Job Recalls His Former Glory
291 And Job again took up his parable, 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 shined upon my head, And by his light I walked through darkness; 4 As I was in the ripeness of my days, When the friendship of God was upon my tent; 5 When the Almighty was yet with me, And my children were about me; 6 When my steps were washed with butter, And the rock poured me out streams of oil!
7 When I went forth to the gate unto the city, When I prepared my seat in the street, 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, And the aged rose up 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 For when the ear heard [me], then it blessed me; And when the eye saw [me], it gave witness unto me: 12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, The fatherless also, that had none to help him. 13 The blessing of him that was ready 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 as a robe and a diadem. 15 I was eyes to the blind, And feet was I to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy: And the cause of him that I knew not I searched out. 17 And I brake the jaws of the unrighteous, And plucked the prey out of his teeth.
18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand: 19 My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lieth all night upon my branch; 20 My glory is fresh in me, And my bow is renewed in my hand. 21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, And kept silence for my counsel. 22 After my words they spake not again; And my speech distilled upon them. 23 And they waited for me as for the rain; And they opened their mouth wide [as] for the latter rain. 24 I smiled on them, when they had no confidence; And the light of my countenance they cast not down. 25 I chose out their way, and sat [as] chief, And dwelt as a king in the army, As one that comforteth the mourners.
Job Bewails His Present Affliction
301 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, Whose fathers I disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. 2 Yea, the strength of their hands, whereto should it profit me? Men in whom ripe age is perished. 3 They are gaunt with want and famine; They gnaw the dry ground, in the gloom of wasteness and desolation. 4 They pluck salt-wort by the bushes; And the roots of the broom are their food. 5 They are driven forth from the midst [of men]; They cry after them as after a thief; 6 So that they dwell in frightful valleys, In holes of the earth and of the rocks. 7 Among the bushes they bray; Under the nettles they are gathered together. 8 [They are] children of fools, yea, children of base men; They were scourged out of the land. 9 And now I am become their song, Yea, I am a byword unto them. 10 They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, And spare not to spit in my face. 11 For he hath loosed his cord, and afflicted me; And they have cast off the bridle before me. 12 Upon my right hand rise the rabble; They thrust aside my feet, And they cast up against me their ways of destruction. 13 They mar my path, They set forward my calamity, [Even] men that have no helper. 14 As through a wide breach they come: In the midst of the ruin they roll themselves [upon me].
15 Terrors are turned upon me; They chase mine honor as the wind; And my welfare is passed away as a cloud. 16 And now my soul is poured out within me; Days of affliction have taken hold upon me. 17 In the night season my bones are pierced in me, And the [pains] that gnaw me take no rest. 18 By [God's] great force is my garment disfigured; It bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. 19 He hath cast me into the mire, And I am become like dust and ashes. 20 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not answer me: I stand up, and thou gazest at me. 21 Thou art turned to be cruel to me; With the might of thy hand thou persecutest me. 22 Thou liftest me up to the wind, thou causest me to ride [upon it]; And thou dissolvest me in the storm. 23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, And to the house appointed for all living. 24 Howbeit doth not one stretch out the hand in his fall? Or in his calamity therefore cry for help? 25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? 26 When I looked for good, then evil came; And when I waited for light, there came darkness. 27 My heart is troubled, and resteth not; Days of affliction are come upon me. 28 I go mourning without the sun: I stand up in the assembly, and cry for help. 29 I am a brother to jackals, And a companion to ostriches. 30 My skin is black, [and falleth] from me, And my bones are burned with heat. 31 Therefore is my harp [turned] to mourning, And my pipe into the voice of them that weep.
Job Asserts His Integrity
311 I made a covenant with mine eyes; How then should I look upon a virgin? 2 For what is the portion from God above, And the heritage from the Almighty on high? 3 Is it not calamity to the unrighteous, And disaster to the workers of iniquity? 4 Doth not he see my ways, And number all my steps? 5 If I have walked with falsehood, And my foot hath hasted to deceit 6 (Let me be weighed in an even balance, That God may know mine integrity); 7 If my step hath turned out of the way, And my heart walked after mine eyes, And if any spot hath cleaved to my hands: 8 Then let me sow, and let another eat; Yea, let the produce of my field be rooted out.
9 If my heart hath been enticed unto a woman, And I have laid wait at my neighbor's door; 10 Then let my wife grind unto another, And let others bow down upon her. 11 For that were a heinous crime; Yea, it were an iniquity to be punished by the judges: 12 For it is a fire that consumeth unto Destruction, And would root out all mine increase. 13 If I have despised the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant, When they contended with me; 14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? And when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? 15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?
16 If I have withheld the poor from [their] desire, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 Or have eaten my morsel alone, And the fatherless hath not eaten thereof 18 (Nay, from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, And her have I guided from my mother's womb); 19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, Or that the needy had no covering; 20 If his loins have not blessed me, And if he hath not been warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, Because I saw my help in the gate: 22 Then let my shoulder fall from the shoulder-blade, And mine arm be broken from the bone. 23 For calamity from God is a terror to me, And by reason of his majesty I can do nothing.
24 If I have made gold my hope, And have said to the fine gold, [Thou art] my confidence; 25 If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, And because my hand had gotten much; 26 If I have beheld the sun when it shined, Or the moon walking in brightness, 27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, And my mouth hath kissed my hand: 28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judges; For I should have denied the God that is above. 29 If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, Or lifted up myself when evil found him; 30 (Yea, I have not suffered by mouth to sin By asking his life with a curse); 31 If the men of my tent have not said, Who can find one that hath not been filled with his meat? 32 (The sojourner hath not lodged in the street; But I have opened my doors to the traveller);
33 If like Adam I have covered my transgressions, By hiding mine iniquity in my bosom, 34 Because I feared the great multitude, And the contempt of families terrified me, So that I kept silence, and went not out of the door— 35 Oh that I had one to hear me! (Lo, here is my signature, let the Almighty answer me); And [that I had] the indictment which mine adversary hath written! 36 Surely I would carry it upon my shoulder; I would bind it unto me as a crown: 37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; As a prince would I go near unto him. 38 If my land crieth out against me, And the furrows thereof weep together; 39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, Or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: 40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, And cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.