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Job 14; Job 15; Job 16

1 "All of us born to women live only a few days and have lots of trouble. 2 We grow up like flowers and then dry up and die. We are like a passing shadow that does not last. 3 Lord, do you need to watch me like this? Must you bring me before you to be judged? 4 No one can bring something clean from something dirty. 5 Our time is limited. You have given us only so many months to live and have set limits we cannot go beyond. 6 So look away from us and leave us alone until we put in our time like a laborer. 7 "If a tree is cut down, there is hope that it will grow again and will send out new branches. 8 Even if its roots grow old in the ground, and its stump dies in the dirt, 9 at the smell of water it will bud and put out new shoots like a plant. 10 But we die, and our bodies are laid in the ground; we take our last breath and are gone. 11 Water disappears from a lake, and a river loses its water and dries up. 12 In the same way, we lie down and do not rise again; we will not get up or be awakened until the heavens disappear. 13 "I wish you would hide me in the grave; hide me until your anger is gone. I wish you would set a time and then remember me! 14 If a person dies, will he live again? All my days are a struggle; I will wait until my change comes. 15 You will call, and I will answer you; you will desire the creature your hands have made. 16 Then you will count my steps, but you will not keep track of my sin. 17 My wrongs will be closed up in a bag, and you will cover up my sin. 18 "A mountain washes away and crumbles; and a rock can be moved from its place. 19 Water washes over stones and wears them down, and rushing waters wash away the dirt. In the same way, you destroy my hope. 20 You defeat a person forever, and he is gone; you change his appearance and send him away. 21 His sons are honored, but he does not know it; his sons are disgraced, but he does not see it. 22 He only feels the pain of his body and feels sorry for himself."
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: 2 "A wise person would not answer with empty words or fill his stomach with the hot east wind. 3 He would not argue with useless words or make speeches that have no value. 4 But you even destroy respect for God and limit the worship of him. 5 Your sin teaches your mouth what to say; you use words to trick others. 6 It is your own mouth, not mine, that shows you are wicked; your own lips testify against you. 7 "You are not the first man ever born; you are not older than the hills. 8 You did not listen in on God's secret council. But you limit wisdom to yourself. 9 You don't know any more than we know. You don't understand any more than we understand. 10 Old people with gray hair are on our side; they are even older than your father. 11 Is the comfort God gives you not enough for you, even when words are spoken gently to you? 12 Has your heart carried you away from God? Why do your eyes flash with anger? 13 Why do you speak out your anger against God? Why do these words pour out of your mouth? 14 "How can anyone be pure? How can someone born to a woman be good? 15 God places no trust in his holy ones, and even the heavens are not pure in his eyes. 16 How much less pure is one who is terrible and rotten and drinks up evil as if it were water! 17 "Listen to me, and I will tell you about it; I will tell you what I have seen. 18 These are things wise men have told; their fathers told them, and they have hidden nothing. 19 (The land was given to their fathers only, and no foreigner lived among them.) 20 The wicked suffer pain all their lives; the cruel suffer during all the years saved up for them. 21 Terrible sounds fill their ears, and when things seem to be going well, robbers attack them. 22 Evil people give up trying to escape from the darkness; it has been decided that they will die by the sword. 23 They wander around and will become food for vultures. They know darkness will soon come. 24 Worry and suffering terrify them; they overwhelm them, like a king ready to attack, 25 because they shake their fists at God and try to get their own way against the Almighty. 26 They stubbornly charge at God with thick, strong shields. 27 "Although the faces of the wicked are thick with fat, and their bellies are fat with flesh, 28 they will live in towns that are ruined, in houses where no one lives, which are crumbling into ruins. 29 The wicked will no longer get rich, and the riches they have will not last; the things they own will no longer spread over the land. 30 They will not escape the darkness. A flame will dry up their branches; God's breath will carry the wicked away. 31 The wicked should not fool themselves by trusting what is useless. If they do, they will get nothing in return. 32 Their branches will dry up before they finish growing and will never turn green. 33 They will be like a vine whose grapes are pulled off before they are ripe, like an olive tree that loses its blossoms. 34 People without God can produce nothing. Fire will destroy the tents of those who take money to do evil, 35 who plan trouble and give birth to evil, whose hearts plan ways to trick others."
1 Then Job answered: 2 "I have heard many things like these. You are all painful comforters! 3 Will your long-winded speeches never end? What makes you keep on arguing? 4 I also could speak as you do if you were in my place. I could make great speeches against you and shake my head at you. 5 But, instead, I would encourage you, and my words would bring you relief. 6 "Even if I speak, my pain is not less, and if I don't speak, it still does not go away. 7 God, you have surely taken away my strength and destroyed my whole family. 8 You have made me thin and weak, and this shows I have done wrong. 9 God attacks me and tears me with anger; he grinds his teeth at me; my enemy stares at me with his angry eyes. 10 People open their mouths to make fun of me and hit my cheeks to insult me. They join together against me. 11 God has turned me over to evil people and has handed me over to the wicked. 12 Everything was fine with me, but God broke me into pieces; he held me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target; 13 his archers surround me. He stabs my kidneys without mercy; he spills my blood on the ground. 14 Again and again God attacks me; he runs at me like a soldier. 15 "I have sewed rough cloth over my skin to show my sadness and have buried my face in the dust. 16 My face is red from crying; I have dark circles around my eyes. 17 Yet my hands have never done anything cruel, and my prayer is pure. 18 "Earth, please do not cover up my blood. Don't let my cry ever stop being heard! 19 Even now I have one who speaks for me in heaven; the one who is on my side is high above. 20 The one who speaks for me is my friend. My eyes pour out tears to God. 21 He begs God on behalf of a human as a person begs for his friend. 22 "Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return.
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