1 Then Job replied [to his friends], 2 "Listen carefully to my words, and let that be the comfort you offer me. 3 Bear with me while I speak. Then after I've spoken, you may go on mocking. 4 Am I complaining about a person? Why shouldn't I be impatient? 5 Look at me, and be shocked, and put [your] hand over [your] mouth. 6 When I remember it, I'm terrified, and shuddering seizes my body. 7 "Why do the wicked go on living, grow old, and even become more powerful? 8 They see their children firmly established with them, and they get to see their descendants. 9 Their homes are free from fear, and God doesn't use his rod on them. 10 Their bulls are fertile when they breed. Their cows give birth to calves and never miscarry. 11 They send their little children out [to play] like a flock of lambs, and their children dance around. 12 They sing with the tambourine and lyre, and they are happy with the music of the flute. 13 They spend their days in happiness, and they go peacefully to the grave. 14 But they say to God, 'Leave us alone. We don't want to know your ways. 15 Who is the Almighty that we should serve him? What do we gain if we pray to him?' 16 Anyhow, isn't their happiness in their own power? (The plan of the wicked is foreign to my way of thinking.) 17 "How often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out? How often does disaster happen to them? How often does an angry God give them pain? 18 How often are they like straw in the wind or like husks that the storm sweeps away? 19 "[You say,] 'God saves a person's punishment for his children.' God should pay back that person so that he would know that it is a punishment. 20 His eyes should see his own ruin. He should drink from the wrath of the Almighty. 21 How can he be interested in his family after he's gone, when the number of his months is cut short? 22 "Can anyone teach God knowledge? Can anyone judge the Most High? 23 One person dies in his prime and feels altogether happy and contented. 24 His stomach is full of milk, and his bones are strong and healthy. 25 Another person, never having tasted happiness, dies with a bitter soul. 26 Together they lie down in the dust, and worms cover them. 27 "You see, I know your thoughts and the schemes you plot against me 28 because you ask, 'Where is the house of the influential person? Where is the tent where wicked people live?' 29 Haven't you asked travelers? But you didn't pay attention to their directions. 30 On the day of disaster the wicked person is spared. On the day of [God's] anger he is rescued. 31 Who will tell him to his face how he lived? Who will pay him back for what he did? 32 He is carried to the cemetery, and his grave is guarded. 33 The soil in the creekbed is sweet to him. Everyone follows him. Countless others went before him. 34 How can you comfort me with this nonsense when your answers continue to betray me?"
1 Then Eliphaz from Teman replied [to Job], 2 "Can a human be of any use to God when even a wise person is only useful to himself? 3 Is the Almighty pleased when you are righteous? Does he gain anything when you follow the path of integrity? 4 Does God correct you and bring you into a court of law because you fear him? 5 "Aren't you really very wicked? Is there no end to your wrongdoing? 6 For no reason you take your brothers' goods as security for a loan and strip them of their clothes. 7 You don't even give a tired person a drink of water, and you take food away from hungry people. 8 A strong person owns the land. A privileged person lives in it. 9 You send widows away empty-handed, and the arms of orphans are broken. 10 That is why traps are all around you and great fear suddenly grips you. 11 [That is why] darkness surrounds you and you cannot see and a flood of water covers you. 12 "Isn't God high above in the heavens? Look how high the highest stars are! 13 You ask, 'What does God know? Can he judge [anything] from behind a dark cloud? 14 Thick clouds surround him so that he cannot see. He walks above the clouds.' 15 "Are you following the old path that wicked people have taken? 16 They are snatched up before their time. A river washes their foundation away. 17 They told God, 'Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do for us?' 18 Yet, he filled their homes with good things. (The plan of the wicked is foreign to my way of thinking.) 19 The righteous saw it and were glad, and the innocent made fun of them by saying, 20 'Indeed, their wealth has been wiped out, and a fire has burned up what [little] they had left.' 21 "Be in harmony and at peace with God. In this way you will have prosperity. 22 Accept instruction from his mouth, and keep his words in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will prosper. If you put wrongdoing out of your tent, 24 and lay your gold down in the dust, and put your gold from Ophir among the pebbles in the rivers, 25 then the Almighty will become your gold and your large supply of silver. 26 Then you will be happy with the Almighty and look up toward God. 27 You will pray to him, and he will listen to you, and you will keep your vow to him. 28 When you promise to do something, you will succeed, and light will shine on your path. 29 When others are discouraged, you will say, 'Cheer up!' Then he will save the humble person. 30 He will rescue one who is not innocent. That person will be rescued by your purity."
1 Then Job replied [to his friends], 2 "My complaint is bitter again today. I try hard to control my sighing. 3 "If only I knew where I could find God! I would go where he lives. 4 I would present [my] case to him. I would have a mouthful of arguments 5 I want to know the words he would use to answer me. I want to understand the things he would say to me. 6 Would he sue me and hide behind great legal maneuvers? No, he certainly would press charges against me. 7 Then decent people could argue with him, and I would escape my judgment forever. 8 However, if I go east, he isn't there. If I go west, I can't find him. 9 If I go northward, where he is at work, I can't observe him. If I turn southward, I can't see him. 10 [I can't find him] because he knows the road I take. When he tests me, I'll come out as pure as gold. 11 I have followed his footsteps closely. I have stayed on his path and did not turn from it. 12 I have not left his commands behind. I have treasured his words in my heart. 13 "But God is one of a kind. Who can make him change his mind? He does whatever he wants! 14 He will carry out [his] orders concerning me as he does with so many other things. 15 That is why I'm terrified of him. When I think of it, I'm afraid of him. 16 God has discouraged me. The Almighty has filled me with terror. 17 But I am not silenced by the dark or by the thick darkness that covers my face.