Job Recalls His Former Glory
291 Job again took up his discourse and said: 2 "O that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; 3 when his lamp shone over my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; 4 when I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent; 5 when the Almighty was still with me, when my children were around me; 6 when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square, 8 the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose up and stood; 9 the nobles refrained from talking, and laid their hands on their mouths; 10 the voices of princes were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 11 When the ear heard, it commended me, and when the eye saw, it approved; 12 because I delivered the poor who cried, and the orphan who had no helper. 13 The blessing of the wretched 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 like a robe and a turban. 15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy, and I championed the cause of the stranger. 17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made them drop their prey from their teeth.
18 Then I thought, "I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days like the phoenix; 19 my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches; 20 my glory was fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.' 21 "They listened to me, and waited, and kept silence for my counsel. 22 After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them like dew. 23 They waited for me as for the rain; they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. 24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence; and the light of my countenance they did not extinguish. 25 I chose their way, and sat as chief, and I lived like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.
Job Bewails His Present Affliction
301 "But now they make sport of me, those who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. 2 What could I gain from the strength of their hands? All their vigor is gone. 3 Through want and hard hunger they gnaw the dry and desolate ground, 4 they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes, and to warm themselves the roots of broom. 5 They are driven out from society; people shout after them as after a thief. 6 In the gullies of wadis they must live, in holes in the ground, and in the rocks. 7 Among the bushes they bray; under the nettles they huddle together. 8 A senseless, disreputable brood, they have been whipped out of the land. 9 "And now they mock me in song; I am a byword to them. 10 They abhor me, they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me. 11 Because God has loosed my bowstring and humbled me, they have cast off restraint in my presence. 12 On my right hand the rabble rise up; they send me sprawling, and build roads for my ruin. 13 They break up my path, they promote my calamity; no one restrains them. 14 As through a wide breach they come; amid the crash they roll on.
15 Terrors are turned upon me; my honor is pursued as by the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud. 16 "And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. 17 The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest. 18 With violence he seizes my garment; he grasps me by the collar of my tunic. 19 He has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. 20 I cry to you and you do not answer me; I stand, and you merely look at me. 21 You have turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you persecute me. 22 You lift me up on the wind, you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm. 23 I know that you will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. 24 "Surely one does not turn against the needy, when in disaster they cry for help. 25 Did I not weep for those whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? 26 But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came. 27 My inward parts are in turmoil, and are never still; days of affliction come to meet me. 28 I go about in sunless gloom; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help. 29 I am a brother of jackals, and a companion of ostriches. 30 My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat. 31 My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.
Job Asserts His Integrity
311 "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin? 2 What would be my portion from God above, and my heritage from the Almighty on high? 3 Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity? 4 Does he not see my ways, and number all my steps? 5 "If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hurried to deceit- 6 let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!- 7 if my step has turned aside from the way, and my heart has followed my eyes, and if any spot has clung to my hands; 8 then let me sow, and another eat; and let what grows for me be rooted out.
9 "If my heart has been enticed by a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door; 10 then let my wife grind for another, and let other men kneel over her. 11 For that would be a heinous crime; that would be a criminal offense; 12 for that would be a fire consuming down to Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my harvest. 13 "If I have rejected the cause of my male or female slaves, when they brought a complaint against me; 14 what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? 15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? And did not one fashion us in the womb?
16 "If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 or have eaten my morsel alone, and the orphan has not eaten from it- 18 for from my youth I reared the orphan like a father, and from my mother's womb I guided the widow - 19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or a poor person without covering, 20 whose loins have not blessed me, and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 21 if I have raised my hand against the orphan, because I saw I had supporters at the gate; 22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder, and let my arm be broken from its socket. 23 For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.
24 "If I have made gold my trust, or called fine gold my confidence; 25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, or because my hand had gotten much; 26 if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, 27 and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand; 28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I should have been false to God above. 29 "If I have rejoiced at the ruin of those who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook them- 30 I have not let my mouth sin by asking for their lives with a curse- 31 if those of my tent ever said, "O that we might be sated with his flesh!' - 32 the stranger has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler-
33 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34 because I stood in great fear of the multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors- 35 O that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!) O, that I had the indictment written by my adversary! 36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me like a crown; 37 I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him. 38 "If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept together; 39 if I have eaten its yield without payment, and caused the death of its owners; 40 let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley." The words of Job are ended.