Job 29-31 Revised Standard Version

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Job Recalls His Former Glory

29 And Job again took up his discourse, and said: 2  "Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; 3  when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; 4  as I was in my autumn days, when the friendship of God was upon my tent; 5  when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; 6  when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!

7  When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square, 8  the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood; 9  the princes refrained from talking, and laid their hand on their mouth; 10  the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. 11  When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved; 12  because I delivered the poor who cried, and the fatherless who had none to help him. 13  The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. 14  I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. 15  I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. 16  I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know. 17  I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made him drop his prey from his teeth.

18  Then I thought, 'I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand, 19  my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches, 20  my glory fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.' 21  "Men listened to me, and waited, and kept silence for my counsel. 22  After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them. 23  They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. 24  I smiled on them when they had no confidence; and the light of my countenance they did not cast down. 25  I chose their way, and sat as chief, and I dwelt like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.

Job Bewails His Present Affliction

30 "But now they make sport of me, men who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. 2  What could I gain from the strength of their hands, men whose vigor is gone? 3  Through want and hard hunger they gnaw the dry and desolate ground; 4  they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes, and to warm themselves the roots of the broom. 5  They are driven out from among men; they shout after them as after a thief. 6  In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell, in holes of the earth and of the rocks. 7  Among the bushes they bray; under the nettles they huddle together. 8  A senseless, a disreputable brood, they have been whipped out of the land. 9  "And now I have become their song, I am a byword to them. 10  They abhor me, they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me. 11  Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me, they have cast off restraint in my presence. 12  On my right hand the rabble rise, they drive me forth, they cast up against me their ways of destruction. 13  They break up my path, they promote my calamity; no one restrains them. 14  As through a wide breach they come; amid the crash they roll on.

15  Terrors are turned upon me; my honor is pursued as by the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud. 16  "And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. 17  The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest. 18  With violence it seizes my garment; it binds me about like the collar of my tunic. 19  God has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. 20  I cry to thee and thou dost not answer me; I stand, and thou dost not heed me. 21  Thou hast turned cruel to me; with the might of thy hand thou dost persecute me. 22  Thou liftest me up on the wind, thou makest me ride on it, and thou tossest me about in the roar of the storm. 23  Yea, I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. 24  "Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help? 25  Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? 26  But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came. 27  My heart is in turmoil, and is never still; days of affliction come to meet me. 28  I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly, and cry for help. 29  I am a brother of jackals, and a companion of ostriches. 30  My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat. 31  My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.

Job Asserts His Integrity

31 "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin? 2  What would be my portion from God above, and my heritage from the Almighty on high? 3  Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity? 4  Does not he see my ways, and number all my steps? 5  "If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hastened to deceit; 6  (Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!) 7  if my step has turned aside from the way, and my heart has gone after my eyes, and if any spot has cleaved to my hands; 8  then let me sow, and another eat; and let what grows for me be rooted out.

9  "If my heart has been enticed to a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door; 10  then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down upon her. 11  For that would be a heinous crime; that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges; 12  for that would be a fire which consumes unto Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase. 13  "If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me; 14  what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? 15  Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16  "If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17  or have eaten my morsel alone, and the fatherless has not eaten of it 18  (for from his youth I reared him as a father, and from his mother's womb I guided him); 19  if I have seen any one perish for lack of clothing, or a poor man without covering; 20  if his loins have not blessed me, and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 21  if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, because I saw help in the gate; 22  then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder, and let my arm be broken from its socket. 23  For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.

24  "If I have made gold my trust, or called fine gold my confidence; 25  if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, or because my hand had gotten much; 26  if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, 27  and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand; 28  this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I should have been false to God above. 29  "If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him that hated me, or exulted when evil overtook him 30  (I have not let my mouth sin by asking for his life with a curse); 31  if the men of my tent have not said, 'Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?' 32  (the sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the wayfarer);

33  if I have concealed my transgressions from men, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34  because I stood in great fear of the multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors-- 35  Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary! 36  Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as a crown; 37  I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him. 38  "If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept together; 39  if I have eaten its yield without payment, and caused the death of its owners; 40  let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley." The words of Job are ended.

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