1“My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it.2What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.3But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.4You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you!5If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.6Hear now my argument; listen to the pleas of my lips.7Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him?8Will you show him partiality? Will you argue the case for God?9Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?10He would surely call you to account if you secretly showed partiality.11Would not his splendor terrify you? Would not the dread of him fall on you?12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay.13“Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may.14Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands?15Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.16Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him!17Listen carefully to what I say; let my words ring in your ears.18Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated.19Can anyone bring charges against me? If so, I will be silent and die.20“Only grant me these two things, God, and then I will not hide from you:21Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors.22Then summon me and I will answer, or let me speak, and you reply to me.23How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin.24Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?25Will you torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff?26For you write down bitter things against me and make me reap the sins of my youth.27You fasten my feet in shackles; you keep close watch on all my paths by putting marks on the soles of my feet.28“So man wastes away like something rotten, like a garment eaten by moths.
1“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.2They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.3Do you fix your eye on them? Will you bring them before you for judgment?4Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!5A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.6So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.7“At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.8Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil,9yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.10But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.11As the water of a lake dries up or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,12so he lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep.13“If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me!14If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.15You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.16Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin.17My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.18“But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place,19as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy a person’s hope.20You overpower them once for all, and they are gone; you change their countenance and send them away.21If their children are honored, they do not know it; if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.22They feel but the pain of their own bodies and mourn only for themselves.”
1Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:2“Would a wise person answer with empty notions or fill their belly with the hot east wind?3Would they argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value?4But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God.5Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty.6Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you.7“Are you the first man ever born? Were you brought forth before the hills?8Do you listen in on God’s council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?9What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have?10The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father.11Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?12Why has your heart carried you away, and why do your eyes flash,13so that you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth?14“What are mortals, that they could be pure, or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?15If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,16how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt, who drink up evil like water!17“Listen to me and I will explain to you; let me tell you what I have seen,18what the wise have declared, hiding nothing received from their ancestors19(to whom alone the land was given when no foreigners moved among them):20All his days the wicked man suffers torment, the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.21Terrifying sounds fill his ears; when all seems well, marauders attack him.22He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness; he is marked for the sword.23He wanders about for food like a vulture; he knows the day of darkness is at hand.24Distress and anguish fill him with terror; troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,25because he shakes his fist at God and vaunts himself against the Almighty,26defiantly charging against him with a thick, strong shield.27“Though his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh,28he will inhabit ruined towns and houses where no one lives, houses crumbling to rubble.29He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the land.30He will not escape the darkness; a flame will wither his shoots, and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.31Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.32Before his time he will wither, and his branches will not flourish.33He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes, like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.34For the company of the godless will be barren, and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.35They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; their womb fashions deceit.”
1Then Job replied:2“I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you!3Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?4I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you.5But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.6“Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away.7Surely, God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household.8You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness; my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.9God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.10People open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me.11God has turned me over to the ungodly and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.12All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target;13his archers surround me. Without pity, he pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground.14Again and again he bursts upon me; he rushes at me like a warrior.15“I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust.16My face is red with weeping, dark shadows ring my eyes;17yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.18“Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest!19Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high.20My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God;21on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.22“Only a few years will pass before I take the path of no return.