1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:2“Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.3Can his forces be numbered? On whom does his light not rise?4How then can a mortal be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure?5If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes,6how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot— a human being, who is only a worm!”
1Then Job replied:2“How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!3What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed!4Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?5“The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them.6The realm of the dead is naked before God; Destruction lies uncovered.7He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.8He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.9He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it.10He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.11The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke.12By his power he churned up the sea; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.13By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent.14And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
1And Job continued his discourse:2“As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,3as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils,4my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies.5I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.6I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.7“May my enemy be like the wicked, my adversary like the unjust!8For what hope have the godless when they are cut off, when God takes away their life?9Does God listen to their cry when distress comes upon them?10Will they find delight in the Almighty? Will they call on God at all times?11“I will teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.12You have all seen this yourselves. Why then this meaningless talk?13“Here is the fate God allots to the wicked, the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:14However many his children, their fate is the sword; his offspring will never have enough to eat.15The plague will bury those who survive him, and their widows will not weep for them.16Though he heaps up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay,17what he lays up the righteous will wear, and the innocent will divide his silver.18The house he builds is like a moth’s cocoon, like a hut made by a watchman.19He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more; when he opens his eyes, all is gone.20Terrors overtake him like a flood; a tempest snatches him away in the night.21The east wind carries him off, and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place.22It hurls itself against him without mercy as he flees headlong from its power.23It claps its hands in derision and hisses him out of his place.”
1There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.2Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore.3Mortals put an end to the darkness; they search out the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness.4Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft, in places untouched by human feet; far from other people they dangle and sway.5The earth, from which food comes, is transformed below as by fire;6lapis lazuli comes from its rocks, and its dust contains nuggets of gold.7No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon’s eye has seen it.8Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there.9People assault the flinty rock with their hands and lay bare the roots of the mountains.10They tunnel through the rock; their eyes see all its treasures.11They search the sources of the rivers and bring hidden things to light.12But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?13No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.14The deep says, “It is not in me”; the sea says, “It is not with me.”15It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver.16It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.17Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold.18Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.19The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold.20Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?21It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds in the sky.22Destruction and Death say, “Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”23God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells,24for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.25When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters,26when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm,27then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it.28And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
1Job continued his discourse:2“How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me,3when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness!4Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,5when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,6when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.7“When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square,8the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet;9the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands;10the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.11Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me,12because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them.13The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing.14I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.15I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.16I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.17I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.18“I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand.19My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.20My glory will not fade; the bow will be ever new in my hand.’21“People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel.22After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears.23They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain.24When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.25I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners.
1“But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.2Of what use was the strength of their hands to me, since their vigor had gone from them?3Haggard from want and hunger, they roamed the parched land in desolate wastelands at night.4In the brush they gathered salt herbs, and their food was the root of the broom bush.5They were banished from human society, shouted at as if they were thieves.6They were forced to live in the dry stream beds, among the rocks and in holes in the ground.7They brayed among the bushes and huddled in the undergrowth.8A base and nameless brood, they were driven out of the land.9“And now those young men mock me in song; I have become a byword among them.10They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.11Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence.12On my right the tribe attacks; they lay snares for my feet, they build their siege ramps against me.13They break up my road; they succeed in destroying me. ‘No one can help him,’ they say.14They advance as through a gaping breach; amid the ruins they come rolling in.15Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud.16“And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.17Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest.18In his great power God becomes like clothing to me ; he binds me like the neck of my garment.19He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.20“I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.21You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.22You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm.23I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.24“Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man when he cries for help in his distress.25Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?26Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.27The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me.28I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.29I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of owls.30My skin grows black and peels; my body burns with fever.31My lyre is tuned to mourning, and my pipe to the sound of wailing.