Job Muses on the Brevity of Life
141 Man, that is born of a woman, Is of few days, and full of trouble. 2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: He fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 3 And dost thou open thine eyes upon such a one, And bringest me into judgment with thee? 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 thee, And thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; 6 Look away from him, that he may rest, Till he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day.
7 For there is hope of a tree, If it be cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, And the stock thereof die in the ground; 9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, And put forth boughs like a plant. 10 But man dieth, and is laid low: Yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11 [As] the waters fail from the sea, And the river wasteth and drieth up; 12 So man lieth down and riseth not: Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, Nor be roused out of their sleep. 13 Oh that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol, That thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, That thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live [again]? All the days of my warfare would I wait, Till my release should come. 15 Thou wouldest call, and I would answer thee: Thou wouldest have a desire to the work of thy hands.
16 But now thou numberest my steps: Dost thou not watch over my sin? 17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And thou fastenest up mine iniquity. 18 But the mountain falling cometh to nought; And the rock is removed out of its place; 19 The waters wear the stones; The overflowings thereof wash away the dust of the earth: So thou destroyest the hope of man. 20 Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth; Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away. 21 His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; And they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. 22 But his flesh upon him hath pain, And his soul within him mourneth.
Eliphaz Reprimands Job
151 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, 2 Should a wise man make answer with vain knowledge, And fill himself with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, Or with speeches wherewith he can do no good? 4 Yea, thou doest away with fear, And hinderest devotion before God. 5 For thine iniquity teacheth thy mouth, And thou choosest the tongue of the crafty. 6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I; Yea, thine own lips testify against thee. 7 Art thou the first man that was born? Or wast thou brought forth before the hills? 8 Hast thou heard the secret counsel of God? And dost thou limit wisdom to thyself? 9 What knowest thou, that we know not? What understandest thou, which is not in us? 10 With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men, Much elder than thy father. 11 Are the consolations of God too small for thee, Even the word that is gentle toward thee? 12 Why doth thy heart carry thee away? And why do thine eyes flash, 13 That against God thou turnest thy spirit, And lettest words go out of thy mouth? 14 What is man, that he should be clean? And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? 15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his holy ones; Yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight: 16 How much less one that is abominable and corrupt, A man that drinketh iniquity like water!
17 I will show thee, hear thou me; And that which I have seen I will declare: 18 (Which wise men have told From their fathers, and have not hid it; 19 Unto whom alone the land was given, And no stranger passed among them): 20 The wicked man travaileth with 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 upon him. 22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, And he is waited for of the sword. 23 He wandereth abroad for bread, [saying], Where is it? He knoweth 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 hath stretched out his hand against God, And behaveth himself proudly against the Almighty; 26 He runneth upon him with a [stiff] neck, With the thick bosses of his bucklers; 27 Because he hath covered his face with his fatness, And gathered fat upon his loins; 28 And he hath dwelt in desolate cities, In houses which no man 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, And by the breath of [God's] mouth shall he go away. 31 Let him not trust in vanity, deceiving himself; For vanity shall be his recompense. 32 It shall be accomplished before his time, And 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, And their heart prepareth deceit.
Job Complains of God's Dealings
161 Then Job answered and said, 2 I have heard many such things: Miserable comforters are ye all. 3 Shall vain words have an end? Or what provoketh thee that thou answerest? 4 I also could speak as ye do; If your soul were in my soul's stead, I could join words together against you, And shake my head at you. 5 [But] I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the solace of my lips would assuage [your grief].
6 Though I speak, my grief is not assuaged; And though I forbear, what am I eased? 7 But now he hath made me weary: Thou hast made desolate all my company. 8 And thou hast laid fast hold on me, [which] is a witness [against me]: And my leanness riseth up against me, It testifieth to my face. 9 He hath torn me in his wrath, and persecuted me; He hath gnashed upon me with his teeth: Mine adversary sharpeneth his eyes upon me. 10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; They have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully: They gather themselves together against me. 11 God delivereth me to the ungodly, And casteth me into the hands of the wicked. 12 I was at ease, and he brake me asunder; Yea, he hath taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces: He hath also set me up for his mark. 13 His archers compass me round about; He cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; He poureth out my gall upon the ground. 14 He breaketh me with breach upon breach; He runneth upon me like a giant. 15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, And have laid my horn in the dust. 16 My face is red with weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
17 Although there is no violence in my hands, And my prayer is pure. 18 O earth, cover not thou my blood, And let my cry have no [resting] -place. 19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, And he that voucheth for me is on high. 20 My friends scoff at me: [But] mine eye poureth out tears unto God, 21 That he would maintain the right of a man with God, And of a son of man with his neighbor! 22 For when a few years are come, I shall go the way whence I shall not return.