Job 29; Job 30; Job 31

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Job 29

1 Job continued his discourse, saying:
2 If only I could be as in months gone by, in the days when God watched over me,
3 when His lamp shone above my head, and I walked through darkness by His light!
4 [I would be] as I was in the days of my youth when God's friendship rested on my tent,
5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,
6 when my feet were bathed in cream and the rock poured out streams of oil for me!
7 When I went out to the city gate and took my seat in the town square,
8 the young men saw me and withdrew, while older men stood to their feet.
9 City officials stopped talking and covered their mouths with [their] hands.
10 The noblemen's voices were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 When they heard me, they blessed me, and when they saw me, they spoke well of me.
12 For I rescued the poor man who cried out for help, and the fatherless child who had no one to support him.
13 The dying man blessed me, and I made the widow's heart rejoice.
14 I clothed myself in righteousness, and it enveloped me; my just decisions were like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy, and I examined the case of the stranger.
17 I shattered the fangs of the unjust and snatched the prey from his teeth.
18 So I thought: I will die in my own nest and multiply [my] days as the sand.
19 My roots will have access to water, and the dew will rest on my branches all night.
20 My strength will be refreshed within me, and my bow will be renewed in my hand.
21 Men listened to me with expectation, waiting silently for my advice.
22 After a word from me they did not speak again; my speech settled on them [like dew].
23 They waited for me as for the rain and opened their mouths as for spring showers.
24 If I smiled at them, they couldn't believe [it]; they were thrilled at the light of my countenance.
25 I directed their course and presided as chief. I lived as a king among his troops, like one who comforts those who mourn.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Job 30

1 But now they mock me, men younger than I am, whose fathers I would have refused to put with my sheep dogs.
2 What use to me was the strength of their hands? Their vigor had left them.
3 Emaciated from poverty and hunger, they gnawed the dry land, the desolate wasteland by night.
4 They plucked mallow among the shrubs, and the roots of the broom tree were their food.
5 They were expelled from human society; people shouted at them as [if they were] thieves.
6 They are living on the slopes of the wadis, among the rocks and in holes in the ground.
7 They bray among the shrubs; they huddle beneath the thistles.
8 Foolish men, without even a name! They were forced to leave the land.
9 Now I am mocked by their songs; I have become an object of scorn to them.
10 They despise me and keep their distance from me; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Because God has loosened my bowstring and oppressed me, they have cast off restraint in my presence.
12 The rabble rise up at my right; they trap my feet and construct their siege ramp against me.
13 They tear up my path; they contribute to my destruction, without anyone to help them.
14 They advance as through a gaping breach; they keep rolling in through the ruins.
15 Terrors are turned loose against me; they chase my dignity away like the wind, and my prosperity has passed by like a cloud.
16 Now my life is poured out before my [eyes], and days of suffering have seized me.
17 Night pierces my bones, and my gnawing pains never abate.
18 My clothing is distorted with great force; He chokes me by the neck of my garment.
19 He throws me into the mud, and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; when I stand up, You [merely] look at me.
21 You have turned against me with cruelty; You harass me with Your strong hand.
22 You lift me up on the wind and make me ride [it]; You scatter me in the storm.
23 Yes, I know that You will lead me to death- the place appointed for all who live.
24 Yet no one would stretch out [his] hand against a ruined man when he cries out to him for help because of his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those who have fallen on hard times? Has my soul not grieved for the needy?
26 But when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, darkness came.
27 I am churning within and cannot rest; days of suffering confront me.
28 I walk about blackened, but not by the sun. I stood in the assembly and cried out for help.
29 I have become a brother to jackals and a companion of ostriches.
30 My skin blackens and flakes off, and my bones burn with fever.
31 My lyre is [used] for mourning and my flute for the sound of weeping.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Job 31

1 I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I look at a young woman?
2 For what portion [would I have] from God above, or [what] inheritance from the Almighty on high?
3 Doesn't disaster come to the wicked and misfortune to evildoers?
4 Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?
5 If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has rushed to deceit,
6 let God weigh me with an accurate balance, and He will recognize my integrity.
7 If my step has turned from the way, my heart has followed my eyes, or impurity has stained my hands,
8 let someone else eat what I have sown, and let my crops be uprooted.
9 If my heart has been seduced by [my neighbor's] wife or I have lurked at his door,
10 let my own wife grind [grain] for another man, and let other men sleep with her.
11 For that would be a disgrace; it would be a crime deserving punishment.
12 For it is a fire that consumes down to Abaddon; it would destroy my entire harvest.
13 If I have dismissed the case of my male or female servants when they made a complaint against me,
14 what could I do when God stands up [to judge]? How should I answer Him when He calls [me] to account?
15 Did not the One who made me in the womb also make them? Did not the same God form us both in the womb?
16 If I have refused the wishes of the poor or let the widow's eyes go blind,
17 if I have eaten my few crumbs alone without letting the fatherless eat any of it-
18 for from my youth, I raised him as [his] father, and since the day I was born I guided the widow-
19 if I have seen anyone dying for lack of clothing or a needy person without a cloak,
20 if he did not bless me while warming himself with the fleece from my sheep,
21 if I ever cast my vote against a fatherless child when I saw that I had support in the [city] gate,
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my back, and my arm be pulled from its socket.
23 For disaster from God terrifies me, and because of His majesty I could not do [these things].
24 If I placed my confidence in gold or called fine gold my trust,
25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth is great or because my own hand has acquired [so] much,
26 if I have gazed at the sun when it was shining or at the moon moving in splendor,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed and I threw them a kiss,
28 this would also be a crime deserving punishment, for I would have denied God above.
29 Have I rejoiced over my enemy's distress, or become excited when trouble came his way?
30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin by asking for his life with a curse.
31 Haven't the members of my household said, "Who is there who has not had enough to eat at Job's table?"
32 No stranger had to spend the night on the street, for I opened my door to the traveler.
33 Have I covered my transgressions as others do by hiding my guilt in my heart,
34 because I greatly feared the crowds, and the contempt of the clans terrified me, so I grew silent and would not go outside?
35 If only I had someone to hear my [case]! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me. Let my Opponent compose [His] indictment.
36 I would surely carry it on my shoulder and wear it like a crown.
37 I would give Him an account of all my steps; I would approach Him like a prince.
38 If my land cries out against me and its furrows join in weeping,
39 if I have consumed its produce without payment or shown contempt for its tenants,
40 then let thorns grow instead of wheat and stinkweed instead of barley. The words of Job are concluded.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.