 36
days of suffering take hold of me.
17 Night pierces 37 my bones; 38
my gnawing pains 39 never cease.
18 With great power God 40 grasps my clothing; 41
he binds me like the collar 42 of my tunic.
19 He has flung me into the mud,
and I have come to resemble dust and ashes.
20 I cry out to you, 43 but you do not answer me;
I stand up, 44 and you only look at me. 45
21 You have become cruel to me; 46
with the strength of your hand you attack me. 47
22 You pick me up on the wind and make me ride on it; 48
you toss me about 49 in the storm. 50
23 I know that you are bringing 51 me to death,
to the meeting place for all the living.
The Contrast With the Past
24 “Surely one does not stretch out his hand
against a broken man 52
when he cries for help in his distress. 53
25 Have I not wept for the unfortunate? 54
Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came;
when I expected light, then darkness came.
27 My heart 55 is in turmoil 56 unceasingly; 57
the days of my affliction confront me.
28 I go about blackened, 58 but not by the sun;
in the assembly I stand up and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother to jackals
and a companion of ostriches. 59
30 My skin has turned dark on me; 60
my body 61 is hot with fever. 62
31 My harp is used for 63 mourning
and my flute for the sound of weeping.
Job Vindicates Himself
31 “I made a covenant with 1 my eyes;
how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin? 2
2 What then would be one’s lot from God above,
one’s heritage from the Almighty 3 on high?
3 Is it not misfortune for the unjust,
and disaster for those who work iniquity?
4 Does he not see my ways
and count all my steps?
5 If 4 I have walked in falsehood,
and if 5 my foot has hastened 6 to deceit –
6 let him 7 weigh me with honest 8 scales;
then God will discover 9 my integrity.
7 If my footsteps have strayed from the way,
if my heart has gone after my eyes, 10
or if anything 11 has defiled my hands,
8 then let me sow 12 and let another eat,
and let my crops 13 be uprooted.
9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door, 14
10 then let my wife turn the millstone 15 for another man,
and may other men have sexual relations with her. 16
11 For I would have committed 17 a shameful act, 18
an iniquity to be judged. 19
12 For it is a fire that devours even to Destruction, 20
and it would uproot 21 all my harvest.
13 “If I have disregarded the right of my male servants
or my female servants
when they disputed 22 with me,
14 then what will I do when God confronts me in judgment; 23
when he intervenes, 24
how will I respond to him?
15 Did not the one who made me in the womb make them? 25
Did not the same one form us in the womb?
16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 26
or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,
and did not share any of it with orphans 27 –
18 but from my youth I raised the orphan 28 like a father,
and from my mother’s womb 29
I guided the widow! 30
19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing,
or a poor man without a coat,
20 whose heart did not bless me 31
as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep, 32
21 if I have raised my hand 33 to vote against the orphan,
when I saw my support in the court, 34
22 then 35 let my arm fall from the shoulder, 36
let my arm be broken off at the socket. 37
23 For the calamity from God was a terror to me, 38
and by reason of his majesty 39 I was powerless.
24 “If I have put my confidence in gold
or said to pure gold,
‘You are my security!’
25 if I have rejoiced because of the extent of my wealth,
or because of the great wealth my hand had gained,
26 if I looked at the sun 40 when it was shining,
and the moon advancing as a precious thing,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed,
and my hand threw them a kiss from my mouth, 41
28 then this 42 also would be iniquity to be judged, 43
for I would have been false 44 to God above.
29 If 45 I have rejoiced over the misfortune of my enemy 46
or exulted 47 because calamity 48 found him –
30 I 49 have not even permitted my mouth 50 to sin
by asking 51 for his life through a curse –
31 if 52 the members of my household 53 have never said, 54
‘If only there were 55 someone
who has not been satisfied from Job’s 56 meat!’ –
32 But 57 no stranger had to spend the night outside,
for I opened my doors to the traveler 58 –
33 if 59 I have covered my transgressions as men do, 60
by hiding 61 iniquity in my heart, 62
34 because I was terrified 63 of the great multitude, 64
and the contempt of families terrified me,
so that I remained silent
and would not go outdoors – 65
35 “If only I had 66 someone to hear me!
Here is my signature – 67
let the Almighty answer me!
If only I had an indictment 68
that my accuser had written. 69
36 Surely 70 I would wear it proudly 71 on my shoulder,
I would bind 72 it on me like a crown;
37 I would give him an accounting of my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
Job’s Final Solemn Oath 73
38 “If my land cried out against me 74
and all its furrows wept together,
39 if I have eaten its produce without paying, 75
or caused the death 76 of its owners, 77
40 then let thorns sprout up in place of wheat,
and in place of barley, weeds!” 78
The words of Job are ended.
V. The Speeches of Elihu (32:1-37:24)
Elihu’s First Speech 1
32 So these three men refused to answer 2 Job further, because he was righteous in his 3 own eyes. 2 Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry. 4 He was angry 5 with Job for justifying 6 himself rather than God. 7 3 With Job’s 8 three friends he was also angry, because they could not find 9 an answer, and so declared Job guilty. 10 4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking 11 to Job, because the others 12 were older than he was. 5 But when Elihu saw 13 that the three men had no further reply, 14 he became very angry.
Elihu Claims Wisdom
6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite spoke up: 15
“I am young, 16 but you are elderly;
that is why I was fearful, 17
and afraid to explain 18 to you what I know.
7 I said to myself, ‘Age 19 should speak, 20
and length of years 21 should make wisdom known.’
8 But it is a spirit in people,
the breath 22 of the Almighty,
that makes them understand.
9 It is not the aged 23 who are wise,
nor old men who understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen 24 to me.
I, even I, will explain what I know.’
11 Look, I waited for you to speak; 25
I listened closely to your wise thoughts, 26 while you were searching for words.
12 Now I was paying you close attention, 27
yet 28 there was no one proving Job wrong, 29
not one of you was answering his statements!
13 So do not say, 30 ‘We have found wisdom!
God will refute 31 him, not man!’
14 Job 32 has not directed 33 his words to me,
and so I will not reply to him with your arguments. 34
Job’s Friends Failed to Answer 35
15 “They are dismayed 36 and cannot answer any more;
they have nothing left to say. 37
16 And I have waited. 38 But because they do not speak,
because they stand there and answer no more,
17 I too will answer my part,
I too will explain what I know.
18 For I am full of words,
and the spirit within me 39 constrains me. 40
19 Inside I am like wine which has no outlet, 41
like new wineskins 42 ready to burst!
20 I will speak, 43 so that I may find relief;
I will open my lips, so that I may answer.
21 I will not show partiality to anyone, 44
nor will I confer a title 45 on any man.
22 for I do not know how to give honorary titles, 46
if I did, 47 my Creator would quickly do away with me. 48