Job 24; Job 25; Job 26; Job 27; Job 28

1 "Why doesn't the Mighty One set a time for judging sinful people? Why do those who know him have to keep waiting for that day? 2 People move their neighbor's boundary stones. They steal their neighbor's flocks. 3 They take away the donkeys that belong to children whose fathers have died. They take a widow's ox until she has paid what she owes. 4 They push those who are needy out of their way. They force all of the poor people in the land to go into hiding. 5 The poor are like wild donkeys in the desert. They have to go around looking for food. The dry and empty land provides the only food for their children. 6 The poor go to the fields and get a little grain. They gather up what is left in the vineyards of sinners. 7 The poor don't have any clothes. So they spend the night naked. They don't have anything to cover themselves in the cold. 8 They are soaked by mountain rains. They hug the rocks because they don't have anything to keep them warm. 9 Children whose fathers have died are torn away from their mothers. A poor person's baby is taken away to pay back what is owed. 10 The poor don't have any clothes. They go around naked. They carry bundles of grain, but they still go hungry. 11 They work very hard as they crush olives. They stomp on grapes in winepresses, but they are still thirsty. 12 The groans of those who are dying are heard from the city. Those who are wounded cry out for help. But God doesn't charge anyone with doing what is wrong. 13 "Some people hate it when daylight comes. In the daytime they never walk outside. 14 When daylight is gone, murderers get up. They kill poor people and those who are in need. In the night they sneak around like robbers. 15 Those who commit adultery wait until the sun goes down. They think, 'No one will see us.' They keep their faces hidden. 16 In the dark, people break into houses. But by day they shut themselves in. They don't want anything to do with the light. 17 The deepest darkness is like morning to them. The terrors of darkness are their friends. 18 "But sinners are like bubbles on the surface of water. Their share of the land is under God's curse. So no one goes to their vineyards. 19 Melted snow disappears when the air is hot and dry. And sinners disappear when they go down into their graves. 20 Even their mothers forget them. The worms in their graves eat them up. No one remembers sinful people anymore. They are cut down like trees. 21 They mistreat women who aren't able to have children. They aren't kind to widows. 22 But God is powerful. He even drags away people who are strong. When he rises up against them, they can never be sure they are safe. 23 God might let them rest and feel secure. But his eyes see how they live. 24 For a little while they are honored. Then they are gone. They are brought low. And they die like everyone else. They are cut off like heads of grain. 25 "Who can prove that what I'm saying is wrong? Who can prove that my words aren't true?"
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied, 2 "God is King. He should be feared. He establishes peace in the highest parts of heaven. 3 Can anyone count his troops? Is there anyone his light doesn't shine on? 4 How can human beings be right with God? How can mere people really be pure? 5 Even the moon isn't bright and the stars aren't pure in God's eyes. 6 So how about human beings? They are like maggots. How about mere people? They are like worms."
1 Job replied, 2 "Bildad, you haven't helped people who aren't strong! You haven't saved people who are weak! 3 You haven't offered advice to those who aren't wise! In fact, you haven't understood anything at all! 4 Who helped you say those things? Whose spirit was speaking through you? 5 "The spirits of the dead are suffering greatly. So are those that are under the waters. And so are all those that live in them. 6 Death is naked in the sight of God. The Grave lies open in front of him. 7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space. He hangs the earth over nothing. 8 He wraps up water in his clouds. They are heavy, but they don't burst. 9 He covers the face of the full moon. He spreads his clouds over it. 10 He marks out the place where the sky meets the sea. He marks out the boundary between light and darkness. 11 The pillars of the heavens shake. They are terrified when his anger blazes out. 12 With his power he stirred up the oceans. In his wisdom he cut the sea monster Rahab to pieces. 13 His breath made the skies bright and clear. His hand wounded the serpent that glides through the sea. 14 Those are only on the edges of what he does. They are only the soft whispers that we hear from him. So who can understand how very powerful he is?"
1 Job continued to speak. He said, 2 "God hasn't treated me fairly. The Mighty One has made my spirit bitter. You can be sure that God lives. And here's something else you can be sure of. 3 As long as I have life and God gives me breath, 4 my mouth won't say evil things. My lips won't tell lies. 5 I'll never admit you people are right. Until I die, I'll say I'm telling the truth. 6 I'll continue to say I'm right. I'll never let go of that. I won't blame myself as long as I live. 7 "May my enemies suffer like sinful people! May my attackers be punished like those who aren't fair! 8 What hope do ungodly people have when their lives are cut off? What hope do they have when God takes away their lives? 9 God won't listen to their cry when trouble comes on them. 10 They won't take delight in the Mighty One. They'll never call out to God. 11 "I'll teach all of you about God's power. I won't hide the things the Mighty One does. 12 You have seen those things yourselves. So why do you continue your useless talk? 13 "Here's what God does to sinful people. Here's what those who are mean receive from the Mighty One. 14 All of their children will be killed with swords. They'll never have enough to eat. 15 A plague will kill those who are left alive. The widows of sinful men won't even sob over their own children. 16 Sinners might store up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay. 17 But people who do what is right will wear those clothes. People who haven't done anything wrong will divide up that silver. 18 The house an evil person builds is like a moth's cocoon. It's like a hut that's made by someone on guard duty. 19 Sinful people lie down wealthy, but their wealth is taken away. When they open their eyes, everything is gone. 20 Terrors sweep over them like a flood. A storm takes them away during the night. 21 The east wind carries them off, and they are gone. It sweeps them out of their houses. 22 It blows against them without mercy. They try to escape from its power. 23 It claps its hands and makes fun of them. It hisses them out of their houses.
1 "There are mines where silver is found. There are places where gold is purified. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth. Copper is melted down from ore. 3 A miner lights up the darkness. He searches for ore in the deepest pits. He looks for it in the blackest darkness. 4 Far from where people live he cuts a tunnel. He does it in places where others don't go. Far away from people he swings back and forth on ropes. 5 Food grows on the surface of the earth. But far below, the earth is changed as if by fire. 6 Sapphires are taken from its rocks. Its dust contains nuggets of gold. 7 No bird knows the miner's hidden path. No falcon's eye has seen it. 8 Proud animals don't walk on it. Lions don't prowl there. 9 The miner attacks the hardest rock. His strong hands uncover the base of the mountains. 10 He tunnels through the rock. His eyes see all of its treasures. 11 He searches the places where the rivers begin. He brings hidden things out into the light. 12 "And where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding live? 13 No one knows how much it's worth. It can't be found anywhere in the world. 14 The ocean says, 'It's not in me.' The sea says, 'It's not here either.' 15 It can't be bought with the finest gold. Its price can't be weighed out in silver. 16 It can't be bought with gold from Ophir. It can't be bought with priceless onyx or sapphires. 17 Gold or crystal can't compare with it. It can't be bought with jewels made of gold. 18 Don't bother to talk about coral and jasper. Wisdom is worth far more than rubies. 19 A topaz from Cush can't compare with it. It can't be bought with the purest gold. 20 "So where does wisdom come from? Where does understanding live? 21 It's hidden from the eyes of every living thing. Even the birds of the air can't find it. 22 Death and the Grave say, 'Only reports about it have reached our ears.' 23 But God understands the way to it. He's the only one who knows where it lives. 24 He sees from one end of the earth to the other. He views everything in the world. 25 He made the mighty wind. He measured out the waters. 26 He gave orders for the rain to fall. He made paths for the thunderstorms. 27 Then he looked at wisdom and set its price. He established it and put it to the test. 28 He said to human beings, 'Have respect for me. That will prove you are wise. Avoid evil. That will show you have understanding.' "
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