17 1 My spirit is broken, my days are ended, the last resting-place is ready for me. 2 Truly, those who make sport of me are round about me, and my eyes become dark because of their bitter laughing. 3 Be pleased, now, to be responsible for me to yourself; for there is no other who will put his hand in mine. 4 You have kept their hearts from wisdom: for this cause you will not give them honour. 5 As for him who is false to his friend for a reward, light will be cut off from the eyes of his children. 6 He has made me a word of shame to the peoples; I have become a mark for their sport. 7 My eyes have become dark because of my pain, and all my body is wasted to a shade. 8 The upright are surprised at this, and he who has done no wrong is troubled because of the evil-doers. 9 Still the upright keeps on his way, and he who has clean hands gets new strength.
10 But come back, now, all of you, come; and I will not see a wise man among you. 11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the desires of my heart. 12 They are changing night into day; they say, The light is near the dark. 13 If I am waiting for the underworld as my house, if I have made my bed in the dark; 14 If I say to the earth, You are my father; and to the worm, My mother and my sister; 15 Where then is my hope? and who will see my desire? 16 Will they go down with me into the underworld? Will we go down together into the dust?
Bildad Describes the Fate of the Wicked
18 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite made answer and said, 2 How long will it be before you have done talking? Get wisdom, and then we will say what is in our minds. 3 Why do we seem as beasts in your eyes, and as completely without knowledge? 4 But come back, now, come: you who are wounding yourself in your passion, will the earth be given up because of you, or a rock be moved out of its place?
5 For the light of the sinner is put out, and the flame of his fire is not shining. 6 The light is dark in his tent, and the light shining over him is put out. 7 The steps of his strength become short, and by his design destruction overtakes him. 8 His feet take him into the net, and he goes walking into the cords. 9 His foot is taken in the net; he comes into its grip. 10 The twisted cord is put secretly in the earth to take him, and the cord is placed in his way.
11 He is overcome by fears on every side, they go after him at every step. 12 His strength is made feeble for need of food, and destruction is waiting for his falling footstep. 13 His skin is wasted by disease, and his body is food for the worst of diseases. 14 He is pulled out of his tent where he was safe, and he is taken away to the king of fears. 15 In his tent will be seen that which is not his, burning stone is dropped on his house. 16 Under the earth his roots are dry, and over it his branch is cut off. 17 His memory is gone from the earth, and in the open country there is no knowledge of his name. 18 He is sent away from the light into the dark; he is forced out of the world. 19 He has no offspring or family among his people, and in his living-place there is no one of his name. 20 At his fate those of the west are shocked, and those of the east are overcome with fear. 21 Truly, these are the houses of the sinner, and this is the place of him who has no knowledge of God.
Job's Faith That God Will Vindicate Him
19 1 And Job made answer and said, 2 How long will you make my life bitter, crushing me with words? 3 Ten times now you have made sport of me; it gives you no sense of shame to do me wrong. 4 And, truly, if I have been in error, the effect of my error is only on myself. 5 If you make yourselves great against me, using my punishment as an argument against me, 6 Be certain that it is God who has done me wrong, and has taken me in his net. 7 Truly, I make an outcry against the violent man, but there is no answer: I give a cry for help, but no one takes up my cause.
8 My way is walled up by him so that I may not go by: he has made my roads dark. 9 He has put off my glory from me, and taken the crown from my head. 10 I am broken down by him on every side, and I am gone; my hope is uprooted like a tree. 11 His wrath is burning against me, and I am to him as one of his haters. 12 His armies come on together, they make their road high against me, and put up their tents round mine. 13 He has taken my brothers far away from me; they have seen my fate and have become strange to me. 14 My relations and my near friends have given me up, and those living in my house have put me out of their minds. 15 I am strange to my women-servants, and seem to them as one from another country. 16 At my cry my servant gives me no answer, and I have to make a prayer to him. 17 My breath is strange to my wife, and I am disgusting to the offspring of my mother's body. 18 Even young children have no respect for me; when I get up their backs are turned on me. 19 All the men of my circle keep away from me; and those dear to me are turned against me. 20 My bones are joined to my skin, and I have got away with my flesh in my teeth. 21 Have pity on me, have pity on me, O my friends! for the hand of God is on me. 22 Why are you cruel to me, like God, for ever saying evil against me?
23 If only my words might be recorded! if they might be put in writing in a book! 24 And with an iron pen and lead be cut into the rock for ever! 25 But I am certain that he who will take up my cause is living, and that in time to come he will take his place on the dust; 26 And ... without my flesh I will see God; 27 Whom I will see on my side, and not as one strange to me. My heart is broken with desire. 28 If you say, How cruel we will be to him! because the root of sin is clearly in him: 29 Be in fear of the sword, for the sword is the punishment for such things, so that you may be certain that there is a judge.
Zophar Depicts the Portion of the Wicked
20 1 Then Zophar the Naamathite made answer and said, 2 For this cause my thoughts are troubling me and driving me on. 3 I have to give ear to arguments which put me to shame, and your answers to me are wind without wisdom. 4 Have you knowledge of this from early times, when man was placed on the earth, 5 That the pride of the sinner is short, and the joy of the evil-doer but for a minute? 6 Though he is lifted up to the heavens, and his head goes up to the clouds; 7 Like the waste from his body he comes to an end for ever: those who have seen him say, Where is he? 8 He is gone like a dream, and is not seen again; he goes in flight like a vision of the night. 9 The eye which saw him sees him no longer; and his place has no more knowledge of him.
10 His children are hoping that the poor will be kind to them, and his hands give back his wealth. 11 His bones are full of young strength, but it will go down with him into the dust. 12 Though evil-doing is sweet in his mouth, and he keeps it secretly under his tongue; 13 Though he takes care of it, and does not let it go, but keeps it still in his mouth; 14 His food becomes bitter in his stomach; the poison of snakes is inside him. 15 He takes down wealth as food, and sends it up again; it is forced out of his stomach by God. 16 He takes the poison of snakes into his mouth, the tongue of the snake is the cause of his death. 17 Let him not see the rivers of oil, the streams of honey and milk. 18 He is forced to give back the fruit of his work, and may not take it for food; he has no joy in the profit of his trading. 19 Because he has been cruel to the poor, turning away from them in their trouble; because he has taken a house by force which he did not put up; 20 There is no peace for him in his wealth, and no salvation for him in those things in which he took delight. 21 He had never enough for his desire; for this cause his well-being will quickly come to an end. 22 Even when his wealth is great, he is full of care, for the hand of everyone who is in trouble is turned against him.
23 God gives him his desire, and sends the heat of his wrath on him, making it come down on him like rain. 24 He may go in flight from the iron spear, but the arrow from the bow of brass will go through him; 25 He is pulling it out, and it comes out of his back; and its shining point comes out of his side; he is overcome by fears. 26 All his wealth is stored up for the dark: a fire not made by man sends destruction on him, and on everything in his tent. 27 The heavens make clear his sin, and the earth gives witness against him. 28 The produce of his house is taken away into another country, like things given into the hands of others in the day of wrath. 29 This is the reward of the evil man, and the heritage given to him by God.