Bible: Job 8-11

Bildad’s First Speech to Job 1 

8:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite spoke up and said:

8:2How long will you speak these things, 2 

seeing 3  that the words of your mouth

are like a great 4  wind? 5 

8:3 Does God pervert 6  justice? 7 

Or does the Almighty pervert 8  what is right?

8:4 If 9  your children sinned against him,

he gave them over 10  to the penalty 11  of their sin.

8:5 But 12  if you will look 13  to God,

and make your supplication 14  to the Almighty,

8:6 if you become 15  pure 16  and upright, 17 

even now he will rouse himself 18  for you,

and will restore 19  your righteous abode. 20 

8:7 Your beginning 21  will seem so small,

since your future will flourish. 22 

8:8For inquire now of the former 23  generation,

and pay attention 24  to the findings 25 

of their ancestors; 26 

8:9 For we were born yesterday 27  and do not have knowledge,

since our days on earth are but a shadow. 28 

8:10 Will they not 29  instruct you and 30  speak to you,

and bring forth words 31 

from their understanding? 32 

8:11 Can the papyrus plant grow tall 33  where there is no marsh?

Can reeds flourish 34  without water?

8:12 While they are still beginning to flower 35 

and not ripe for cutting, 36 

they can wither away 37 

faster 38  than any grass! 39 

8:13 Such is the destiny 40  of all who forget God;

the hope of the godless 41  perishes,

8:14 whose 42  trust 43  is in something futile, 44 

whose security is a spider’s web. 45 

8:15 He leans against his house but it does not hold up, 46 

he takes hold 47  of it but it does not stand.

8:16 He is a well-watered plant 48  in 49  the sun,

its shoots spread 50  over its garden. 51 

8:17 It wraps its roots around a heap 52  of stones 53 

and it looks 54  for a place among stones. 55 

8:18 If he is uprooted 56  from his place,

then that place 57  will disown him, saying, 58 

‘I have never seen you!’

8:19 Indeed, this is the joy of his way, 59 

and out of the earth 60  others spring up. 61 

8:20Surely, God does not reject a blameless man, 62 

nor does he grasp the hand 63 

of the evildoers.

8:21 He will yet 64  fill your mouth with laughter, 65 

and your lips with gladness.

8:22 Those who hate you 66  will be clothed with shame, 67 

and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Job’s Reply to Bildad 68 

9:1 Then Job answered:

9:2Truly, 69  I know that this is so.

But how 70  can a human 71  be just before 72  God? 73 

9:3 If someone wishes 74  to contend 75  with him,

he cannot answer 76  him one time in a thousand.

9:4 He is wise in heart 77  and mighty 78  in strength 79 

who has resisted 80  him and remained safe? 81 

9:5 He who removes mountains suddenly, 82 

who overturns them in his anger; 83 

9:6 he who shakes the earth out of its place 84 

so that its pillars tremble; 85 

9:7 he who commands the sun and 86  it does not shine 87 

and seals up 88  the stars;

9:8 he alone spreads out the heavens,

and treads 89  on the waves of the sea; 90 

9:9 he makes the Bear, 91  Orion, 92  and the Pleiades, 93 

and the constellations of the southern sky; 94 

9:10 he does great and unsearchable things, 95 

and wonderful things without number.

9:11 If 96  he passes by me, I cannot see 97  him, 98 

if he goes by, I cannot perceive him. 99 

9:12 If he snatches away, 100  who can turn him back? 101 

Who dares to say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

9:13 God does not restrain his anger; 102 

under him the helpers of Rahab 103  lie crushed. 104 

The Impossibility of Facing God in Court

9:14How much less, 105  then, can I answer him 106 

and choose my words 107  to argue 108  with 109  him! 110 

9:15 Although 111  I am innocent, 112 

I could not answer him; 113 

I could only plead 114  with my judge 115  for mercy.

9:16 If I summoned him, and he answered me, 116 

I would not believe 117 

that he would be listening to my voice

9:17 he who 118  crushes 119  me with a tempest,

and multiplies my wounds for no reason. 120 

9:18 He does not allow 121  me to recover 122  my breath,

for he fills 123  me with bitterness.

9:19 If it is a matter of strength, 124 

most certainly 125  he is the strong one!

And if it is a matter of justice,

he will say, ‘Who will summon me?’ 126 

9:20 Although I am innocent, 127 

my mouth 128  would condemn me; 129 

although I am blameless,

it would declare me perverse. 130 

9:21 I am blameless. 131  I do not know myself. 132 

I despise my life.

Accusation of God’s Justice

9:22It is all one! 133  That is why I say, 134 

‘He destroys the blameless and the guilty.’

9:23 If a scourge brings sudden death, 135 

he mocks 136  at the despair 137  of the innocent. 138 

9:24 If a land 139  has been given

into the hand of a wicked man, 140 

he covers 141  the faces of its judges; 142 

if it is not he, then who is it? 143 

Renewed Complaint

9:25My days 144  are swifter than a runner, 145 

they speed by without seeing happiness.

9:26 They glide by 146  like reed 147  boats,

like an eagle that swoops 148  down on its prey. 149 

9:27 If I say, 150 I will 151  forget my complaint,

I will change my expression 152  and be cheerful,’ 153 

9:28 I dread 154  all my sufferings, 155 

for 156  I know that you do not hold me blameless. 157 

9:29 If I am guilty, 158 

why then 159  weary myself 160  in vain? 161 

9:30 If I wash myself with snow water, 162 

and make my hands clean with lye, 163 

9:31 then you plunge me into a slimy pit 164 

and my own clothes abhor me.

9:32 For he 165  is not a human being like I am,

that 166  I might answer him,

that we might come 167  together in judgment.

9:33 Nor is there an arbiter 168  between us,

who 169  might lay 170  his hand on us both, 171 

9:34 who 172  would take his 173  rod 174  away from me

so that his terror 175  would not make me afraid.

9:35 Then 176  would I speak and not fear him,

but it is not so with me. 177 

An Appeal for Revelation

10:1I 178  am weary 179  of my life;

I will complain without restraint; 180 

I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.

10:2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn 181  me;

tell me 182  why you are contending 183  with me.’

10:3 Is it good for you 184  to oppress, 185 

to 186  despise the work of your hands,

while 187  you smile 188 

on the schemes of the wicked?

Motivations of God

10:4Do you have eyes of flesh, 189 

or do you see 190  as a human being sees? 191 

10:5 Are your days like the days of a mortal,

or your years like the years 192  of a mortal,

10:6 that 193  you must search out 194  my iniquity,

and inquire about my sin,

10:7 although you know 195  that I am not guilty,

and that there is no one who can deliver 196 

out of your hand?

Contradictions in God’s Dealings

10:8Your hands have shaped 197  me and made me,

but 198  now you destroy me completely. 199 

10:9 Remember that you have made me as with 200  the clay;

will 201  you return me to dust?

10:10 Did you not pour 202  me out like milk,

and curdle 203  me like cheese? 204 

10:11 You clothed 205  me with skin and flesh

and knit me together 206  with bones and sinews.

10:12 You gave me 207  life and favor, 208 

and your intervention 209  watched over my spirit.

10:13But these things 210  you have concealed in your heart;

I know that this 211  is with you: 212 

10:14 If I sinned, then you would watch me

and you would not acquit me of my iniquity.

10:15 If I am guilty, 213  woe 214  to me,

and if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head; 215 

I am full of shame, 216 

and satiated with my affliction. 217 

10:16 If I lift myself up, 218 

you hunt me as a fierce lion, 219 

and again 220  you display your power 221  against me.

10:17 You bring new witnesses 222  against me,

and increase your anger against me;

relief troops 223  come against me.

An Appeal for Relief

10:18Why then did you bring me out from the womb?

I should have died 224 

and no eye would have seen me!

10:19 I should have been as though I had never existed; 225 

I should have been carried

right from the womb to the grave!

10:20 Are not my days few? 226 

Cease, 227  then, and leave 228  me alone, 229 

that I may find a little comfort, 230 

10:21 before I depart, never to return, 231 

to the land of darkness

and the deepest shadow, 232 

10:22 to the land of utter darkness,

like the deepest darkness,

and the deepest shadow and disorder, 233 

where even the light 234  is like darkness.” 235 

Zophar’s First Speech to Job 236 

11:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite spoke up and said:

11:2Should not this 237  abundance of words be answered, 238 

or should this 239  talkative man 240 

be vindicated? 241 

11:3 Will your idle talk 242  reduce people to silence, 243 

and will no one rebuke 244  you when you mock? 245 

11:4 For you have said, ‘My teaching 246  is flawless,

and I am pure in your sight.’

11:5 But if only God would speak, 247 

if only he would open his lips against you, 248 

11:6 and reveal to you the secrets of wisdom

for true wisdom has two sides 249 

so that you would know 250 

that God has forgiven some of your sins. 251 

11:7Can you discover 252  the essence 253  of God?

Can you find out 254 

the perfection of the Almighty? 255 

11:8 It is higher 256  than the heavens – what can you do?

It is deeper than Sheol 257 what can you know?

11:9 Its measure is longer than the earth,

and broader than the sea.

11:10 If he comes by 258  and confines 259  you 260 

and convenes a court, 261 

then who can prevent 262  him?

11:11 For he 263  knows deceitful 264  men;

when he sees evil, will he not 265  consider it? 266 

11:12 But an empty man will become wise,

when a wild donkey’s colt is born a human being. 267 

11:13As for you, 268  if you prove faithful, 269 

and if 270  you stretch out your hands toward him, 271 

11:14 if 272  iniquity is in your hand – put it far away, 273 

and do not let evil reside in your tents.

11:15 For 274  then you will lift up your face

without 275  blemish; 276 

you will be securely established 277 

and will not fear.

11:16 For you 278  will forget your trouble; 279 

you will remember it

like water that 280  has flowed away.

11:17 And life 281  will be brighter 282  than the noonday;

though there be darkness, 283 

it will be like the morning.

11:18 And you will be secure, because there is hope;

you will be protected 284 

and will take your rest in safety.

11:19 You will lie down with 285  no one to make you afraid,

and many will seek your favor. 286 

11:20 But the eyes of the wicked fail, 287 

and escape 288  eludes them;

their one hope 289  is to breathe their last.” 290 

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