1 "I hate my life. I will freely express my complaint. I will speak as bitterly as I feel. 2 I will say to God, 'Don't condemn me. Let me know why you are quarreling with me. 3 What do you gain by mistreating me, by rejecting the work of your hands while you favor the plans of the wicked? 4 Do you actually have human eyes? Do you see as a mortal sees? 5 Are your days like a mortal's days? Are your years like a human's years? 6 Is that why you look for guilt in me and search for sin in me? 7 You know I'm not guilty, but there is no one to rescue me from your hands. 8 "'Your hands formed me and made every part of me, then you turned to destroy me. 9 Please remember that you made me out of clay and that you will return me to the dust again. 10 Didn't you pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? 11 Didn't you dress me in skin and flesh and weave me together with bones and tendons? 12 You gave me life and mercy. Your watchfulness has preserved my spirit. 13 But in your heart you hid these things. I know this is what you did. 14 "'If I sin, you watch me and will not free me from my guilt. 15 How terrible it will be for me if I'm guilty! Even if I'm righteous, I dare not lift up my head. I am filled with disgrace while I look on my misery. 16 Like a proud, ferocious lion you hunt me down. You keep working your miracles against me. 17 You keep finding new witnesses against me. You keep increasing your anger toward me. You keep bringing new armies against me. 18 "'Why did you take me out of the womb? I wish I had breathed my last breath before anyone had laid eyes on me. 19 Then it would be as if I had never existed, as if I had been carried from the womb to the tomb. 20 "'Isn't my life short enough? So stop [this], and leave me alone. Let me smile a little 21 before I go away to a land of darkness and gloom, 22 to a dismal land of long shadows and confusion where light is as bright as darkness. I'll never return.'"
1 Then Zophar from Naama replied [to Job], 2 "Shouldn't someone answer this flood of words? Should a good public speaker be acquitted? 3 Should your empty talk silence others so that you can make fun of us without any shame? 4 You say, 'My teaching is morally correct,' and, 'As you can see, I'm innocent.' 5 I only wish God would speak and open his mouth [to talk] to you. 6 He would tell you the secrets of wisdom, because [true] wisdom is twice [as great as your wisdom], and you would know that God forgets your sin. 7 "Can you discover God's hidden secrets, or are you able to find the Almighty's limits? 8 [God's wisdom is] higher than heaven. What can you do? It is deeper than [the depths] of hell. What can you know? 9 It is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. 10 If God comes along and imprisons [someone] and then calls a court into session, who can stop him? 11 He knows who the scoundrels are. And when he sees sin, doesn't he pay attention to it? 12 But an empty-headed person will gain understanding when a wild donkey is born tame. 13 "If you want to set your heart right, then pray to him. 14 If you're holding on to sin, put it far away, and don't let injustice live in your tent. 15 Then you will be able to show your face without being ashamed, and you will be secure and unafraid. 16 [Then] you will forget your misery and remember it like water that has flowed downstream. 17 Then your life will be brighter than the noonday sun. The darkness in your life will become like morning. 18 You will feel confident because there's hope, and you will look around and rest in safety. 19 You will lie down with no one to frighten you, and many people will try to gain your favor. 20 But the wicked will lose their eyesight. Their escape route will be closed. Their only hope is to take their last breath."
1 Then Job replied [to his friends], 2 "You certainly are [wise] people, and when you die, wisdom will die. 3 Like you, I have a mind. I am not inferior to you. But who doesn't know these things? 4 I am a laughingstock to my neighbors. I am one who calls on God and expects an answer. A man of integrity, a man who is righteous, has become a laughingstock. 5 "A person who has an easy life has no appreciation for misfortune. He thinks it is the fate of those who slip up. 6 [But] robbers' tents are prosperous, and there is security for those who provoke God, for those whose god is their power. 7 "Instead, ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds, and they will tell you. 8 Or speak with the earth, and it will teach you. Even the fish will relate [the story] to you. 9 What creature doesn't know that the LORD's hands made it? 10 The life of every living creature and the spirit in every human body are in his hands. 11 Doesn't the ear distinguish sounds and the tongue taste food? 12 "Wisdom is with the ancient one. The one who has had many days has insight. 13 God has wisdom and strength. Advice and insight are his. 14 When he tears [something] down, it cannot be rebuilt. When he puts someone in prison, that person cannot be freed. 15 When he holds back the waters, there is a drought. When he releases them, they flood the earth. 16 "God has power and priceless wisdom. He owns [both] the deceiver and the person who is deceived. 17 He leads counselors away barefoot and makes fools out of judges. 18 He loosens kings' belts and strips them of their pants. 19 He leads priests away barefoot and misleads those who serve in a temple. 20 He makes trusted advisers unable to speak and takes away the good judgment of respected leaders. 21 He pours contempt on influential people and unbuckles the belt of the mighty. 22 He uncovers mysteries [hidden] in the darkness and brings gloom into the light. 23 He makes nations important and then destroys them. He makes nations large and leads them away. 24 He takes away the common sense of a country's leaders and makes them stumble about in a pathless wilderness. 25 They grope in the dark with no light, and he makes them stumble like drunks.
1 "My eye has certainly seen all of this! My ear has heard and understood it. 2 After all, I know it as well as you do. I am not inferior to you. 3 However, I want to speak to the Almighty, and I wish to argue my case in front of God. 4 But you are smearing me with lies. All of you are worthless physicians. 5 I wish you would keep silent. For you, that would be wisdom. 6 Please listen to my argument, and pay attention to my plea. 7 "Will you talk wickedly for God and talk deceitfully on his behalf? 8 Will you favor him [as] if you were arguing in court on God's behalf? 9 Will it go well when he cross-examines you? Will you try to trick him as one mortal tricks another? 10 Will he really defend you if you secretly favor [him]? 11 Doesn't his majesty terrify you? Doesn't the fear of him fall upon you? 12 "Your recollections are worthless proverbs. Your answers are absolutely useless. 13 Be quiet, because I want to speak. Let whatever may happen to me [happen]! 14 I am biting off more than I can chew and taking my life in my own hands. 15 If God would kill me, I would have no hope [left]. Nevertheless, I will defend my behavior to his face. 16 This also will be my salvation because no godless person could face him. 17 "Listen carefully to my words. Hear my declaration. 18 I have prepared my case. I know that I will be declared righteous. 19 Who can make a case against me? If someone could, I'd be silent and die. 20 "Please don't do two things to me so that I won't have to hide from you: 21 Stop oppressing me. Don't let your terror frighten me. 22 Then call, and I'll answer. Otherwise, I'll speak, and you'll answer me. 23 How many crimes and sins have I committed? Make me aware of my disobedience and my sin. 24 Why do you hide your face [from me] and consider me your enemy? 25 Are you trying to make a fluttering leaf tremble or trying to chase dry husks? 26 You write down bitter accusations against me. You make me suffer for the sins of my youth. 27 You put my feet in shackles. You follow my trail by engraving marks on the soles of my feet. 28 I am like worn-out wineskins, like moth-eaten clothes.