Bible: Job 29-31
IV. Job’s Concluding Soliloquy (29:1-31:40)Job Recalls His Former Condition 1
29:1 Then Job continued 2 his speech:
in the months now gone, 5
to shine upon my head,
and by his light
29:4 just as I was in my most productive time, 13
when God’s intimate friendship 14 was experienced in my tent,
29:5 when the Almighty 15 was still with me
and my children were 16 around me;
and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil! 20
29:7 When I went out to the city gate
and secured my seat in the public square, 21
29:8 the young men would see me and step aside, 22
and the old men would get up and remain standing;
29:9 the chief men refrained from talking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
29:10 the voices of the nobles fell silent, 23
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
and when the eye saw them, it bore witness to me,
29:12 for I rescued the poor who cried out for help,
and the orphan who 26 had no one to assist him;
29:13 the blessing of the dying man descended on me, 27
and I made the widow’s heart rejoice; 28
29:14 I put on righteousness and it clothed me, 29
my just dealing 30 was like a robe and a turban;
29:15 I was eyes for the blind
and feet for the lame;
29:16 I was a father 31 to the needy,
and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;
29:17 I broke the fangs 32 of the wicked,
and made him drop 33 his prey from his teeth.
29:18 “Then I thought, ‘I will die in my own home, 34
my days as numerous as the grains of sand. 35
29:19 My roots reach the water,
and the dew lies on my branches all night long.
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
they kept silent for my advice.
29:22 After I had spoken, they did not respond;
my words fell on them drop by drop. 40
29:23 They waited for me as people wait 41 for the rain,
and they opened their mouths 42
as for 43 the spring rains.
29:24 If I smiled at them, they hardly believed it; 44
and they did not cause the light of my face to darken. 45
and sat as their chief; 48
I lived like a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners. 49
Job’s Present Misery
30:1 “But now they mock me, those who are younger 50 than I,
whose fathers I disdained too much 51
to put with my sheep dogs. 52
30:2 Moreover, the strength of their 53 hands –
what use was it to me?
Men whose strength 54 had perished;
30:3 gaunt 55 with want and hunger,
they would gnaw 56 the parched land,
in former time desolate and waste. 57
and the root of the broom tree was their food.
30:5 They were banished from the community 61 –
people 62 shouted at them
like they would shout at thieves 63 –
30:6 so that they had to live 64
in the dry stream beds, 65
in the holes of the ground, and among the rocks.
30:7 They brayed 66 like animals among the bushes
and were huddled together 67 under the nettles.
30:8 Sons of senseless and nameless people, 68
they were driven out of the land with whips. 69
30:9 “And now I have become their taunt song;
I have become a byword 70 among them.
30:10 They detest me and maintain their distance; 71
they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
30:11 Because God has untied 72 my tent cord and afflicted me,
people throw off all restraint in my presence. 73
30:12 On my right the young rabble 74 rise up;
they drive me from place to place, 75
30:13 They destroy 78 my path;
they succeed in destroying me 79
without anyone assisting 80 them.
30:14 They come in as through a wide breach;
30:15 Terrors are turned loose 83 on me;
they drive away 84 my honor like the wind,
and like a cloud my deliverance has passed away.
30:16 “And now my soul pours itself out within me; 85
days of suffering take hold of me.
my gnawing pains 88 never cease.
he binds me like the collar 91 of my tunic.
30:19 He has flung me into the mud,
and I have come to resemble dust and ashes.
30:20 I cry out to you, 92 but you do not answer me;
30:21 You have become cruel to me; 95
with the strength of your hand you attack me. 96
30:22 You pick me up on the wind and make me ride on it; 97
30:23 I know that you are bringing 100 me to death,
to the meeting place for all the living.
The Contrast With the Past
30:24 “Surely one does not stretch out his hand
against a broken man 101
when he cries for help in his distress. 102
30:25 Have I not wept for the unfortunate? 103
Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
30:26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came;
when I expected light, then darkness came.
the days of my affliction confront me.
30:28 I go about blackened, 107 but not by the sun;
in the assembly I stand up and cry for help.
30:29 I have become a brother to jackals
and a companion of ostriches. 108
30:30 My skin has turned dark on me; 109
30:31 My harp is used for 112 mourning
and my flute for the sound of weeping.
Job Vindicates Himself
31:1 “I made a covenant with 113 my eyes;
how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin? 114
31:2 What then would be one’s lot from God above,
one’s heritage from the Almighty 115 on high?
31:3 Is it not misfortune for the unjust,
and disaster for those who work iniquity?
31:4 Does he not see my ways
and count all my steps?
31:5 If 116 I have walked in falsehood,
then God will discover 121 my integrity.
31:7 If my footsteps have strayed from the way,
if my heart has gone after my eyes, 122
or if anything 123 has defiled my hands,
31:8 then let me sow 124 and let another eat,
and let my crops 125 be uprooted.
31:9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door, 126
31:10 then let my wife turn the millstone 127 for another man,
and may other men have sexual relations with her. 128
an iniquity to be judged. 131
31:12 For it is a fire that devours even to Destruction, 132
and it would uproot 133 all my harvest.
31:13 “If I have disregarded the right of my male servants
or my female servants
when they disputed 134 with me,
31:14 then what will I do when God confronts me in judgment; 135
when he intervenes, 136
how will I respond to him?
31:15 Did not the one who made me in the womb make them? 137
Did not the same one form us in the womb?
31:16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 138
or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
31:17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,
and did not share any of it with orphans 139 –
31:18 but from my youth I raised the orphan 140 like a father,
and from my mother’s womb 141
I guided the widow! 142
31:19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing,
or a poor man without a coat,
31:20 whose heart did not bless me 143
as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep, 144
31:21 if I have raised my hand 145 to vote against the orphan,
when I saw my support in the court, 146
let my arm be broken off at the socket. 149
31:23 For the calamity from God was a terror to me, 150
and by reason of his majesty 151 I was powerless.
31:24 “If I have put my confidence in gold
or said to pure gold,
‘You are my security!’
31:25 if I have rejoiced because of the extent of my wealth,
or because of the great wealth my hand had gained,
31:26 if I looked at the sun 152 when it was shining,
and the moon advancing as a precious thing,
31:27 so that my heart was secretly enticed,
and my hand threw them a kiss from my mouth, 153
for I would have been false 156 to God above.
by asking 163 for his life through a curse –
‘If only there were 167 someone
who has not been satisfied from Job’s 168 meat!’ –
31:32 But 169 no stranger had to spend the night outside,
for I opened my doors to the traveler 170 –
and the contempt of families terrified me,
so that I remained silent
and would not go outdoors – 177
31:35 “If only I had 178 someone to hear me!
Here is my signature – 179
let the Almighty answer me!
If only I had an indictment 180
that my accuser had written. 181
I would bind 184 it on me like a crown;
31:37 I would give him an accounting of my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
Job’s Final Solemn Oath 185
31:38 “If my land cried out against me 186
and all its furrows wept together,
31:39 if I have eaten its produce without paying, 187
31:40 then let thorns sprout up in place of wheat,
and in place of barley, weeds!” 190
The words of Job are ended.