Job 24; Job 25; Job 26; Job 27; Job 28

1 Why doesn't the Almighty establish times for punishment? Why can't those who know him see his days? 2 People move boundary stones, herd flocks they've stolen, 3 drive off an orphan's donkey, take a widow's ox as collateral, 4 thrust the poor out of the way, make the land's needy hide together. 5 They are like the wild donkeys in the desert; they go forth at dawn searching for prey; the wasteland is food for their young. 6 They gather their food in the field, glean in unproductive vineyards, 7 spend the night naked, unclothed, in the cold without a cover, 8 wet from mountain rains, with no refuge, huddled against a rock. 9 The orphan is stolen from the breast; the infant of the poor is taken as collateral. 10 The poor go around naked, without clothes, carry bundles of grain while hungry, 11 crush olives between millstones, tread winepresses, but remain thirsty. 12 From the city, the dying cry out; the throat of the mortally wounded screams, but God assigns no blame. 13 They rebel against light, don't acknowledge its direction, don't dwell in its paths. 14 The murderer rises at twilight, kills the poor and needy; at night, they are like a thief. 15 The adulterer's eye watches for twilight, thinking, No eye can see me, and puts a mask over his face. 16 In the dark they break into houses; they shut themselves in by day; they don't know the light. 17 Deep darkness is morning to them because they recognize the horror of darkness. 18 They are scum on the water's surface; their portion of the land is cursed; no one walks down a path in the vineyards. 19 Drought and heat steal melted snow, just as the underworld steals sinners. 20 The womb forgets them; the worm consumes them; they aren't remembered, and so wickedness is shattered like a tree. 21 They prey on the barren, the childless, do nothing good for the widow. 22 They drag away the strong by force; they may get up but without guarantee of survival. 23 They make themselves secure; they are at ease. His eyes are on their ways. 24 They are exalted for a short time, but no longer. They are humbled then gathered in like everyone else; cut off like heads of grain. 25 If this isn't so, who can prove me a liar and make my words disappear?
1 Bildad from Shuah replied: 2 Supreme power and awe belong to God; he establishes peace on his heights. 3 Can his troops be counted? On whom does his light not rise? 4 How can a person be innocent before God; one born of a woman be pure? 5 If even the moon is not bright and the stars not pure in his eyes, 6 how much less a human, a worm, a person's child, a grub.
1 Then Job said: 2 How well you have helped the weak, saved those with frail arms, 3 advised one lacking wisdom, informed many with insight! 4 With whom have you spoken; whose breath was expelled from you? 5 The dead writhe, the inhabitants beneath the waters as well. 6 The grave is naked before God; the underworld lacks covering. 7 He stretched the North over chaos, hung earth over nothing; 8 wrapped up water in his clouds, yet they didn't burst out below; 9 hid the face of the full moon, spreading his cloud over it; 10 traced a circle on the water's surface, at the limit of light and darkness. 11 Heaven's pillars shook, terrified by his blast. 12 By his power he stilled the Sea; split Rahab with his cleverness. 13 Due to his wind, heaven became clear; his hand split the fleeing serpent. 14 Look, these are only the outer fringe of his ways; we hear only a whispered word about him. Who can understand his thunderous power?
1 Then Job took up his topic again: 2 As God lives, who rejected my legal claim, the Almighty, who made me bitter, 3 as long as breath is in me and God's breath is in my nostrils— 4 my lips will utter no wickedness; my tongue will mumble no deceit. 5 I will not agree that you are right. Until my dying day, I won't give up my integrity. 6 I will insist on my innocence, never surrendering it; my conscience will never blame me for what I have done. 7 Let my enemy be like the wicked, my opposition like the vicious. 8 For what hope has the godless when God cuts them off, when he takes them away. 9 Will God hear their cries when distress comes to them; 10 will they delight in the Almighty, call God at any time? 11 I will teach you God's power, not hide what pertains to the Almighty. 12 Look, those of you who recognize this— why then this empty talk? 13 This is the wicked's portion with God, the inheritance that the ruthless receive from the Almighty. 14 If their children increase, they belong to the sword; their offspring won't have enough bread. 15 Their survivors will be buried with the dead; their widows won't weep. 16 If they store up silver like dust, amass clothing like clay, 17 they may amass, but the righteous will wear it; the innocent will divide the silver. 18 They built their houses like nests, like a hut made by a watchman. 19 They lie down rich, but no longer; open their eyes, but it's missing. 20 Terrors overtake them like waters; a tempest snatches them by night; 21 an east wind lifts them, and they are gone, removes them from their places, 22 throws itself on them without mercy; they flee desperately from its force. 23 It claps its hands over them, hisses at them from their place.
1 There is a sure source of silver, a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the earth; rock is smelted into copper. 3 Humans put an end to darkness, dig for ore to the farthest depths, into stone in utter darkness, 4 open a shaft away from any inhabitant, places forgotten by those on foot, apart from any human they hang and sway. 5 Earth—from it comes food— is turned over below ground as by fire. 6 Its rocks are the source for lapis lazuli; there is gold dust in it. 7 A path— no bird of prey knows it; a hawk's eye hasn't seen it; 8 proud beasts haven't trodden on it; a lion hasn't crossed over it. 9 Humans thrust their hands into flint, pull up mountains from their roots, 10 cut channels into rocks; their eyes see everything precious. 11 They dam up the sources of rivers; hidden things come to light. 12 But wisdom, where can it be found; where is the place of understanding? 13 Humankind doesn't know its value; it isn't found in the land of the living. 14 The Deep says, "It's not with me"; the Sea says, "Not alongside me!" 15 It can't be bought with gold; its price can't be measured in silver, 16 can't be weighed against gold from Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 17 Neither gold nor glass can compare with it; she can't be acquired with gold jewelry. 18 Coral and jasper shouldn't be mentioned; the price of wisdom is more than rubies. 19 Cushite topaz won't compare with her; she can't be set alongside pure gold. 20 But wisdom, where does she come from? Where is the place of understanding? 21 She's hidden from the eyes of all the living, concealed from birds of the sky. 22 Destruction and Death have said, "We've heard a report of her." 23 God understands her way; he knows her place; 24 for he looks to the ends of the earth and surveys everything beneath the heavens. 25 In order to weigh the wind, to prepare a measure for waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain, a path for thunderbolts, 27 then he observed it, spoke of it, established it, searched it out, 28 and said to humankind: "Look, the fear of the LORD is wisdom; turning from evil is understanding."
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