17 1 My spirit is broken, my days are extinct, the grave is ready for me. 2 Surely there are mockers around me, and my eye dwells on their provocation. 3 "Lay down a pledge for me with yourself; who is there that will give surety for me? 4 Since you have closed their minds to understanding, therefore you will not let them triumph. 5 Those who denounce friends for reward- the eyes of their children will fail. 6 "He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom people spit. 7 My eye has grown dim from grief, and all my members are like a shadow. 8 The upright are appalled at this, and the innocent stir themselves up against the godless. 9 Yet the righteous hold to their way, and they that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger.
10 But you, come back now, all of you, and I shall not find a sensible person among you. 11 My days are past, my plans are broken off, the desires of my heart. 12 They make night into day; "The light,' they say, "is near to the darkness.' 13 If I look for Sheol as my house, if I spread my couch in darkness, 14 if I say to the Pit, "You are my father,' and to the worm, "My mother,' or "My sister,' 15 where then is my hope? Who will see my hope? 16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol? Shall we descend together into the dust?"
Bildad Describes the Fate of the Wicked
18 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered: 2 "How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we shall speak. 3 Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight? 4 You who tear yourself in your anger- shall the earth be forsaken because of you, or the rock be removed out of its place?
5 "Surely the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of their fire does not shine. 6 The light is dark in their tent, and the lamp above them is put out. 7 Their strong steps are shortened, and their own schemes throw them down. 8 For they are thrust into a net by their own feet, and they walk into a pitfall. 9 A trap seizes them by the heel; a snare lays hold of them. 10 A rope is hid for them in the ground, a trap for them in the path.
11 Terrors frighten them on every side, and chase them at their heels. 12 Their strength is consumed by hunger, and calamity is ready for their stumbling. 13 By disease their skin is consumed, the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs. 14 They are torn from the tent in which they trusted, and are brought to the king of terrors. 15 In their tents nothing remains; sulfur is scattered upon their habitations. 16 Their roots dry up beneath, and their branches wither above. 17 Their memory perishes from the earth, and they have no name in the street. 18 They are thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world. 19 They have no offspring or descendant among their people, and no survivor where they used to live. 20 They of the west are appalled at their fate, and horror seizes those of the east. 21 Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, such is the place of those who do not know God."
Job's Faith That God Will Vindicate Him
19 1 Then Job answered: 2 "How long will you torment me, and break me in pieces with words? 3 These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me? 4 And even if it is true that I have erred, my error remains with me. 5 If indeed you magnify yourselves against me, and make my humiliation an argument against me, 6 know then that God has put me in the wrong, and closed his net around me. 7 Even when I cry out, "Violence!' I am not answered; I call aloud, but there is no justice.
8 He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths. 9 He has stripped my glory from me, and taken the crown from my head. 10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone, he has uprooted my hope like a tree. 11 He has kindled his wrath against me, and counts me as his adversary. 12 His troops come on together; they have thrown up siegeworks against me, and encamp around my tent. 13 "He has put my family far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. 14 My relatives and my close friends have failed me; 15 the guests in my house have forgotten me; my serving girls count me as a stranger; I have become an alien in their eyes. 16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must myself plead with him. 17 My breath is repulsive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. 18 Even young children despise me; when I rise, they talk against me. 19 All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me. 20 My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. 21 Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! 22 Why do you, like God, pursue me, never satisfied with my flesh?
23 "O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! 24 O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; 26 and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! 28 If you say, "How we will persecute him!' and, "The root of the matter is found in him'; 29 be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, so that you may know there is a judgment."
Zophar Depicts the Portion of the Wicked
20 1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered: 2 "Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer, because of the agitation within me. 3 I hear censure that insults me, and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me. 4 Do you not know this from of old, ever since mortals were placed on earth, 5 that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless is but for a moment? 6 Even though they mount up high as the heavens, and their head reaches to the clouds, 7 they will perish forever like their own dung; those who have seen them will say, "Where are they?' 8 They will fly away like a dream, and not be found; they will be chased away like a vision of the night. 9 The eye that saw them will see them no more, nor will their place behold them any longer.
10 Their children will seek the favor of the poor, and their hands will give back their wealth. 11 Their bodies, once full of youth, will lie down in the dust with them. 12 "Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth, though they hide it under their tongues, 13 though they are loath to let it go, and hold it in their mouths, 14 yet their food is turned in their stomachs; it is the venom of asps within them. 15 They swallow down riches and vomit them up again; God casts them out of their bellies. 16 They will suck the poison of asps; the tongue of a viper will kill them. 17 They will not look on the rivers, the streams flowing with honey and curds. 18 They will give back the fruit of their toil, and will not swallow it down; from the profit of their trading they will get no enjoyment. 19 For they have crushed and abandoned the poor, they have seized a house that they did not build. 20 "They knew no quiet in their bellies; in their greed they let nothing escape. 21 There was nothing left after they had eaten; therefore their prosperity will not endure. 22 In full sufficiency they will be in distress; all the force of misery will come upon them.
23 To fill their belly to the full God will send his fierce anger into them, and rain it upon them as their food. 24 They will flee from an iron weapon; a bronze arrow will strike them through. 25 It is drawn forth and comes out of their body, and the glittering point comes out of their gall; terrors come upon them. 26 Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures; a fire fanned by no one will devour them; what is left in their tent will be consumed. 27 The heavens will reveal their iniquity, and the earth will rise up against them. 28 The possessions of their house will be carried away, dragged off in the day of God's wrath. 29 This is the portion of the wicked from God, the heritage decreed for them by God."