Monday, 5 July 2010

Day 7: The Story of Job Continues

Job reproved his friend
Job 13:1-12
 1 "My eyes have seen all this, 
       my ears have heard and understood it.
 2 What you know, I also know; 
       I am not inferior to you.
 3 But I desire to speak to the Almighty 
       and to argue my case with God.
 4 You, however, smear me with lies; 
       you are worthless physicians, all of you!
 5 If only you would be altogether silent! 
       For you, that would be wisdom.
 6 Hear now my argument; 
       listen to the plea of my lips.
 7 Will you speak wickedly on God's behalf? 
       Will you speak deceitfully for him?
 8 Will you show him partiality? 
       Will you argue the case for God?
 9 Would it turn out well if he examined you? 
       Could you deceive him as you might deceive men?
 10 He would surely rebuke you 
       if you secretly showed partiality.
 11 Would not his splendor terrify you? 
       Would not the dread of him fall on you?
 12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; 
       your defenses are defenses of clay.

He professes his confidence in God and entreats to know his sins
Job 13:13-28
 13 "Keep silent and let me speak; 
       then let come to me what may.
 14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy 
       and take my life in my hands?
 15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; 
       I will surely [a] defend my ways to his face.
 16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, 
       for no godless man would dare come before him!
 17 Listen carefully to my words; 
       let your ears take in what I say.
 18 Now that I have prepared my case, 
       I know I will be vindicated.
 19 Can anyone bring charges against me? 
       If so, I will be silent and die.
 20 "Only grant me these two things, O God, 
       and then I will not hide from you:
 21 Withdraw your hand far from me, 
       and stop frightening me with your terrors.
 22 Then summon me and I will answer, 
       or let me speak, and you reply.
 23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed? 
       Show me my offense and my sin.
 24 Why do you hide your face 
       and consider me your enemy?
 25 Will you torment a windblown leaf? 
       Will you chase after dry chaff?
 26 For you write down bitter things against me 
       and make me inherit the sins of my youth.
 27 You fasten my feet in shackles; 
       you keep close watch on all my paths 
       by putting marks on the soles of my feet.
 28 "So man wastes away like something rotten, 
       like a garment eaten by moths.

Job speaks of man's life and death
Job 14:1-15
 1 "Man born of woman 
       is of few days and full of trouble.
 2 He springs up like a flower and withers away; 
       like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.
 3 Do you fix your eye on such a one? 
       Will you bring him [a] before you for judgment?
 4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure? 
       No one!
 5 Man's days are determined; 
       you have decreed the number of his months 
       and have set limits he cannot exceed.
 6 So look away from him and let him alone, 
       till he has put in his time like a hired man.
 7 "At least there is hope for a tree: 
       If it is cut down, it will sprout again, 
       and its new shoots will not fail.
 8 Its roots may grow old in the ground 
       and its stump die in the soil,
 9 yet at the scent of water it will bud 
       and put forth shoots like a plant.
 10 But man dies and is laid low; 
       he breathes his last and is no more.
 11 As water disappears from the sea 
       or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
 12 so man lies down and does not rise; 
       till the heavens are no more, men will not awake 
       or be roused from their sleep.
 13 "If only you would hide me in the grave [b] 
       and conceal me till your anger has passed! 
       If only you would set me a time 
       and then remember me!
 14 If a man dies, will he live again? 
       All the days of my hard service 
       I will wait for my renewal [c] to come.
 15 You will call and I will answer you; 
       you will long for the creature your hands have made.

By sin man is subject to corruption
Job 14:16-22
 16 Surely then you will count my steps 
       but not keep track of my sin.
 17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; 
       you will cover over my sin.
 18 "But as a mountain erodes and crumbles 
       and as a rock is moved from its place,
 19 as water wears away stones 
       and torrents wash away the soil, 
       so you destroy man's hope.
 20 You overpower him once for all, and he is gone; 
       you change his countenance and send him away.
 21 If his sons are honored, he does not know it; 
       if they are brought low, he does not see it.
 22 He feels but the pain of his own body 
       and mourns only for himself."

The Second Round of Speeches

Eliohaz reproves Job
Job 15:1-16
 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
 2 "Would a wise man answer with empty notions 
       or fill his belly with the hot east wind?
 3 Would he argue with useless words, 
       with speeches that have no value?
 4 But you even undermine piety 
       and hinder devotion to God.
 5 Your sin prompts your mouth; 
       you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
 6 Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; 
       your own lips testify against you.
 7 "Are you the first man ever born? 
       Were you brought forth before the hills?
 8 Do you listen in on God's council? 
       Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
 9 What do you know that we do not know? 
       What insights do you have that we do not have?
 10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, 
       men even older than your father.
 11 Are God's consolations not enough for you, 
       words spoken gently to you?
 12 Why has your heart carried you away, 
       and why do your eyes flash,
 13 so that you vent your rage against God 
       and pour out such words from your mouth?
 14 "What is man, that he could be pure, 
       or one born of woman, that he could be righteous?
 15 If God places no trust in his holy ones, 
       if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
 16 how much less man, who is vile and corrupt, 
       who drinks up evil like water!

The unease of wicked men
Job 15:17-35
 17 "Listen to me and I will explain to you; 
       let me tell you what I have seen,
 18 what wise men have declared, 
       hiding nothing received from their fathers
 19 (to whom alone the land was given 
       when no alien passed among them):
 20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment, 
       the ruthless through all the years stored up for him.
 21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears; 
       when all seems well, marauders attack him.
 22 He despairs of escaping the darkness; 
       he is marked for the sword.
 23 He wanders about—food for vultures [a] ; 
       he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
 24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror; 
       they overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
 25 because he shakes his fist at God 
       and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
 26 defiantly charging against him 
       with a thick, strong shield.
 27 "Though his face is covered with fat 
       and his waist bulges with flesh,
 28 he will inhabit ruined towns 
       and houses where no one lives, 
       houses crumbling to rubble.
 29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure, 
       nor will his possessions spread over the land.
 30 He will not escape the darkness; 
       a flame will wither his shoots, 
       and the breath of God's mouth will carry him away.
 31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, 
       for he will get nothing in return.
 32 Before his time he will be paid in full, 
       and his branches will not flourish.
 33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes, 
       like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
 34 For the company of the godless will be barren, 
       and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
 35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; 
       their womb fashions deceit."

Job reproves his friends
Job 16:1-5
 1 Then Job replied:
 2 "I have heard many things like these; 
       miserable comforters are you all!
 3 Will your long-winded speeches never end? 
       What ails you that you keep on arguing?
 4 I also could speak like you, 
       if you were in my place; 
       I could make fine speeches against you 
       and shake my head at you.
 5 But my mouth would encourage you; 
       comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

He represents his case as deplorable and maintains his innocence
Job 16:6-22
 6 "Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; 
       and if I refrain, it does not go away.
 7 Surely, O God, you have worn me out; 
       you have devastated my entire household.
 8 You have bound me—and it has become a witness; 
       my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
 9 God assails me and tears me in his anger 
       and gnashes his teeth at me; 
       my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
 10 Men open their mouths to jeer at me; 
       they strike my cheek in scorn 
       and unite together against me.
 11 God has turned me over to evil men 
       and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
 12 All was well with me, but he shattered me; 
       he seized me by the neck and crushed me. 
       He has made me his target;
 13 his archers surround me. 
       Without pity, he pierces my kidneys 
       and spills my gall on the ground.
 14 Again and again he bursts upon me; 
       he rushes at me like a warrior.
 15 "I have sewed sackcloth over my skin 
       and buried my brow in the dust.
 16 My face is red with weeping, 
       deep shadows ring my eyes;
 17 yet my hands have been free of violence 
       and my prayer is pure.
 18 "O earth, do not cover my blood; 
       may my cry never be laid to rest!
 19 Even now my witness is in heaven; 
       my advocate is on high.
 20 My intercessor is my friend [a] 
       as my eyes pour out tears to God;
 21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God 
       as a man pleads for his friend.
 22 "Only a few years will pass 
       before I go on the journey of no return.

Job appeals to God
Job 17:1-9
 1 My spirit is broken, 
       my days are cut short, 
       the grave awaits me.
 2 Surely mockers surround me; 
       my eyes must dwell on their hostility.
 3 "Give me, O God, the pledge you demand. 
       Who else will put up security for me?
 4 You have closed their minds to understanding; 
       therefore you will not let them triumph.
 5 If a man denounces his friends for reward, 
       the eyes of his children will fail.
 6 "God has made me a byword to everyone, 
       a man in whose face people spit.
 7 My eyes have grown dim with grief; 
       my whole frame is but a shadow.
 8 Upright men are appalled at this; 
       the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.
 9 Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, 
       and those with clean hands will grow stronger.

His hope in his death
Job 17:10-16
 10 "But come on, all of you, try again! 
       I will not find a wise man among you.
 11 My days have passed, my plans are shattered, 
       and so are the desires of my heart.
 12 These men turn night into day; 
       in the face of darkness they say, 'Light is near.'
 13 If the only home I hope for is the grave, [a] 
       if I spread out my bed in darkness,
 14 if I say to corruption, 'You are my father,' 
       and to the worm, 'My mother' or 'My sister,'
 15 where then is my hope? 
       Who can see any hope for me?
 16 Will it go down to the gates of death [b] ? 
       Will we descend together into the dust?"

Bildad reproves Job
Job 18:1-4
 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
 2 "When will you end these speeches? 
       Be sensible, and then we can talk.
 3 Why are we regarded as cattle 
       and considered stupid in your sight?
 4 You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, 
       is the earth to be abandoned for your sake? 
       Or must the rocks be moved from their place?

Ruin awaits the wicked
Job 18:5-10
 5 "The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out; 
       the flame of his fire stops burning.
 6 The light in his tent becomes dark; 
       the lamp beside him goes out.
 7 The vigor of his step is weakened; 
       his own schemes throw him down.
 8 His feet thrust him into a net 
       and he wanders into its mesh.
 9 A trap seizes him by the heel; 
       a snare holds him fast.
 10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground; 
       a trap lies in his path.

The ruin of the wicked
Job 18:11-21
 11 Terrors startle him on every side 
       and dog his every step.
 12 Calamity is hungry for him; 
       disaster is ready for him when he falls.
 13 It eats away parts of his skin; 
       death's firstborn devours his limbs.
 14 He is torn from the security of his tent 
       and marched off to the king of terrors.
 15 Fire resides [a] in his tent; 
       burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.
 16 His roots dry up below 
       and his branches wither above.
 17 The memory of him perishes from the earth; 
       he has no name in the land.
 18 He is driven from light into darkness 
       and is banished from the world.
 19 He has no offspring or descendants among his people, 
       no survivor where once he lived.
 20 Men of the west are appalled at his fate; 
       men of the east are seized with horror.
 21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; 
       such is the place of one who knows not God." 
New International Version 

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