Job 17; Job 18; Job 19; Job 20

1 My strength is almost gone. I won't live much longer. A grave is waiting for me. 2 People who make fun of me are all around me. I'm forced to watch as they attack me with their words. 3 "God, please pay the price to have me set free. Who else would put up money for me? 4 You have closed the minds of those who are trying to comfort me. They don't understand that I haven't done anything wrong. So don't let them win the argument. 5 Suppose a man tells lies about his friends to get a reward. Then his own children will suffer for it. 6 "God has made everyone laugh at me. People spit in my face. 7 My eyes have grown weak because I'm so sad. My body is so thin it hardly casts a shadow. 8 Those who claim to be honest are shocked when they see me. Those who think they haven't sinned are stirred up against me. They think I'm ungodly. 9 But godly people will keep doing what is right. Those who have clean hands will grow stronger. 10 "Come on, all of you! Try again! I can't find a wise person among you. 11 My life is almost over. My plans are destroyed. And so are the longings of my heart. 12 People like you turn night into day. Even though it's dark you say, 'Light is nearby.' 13 Suppose the only home I can hope for is a grave. And suppose I make my bed in the darkness of death. 14 Suppose I say to the grave, 'You are like a father to me.' And suppose I say to its worms, 'You are like a mother or sister to me.' 15 Then what hope do I have? Who can give me any hope? 16 Will hope go down to the gates of death with me? Will we go down together into the dust of the grave?"
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied, 2 "Job, when will you stop these speeches of yours? Be reasonable! Then we can talk. 3 Why do you look at us as if we were cattle? Why do you think of us as being stupid? 4 Your anger is tearing you to pieces. Does the earth have to be deserted just to prove you are right? Must all of the rocks be moved from their places? 5 "The lamps of sinful people are blown out. Their flames will never burn again. 6 The lights in their tents become dark. The lamps beside those who are evil go out. 7 They walk more slowly than they used to. Their own evil plans make them fall. 8 Their feet take them into a net. They wander right into it. 9 A trap grabs hold of their heels. It refuses to let them go. 10 A trap lies in their path. A rope to catch them is hidden on the ground. 11 Terrors alarm them on every side. They follow them every step of the way. 12 Trouble would like to eat them up. Danger waits for them when they fall. 13 It eats away parts of their skin. Death itself feeds on their arms and legs. 14 They are torn away from the safety of their tents. They are marched off to the one who rules over death. 15 Fire races through their tents. Burning sulfur is scattered over their homes. 16 Their roots dry up under them. Their branches dry up above them. 17 No one on earth remembers them. Their names are forgotten in the land. 18 They are driven from light into darkness. They are thrown out of the world. 19 Their family dies out among their people. No one is left where they used to live. 20 What has happened to them shocks the people in the west. It terrifies the people in the east. 21 Now you know what the homes of sinners are like. Those who don't know God live in places like that."
1 Job replied, 2 "How long will you people make me suffer? How long will you crush me with your words? 3 You have already made fun of me many times. You have attacked me without feeling any shame. 4 Suppose it's true that I've gone down the wrong path. Then it's my concern, not yours. 5 Suppose you want to place yourselves above me. Suppose you want to use my shame to prove I'm wrong. 6 Then I want you to know that God hasn't treated me right. In fact, he has captured me in his net. 7 "I cry out, 'Someone harmed me!' But I don't get any reply. I call out for help. But I'm not treated fairly. 8 God has blocked my way, and I can't get through. He has made my paths so dark I can't see where I'm going. 9 He has taken my wealth away from me. He has stripped me of my honor. 10 He tears me down on every side until I'm gone. He pulls up the roots of my hope as if I were a tree. 11 His anger burns against me. He thinks I'm one of his enemies. 12 His troops march toward me in force. They come at me from every direction. They camp around my tent. 13 "God has caused my brothers to desert me. The people I used to know are now strangers to me. 14 My family has gone away. My friends have forgotten me. 15 My guests and my female servants think of me as a stranger. They look at me as if I were an outsider. 16 I send for my servant, but he doesn't answer. He doesn't come, even though I beg him to. 17 My wife can't stand the way my breath smells. My own relatives won't have anything to do with me. 18 Even little children laugh at me. When I appear, they make fun of me. 19 All of my close friends hate me. Those I love have turned against me. 20 I'm nothing but skin and bones. I've only escaped by the skin of my teeth. 21 "Have pity on me, my friends! Please have pity! God has struck me down with his powerful hand. 22 Why do you chase after me as he does? Aren't you satisfied with what you have done to me already? 23 "I wish my words were written down! I wish they were written on a scroll! 24 I wish they were cut into lead with an iron tool! I wish they were carved in rock forever! 25 I know that my Redeemer lives. In the end he will stand on the earth. 26 After my skin has been destroyed, in my body I'll still see God. 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes. I'll see him, and he won't be a stranger to me. How my heart longs for that day! 28 "You might say, 'Let's keep bothering Job. After all, he's the cause of all of his suffering.' 29 But you should be afraid when God comes to judge you. He'll be angry. He'll punish you with his sword. Then you will know that he is the Judge."
1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied, 2 "My troubled thoughts force me to answer you. That's because I'm very upset. 3 What you have just said makes fun of me. So I really have to reply to you. 4 "I'm sure you must know how things have always been. They've been that way ever since man was placed on this earth. 5 Those who are evil are happy for only a short time. The joy of ungodly people lasts only for a moment. 6 Their pride might reach all the way up to the heavens. Their heads might touch the clouds. 7 But they will disappear forever, like the waste from their own bodies. Anyone who has seen them will say, 'Where did they go?' 8 Like a dream they will fly away. They will never be seen again. They will be driven away like visions in the night. 9 The eyes that saw them won't see them anymore. Even their own families won't remember them. 10 Their children must pay back what they took from poor people. Their own hands must give back the wealth they stole. 11 They might feel young and very strong. But they will soon lie down in the dust of their graves. 12 "Anything that is evil tastes sweet to them. They keep it under their tongues for a while. 13 They can't stand to let it go. So they hold it in their mouths. 14 But their food will turn sour in their stomachs. It will become like the poison of a serpent inside them. 15 They will spit out the rich food they swallowed. God will make their stomachs throw it up. 16 They will suck the poison of a serpent. The fangs of an adder will kill them. 17 They won't enjoy streams that flow with honey. They won't enjoy rivers that flow with cream. 18 What they worked for they must give back before they can eat it. They won't enjoy what they have earned. 19 They've crushed poor people and left them with nothing. They've taken over houses they didn't even build. 20 "No matter how much they have, they always long for more. But their treasure can't save them. 21 There isn't anything left for them to eat up. Their success won't last. 22 While they are enjoying the good life, trouble will catch up with them. Terrible suffering will come on them. 23 When they've filled their stomachs, God will pour out his burning anger on them. He'll strike them down with blow after blow. 24 They might run away from iron weapons. But arrows that have bronze tips will wound them. 25 They will pull the arrows out of their backs. They will remove the shining tips from their livers. They will be filled with terror. 26 Total darkness hides and waits for their treasures. God will send a fire that will destroy them. It will burn up everything that's left in their tents. 27 Heaven will show their guilt to everyone. The earth will be a witness against them. 28 A flood will carry their houses away. Rushing water will wash them away on the day when God judges. 29 Now you know what God will do to sinful people. Now you know what he has planned for them."
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