Job Recalls His Former Glory
291 And Job again took up the word and said, 2 If only I might again be as I was in the months which are past, in the days when God was watching over me! 3 When his light was shining over my head, and when I went through the dark by his light. 4 As I was in my flowering years, when my tent was covered by the hand of God; 5 While the Ruler of all was still with me, and my children were round me; 6 When my steps were washed with milk, and rivers of oil were flowing out of the rock for me.
7 When I went out of my door to go up to the town, and took my seat in the public place, 8 The young men saw me, and went away, and the old men got up from their seats; 9 The rulers kept quiet, and put their hands on their mouths; 10 The chiefs kept back their words, and their tongues were joined to the roofs of their mouths. 11 For when it came to their ears, men said that I was truly happy; and when their eyes saw, they gave witness to me; 12 For I was a saviour to the poor when he was crying for help, to the child with no father, and to him who had no supporter. 13 The blessing of him who was near to destruction came on me, and I put a song of joy into the widow's heart. 14 I put on righteousness as my clothing, and was full of it; right decisions were to me a robe and a head-dress. 15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet to him who had no power of walking. 16 I was a father to the poor, searching out the cause of him who was strange to me. 17 By me the great teeth of the evil-doer were broken, and I made him give up what he had violently taken away.
18 Then I said, I will come to my end with my children round me, my days will be as the sand in number; 19 My root will be open to the waters, and the night mist will be on my branches, 20 My glory will be ever new, and my bow will be readily bent in my hand. 21 Men gave ear to me, waiting and keeping quiet for my suggestions. 22 After I had said what was in my mind, they were quiet and let my words go deep into their hearts; 23 They were waiting for me as for the rain, opening their mouths wide as for the spring rains. 24 I was laughing at them when they had no hope, and the light of my face was never clouded by their fear. 25 I took my place as a chief, guiding them on their way, and I was as a king among his army. ...
Job Bewails His Present Affliction
301 But now those who are younger than I make sport of me; those whose fathers I would not have put with the dogs of my flocks. 2 Of what use is the strength of their hands to me? all force is gone from them. 3 They are wasted for need of food, biting the dry earth; their only hope of life is in the waste land. 4 They are pulling off the salt leaves from the brushwood, and making a meal of roots. 5 They are sent out from among their townsmen, men are crying after them as thieves 6 They have to get a resting-place in the hollows of the valleys, in holes of the earth and rocks. 7 They make noises like asses among the brushwood; they get together under the thorns. 8 They are sons of shame, and of men without a name, who have been forced out of the land. 9 And now I have become their song, and I am a word of shame to them. 10 I am disgusting to them; they keep away from me, and put marks of shame on me. 11 For he has made loose the cord of my bow, and put me to shame; he has sent down my flag to the earth before me. 12 The lines of his men of war put themselves in order, and make high their ways of destruction against me: 13 They have made waste my roads, with a view to my destruction; his bowmen come round about me; 14 As through a wide broken place in the wall they come on, I am overturned by the shock of their attack.
15 Fears have come on me; my hope is gone like the wind, and my well-being like a cloud. 16 But now my soul is turned to water in me, days of trouble overtake me: 17 The flesh is gone from my bones, and they give me no rest; there is no end to my pains. 18 With great force he takes a grip of my clothing, pulling me by the neck of my coat. 19 Truly God has made me low, even to the earth, and I have become like dust. 20 You give no answer to my cry, and take no note of my prayer. 21 You have become cruel to me; the strength of your hand is hard on me. 22 Lifting me up, you make me go on the wings of the wind; I am broken up by the storm. 23 For I am certain that you will send me back to death, and to the meeting-place ordered for all living. 24 Has not my hand been stretched out in help to the poor? have I not been a saviour to him in his trouble? 25 Have I not been weeping for the crushed? and was not my soul sad for him who was in need? 26 For I was looking for good, and evil came; I was waiting for light, and it became dark. 27 My feelings are strongly moved, and give me no rest; days of trouble have overtaken me. 28 I go about in dark clothing, uncomforted; I get up in the public place, crying out for help. 29 I have become a brother to the jackals, and go about in the company of ostriches. 30 My skin is black and dropping off me; and my bones are burning with the heat of my disease. 31 And my music has been turned to sorrow, and the sound of my pipe into the noise of weeping.
Job Asserts His Integrity
311 I made an agreement with my eyes; how then might my eyes be looking on a virgin? 2 For what is God's reward from on high, or the heritage given by the Ruler of all from heaven? 3 Is it not trouble for the sinner, and destruction for the evil-doers? 4 Does he not see my ways, and are not my steps all numbered? 5 If I have gone in false ways, or my foot has been quick in working deceit; 6 (Let me be measured in upright scales, and let God see my righteousness:) 7 If my steps have been turned out of the way, or if my heart went after my eyes, or if the property of another is in my hands; 8 Let me put seed in the earth for another to have the fruit of it, and let my produce be uprooted.
9 If my heart went after another man's wife, or if I was waiting secretly at my neighbour's door; 10 Then let my wife give pleasure to another man and let others make use of her body. 11 For that would be a crime; it would be an act for which punishment would be measured out by the judges: 12 It would be a fire burning even to destruction, and taking away all my produce. 13 If I did wrong in the cause of my man-servant, or my woman-servant, when they went to law with me; 14 What then will I do when God comes as my judge? and what answer may I give to his questions? 15 Did not God make him as well as me? did he not give us life in our mothers' bodies?
16 If I kept back the desire of the poor; if the widow's eye was looking for help to no purpose; 17 If I kept my food for myself, and did not give some of it to the child with no father; 18 (For I was cared for by God as by a father from my earliest days; he was my guide from the body of my mother;) 19 If I saw one near to death for need of clothing, and that the poor had nothing covering him; 20 If his back did not give me a blessing, and the wool of my sheep did not make him warm; 21 If my hand had been lifted up against him who had done no wrong, when I saw that I was supported by the judges; 22 May my arm be pulled from my body, and be broken from its base. 23 For the fear of God kept me back, and because of his power I might not do such things.
24 If I made gold my hope, or if I ever said to the best gold, I have put my faith in you; 25 If I was glad because my wealth was great, and because my hand had got together a great store; 26 If, when I saw the sun shining, and the moon moving on its bright way, 27 A secret feeling of worship came into my heart, and my hand gave kisses from my mouth; 28 That would have been another sin to be rewarded with punishment by the judges; for I would have been false to God on high. 29 If I was glad at the trouble of my hater, and gave cries of joy when evil overtook him; 30 (For I did not let my mouth give way to sin, in putting a curse on his life;) 31 If the men of my tent did not say, Who has not had full measure of his meat? 32 The traveller did not take his night's rest in the street, and my doors were open to anyone on a journey;
33 If I kept my evil doings covered, and my sin in the secret of my breast, 34 For fear of the great body of people, or for fear that families might make sport of me, so that I kept quiet, and did not go out of my door; 35 If only God would give ear to me, and the Ruler of all would give me an answer! or if what he has against me had been put in writing! 36 Truly I would take up the book in my hands; it would be to me as a crown; 37 I would make clear the number of my steps, I would put it before him like a prince! The words of Job are ended. 38 If my land has made an outcry against me, or the ploughed earth has been in sorrow; 39 If I have taken its produce without payment, causing the death of its owners; 40 Then in place of grain let thorns come up, and in place of barley evil-smelling plants.