1 "Why doesn't the Almighty set aside times [for punishment]? Why don't those who are close to him see his days [of judgment]? 2 "[People] move boundary markers. They steal flocks and tend them as shepherds. 3 They drive away the orphan's donkey. They take the widow's ox as security for a loan. 4 They force needy people off the road. All the poor people of the country go into hiding. 5 Like wild donkeys in the desert, poor people go out to do their work, looking for food. The plains provide food for their children. 6 They harvest animal food in the field [to feed themselves]. They pick the leftover grapes in the wicked person's vineyard. 7 All night they lie naked without a covering from the cold. 8 They are drenched by the rainstorms in the mountains. They hug the rocks because they can't find shelter. 9 "[People] snatch the [nursing] orphan from a breast and take a poor woman's baby as security for a loan. 10 [That is why] the poor go around naked. They are hungry, yet they carry bundles of grain. 11 They press out olive oil between rows [of olive trees]. They stomp on grapes in wine vats, yet they are thirsty. 12 Those dying in the city groan. Wounded people cry for help, but God pays no attention to their prayers. 13 "Such people are among those who rebel against the light. They are not acquainted with its ways. They do not stay on its paths. 14 At dawn murderers rise; they kill the poor and needy. At night they become thieves. 15 Adulterers watch for twilight. They say, 'No one is watching us,' as they cover their faces. 16 In the dark, they break into houses, [but] by day they lock themselves in. They do not [even] know the light, 17 because morning and deep darkness are the same to them, because they are familiar with the terrors of deep darkness. 18 Such people are like scum on the surface of the water. Their property is cursed in the land. People do not travel the road that goes to their vineyards. 19 [Just as] drought and heat steal water from snow, so the grave steals people who sin. 20 The womb forgets them. Worms feast on them. No one remembers them anymore, and wickedness is snapped like a twig. 21 These men take advantage of childless women. These men show no kindness to widows. 22 [God] will drag away [these] mighty men by his power. These people may prosper, but they will never feel secure about life. 23 [God] may let them feel confident and self-reliant, but his eyes are on their ways. 24 [Such people] may be prosperous for a little while, but then they're gone. They are brought down low and disappear like everything else. They wither like heads of grain. 25 "If it isn't so, who can prove I'm a liar and show that my words are worthless?"
1 Then Bildad from Shuah replied [to Job], 2 "Authority and terror belong to God. He establishes peace in his high places. 3 Is there any [limit to the] number of his troops? Is there anyone on whom his light does not rise? 4 How can a person be righteous to God? How can anyone born of a woman be pure? 5 Even the moon isn't bright, and the stars aren't pure in his sight. 6 How much less pure is a mortal--who is only a maggot-- a descendant of Adam--who is only a worm!"
1 Then Job replied [to his friends], 2 "You have helped the person who has no power and saved the arm that isn't strong. 3 You have advised the person who has no wisdom and offered so much assistance. 4 To whom have you spoken [these] words, and whose spirit has spoken through you? 5 "The souls of the dead tremble beneath the water, and so do the creatures living there. 6 Sheol is naked in God's presence, and Abaddon has no clothing. 7 "He stretches out his heavens over empty space. He hangs the earth on nothing whatsoever. 8 He holds the water in his thick clouds, and the clouds don't [even] split under its [weight]. 9 He covers his throne by spreading his cloud over it. 10 He marks the horizon on the surface of the water at the boundary where light meets dark. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished when he yells at them. 12 With his power he calmed the sea. With his insight he killed Rahab [the sea monster]. 13 With his wind the sky was cleared. With his hand he stabbed the fleeing snake. 14 "These are only glimpses of what he does. We [only] hear a whisper of him! Who can understand the thunder of his power?"
1 Job continued his poems and said, 2 "I swear an oath by God, the one who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty, who has made my life bitter: 3 'As long as there is one breath [left] in me and God's breath fills my nostrils, 4 my lips will not say anything wrong, and my tongue will not mumble anything deceitful.' 5 It's unthinkable for me to admit that you are right. Until I breathe my last breath, I will never give up my claim of integrity. 6 I cling to my righteousness and won't let go. My conscience won't accuse me as long as I live. 7 "Let my enemy be [treated] like wicked people. Let anyone who attacks me be [treated] like unrighteous people. 8 After all, what hope does the godless person have when he is cut off, when God takes away his life? 9 Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him? 10 Can he be happy with the Almighty? Can he call on God at all times? 11 "I will teach you about God's power. I will not hide what the Almighty has done. 12 Certainly, you have all seen it. Why then do you chatter on about such nonsense? 13 This is what God has waiting for the wicked person, the inheritance that tyrants receive from the Almighty: 14 If he has many children, swords will kill them, and his descendants won't have enough food. 15 Those who survive him will be buried by a plague, and their widows won't cry [for them]. 16 Though he collects silver like dust and piles up clothing like dirt, 17 righteous people will wear what he piles up, and the innocent will divide the silver [among themselves]. 18 He builds his house like a moth, like a shack that a watchman makes. 19 He may go to bed rich, but he'll never be rich again. When he opens his eyes, nothing will be left. 20 Terrors overtake him like a flood. A windstorm snatches him away at night. 21 The east wind carries him away, and he's gone. It sweeps him from his place. 22 It hurls itself at him without mercy. He flees from its power. 23 It claps its hands over him. It whistles at him from his own place.
1 "There is a place where silver is mined and a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the ground, and rocks are melted for [their] copper. 3 [Humans] bring an end to darkness [there] and search to the limit of the gloomy, pitch-black rock. 4 They open up a mineshaft far from civilization, where no one has set foot. [In this shaft] men dangle and swing back and forth. 5 "Above the ground food grows, but beneath it the food decays as if [it were burned] by fire. 6 That place's stones are sapphire. Its dust contains gold. 7 No bird of prey knows the way to it. No hawk's eye has ever seen it. 8 No proud beast has ever walked on it. No ferocious lion has ever passed over it. 9 "Humans exert their power on the flinty rocks and overturn mountains at their base. 10 They cut out mineshafts in the rocks. Their eyes see every precious thing. 11 They explore the sources of rivers so that they bring hidden treasures to light. 12 "Where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding live? 13 No mortal knows where it is. It cannot be found in this world of the living. 14 The deep ocean says, 'It isn't in me.' The sea says, 'It isn't with me.' 15 You cannot obtain it with solid gold or buy it for any amount of silver. 16 It can't be bought with the gold from Ophir or with precious onyx or sapphire. 17 Neither gold nor glass can equal its value. Nor can gold ornaments, jewels, or crystal 18 be exchanged for it. Wisdom is more valuable than gems. 19 Topaz from Ethiopia cannot equal its value. It cannot be bought for [any amount of] pure gold. 20 "Where does wisdom come from? Where does understanding live? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living being, hidden even from the birds in the air. 22 Decay and Death say, 'We've heard a rumor about it.' 23 "God understands the way to it. He knows where it lives 24 because he can see to the ends of the earth and observe everything under heaven. 25 When he gave the wind its force and measured the water [in the sea], 26 when he made rules for the rain and set paths for the thunderstorms, 27 then he saw it and announced it. He confirmed it and examined it. 28 So he told humans, 'The fear of the Lord is wisdom! To stay away from evil is understanding.'"