Job Muses on the Brevity of Life
14 1 As for man, the son of woman, his days are short and full of trouble. 2 He comes out like a flower, and is cut down: he goes in flight like a shade, and is never seen again. 3 Is it on such a one as this that your eyes are fixed, with the purpose of judging him? 4 If only a clean thing might come out of an unclean! But it is not possible. 5 If his days are ordered, and you have knowledge of the number of his months, having given him a fixed limit past which he may not go; 6 Let your eyes be turned away from him, and take your hand from him, so that he may have pleasure at the end of his day, like a servant working for payment.
7 For there is hope of a tree; if it is cut down, it will come to life again, and its branches will not come to an end. 8 Though its root may be old in the earth, and its cut-off end may be dead in the dust; 9 Still, at the smell of water, it will make buds, and put out branches like a young plant. 10 But man comes to his death and is gone: he gives up his spirit, and where is he? 11 The waters go from a pool, and a river becomes waste and dry; 12 So man goes down to his last resting-place and comes not again: till the heavens come to an end, they will not be awake or come out of their sleep. 13 If only you would keep me safe in the underworld, putting me in a secret place till your wrath is past, giving me a fixed time when I might come to your memory again! 14 If death takes a man, will he come to life again? All the days of my trouble I would be waiting, till the time came for me to be free. 15 At the sound of your voice I would give an answer, and you would have a desire for the work of your hands.
16 For now my steps are numbered by you, and my sin is not overlooked. 17 My wrongdoing is corded up in a bag, and my sin is shut up safe. 18 But truly a mountain falling comes to dust, and a rock is moved from its place; 19 The stones are crushed small by the force of the waters; the dust of the earth is washed away by their overflowing: and so you put an end to the hope of man. 20 You overcome him for ever, and he is gone; his face is changed in death, and you send him away. 21 His sons come to honour, and he has no knowledge of it; they are made low, but he is not conscious of it. 22 Only his flesh still has pain, and his soul is sad.
Eliphaz Reprimands Job
15 1 And Eliphaz the Temanite made answer and said, 2 Will a wise man make answer with knowledge of no value, or will he give birth to the east wind? 3 Will he make arguments with words in which is no profit, and with sayings which have no value? 4 Truly, you make the fear of God without effect, so that the time of quiet worship before God is made less by your outcry. 5 For your mouth is guided by your sin, and you have taken the tongue of the false for yourself. 6 It is by your mouth, even yours, that you are judged to be in the wrong, and not by me; and your lips give witness against you. 7 Were you the first man to come into the world? or did you come into being before the hills? 8 Were you present at the secret meeting of God? and have you taken all wisdom for yourself? 9 What knowledge have you which we have not? is there anything in your mind which is not in ours? 10 With us are men who are grey-haired and full of years, much older than your father. 11 Are the comforts of God not enough for you, and the gentle word which was said to you? 12 Why is your heart uncontrolled, and why are your eyes lifted up; 13 So that you are turning your spirit against God, and letting such words go out of your mouth? 14 What is man, that he may be clean? and how may the son of woman be upright? 15 Truly, he puts no faith in his holy ones, and the heavens are not clean in his eyes; 16 How much less one who is disgusting and unclean, a man who takes in evil like water!
17 Take note and give ear to my words; and I will say what I have seen: 18 (The things which wise men have got from their fathers, and have not kept secret from us; 19 For only to them was the land given, and no strange people were among them:) 20 The evil man is in pain all his days, and the number of the years stored up for the cruel is small. 21 A sound of fear is in his ears; in time of peace destruction will come on him: 22 He has no hope of coming safe out of the dark, and his fate will be the sword; 23 He is wandering about in search of bread, saying, Where is it? and he is certain that the day of trouble is ready for him: 24 He is greatly in fear of the dark day, trouble and pain overcome him: 25 Because his hand is stretched out against God, and his heart is lifted up against the Ruler of all, 26 Running against him like a man of war, covered by his thick breastplate; even like a king ready for the fight, 27 Because his face is covered with fat, and his body has become thick; 28 And he has made his resting-place in the towns which have been pulled down, in houses where no man had a right to be, whose fate was to become masses of broken walls. 29 He does not get wealth for himself, and is unable to keep what he has got; the heads of his grain are not bent down to the earth. 30 He does not come out of the dark; his branches are burned by the flame, and the wind takes away his bud. 31 Let him not put his hope in what is false, falling into error: for he will get deceit as his reward. 32 His branch is cut off before its time, and his leaf is no longer green. 33 He is like a vine whose grapes do not come to full growth, or an olive-tree dropping its flowers. 34 For the band of the evil-doers gives no fruit, and the tents of those who give wrong decisions for reward are burned with fire. 35 Evil has made them with child, and they give birth to trouble; and the fruit of their body is shame for themselves.
Job Complains of God's Dealings
16 1 And Job made answer and said, 2 Such things have frequently come to my ears: you are comforters who only give trouble. 3 May words which are like the wind be stopped? or what is troubling you to make answer to them? 4 It would not be hard for me to say such things if your souls were in my soul's place; joining words together against you, and shaking my head at you: 5 I might give you strength with my mouth, and not keep back the comfort of my lips.
6 If I say what is in my mind, my pain becomes no less: and if I keep quiet, how much of it goes from me? 7 But now he has overcome me with weariness and fear, and I am in the grip of all my trouble. 8 It has come up as a witness against me, and the wasting of my flesh makes answer to my face. 9 I am broken by his wrath, and his hate has gone after me; he has made his teeth sharp against me: my haters are looking on me with cruel eyes; 10 Their mouths are open wide against me; the blows of his bitter words are falling on my face; all of them come together in a mass against me. 11 God gives me over to the power of sinners, sending me violently into the hands of evil-doers. 12 I was in comfort, but I have been broken up by his hands; he has taken me by the neck, shaking me to bits; he has put me up as a mark for his arrows. 13 His bowmen come round about me; their arrows go through my body without mercy; my life is drained out on the earth. 14 I am broken with wound after wound; he comes rushing on me like a man of war. 15 I have made haircloth the clothing of my skin, and my horn is rolled in the dust. 16 My face is red with weeping, and my eyes are becoming dark;
17 Though my hands have done no violent acts, and my prayer is clean. 18 O earth, let not my blood be covered, and let my cry have no resting-place! 19 Even now my witness is in heaven, and the supporter of my cause is on high. 20 My friends make sport of me; to God my eyes are weeping, 21 So that he may give decision for a man in his cause with God, and between a son of man and his neighbour. 22 For in a short time I will take the journey from which I will not come back.