Job Complains of God's Indifference to Wickedness

241 “Why aren’t times laid up by the Almighty?
Why don’t those who know him see his days? 2 There are people who remove the landmarks.
They violently take away flocks, and feed them. 3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless,
and they take the widow’s ox for a pledge. 4 They turn the needy out of the way.
The poor of the earth all hide themselves. 5 Behold, as wild donkeys in the desert,
they go forth to their work, seeking diligently for food.
The wilderness yields them bread for their children. 6 They cut their provender in the field.
They glean the vineyard of the wicked. 7 They lie all night naked without clothing,
and have no covering in the cold. 8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains,
and embrace the rock for lack of a shelter. 9 There are those who pluck the fatherless from the breast,
and take a pledge of the poor, 10 So that they go around naked without clothing.
Being hungry, they carry the sheaves. 11 They make oil within the walls of these men.
They tread wine presses, and suffer thirst. 12 From out of the populous city, men groan.
The soul of the wounded cries out,
yet God doesn’t regard the folly.

13 “These are of those who rebel against the light.
They don’t know its ways,
nor abide in its paths. 14 The murderer rises with the light.
He kills the poor and needy.
In the night he is like a thief. 15 The eye also of the adulterer waits for the twilight,
saying, ‘No eye shall see me.’
He disguises his face. 16 In the dark they dig through houses.
They shut themselves up in the daytime.
They don’t know the light. 17 For the morning is to all of them like thick darkness,
for they know the terrors of the thick darkness.

18 “They are foam on the surface of the waters.
Their portion is cursed in the earth.
They don’t turn into the way of the vineyards. 19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters,
so does Sheol those who have sinned. 20 The womb shall forget him.
The worm shall feed sweetly on him.
He shall be no more remembered.
Unrighteousness shall be broken as a tree. 21 He devours the barren who don’t bear.
He shows no kindness to the widow. 22 Yet God preserves the mighty by his power.
He rises up who has no assurance of life. 23 God gives them security, and they rest in it.
His eyes are on their ways. 24 They are exalted; yet a little while, and they are gone.
Yes, they are brought low, they are taken out of the way as all others,
and are cut off as the tops of the ears of grain. 25 If it isn’t so now, who will prove me a liar,
and make my speech worth nothing?”

Bildad Denies That Man Can Be Justified with God

251 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered, 2 “Dominion and fear are with him.
He makes peace in his high places. 3 Can his armies be counted?
On whom does his light not arise? 4 How then can man be just with God?
Or how can he who is born of a woman be clean? 5 Behold, even the moon has no brightness,
and the stars are not pure in his sight; 6 How much less man, who is a worm,
the son of man, who is a worm!”

Job Declares God's Sovereignty

261 Then Job answered, 2 “How have you helped him who is without power!
How have you saved the arm that has no strength! 3 How have you counseled him who has no wisdom,
and plentifully declared sound knowledge! 4 To whom have you uttered words?
Whose spirit came forth from you?

5 “Those who are deceased tremble,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them. 6 Sheol [1] is naked before God,
and Abaddon [2] has no covering. 7 He stretches out the north over empty space,
and hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not burst under them. 9 He encloses the face of his throne,
and spreads his cloud on it. 10 He has described a boundary on the surface of the waters,
and to the confines of light and darkness. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble
and are astonished at his rebuke. 12 He stirs up the sea with his power,
and by his understanding he strikes through Rahab. 13 By his Spirit the heavens are garnished.
His hand has pierced the swift serpent. 14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways.
How small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Job Describes the Portion of the Wicked

271 Job again took up his parable, and said, 2 “As God lives, who has taken away my right,
the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter. 3 (For the length of my life is still in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils); 4 surely my lips shall not speak unrighteousness,
neither shall my tongue utter deceit. 5 Far be it from me that I should justify you.
Until I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 I hold fast to my righteousness, and will not let it go.
My heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

7 “Let my enemy be as the wicked.
Let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous. 8 For what is the hope of the godless, when he is cut off, when God takes away his life? 9 Will God hear his cry when trouble comes on him? 10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty,
and call on God at all times?

11 I will teach you about the hand of God.
That which is with the Almighty will I not conceal. 12 Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;
why then have you become altogether vain? 13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
the heritage of oppressors, which they receive from the Almighty. 14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword.
His offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. 15 Those who remain of him shall be buried in death.
His widows shall make no lamentation. 16 Though he heap up silver as the dust,
and prepare clothing as the clay; 17 he may prepare it, but the just shall put it on,
and the innocent shall divide the silver. 18 He builds his house as the moth,
as a booth which the watchman makes. 19 He lies down rich, but he shall not do so again.
He opens his eyes, and he is not. 20 Terrors overtake him like waters.
A storm steals him away in the night. 21 The east wind carries him away, and he departs.
It sweeps him out of his place. 22 For it hurls at him, and does not spare,
as he flees away from his hand. 23 Men shall clap their hands at him,
and shall hiss him out of his place.

Man's Quest for Wisdom

281 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold which they refine. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted out of the ore. 3 Man sets an end to darkness,
and searches out, to the furthest bound,
the stones of obscurity and of thick darkness. 4 He breaks open a shaft away from where people live.
They are forgotten by the foot.
They hang far from men, they swing back and forth. 5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread;
Underneath it is turned up as it were by fire. 6 Sapphires come from its rocks.
It has dust of gold. 7 That path no bird of prey knows,
neither has the falcon’s eye seen it. 8 The proud animals have not trodden it,
nor has the fierce lion passed by there. 9 He puts forth his hand on the flinty rock,
and he overturns the mountains by the roots. 10 He cuts out channels among the rocks.
His eye sees every precious thing. 11 He binds the streams that they don’t trickle.
The thing that is hidden he brings forth to light. 12 “But where shall wisdom be found?
Where is the place of understanding? 13 Man doesn’t know its price;
Neither is it found in the land of the living.

14 The deep says, ‘It isn’t in me.’
The sea says, ‘It isn’t with me.’ 15 It can’t be gotten for gold,
neither shall silver be weighed for its price. 16 It can’t be valued with the gold of Ophir,
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire [3]. 17 Gold and glass can’t equal it,
neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal.
Yes, the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it,
Neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

20 Whence then comes wisdom?
Where is the place of understanding? 21 Seeing it is hidden from the eyes of all living,
and kept close from the birds of the sky. 22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’ 23 “God understands its way,
and he knows its place. 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth,
and sees under the whole sky. 25 He establishes the force of the wind.
Yes, he measures out the waters by measure. 26 When he made a decree for the rain,
and a way for the lightning of the thunder; 27 then he saw it, and declared it.
He established it, yes, and searched it out. 28 To man he said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.
To depart from evil is understanding.’”