1 Job took up his subject again: 2 Oh, that life was like it used to be, like days when God watched over me; 3 when his lamp shone on my head, I walked by his light in the dark; 4 when I was in my prime; when God's counsel was in my tent; 5 when the Almighty was with me, my children around me; 6 when my steps were washed with cream and a rock poured out pools of oil for me. 7 When I went out to the city gate, took my seat in the square, 8 the young saw me and drew back; the old rose and stood; 9 princes restrained speech, put their hand on their mouth; 10 the voices of officials were hushed, their tongue stuck to their palate. 11 Indeed, the ear that heard blessed me; the eye that looked commended me, 12 because I rescued the weak who cried out, the orphans who lacked help. 13 The blessing of the perishing reached me; I made the widow's heart sing; 14 I put on justice, and it clothed me, righteousness as my coat and turban; 15 I was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy; the case I didn't know, I examined. 17 I shattered the fangs of the wicked, rescued prey from their teeth. 18 I thought, I'll die in my nest, multiply days like sand, 19 my roots opening to water, dew lingering on my branches, 20 my honor newly with me, my bow ever successful in my hand. 21 People listened to me and waited, were silent for my advice. 22 After my speech, they didn't respond. My words fell gently on them; 23 they waited for me as for rain, opened their mouth as for spring rain. 24 I smiled on them; they couldn't believe it. They never showed me disfavor. 25 I decided their path, sat as chief. I lived like a king with his troops, like one who comforts mourners.
1 But now those younger than I mock me, whose fathers I refused to put beside my sheepdogs. 2 Their strength, what's it to me, their energy having perished? 3 Stiff from want and hunger, those who gnaw dry ground, yesterday's desolate waste, 4 who pluck off the leaves on a bush, the root of the broom— a shrub is their food. 5 People banish them from society, shout at them as if to a thief; 6 so they live in scary ravines, holes in the ground and rocks. 7 Among shrubs, they make sounds like donkeys; they are huddled together under a bush, 8 children of fools and the nameless, whipped out of the land. 9 And now I'm their song; I'm their cliché! 10 They detest me, keep their distance, don't withhold spit from my face. 11 Because he loosened my bowstring and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence. 12 On the right, upstarts rise and target my feet, build their siege ramps against me, 13 destroy my road, profit from my fall, with no help. 14 They advance as if through a destroyed wall; they roll along beneath the ruin. 15 Terrors crash upon me; they sweep away my honor like wind; my safety disappears like a cloud. 16 Now my life is poured out on me; days of misery have seized me. 17 At night he bores my bones; my gnawing pain won't rest. 18 With great force he grasps my clothing; it binds me like the neck of my shirt. 19 He hurls me into mud; I'm a cliché, like dust and ashes. 20 I cry to you, and you don't answer; I stand up, but you just look at me. 21 You are cruel to me, attack me with the strength of your hand. 22 You lift me to the wind and make me ride; you melt me in its roar. 23 I know you will return me to death, the house appointed for all the living. 24 Surely he won't strike someone in ruins if in distress he cries out to him, 25 if I didn't weep for those who have a difficult day or my soul grieve for the needy; 26 for I awaited good, but evil came; I expected light, but gloom arrived. 27 My insides, churning, are never quiet; days of affliction confront me. 28 I walk in the dark, lacking sunshine; I rise in the assembly and cry out. 29 I have become a brother to jackals, a companion to young ostriches. 30 My skin is charred; my bones are scorched by the heat. 31 My lyre is for mourning, my flute, a weeping sound.
1 I've made a covenant with my eyes; how could I look at a virgin? 2 What is God's portion for me from above, the Almighty's inheritance from on high? 3 Isn't it disaster for the wicked, destruction for workers of iniquity? 4 Doesn't he see my ways, count all my steps? 5 If I have walked with frauds or my feet have hurried to deceit, 6 let him weigh me on accurate scales; let God know my integrity. 7 If my step has turned from the way, if my heart has followed my eyes or a blemish has clung to my hands, 8 then let me sow and another reap; let my offspring be uprooted. 9 If my heart has been drawn to a woman and I have lurked at my neighbor's door, 10 then may my wife grind for another and others kneel over her; 11 for that's a crime; it's a punishable offense; 12 indeed, it's a fire that consumes to the underworld, uprooting all my harvest. 13 If I've rejected the just cause of my male or female servant when they contended with me, 14 what could I do when God rises; when he requires an account, what could I answer? 15 Didn't the one who made me in the belly make them; didn't the same one fashion us in the womb? 16 If I have denied what the poor wanted, made a widow's eyes tired, 17 eaten my morsel alone, and not shared any with an orphan 18 (for from my youth I raised the orphan as a father, and from my mother's womb I led the widow); 19 if I ever saw someone dying without clothes, the needy naked; 20 if they haven't blessed me fervently, or if they weren't warmed by the wool from my sheep; 21 if I have lifted my hand against the orphans, when I saw that I had help in the city gate— 22 may my arm fall from my shoulder, my forearm be broken at the elbow— 23 for God's calamity is terror to me; I couldn't endure his splendor. 24 If I've made gold my trust, said to fine gold: "My security!" 25 if I've rejoiced because my wealth was great, when my hand found plenty; 26 if I've looked at the sun when it shone, the moon, splendid as it moved; 27 and my mind has been secretly enticed, and threw a kiss with my hand, 28 that also is a punishable offense, because I would then be disloyal to God above. 29 If I have rejoiced over my foes' ruin or was excited when evil found them, 30 I didn't let my mouth sin by asking for their life with a curse. 31 Surely those in my tent never said: "Who has been filled by Job's food?" 32 A stranger didn't spend the night in the street; I opened my doors to the road. 33 If I have hidden my transgressions like Adam, concealing my offenses inside me 34 because I feared the large crowd; the clan's contempt frightened me; I was quiet and didn't venture outside. 35 Oh, that I had someone to hear me! Here's my signature; let the Almighty respond, and let my accuser write an indictment. 36 Surely I would bear it on my shoulder, tie it around me like a wreath. 37 I would give him an account of my steps, approach him like a prince. 38 If my land has cried out against me, its rows wept together; 39 if I have eaten its yield without payment and caused its owners grief, 40 may briars grow instead of wheat, poisonous weeds instead of barley. Job's words are complete.