Job Complains of God's Indifference to Wickedness
24 1 Why are times not stored up by the Ruler of all, and why do those who have knowledge of him not see his days? 2 The landmarks are changed by evil men, they violently take away flocks, together with their keepers. 3 They send away the ass of him who has no father, they take the widow's ox for debt. 4 The crushed are turned out of the way; all the poor of the earth go into a secret place together. 5 Like asses in the waste land they go out to their work, looking for food with care; from the waste land they get bread for their children. 6 They get mixed grain from the field, and they take away the late fruit from the vines of those who have wealth. 7 They take their rest at night without clothing, and have no cover in the cold. 8 They are wet with the rain of the mountains, and get into the cracks of the rock for cover. 9 The child without a father is forced from its mother's breast, and they take the young children of the poor for debt. 10 Others go about without clothing, and though they have no food, they get in the grain from the fields. 11 Between the lines of olive-trees they make oil; though they have no drink, they are crushing out the grapes. 12 From the town come sounds of pain from those who are near death, and the soul of the wounded is crying out for help; but God does not take note of their prayer.
13 Then there are those who are haters of the light, who have no knowledge of its ways, and do not go in them. 14 He who is purposing death gets up before day, so that he may put to death the poor and those in need. 15 And the man whose desire is for the wife of another is waiting for the evening, saying, No eye will see me; and he puts a cover on his face. And in the night the thief goes about; 16 In the dark he makes holes in the walls of houses: in the daytime they are shutting themselves up, they have no knowledge of the light. 17 For the middle of the night is as morning to them, they are not troubled by the fear of the dark.
18 They go quickly on the face of the waters; their heritage is cursed in the earth; the steps of the crusher of grapes are not turned to their vine-garden. 19 Snow waters become dry with the heat: so do sinners go down into the underworld. 20 The public place of his town has no more knowledge of him, and his name has gone from the memory of men: he is rooted up like a dead tree. 21 He is not kind to the widow, and he has no pity for her child. 22 But God by his power gives long life to the strong; he gets up again, though he has no hope of life. 23 He takes away his fear of danger and gives him support; and his eyes are on his ways. 24 For a short time they are lifted up; then they are gone; they are made low, they are pulled off like fruit, and like the heads of grain they are cut off. 25 And if it is not so, now, who will make it clear that my words are false, and that what I say is of no value?
Bildad Denies That Man Can Be Justified with God
25 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite made answer and said, 2 Rule and power are his; he makes peace in his high places. 3 Is it possible for his armies to be numbered? and on whom is not his light shining? 4 How then is it possible for man to be upright before God? or how may he be clean who is a son of woman? 5 See, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not clean in his eyes: 6 How much less man who is an insect, and the son of man who is a worm!
Job Declares God's Sovereignty
26 1 Then Job made answer and said, 2 How have you given help to him who has no power! how have you been the salvation of the arm which has no strength! 3 How have you given teaching to him who has no wisdom, and fully made clear true knowledge! 4 To whom have your words been said? and whose spirit came out from you?
5 The shades in the underworld are shaking; the waters and those living in them. 6 The underworld is uncovered before him, and Destruction has no veil. 7 By his hand the north is stretched out in space, and the earth is hanging on nothing. 8 By him the waters are shut up in his thick clouds, and the cloud does not give way under them. 9 By him the face of his high seat is veiled, and his cloud stretched out over it. 10 By him a circle is marked out on the face of the waters, to the limits of the light and the dark. 11 The pillars of heaven are shaking, and are overcome by his sharp words. 12 By his power the sea was made quiet; and by his wisdom Rahab was wounded. 13 By his wind the heavens become bright: by his hand the quickly moving snake was cut through. 14 See, these are only the outskirts of his ways; and how small is that which comes to our ears about him! But the thunder of his acts of power is outside all knowledge.
Job Describes the Portion of the Wicked
27 1 And Job again took up the word and said, 2 By the life of God, who has taken away my right; and of the Ruler of all, who has made my soul bitter; 3 (For all my breath is still in me, and the spirit of God is my life;) 4 Truly, there is no deceit in my lips, and my tongue does not say what is false. 5 Let it be far from me! I will certainly not say that you are right! I will come to death before I give up my righteousness. 6 I will keep it safe, and will not let it go: my heart has nothing to say against any part of my life.
7 Let my hater be like the evil man, and let him who comes against me be as the sinner. 8 For what is the hope of the sinner when he is cut off, when God takes back his soul? 9 Will his cry come to the ears of God when he is in trouble? 10 Will he take delight in the Ruler of all, and make his prayer to God at all times?
11 I will give you teaching about the hand of God; I will not keep secret from you what is in the mind of the Ruler of all. 12 Truly, you have all seen it yourselves; why then have you become completely foolish? 13 This is the punishment of the evil-doer from God, and the heritage given to the cruel by the Ruler of all. 14 If his children are increased, it is for the sword; and his offspring have not enough bread. 15 When those of his house who are still living come to their end by disease, they are not put into the earth, and their widows are not weeping for them. 16 Though he may get silver together like dust, and make ready great stores of clothing; 17 He may get them ready, but the upright will put them on, and he who is free from sin will take the silver for a heritage. 18 His house has no more strength than a spider's thread, or a watchman's tent. 19 He goes to rest full of wealth, but does so for the last time: on opening his eyes, he sees it there no longer. 20 Fears overtake him like rushing waters; in the night the storm-wind takes him away. 21 The east wind takes him up and he is gone; he is forced violently out of his place. 22 God sends his arrows against him without mercy; he goes in flight before his hand. 23 Men make signs of joy because of him, driving him from his place with sounds of hissing.
Man's Quest for Wisdom
28 1 Truly there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is washed out. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and stone is changed into brass by the fire. 3 Man puts an end to the dark, searching out to the farthest limit the stones of the deep places of the dark. 4 He makes a deep mine far away from those living in the light of day; when they go about on the earth, they have no knowledge of those who are under them, who are hanging far from men, twisting from side to side on a cord. 5 As for the earth, bread comes out of it; but under its face it is turned up as if by fire. 6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. 7 No bird has knowledge of it, and the hawk's eye has never seen it. 8 The great beasts have not gone over it, and the cruel lion has not taken that way. 9 Man puts out his hand on the hard rock, overturning mountains by the roots. 10 He makes deep ways, cut through the rock, and his eye sees everything of value. 11 He keeps back the streams from flowing, and makes the secret things come out into the light. 12 But where may wisdom be seen? and where is the resting-place of knowledge? 13 Man has not seen the way to it, and it is not in the land of the living.
14 The deep waters say, It is not in me: and the sea says, It is not with me. 15 Gold may not be given for it, or a weight of silver in payment for it. 16 It may not be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the onyx of great price, or the sapphire. 17 Gold and glass are not equal to it in price, and it may not be exchanged for jewels of the best gold. 18 There is no need to say anything about coral or crystal; and the value of wisdom is greater than that of pearls. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia is not equal to it, and it may not be valued with the best gold.
20 From where then does wisdom come, and where is the resting-place of knowledge? 21 For it is kept secret from the eyes of all living, unseen by the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, We have only had word of it with our ears. 23 God has knowledge of the way to it, and of its resting-place; 24 For his eyes go to the ends of the earth, and he sees everything under heaven. 25 When he made a weight for the wind, measuring out the waters; 26 When he made a law for the rain, and a way for the thunder-flames; 27 Then he saw it, and put it on record; he gave it its fixed form, searching it out completely. 28 And he said to man, Truly the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to keep from evil is the way to knowledge.