1 “My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me. 2 I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me. 3 “You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. 4 You have closed their minds to understanding, but do not let them triumph. 5 They betray their friends for their own advantage, so let their children faint with hunger. 6 “God has made a mockery of me among the people; they spit in my face. 7 My eyes are swollen with weeping, and I am but a shadow of my former self. 8 The virtuous are horrified when they see me. The innocent rise up against the ungodly. 9 The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. 10 “As for all of you, come back with a better argument, though I still won’t find a wise man among you. 11 My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. 12 These men say that night is day; they claim that the darkness is light. 13 What if I go to the grave and make my bed in darkness? 14 What if I call the grave my father, and the maggot my mother or my sister? 15 Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? 16 No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!”
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: 2 “How long before you stop talking? Speak sense if you want us to answer! 3 Do you think we are mere animals? Do you think we are stupid? 4 You may tear out your hair in anger, but will that destroy the earth? Will it make the rocks tremble? 5 “Surely the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. The sparks of their fire will not glow. 6 The light in their tent will grow dark. The lamp hanging above them will be quenched. 7 The confident stride of the wicked will be shortened. Their own schemes will be their downfall. 8 The wicked walk into a net. They fall into a pit. 9 A trap grabs them by the heel. A snare holds them tight. 10 A noose lies hidden on the ground. A rope is stretched across their path. 11 “Terrors surround the wicked and trouble them at every step. 12 Hunger depletes their strength, and calamity waits for them to stumble. 13 Disease eats their skin; death devours their limbs. 14 They are torn from the security of their homes and are brought down to the king of terrors. 15 The homes of the wicked will burn down; burning sulfur rains on their houses. 16 Their roots will dry up, and their branches will wither. 17 All memory of their existence will fade from the earth; no one will remember their names. 18 They will be thrust from light into darkness, driven from the world. 19 They will have neither children nor grandchildren, nor any survivor in the place where they lived. 20 People in the west are appalled at their fate; people in the east are horrified. 21 They will say, ‘This was the home of a wicked person, the place of one who rejected God.’”
1 Then Job spoke again: 2 “How long will you torture me? How long will you try to crush me with your words? 3 You have already insulted me ten times. You should be ashamed of treating me so badly. 4 Even if I have sinned, that is my concern, not yours. 5 You think you’re better than I am, using my humiliation as evidence of my sin. 6 But it is God who has wronged me, capturing me in his net. 7 “I cry out, ‘Help!’ but no one answers me. I protest, but there is no justice. 8 God has blocked my way so I cannot move. He has plunged my path into darkness. 9 He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head. 10 He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished. He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree. 11 His fury burns against me; he counts me as an enemy. 12 His troops advance. They build up roads to attack me. They camp all around my tent. 13 “My relatives stay far away, and my friends have turned against me. 14 My family is gone, and my close friends have forgotten me. 15 My servants and maids consider me a stranger. I am like a foreigner to them. 16 When I call my servant, he doesn’t come; I have to plead with him! 17 My breath is repulsive to my wife. I am rejected by my own family. 18 Even young children despise me. When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me. 19 My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me. 20 I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth. 21 “Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy, for the hand of God has struck me. 22 Must you also persecute me, like God does? Haven’t you chewed me up enough? 23 “Oh, that my words could be recorded. Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument, 24 carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead, engraved forever in the rock. 25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. 26 And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! 27 I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought! 28 “How dare you go on persecuting me, saying, ‘It’s his own fault’? 29 You should fear punishment yourselves, for your attitude deserves punishment. Then you will know that there is indeed a judgment.”
1 In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. 4 Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! 5 Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.” 7 As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants. 8 He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa. 9 The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10 and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12 In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14 “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean. ” 15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16 The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. 17 Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, 18 they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. 19 Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. 20 Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” 21 So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22 They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 23 So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa.