Job Muses on the Brevity of Life
14 1 “Man, who is born of a woman,
is of few days, and full of trouble. 2 He comes forth like a flower, and is cut down.
He also flees like a shadow, and doesn’t continue. 3 Do you open your eyes on such a one,
and bring me into judgment with you? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
Not one. 5 Seeing his days are determined,
the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his bounds that he can’t pass; 6 Look away from him, that he may rest,
until he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day.
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
that the tender branch of it will not cease. 8 Though its root grows old in the earth,
and its stock dies in the ground, 9 yet through the scent of water it will bud,
and put forth boughs like a plant. 10 But man dies, and is laid low.
Yes, man gives up the spirit, and where is he? 11 As the waters fail from the sea,
and the river wastes and dries up, 12 so man lies down and doesn’t rise.
Until the heavens are no more, they shall not awake,
nor be roused out of their sleep. 13 “Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would keep me secret, until your wrath is past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my warfare would I wait,
until my release should come. 15 You would call, and I would answer you.
You would have a desire to the work of your hands.
16 But now you number my steps.
Don’t you watch over my sin? 17 My disobedience is sealed up in a bag.
You fasten up my iniquity. 18 “But the mountain falling comes to nothing.
The rock is removed out of its place; 19 The waters wear the stones.
The torrents of it wash away the dust of the earth.
So you destroy the hope of man. 20 You forever prevail against him, and he departs.
You change his face, and send him away. 21 His sons come to honor, and he doesn’t know it.
They are brought low, but he doesn’t perceive it of them. 22 But his flesh on him has pain,
and his soul within him mourns.”
Eliphaz Reprimands Job
15 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, 2 “Should a wise man answer with vain knowledge,
and fill himself with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk,
or with speeches with which he can do no good? 4 Yes, you do away with fear,
and hinder devotion before God. 5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the language of the crafty. 6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I.
Yes, your own lips testify against you. 7 “Are you the first man who was born?
Or were you brought forth before the hills? 8 Have you heard the secret counsel of God?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself? 9 What do you know, that we don’t know?
What do you understand, which is not in us? 10 With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men,
much elder than your father. 11 Are the consolations of God too small for you,
even the word that is gentle toward you? 12 Why does your heart carry you away?
Why do your eyes flash, 13 That you turn your spirit against God,
and let such words go out of your mouth? 14 What is man, that he should be clean?
What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? 15 Behold, he puts no trust in his holy ones.
Yes, the heavens are not clean in his sight; 16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
a man who drinks iniquity like water!
17 “I will show you, listen to me;
that which I have seen I will declare: 18 (Which wise men have told by their fathers,
and have not hidden it; 19 to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them): 20 the wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
even the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor. 21 A sound of terrors is in his ears.
In prosperity the destroyer shall come on him. 22 He doesn’t believe that he shall return out of darkness.
He is waited for by the sword. 23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand. 24 Distress and anguish make him afraid.
They prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle. 25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God,
and behaves himself proudly against the Almighty; 26 he runs at him with a stiff neck,
with the thick shields of his bucklers; 27 because he has covered his face with his fatness,
and gathered fat on his thighs. 28 He has lived in desolate cities,
in houses which no one inhabited,
which were ready to become heaps. 29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue,
neither shall their possessions be extended on the earth. 30 He shall not depart out of darkness.
The flame shall dry up his branches.
By the breath of God’s mouth shall he go away. 31 Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself;
for emptiness shall be his reward. 32 It shall be accomplished before his time.
His branch shall not be green. 33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine,
and shall cast off his flower as the olive tree. 34 For the company of the godless shall be barren,
and fire shall consume the tents of bribery. 35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Their heart prepares deceit.”
Job Complains of God's Dealings
16 1 Then Job answered, 2 “I have heard many such things.
You are all miserable comforters! 3 Shall vain words have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer? 4 I also could speak as you do.
If your soul were in my soul’s place,
I could join words together against you,
and shake my head at you, 5 but I would strengthen you with my mouth.
The solace of my lips would relieve you.
6 “Though I speak, my grief is not subsided.
Though I forbear, what am I eased? 7 But now, God, you have surely worn me out.
You have made desolate all my company. 8 You have shriveled me up. This is a witness against me.
My leanness rises up against me.
It testifies to my face. 9 He has torn me in his wrath, and persecuted me.
He has gnashed on me with his teeth.
My adversary sharpens his eyes on me. 10 They have gaped on me with their mouth.
They have struck me on the cheek reproachfully.
They gather themselves together against me. 11 God delivers me to the ungodly,
and casts me into the hands of the wicked. 12 I was at ease, and he broke me apart.
Yes, he has taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces.
He has also set me up for his target. 13 His archers surround me.
He splits my kidneys apart, and does not spare.
He pours out my gall on the ground. 14 He breaks me with breach on breach.
He runs on me like a giant. 15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin,
and have thrust my horn in the dust. 16 My face is red with weeping.
Deep darkness is on my eyelids.
17 Although there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure. 18 “Earth, don’t cover my blood.
Let my cry have no place to rest. 19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven.
He who vouches for me is on high. 20 My friends scoff at me.
My eyes pour out tears to God, 21 that he would maintain the right of a man with God,
of a son of man with his neighbor! 22 For when a few years are come,
I shall go the way from whence I shall not return.