Job Bemoans His Condition
101 "I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why thou dost contend against me. 3 Does it seem good to thee to oppress, to despise the work of thy hands and favor the designs of the wicked? 4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? Dost thou see as man sees? 5 Are thy days as the days of man, or thy years as man's years, 6 that thou dost seek out my iniquity and search for my sin, 7 although thou knowest that I am not guilty, and there is none to deliver out of thy hand?
8 Thy hands fashioned and made me; and now thou dost turn about and destroy me. 9 Remember that thou hast made me of clay; and wilt thou turn me to dust again? 10 Didst thou not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? 11 Thou didst clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 Thou hast granted me life and steadfast love; and thy care has preserved my spirit. 13 Yet these things thou didst hide in thy heart; I know that this was thy purpose.
14 If I sin, thou dost mark me, and dost not acquit me of my iniquity. 15 If I am wicked, woe to me! If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head, for I am filled with disgrace and look upon my affliction. 16 And if I lift myself up, thou dost hunt me like a lion, and again work wonders against me; 17 thou dost renew thy witnesses against me, and increase thy vexation toward me; thou dost bring fresh hosts against me. 18 "Why didst thou bring me forth from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me, 19 and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave. 20 Are not the days of my life few? Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort 21 before I go whence I shall not return, to the land of gloom and deep darkness, 22 the land of gloom and chaos, where light is as darkness."
Zophar Accuses Job of Iniquity
111 Then Zophar the Na'amathite answered: 2 "Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and a man full of talk be vindicated? 3 Should your babble silence men, and when you mock, shall no one shame you? 4 For you say, 'My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God's eyes.' 5 But oh, that God would speak, and open his lips to you, 6 and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7 "Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? 8 It is higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know? 9 Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. 10 If he passes through, and imprisons, and calls to judgment, who can hinder him? 11 For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it? 12 But a stupid man will get understanding, when a wild ass's colt is born a man.
13 "If you set your heart aright, you will stretch out your hands toward him. 14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in your tents. 15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear. 16 You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. 17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. 18 And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, and none will make you afraid; many will entreat your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last."
Job Affirms God's Power and Wisdom
121 Then Job answered: 2 "No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you. 3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these? 4 I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called upon God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock. 5 In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune; it is ready for those whose feet slip.
6 The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hand. 7 "But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 or the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. 11 Does not the ear try words as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. 13 "With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. 14 If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open. 15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. 16 With him are strength and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. 17 He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools. 18 He looses the bonds of kings, and binds a waistcloth on their loins. 19 He leads priests away stripped, and overthrows the mighty. 20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted, and takes away the discernment of the elders. 21 He pours contempt on princes, and looses the belt of the strong. 22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness, and brings deep darkness to light. 23 He makes nations great, and he destroys them: he enlarges nations, and leads them away. 24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless waste. 25 They grope in the dark without light; and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.
Job Defends His Integrity
131 "Lo, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. 2 What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3 But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God. 4 As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all. 5 Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom! 6 Hear now my reasoning, and listen to the pleadings of my lips. 7 Will you speak falsely for God, and speak deceitfully for him? 8 Will you show partiality toward him, will you plead the case for God? 9 Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man? 10 He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality. 11 Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you? 12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 "Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. 14 I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand. 15 Behold, he will slay me; I have no hope; yet I will defend my ways to his face. 16 This will be my salvation, that a godless man shall not come before him. 17 Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18 Behold, I have prepared my case; I know that I shall be vindicated. 19 Who is there that will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die. 20 Only grant two things to me, then I will not hide myself from thy face: 21 withdraw thy hand far from me, and let not dread of thee terrify me. 22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and do thou reply to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why dost thou hide thy face, and count me as thy enemy? 25 Wilt thou frighten a driven leaf and pursue dry chaff? 26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me inherit the iniquities of my youth. 27 Thou puttest my feet in the stocks, and watchest all my paths; thou settest a bound to the soles of my feet. 28 Man wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.