Job 6; Job 7; Job 8; Job 9

1 Then Job answered: 2 "I wish my suffering could be weighed and my misery put on scales. 3 My sadness would be heavier than the sand of the seas. No wonder my words seem careless. 4 The arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks in their poison; God's terrors are gathered against me. 5 A wild donkey does not bray when it has grass to eat, and an ox is quiet when it has feed. 6 Tasteless food is not eaten without salt, and there is no flavor in the white of an egg. 7 I refuse to touch it; such food makes me sick. 8 "How I wish that I might have what I ask for and that God would give me what I hope for. 9 How I wish God would crush me and reach out his hand to destroy me. 10 Then I would have this comfort and be glad even in this unending pain, because I would know I did not reject the words of the Holy One. 11 "I do not have the strength to wait. There is nothing to hope for, so why should I be patient? 12 I do not have the strength of stone; my flesh is not bronze. 13 I have no power to help myself, because success has been taken away from me. 14 "They say, 'A man's friends should be kind to him when he is in trouble, even if he stops fearing the Almighty.' 15 But my brothers cannot be counted on. They are like streams that do not always flow, streams that sometimes run over. 16 They are made dark by melting ice and rise with melting snow. 17 But they stop flowing in the dry season; they disappear when it is hot. 18 Travelers turn away from their paths and go into the desert and die. 19 The groups of travelers from Tema look for water, and the traders of Sheba look hopefully. 20 They are upset because they had been sure; when they arrive, they are disappointed. 21 You also have been no help. You see something terrible, and you are afraid. 22 I have never said, 'Give me a gift. Use your wealth to pay my debt. 23 Save me from the enemy's power. Buy me back from the clutches of cruel people.' 24 "Teach me, and I will be quiet. Show me where I have been wrong. 25 Honest words are painful, but your arguments prove nothing. 26 Do you mean to correct what I say? Will you treat the words of a troubled man as if they were only wind? 27 You would even gamble for orphans and would trade away your friend. 28 "But now please look at me. I would not lie to your face. 29 Change your mind; do not be unfair; think again, because my innocence is being questioned. 30 What I am saying is not wicked; I can tell the difference between right and wrong.
1 "People have a hard task on earth, and their days are like those of a laborer. 2 They are like a slave wishing for the evening shadows, like a laborer waiting to be paid. 3 But I am given months that are empty, and nights of misery have been given to me. 4 When I lie down, I think, 'How long until I get up?' The night is long, and I toss until dawn. 5 My body is covered with worms and scabs, and my skin is broken and full of sores. 6 "My days go by faster than a weaver's tool, and they come to an end without hope. 7 Remember, God, that my life is only a breath. My eyes will never see happy times again. 8 Those who see me now will see me no more; you will look for me, but I will be gone. 9 As a cloud disappears and is gone, people go to the grave and never return. 10 They will never come back to their houses again, and their places will not know them anymore. 11 "So I will not stay quiet; I will speak out in the suffering of my spirit. I will complain because I am so unhappy. 12 I am not the sea or the sea monster. So why have you set a guard over me? 13 Sometimes I think my bed will comfort me or that my couch will stop my complaint. 14 Then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions. 15 My throat prefers to be choked; my bones welcome death. 16 I hate my life; I don't want to live forever. Leave me alone, because my days have no meaning. 17 "Why do you make people so important and give them so much attention? 18 You examine them every morning and test them every moment. 19 Will you never look away from me or leave me alone even long enough to swallow? 20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you watcher of humans? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a heavy load for you? 21 Why don't you pardon my wrongs and forgive my sins? I will soon lie down in the dust of death. Then you will search for me, but I will be no more."
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered: 2 "How long will you say such things? Your words are no more than wind. 3 God does not twist justice; the Almighty does not make wrong what is right. 4 Your children sinned against God, and he punished them for their sins. 5 But you should ask God for help and pray to the Almighty for mercy. 6 If you are good and honest, he will stand up for you and bring you back where you belong. 7 Where you began will seem unimportant, because your future will be so successful. 8 "Ask old people; find out what their ancestors learned, 9 because we were only born yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are only a shadow. 10 Those people will teach you and tell you and speak about what they know. 11 Papyrus plants cannot grow where there is no swamp, and reeds cannot grow tall without water. 12 While they are still growing and not yet cut, they will dry up quicker than grass. 13 That is what will happen to those who forget God; the hope of the wicked will be gone. 14 What they hope in is easily broken; what they trust is like a spider's web. 15 They lean on the spider's web, but it breaks. They grab it, but it does not hold up. 16 They are like well-watered plants in the sunshine that spread their roots all through the garden. 17 They wrap their roots around a pile of rocks and look for a place among the stones. 18 But if a plant is torn from its place, then that place rejects it and says, 'I never saw you.' 19 Now joy has gone away; other plants grow up from the same dirt. 20 "Surely God does not reject the innocent or give strength to those who do evil. 21 God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. 22 Your enemies will be covered with shame, and the tents of the wicked will be gone."
1 Then Job answered: 2 "Yes, I know that this is true, but how can anyone be right in the presence of God? 3 Someone might want to argue with God, but no one could answer God, not one time out of a thousand. 4 God's wisdom is deep, and his power is great; no one can fight him without getting hurt. 5 God moves mountains without anyone knowing it and turns them over when he is angry. 6 He shakes the earth out of its place and makes its foundations tremble. 7 He commands the sun not to shine and shuts off the light of the stars. 8 He alone stretches out the skies and walks on the waves of the sea. 9 It is God who made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiadesn and the groups of stars in the southern sky. 10 He does wonders that cannot be understood; he does so many miracles they cannot be counted. 11 When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by me, I do not recognize him. 12 If he snatches something away, no one can stop him or say to him, 'What are you doing?' 13 God will not hold back his anger. Even the helpers of the monster Rahab lie at his feet in fear. 14 So how can I argue with God, or even find words to argue with him? 15 Even if I were right, I could not answer him; I could only beg God, my Judge, for mercy. 16 If I called to him and he answered, I still don't believe he would listen to me. 17 He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason. 18 He would not let me catch my breath but would overwhelm me with misery. 19 When it comes to strength, God is stronger than I; when it comes to justice, no one can accuse him. 20 Even if I were right, my own mouth would say I was wrong; if I were innocent, my mouth would say I was guilty. 21 "I am innocent, but I don't care about myself. I hate my own life. 22 It is all the same. That is why I say, 'God destroys both the innocent and the guilty.' 23 If the whip brings sudden death, God will laugh at the suffering of the innocent. 24 When the land falls into the hands of evil people, he covers the judges' faces so they can't see it. If it is not God who does this, then who is it? 25 "My days go by faster than a runner; they fly away without my seeing any joy. 26 They glide past like paper boats. They attack like eagles swooping down to feed. 27 Even though I say, 'I will forget my complaint; I will change the look on my face and smile,' 28 I still dread all my suffering. I know you will hold me guilty. 29 I have already been found guilty, so why should I struggle for no reason? 30 I might wash myself with soap and scrub my hands with strong soap, 31 but you would push me into a dirty pit, and even my clothes would hate me. 32 "God is not a man like me, so I cannot answer him. We cannot meet each other in court. 33 I wish there were someone to make peace between us, someone to decide our case. 34 Maybe he could remove God's punishment so his terror would no longer frighten me. 35 Then I could speak without being afraid, but I am not able to do that.
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