Job Recalls His Former Glory
291 And Job continued his parable and said, 2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when +God preserved me; 3 When his lamp shone over my head, [and] by his light I walked through darkness; 4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret counsel of +God was over my tent, 5 When the Almighty was yet with me, my young men round about me; 6 When my steps were bathed in milk, and the rock poured out beside me rivers of oil! ...
7 When I went out to the gate by the city, when I prepared my seat on the broadway, 8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves; and the aged arose [and] stood up; 9 Princes refrained from talking, and laid the hand on their mouth; 10 The voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue cleaved to their palate. 11 When the ear heard [me], then it blessed me, and when the eye saw [me], it gave witness to me; 12 For I delivered the afflicted that cried, and the fatherless who had no helper. 13 The blessing of him that was perishing 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 mantle and a turban. 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 which I knew not I searched out; 17 And I broke the jaws of the unrighteous, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
18 And I said, I shall die in my nest, and multiply my days as the sand; 19 My root shall be spread out to the waters, and the dew will lie all night on my branch; 20 My glory shall be fresh in me, and my bow be renewed in my hand. 21 Unto me they listened, and waited, and kept silence for my counsel: 22 After my words they spoke not again, and my speech dropped upon them; 23 And they waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. 24 [If] I laughed on them, they believed [it] not; and they troubled not the serenity of my countenance. 25 I chose their way, and sat as chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth mourners.
Job Bewails His Present Affliction
301 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. 2 Yea, whereto [should] the strength of their hands [profit] me, [men] in whom vigour hath perished? 3 Withered up through want and hunger, they flee into waste places long since desolate and desert: 4 They gather the salt-wort among the bushes, and the roots of the broom for their food. 5 They are driven forth from among [men]—they cry after them as after a thief— 6 To dwell in gloomy gorges, in caves of the earth and the rocks: 7 They bray among the bushes; under the brambles they are gathered together: 8 Sons of fools, and sons of nameless sires, they are driven out of the land. 9 And now I am their song, yea, I am their byword. 10 They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, yea, they spare not to spit in my face. 11 For he hath loosed my cord and afflicted me; so they cast off the bridle before me. 12 At [my] right hand rise the young brood; they push away my feet, and raise up against me their pernicious ways; 13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, without any to help them; 14 They come in as through a wide breach: amid the confusion they roll themselves onward.
15 Terrors are turned against me; they pursue mine honour as the wind; and my welfare is passed away like a cloud. 16 And now my soul is poured out in me; days of affliction have taken hold upon me. 17 The night pierceth through my bones [and detacheth them] from me, and my gnawing pains take no rest: 18 By their great force they have become my raiment; they bind me about as the collar of my coat. 19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. 20 I cry unto thee, and thou answerest me not; I stand up, and thou lookest at me. 21 Thou art changed to a cruel one to me; with the strength of thy hand thou pursuest me. 22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to be borne away, and dissolvest my substance. 23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and into the house of assemblage for all living. 24 Indeed, no prayer [availeth] when he stretcheth out [his] hand: though they cry when he destroyeth. 25 Did not I weep for him whose days were hard? was not my soul grieved for the needy? 26 For I expected good, and there came evil; and I waited for light, but there came darkness. 27 My bowels well up, and rest not; days of affliction have confronted me. 28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up, I cry in the congregation. 29 I am become a brother to jackals, and a companion of ostriches. 30 My skin is become black [and falleth] off me, and my bones are parched with heat. 31 My harp also is [turned] to mourning, and my pipe into the voice of weepers.
Job Asserts His Integrity
311 I made a covenant with mine eyes; and how should I fix my regard upon a maid? 2 For what would have been [my] portion of +God from above, and what the heritage of the Almighty from on high? 3 Is not calamity for the unrighteous? and misfortune for 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, and +God will take knowledge of my blamelessness;) 7 If my step have turned out of the way, and my heart followed mine eyes, and if any blot cleaveth to my hands; 8 Let me sow, and another eat; and let mine offspring be rooted out.
9 If my heart have been enticed unto a woman, so that I laid wait at my neighbour's door, 10 Let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down upon her. 11 For this is an infamy; yea, it is an iniquity [to be judged by] the judges: 12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase. 13 If I have despised the cause of my bondman or of my bondmaid, when they contended with me, 14 What then should I do when God riseth up? and if he visited, what should 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 caused the eyes of the widow to fail; 17 Or have eaten my morsel alone, so that the fatherless ate not thereof, 18 (For from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, and I have guided the [widow] from my mother's womb;) 19 If I have seen any perishing for want of clothing, or any needy without covering; 20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my lambs; 21 If I have lifted up my hand against an orphan, 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 was a terror to me, and by reason of his excellency I was powerless.
24 If I have made gold my hope, or said to the fine gold, My confidence! 25 If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gotten much; 26 If I beheld the sun when it shone, or the moon walking in brightness, 27 And my heart have been secretly enticed, so that my mouth kissed my hand: 28 This also would be an iniquity for the judge, for I should have denied the God who is above. 29 If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, and exulted when evil befell him; 30 (Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by asking his life with a curse;) 31 If the men of my tent said not, Who shall find one that hath not been satisfied with his meat?— 32 The stranger did not lodge without; I opened my doors to the pathway.
33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, 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! Behold my signature: let the Almighty answer me! And let mine opponent write an accusation! 36 Would I not take it upon my shoulder? I would bind it on to me [as] a crown; 37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I come near to him. 38 If my land cry out against me, and its furrows weep together; 39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, and have tormented to death the souls of its owners: 40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and tares instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.