1 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work:
3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.
4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
5 My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.
6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.
7 O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not.
9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.
10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.
11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?
13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;
14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:
15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.
16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?
18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?
19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?
20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?
21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?
3 Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
4 If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;
5 If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;
6 If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
8 For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:
9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)
10 Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?
11 Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?
12 Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.
13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish:
14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web.
15 He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.
16 He is green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden.
17 His roots are wrapped about the heap, and seeth the place of stones.
18 If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee.
19 Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.
20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:
21 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.
22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?
3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?
5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger.
6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.
9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.
10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
11 Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not.
12 Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?
13 If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.
14 How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him?
15 Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge.
16 If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.
17 For he breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause.
18 He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness.
19 If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong: and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead?
20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
21 Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.
22 This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.
23 If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked: he covereth the faces of the judges thereof; if not, where, and who is he?
25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.
27 If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself:
28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.
29 If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;
31 Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.
33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
35 Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.
1 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
3 Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?
5 Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man's days,
6 That thou inquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.
9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
13 And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.
14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.
15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;
16 For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me.
17 Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.
18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!
19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,
21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;
22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
2 Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified?
3 Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?
4 For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.
5 But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;
6 And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
9 The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
10 If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?
11 For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider it?
12 For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.
13 If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;
14 If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.
15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:
16 Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away:
17 And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.
18 And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety.
19 Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee.
20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.
1 And Job answered and said,
2 No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
4 I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.
5 He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.
6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.
7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?
10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?
12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.
15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.
16 With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.
18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.
19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.
20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.
21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.
22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.
23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.
24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.
25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.
1 "Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man?
2 Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired man waiting eagerly for his wages,
3 so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
4 When I lie down I think, 'How long before I get up?' The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.
5 My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering.
6 "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.
7 Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.
8 The eye that now sees me will see me no longer; you will look for me, but I will be no more.
9 As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so he who goes down to the grave does not return.
10 He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more.
11 "Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard?
13 When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint,
14 even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
(15 so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine.
16 I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.
17 "What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention,
18 that you examine him every morning and test him every moment?
19 Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of men? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more."
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 "How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind.
3 Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
4 When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
5 But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty,
6 if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.
7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.
8 "Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned,
9 for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?
11 Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?
12 While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass.
13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
14 What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider's web.
15 He leans on his web, but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold.
16 He is like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden;
17 it entwines its roots around a pile of rocks and looks for a place among the stones.
18 But when it is torn from its spot, that place disowns it and says, 'I never saw you.'
19 Surely its life withers away, and from the soil other plants grow.
20 "Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers.
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more."
1 Then Job replied:
2 "Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can a mortal be righteous before God?
3 Though one wished to dispute with him, he could not answer him one time out of a thousand.
4 His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?
5 He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger.
6 He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble.
7 He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars.
8 He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.
11 When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, 'What are you doing?'
13 God does not restrain his anger; even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.
14 "How then can I dispute with him? How can I find words to argue with him?
15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.
16 Even if I summoned him and he responded, I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
17 He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason.
18 He would not let me regain my breath but would overwhelm me with misery.
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it is a matter of justice, who will summon him?
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me; if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.
21 "Although I am blameless, I have no concern for myself; I despise my own life.
22 It is all the same; that is why I say, 'He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.'
23 When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, he blindfolds its judges. If it is not he, then who is it?
25 "My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
26 They skim past like boats of papyrus, like eagles swooping down on their prey.
27 If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,'
28 I still dread all my sufferings, for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain?
30 Even if I washed myself with soap and my hands with washing soda,
31 you would plunge me into a slime pit so that even my clothes would detest me.
32 "He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.
33 If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both,
(34 someone to remove God's rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
1 "I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me.
3 Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?
4 Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees?
5 Are your days like those of a mortal or your years like those of a man,
6 that you must search out my faults and probe after my sin--
7 though you know that I am not guilty and that no one can rescue me from your hand?
8 "Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?
9 Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese,
11 clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews?
12 You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
(13 "But this is what you concealed in your heart, and I know that this was in your mind:
14 If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished.
15 If I am guilty-- woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction.
16 If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion and again display your awesome power against me.
17 You bring new witnesses against me and increase your anger toward me; your forces come against me wave upon wave.
18 "Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
19 If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
20 Are not my few days almost over? Turn away from me so I can have a moment's joy
21 before I go to the place of no return, to the land of gloom and deep shadow,
22 to the land of deepest night, of deep shadow and disorder, where even the light is like darkness."
1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 "Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?
3 Will your idle talk reduce men to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock?
4 You say to God, 'My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.'
5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you
6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7 "Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens-- what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave-- what can you know?
9 Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
10 "If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him?
11 Surely he recognizes deceitful men; and when he sees evil, does he not take note?
12 But a witless man can no more become wise than a wild donkey's colt can be born a man.
13 "Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp."
1 Then Job replied:
2 "Doubtless you are the people, and wisdom will die with you!
3 But I have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know all these things?
4 "I have become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called upon God and he answered-- a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5 Men at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure-- those who carry their god in their hands.
7 "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
13 "To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.
14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man he imprisons cannot be released.
15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16 To him belong strength and victory; both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped and makes fools of judges.
18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped and overthrows men long established.
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.