Job Bemoans His Condition
10 1 My soul is tired of life; I will let my sad thoughts go free in words; my soul will make a bitter outcry. 2 I will say to God, Do not put me down as a sinner; make clear to me what you have against me. 3 What profit is it to you to be cruel, to give up the work of your hands, looking kindly on the design of evil-doers? 4 Have you eyes of flesh, or do you see as man sees? 5 Are your days as the days of man, or your years like his, 6 That you take note of my sin, searching after my wrongdoing, 7 Though you see that I am not an evil-doer; and there is no one who is able to take a man out of your hands?
8 Your hands made me, and I was formed by you, but then, changing your purpose, you gave me up to destruction. 9 O keep in mind that you made me out of earth; and will you send me back again to dust? 10 Was I not drained out like milk, becoming hard like cheese? 11 By you I was clothed with skin and flesh, and joined together with bones and muscles. 12 You have been kind to me, and your grace has been with me, and your care has kept my spirit safe. 13 But you kept these things in the secret of your heart; I am certain this was in your thoughts:
14 That, if I did wrong, you would take note of it, and would not make me clear from sin: 15 That, if I was an evil-doer, the curse would come on me; and if I was upright, my head would not be lifted up, being full of shame and overcome with trouble. 16 And that if there was cause for pride, you would go after me like a lion; and again put out your wonders against me: 17 That you would send new witnesses against me, increasing your wrath against me, and letting loose new armies on me. 18 Why then did you make me come out of my mother's body? It would have been better for me to have taken my last breath, and for no eye to have seen me, 19 And for me to have been as if I had not been; to have been taken from my mother's body straight to my last resting-place. 20 Are not the days of my life small in number? Let your eyes be turned away from me, so that I may have a little pleasure, 21 Before I go to the place from which I will not come back, to the land where all is dark and black, 22 A land of thick dark, without order, where the very light is dark.
Zophar Accuses Job of Iniquity
11 1 Then Zophar the Naamathite made answer and said, 2 Are all these words to go unanswered? and is a man seen to be right because he is full of talk? 3 Are your words of pride to make men keep quiet? and are you to make sport, with no one to put you to shame? 4 You may say, My way is clean, and I am free from sin in your eyes. 5 But if only God would take up the word, opening his lips in argument with you; 6 And would make clear to you the secrets of wisdom, and the wonders of his purpose!
7 Are you able to take God's measure, to make discovery of the limits of the Ruler of all? 8 They are higher than heaven; what is there for you to do? deeper than the underworld, and outside your knowledge; 9 Longer in measure than the earth, and wider than the sea. 10 If he goes on his way, shutting a man up and putting him to death, who may make him go back from his purpose? 11 For in his eyes men are as nothing; he sees evil and takes note of it. 12 And so a hollow-minded man will get wisdom, when a young ass of the field gets teaching.
13 But if you put your heart right, stretching out your hands to him; 14 If you put far away the evil of your hands, and let no wrongdoing have a place in your tent; 15 Then truly your face will be lifted up, with no mark of sin, and you will be fixed in your place without fear: 16 For your sorrow will go from your memory, like waters flowing away: 17 And your life will be brighter than day; though it is dark, it will become like the morning. 18 And you will be safe because there is hope; after looking round, you will take your rest in quiet; 19 Sleeping with no fear of danger; and men will be desiring to have grace in your eyes; 20 But the eyes of the evil-doers will be wasting away; their way of flight is gone, and their only hope is the taking of their last breath.
Job Affirms God's Power and Wisdom
12 1 And Job made answer and said, 2 No doubt you have knowledge, and wisdom will come to an end with you. 3 But I have a mind as well as you; I am equal to you: yes, who has not knowledge of such things as these? 4 It seems that I am to be as one who is a cause of laughing to his neighbour, one who makes his prayer to God and is answered! the upright man who has done no wrong is to be made sport of! 5 In the thought of him who is in comfort there is no respect for one who is in trouble; such is the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6 There is wealth in the tents of those who make destruction, and those by whom God is moved to wrath are safe; even those whose god is their strength. 7 But put now a question to the beasts, and get teaching from them; or to the birds of the heaven, and they will make it clear to you; 8 Or to the things which go flat on the earth, and they will give you wisdom; and the fishes of the sea will give you news of it. 9 Who does not see by all these that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all flesh of man. 11 Are not words tested by the ear, even as food is tasted by the mouth?
12 Old men have wisdom, and a long life gives knowledge. 13 With him there is wisdom and strength; power and knowledge are his. 14 Truly, there is no building up of what is pulled down by him; when a man is shut up by him, no one may let him loose. 15 Truly, he keeps back the waters and they are dry; he sends them out and the earth is overturned. 16 With him are strength and wise designs; he who is guided into error, together with his guide, are in his hands; 17 He takes away the wisdom of the wise guides, and makes judges foolish; 18 He undoes the chains of kings, and puts his band on them; 19 He makes priests prisoners, overturning those in safe positions; 20 He makes the words of responsible persons without effect, and takes away the good sense of the old; 21 He puts shame on chiefs, and takes away the power of the strong; 22 Uncovering deep things out of the dark, and making the deep shade bright; 23 Increasing nations, and sending destruction on them; making wide the lands of peoples, and then giving them up. 24 He takes away the wisdom of the rulers of the earth, and sends them wandering in a waste where there is no way. 25 They go feeling about in the dark without light, wandering without help like those overcome with wine.
Job Defends His Integrity
13 1 Truly, my eye has seen all this, word of it has come to my ear, and I have knowledge of it. 2 The same things are in my mind as in yours; I am equal to you. 3 But I would have talk with the Ruler of all, and my desire is to have an argument with God. 4 But you put a false face on things; all your attempts to put things right are of no value. 5 If only you would keep quiet, it would be a sign of wisdom! 6 Give ear to the argument of my mouth, and take note of the words of my lips. 7 Will you say in God's name what is not right, and put false words into his mouth? 8 Will you have respect for God's person in this cause, and put yourselves forward as his supporters? 9 Will it be good for you to be searched out by him, or have you the thought that he may be guided into error like a man? 10 He will certainly put you right, if you have respect for persons in secret. 11 Will not his glory put you in fear, so that your hearts will be overcome before him? 12 Your wise sayings are only dust, and your strong places are only earth.
13 Keep quiet, and let me say what is in my mind, whatever may come to me. 14 I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand. 15 Truly, he will put an end to me; I have no hope; but I will not give way in argument before him; 16 And that will be my salvation, for an evil-doer would not come before him, 17 Give ear with care to my words, and keep what I say in your minds. 18 See now, I have put my cause in order, and I am certain that I will be seen to be right. 19 Is any one able to take up the argument against me? If so, I would keep quiet and give up my breath. 20 Only two things do not do to me, then I will come before your face: 21 Take your hand far away from me; and let me not be overcome by fear of you. 22 Then at the sound of your voice I will give answer; or let me put forward my cause for you to give me an answer.
23 What is the number of my evil-doings and my sins? give me knowledge of them. 24 Why is your face veiled from me, as if I was numbered among your haters? 25 Will you be hard on a leaf in flight before the wind? will you make a dry stem go more quickly on its way? 26 For you put bitter things on record against me, and send punishment on me for the sins of my early years; 27 And you put chains on my feet, watching all my ways, and making a limit for my steps; 28 Though a man comes to nothing like a bit of dead wood, or like a robe which has become food for the worm.