1 Job continued his poems and said, 2 "If only my life could be like it used to be, in the days when God watched over me, 3 when he made his lamp shine on my head, when I walked through the dark in his light. 4 If only I were in the prime of my life [again], when God was an adviser in my tent. 5 When the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, 6 my steps were bathed in buttermilk, and the rocks poured streams of olive oil on me. 7 When I went through the city gate and took my seat in the town square, 8 young men saw me and kept out of sight. Old men stood up straight out of respect [for me]. 9 Princes held back [their] words and put their hands over their mouths. 10 The voices of nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roofs of their mouths. 11 "[Any] ears that heard me blessed me. [Any] eyes that saw me spoke well of me, 12 because I rescued the poor who called [for help] and the orphans who had no one to help them. 13 I received a blessing from the dying. I made the widow's heart sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it was my clothing. I practiced justice, and it was my robe and my turban. 15 I was eyes for the blind person. I was feet for the lame person. 16 I was father to the needy. I carefully investigated cases brought by strangers. 17 I broke the teeth of the wicked person and made him drop the prey out of his mouth. 18 "I thought, 'I may die in my own house, but I will make my days as numerous as the sand. 19 My roots will grow toward the water, and dew will lie on my branches all night. 20 My power will be fresh [every day], and the bow in my hand will remain new.' 21 "People listened to me eagerly, quietly waiting for my advice. 22 After I had spoken, they wouldn't speak again. After all, my words fell gently on them. 23 They were as eager to hear me as they were for rain. They opened their mouths wide as if waiting for a spring shower. 24 When I smiled at them, they could hardly believe it, but the expression on my face did not change. 25 I decided how they should live. I sat as their leader. I lived like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.
1 "But now those who are younger than I am laugh at me. I didn't think their fathers were fit to sit with the dogs of my flock. 2 Of what use to me was the strength of their hands? Their strength is gone. 3 Shriveled up from need and hunger, they gnaw at the dry and barren ground during the night. 4 They pick saltwort from the underbrush, and the roots of the broom plant are their food. 5 They are driven from the community. People shout at them in the same way they shout at thieves. 6 They have to live in dry riverbeds, in holes in the ground, and among rocks. 7 They howl in bushes and huddle together under thornbushes. 8 Godless fools and worthless people are forced out of the land with whips. 9 "And now they make fun of me with songs. I have become a joke to them. 10 Since they consider me disgusting, they keep their distance from me and don't hesitate to spit in my face. 11 Because God has untied my cord and has made me suffer, they are no longer restrained in my presence. 12 They have attacked me on my right side like a mob. They trip my feet and then prepare ways to destroy me. 13 Yes, they remove all traces of my path in order to destroy me. No one is there to help me against them. 14 They come through a wide hole [in the wall]. They crawl through the ruins. 15 Terrors are directed toward me. They blow away my dignity like the wind. My prosperity vanishes like a cloud. 16 "Now my life is pouring out of me. Days of suffering seize me. 17 At night God pierces my bones. My body doesn't rest. 18 With great strength he grabs my clothes. He seizes me by the collar of my robe. 19 He throws me into the dirt so that I become like dust and ashes. 20 "I call to you for help, but you don't answer me. I stand up, but you just look at me. 21 You have begun to treat me cruelly. With your mighty hand you assault me. 22 You pick me up and let the wind carry me away. You toss me around with a storm. 23 I know you will lead me to death, to the dwelling place appointed for all living beings. 24 "But God doesn't stretch out his hand against one who is ruined when that person calls for help in his disaster. 25 Didn't I cry for the person whose days were difficult? Didn't my soul grieve for the poor? 26 When I waited for good, evil came. When I looked for light, darkness came. 27 My insides are churning and won't calm down. Days of misery are ahead of me. 28 I walk in the dark without the sun. I stand up in public and call for help. 29 I'm a brother to jackals and a companion of ostriches. 30 My skin turns dark and peels. My body burns with fever. 31 So my lyre is used for mourning and my flute for loud weeping.
1 "I have made an agreement with my eyes. Then how can I look with lust at a virgin? 2 What would God above do [to me]? What would be my inheritance from the Almighty on high? 3 Aren't there catastrophes for wicked people and disasters for those who do wrong? 4 Doesn't he see my ways and count all my steps? 5 "If I have walked with lies or my feet have run after deception, 6 [then] let God weigh me on honest scales, and he will know I have integrity. 7 "If my steps have left the [proper] path, or my heart has followed [the desire of] my eyes, or my hands are stained [with sin], 8 [then] let someone else eat what I have planted, and let my crops be uprooted. 9 "If I have been seduced by a woman or I have secretly waited near my neighbor's door, 10 [then] let my wife grind for another [man], and let other [men] kneel over her. 11 That would be a scandal, and that would be a criminal offense. 12 It would be a fire that burns even in Abaddon. It would uproot my entire harvest. 13 "If I have abused the rights of my servants, male or female, when they have disagreed with me, 14 then what could I do if God rises up? If he examines me, how could I answer him? 15 Didn't he who made me in my mother's belly make them? Didn't the same God form us in the womb? 16 "If I have refused the requests of the poor or made a widow's eyes stop [looking for help], 17 or have eaten my food alone without letting the orphan eat any of it.... 18 (From my youth the orphan grew up with me as though I were his father, and from my birth I treated the widow kindly.) 19 If I have seen anyone die because he had no clothes or a poor person going naked.... 20 (If his body didn't bless me, or the wool from my sheep didn't keep him warm....) 21 If I have shaken my fist at an orphan because I knew that others would back me up in court, 22 [then] let my shoulder fall out of its socket, and let my arm be broken at the elbow. 23 "A disaster from God terrifies me. In the presence of his majesty I can do nothing. 24 "If I put my confidence in gold or said to fine gold, 'I trust you'.... 25 If I enjoyed being very rich because my hand had found great [wealth].... 26 If I saw the light shine or the moon move along in its splendor 27 so that my heart was secretly tempted, and I threw them a kiss with my hand, 28 then that, too, would be a criminal offense, and I would have denied God above. 29 "If I enjoyed the ruin of my enemy or celebrated when harm came to him 30 (even though I didn't speak sinfully by calling down a curse on his life).... 31 "If the people who were in my tent had said, 'We wish we had never filled [our stomachs] with his food'.... 32 (The visitor never spent the night outside, because I opened my door to the traveler.) 33 "If I have covered my disobedience like Adam and kept my sin to myself, 34 because I dreaded the large, noisy crowd and because the contempt of the [local] mobs terrified me so that I kept quiet and didn't go outside.... 35 "If only I had someone who would listen to me! Look, here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me. Let the prosecutor write [his complaint] on a scroll. 36 I would certainly carry it on my shoulder and place it on my head like a crown. 37 I would tell him the number of my steps and approach him like a prince. 38 "If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept .... 39 If I have eaten its produce without paying for it and made its owners breathe their last, 40 [then] let it grow thistles instead of wheat, and foul-smelling weeds instead of barley." This is the end of Job's words.