Job 15:28-35; Job 16; Job 17; Job 18
he will inhabit ruined towns and houses where no one lives, houses crumbling to rubble.
He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the land.
He will not escape the darkness; a flame will wither his shoots, and the breath of God's mouth will carry him away.
Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.
Before his time he will be paid in full, and his branches will not flourish.
He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes, like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
For the company of the godless will be barren, and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; their womb fashions deceit."
Then Job replied:
"I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all!
Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?
I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you.
But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
"Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away.
Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household.
You have bound me--and it has become a witness; my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
Men open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me.
God has turned me over to evil men and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target;
his archers surround me. Without pity, he pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground.
Again and again he bursts upon me; he rushes at me like a warrior.
"I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust.
My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes;
yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.
"O earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest!
Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high.
My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God;
on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend.
"Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return.
My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me.
Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility.
"Give me, O God, the pledge you demand. Who else will put up security for me?
You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore you will not let them triumph.
If a man denounces his friends for reward, the eyes of his children will fail.
"God has made me a byword to everyone, a man in whose face people spit.
My eyes have grown dim with grief; my whole frame is but a shadow.
Upright men are appalled at this; the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.
Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.
"But come on, all of you, try again! I will not find a wise man among you.
My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.
These men turn night into day; in the face of darkness they say, 'Light is near.'
If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in darkness,
if I say to corruption, 'You are my father,' and to the worm, 'My mother' or 'My sister,'
where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me?
Will it go down to the gates of death ? Will we descend together into the dust?"
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
"When will you end these speeches? Be sensible, and then we can talk.
Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, is the earth to be abandoned for your sake? Or must the rocks be moved from their place?
"The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out; the flame of his fire stops burning.
The light in his tent becomes dark; the lamp beside him goes out.
The vigor of his step is weakened; his own schemes throw him down.
His feet thrust him into a net and he wanders into its mesh.
A trap seizes him by the heel; a snare holds him fast.
A noose is hidden for him on the ground; a trap lies in his path.
Terrors startle him on every side and dog his every step.
Calamity is hungry for him; disaster is ready for him when he falls.
It eats away parts of his skin; death's firstborn devours his limbs.
He is torn from the security of his tent and marched off to the king of terrors.
Fire resides in his tent; burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.
His roots dry up below and his branches wither above.
The memory of him perishes from the earth; he has no name in the land.
He is driven from light into darkness and is banished from the world.
He has no offspring or descendants among his people, no survivor where once he lived.
Men of the west are appalled at his fate; men of the east are seized with horror.
Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who knows not God."