1[1 -5] There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, who was without fault and good, and one who respected God, and turned away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 pair of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very large household; so that he was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons went and held a party in the house of each one on his birthday; and they sent and called for their three sisters to come and join them. When the days of their celebrating were over, Job sent and dedicated them, getting up early in the morning, and offering burnt offerings for each of them. Job thought, “It may be that my children have sinned, and rejected God in their hearts.” Job did this every year.
[6 -12] Now on the day when the angels of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, Satan (the accuser) also came with them. Yahweh said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered Yahweh, saying, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you thought about my worker, Job? For there is no one like him on earth, without fault and good, who respects God, and turns away from evil.” Then Satan answered Yahweh, saying, “Does Job serve You for nothing? Haven’t You put a protective barrier around him, and his house, and around everything he has, on every side? You’ve blessed the work of his hands, and all he owns has grown great in the land. But put Your hand out now, and touch what he has and he’ll reject You to Your face.” So Yahweh said to Satan, “See I give you power over whatever he has. But don’t touch him.” So Satan left the presence of Yahweh.
[13-19] On a day when his sons and daughters were celebrating at their oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job, saying, “The oxen were plowing, and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans (southwest Arabia) attacked, and stole them. Yes, they’ve killed all the workers with their weapons, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another came, saying, “Lightening struck, and has burned up the sheep and the workers, and destroyed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another came also, saying, “The Chaldeans (Iraq), who were divided into three groups, have taken all the camels, and killed all the workers with their weapons; and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another came also, saying, “Your sons and daughters were celebrating at their oldest brother’s house, and a tornado came from the countryside, and collapsed the house, and it fell on the children, and they’re dead. I alone have escaped to tell you.”
[20-22] Then Job got up, ripped his robe, and shaved his head, then fell down on the ground, and worshiped, saying, “I came out of my mother’s womb naked, and I’ll go back to God naked. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away. Blessed be the Name of Yahweh.” In all this, Job didn’t sin, nor reject God.
Satan Accuses Job
2[1-6] Again, on the day when the angels of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, Satan (the accuser) came also with them to stand before Yahweh. Yahweh said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered Yahweh, saying, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you thought any more on my worker Job? There is no one like him in all the earth, without fault and good, one who respects God, and turns away from evil, who still does what’s right, although you turned Me against him, to ruin him without cause.” Satan answered Yahweh, saying, “Skin for skin. Yes, anyone would give everything they have for their life! But put Your hand out now, and touch his flesh and bone, and he’ll reject You to Your face.” Yahweh said to Satan, “I put him in your power. Only spare his life.”
[7-10] So Satan left the presence of Yahweh, and struck Job with painful sores from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. He took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself with, and sat among the ashes. Then his wife asked him, “Are you still going to try to do what’s right? Reject God, and die.” But he said to her, “You talk like an ungodly women. What? Will we take what’s good from God, and not take the bad, as well?” In all this, Job didn’t say anything wrong.
[11-13] Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come on him, they each came from their homes; Eliphaz, the Temanite, Bildad, the Shuhite, and Zophar, the Naamathite, and set aside a time to come together to sympathize and comfort Job. When they looked up from a distance, and didn’t even recognize him, they hollered out, and cried; then they each tore their robe, and threw dust on their heads toward the sky. So they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and nights, and no one said a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
3[1 After this, Job opened his mouth, and cursed the day of his birth, saying, “Let the day I was born cease to exist, and the night when I was conceived. Let that day be darkness. Let God above forget it, and don’t let God’s light shine on it. Let eternal darkness and the shadow of death claim it for their own. Let a dark storm cloud cover it. Let whatever makes a day turn black terrify it.
[6 -10] As for that night, let the blackest darkness overcome it. Don’t let it be counted among the days of the year. Don’t let it come into the number of the months. Let no one be born on that night ever again. Let no happy voice be heard in it. Let those who curse, curse that day, who are ready to rouse up Leviathan (the sea monster) to swallow it. Let the stars of its twilight not shine. Let it look for light, but have none, nor let it see the morning, because it didn’t close my mother’s womb, nor hide this trouble from me.
[11 -16] “Why didn’t I die at birth? Why didn’t I give up the spirit when my mother had me? Why did I fall on her knees? Or why did I suck her breasts? I should have went limp and been quiet. I should have died, then I would have been at rest, with rulers and counselors of the earth, who built the old ruins for themselves; or with leaders who had gold, who filled their houses with silver; or buried as an unseen early birth, as a baby who never saw the light of day.
[17-19] There the sinful don’t trouble anyone anymore and those who are tired are at rest. There the prisoners are in peace and don’t hear the harsh voice of their guards. The rich and poor are there, and the workers are free from their bosses.
[20-23] “Why is light given to those who are in misery, life to those who suffer, who long for death, but it doesn’t come; and dig for it more than for hidden treasures, who are very happy, and are glad when they go to the grave? Why is light given to anyone who can’t find their way, whom God has put in their place?
[24-26] I sigh before I eat. My tears pour out like water. For the thing which I fear has come on me, and what I am afraid of has come to me. I am not at peace, nor am I quiet, nor do I have rest; but trouble has come.”
4[1 -5] Then Eliphaz, the Temanite, answered, “If someone tries to talk with you will you be upset? But who can keep from speaking? See, you’ve taught many, you’ve made strong those with weak hands. Your words have supported those who were falling, and you’ve made strong those with weak knees. But now it’s come to you, and you give up. It touches you, and you’re troubled.
[6-11] Isn’t your trust in God your confidence? Isn’t your right ways your hope? Remember, now, who was innocent and died? Or when were the good punished? According to what I’ve seen, those who plow sin, and plant trouble, reap the same. By the breath of God they die. By the blast of God’s anger they’re destroyed. The roaring of the lion, and the sound of the fierce lion, the teeth of the young lions, are all broken. The old lion dies for lack of food. The cubs of the lioness are scattered far away.
[12 -17] “Now something secret has come to me. My ear has heard its whisper. In thoughts from the visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people, I was afraid and shaking so that all my bones shook. Then a spirit passed before my face and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It stood still, but I couldn’t see what it was. But a form stood before me. There was silence, then I heard a voice, saying, ‘Can mortal human beings be more fair than God? Can anyone be more perfect than their Maker?’
[18 -21] See, God puts no trust in humanity. God has even judged the angels with error. How much more then, will God judge those who live in human bodies, whose were made of clay and dust, who are crushed easier than a moth! Between morning and evening they’re destroyed. They die forever without anyone even thinking about it. Isn’t their soul destroyed within them? They die, and that without wisdom.’
5[1 -5] “Call now; is there anyone who will answer you? To which of the gods will you turn? For resentment kills the ungodly person, and jealousy kills the stupid. I’ve seen the ungodly person doing well, but their house was suddenly punished. Their children are far from safety. They’re abused and there’s no one to defend them. The hungry will eat up their harvest, leaving nothing behind. The thief takes everything they have.
[6-14] For trouble doesn’t come from the dust, nor does trouble creep out of the ground; but humanity is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward. “But as for me, I would look for God. I would bring my cause to God, who does great things that can’t be grasped, wonderful things without number; who gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields; putting those who are low in high places, and bringing those who cry out to safety; Who frustrates the plans of the sneaky, so that their hands can’t do what they think up. God takes those who are shrewd in their own sneakiness; their plans are turned upside down. They’re blindsided in the day time, and grope as if in the dark.
[15-21] But he saves those in need from the hand of the strong and from the words of their mouth. So the poor have hope, and justice is served. See, happy is the person whom God corrects. So don’t hate when God Almighty corrects you. who wounds, and bandages it; Who hurts, and makes whole again. When you’re in trouble, God will save you six times; yes, even the seventh will cause you no harm. In hunger, God will save you from death; in war, from the power of weapons. You’ll be safe from the harmful words of the mouth, nor will you be scared of troubles when they come.
[22-27] You’ll laugh at troubles and hunger, nor will you be scared of the wild animals of the earth. For you’ll be in peace with the stones of the field. The animals of the field will be at peace with you as well. You’ll know that your home is in peace. You’ll visit your animal pens, and nothing will be missing. You’ll know also that you’ll have many children; Your descendants will be as the grass of the earth. You’ll come to your grave in a good old age, like a shock of grain is harvested when ripe, you won’t die until then. Look, we’ve seen this is true. Listen, and know it for your own good.”
Job Answers Eliphaz
6[1-7] Then Job answered, “Oh that my suffering were weighed, and all my trouble laid in the balances! Now it would be heavier than the sand of the seas, so my words have been spoken too quickly. The Almighty has me targeted and my spirit is dying within me. I am scared to death of what God will do to me. Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass? Or does the cow low over its feed? Will someone complain about the flavor of their food unless they have no salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? I refuse to touch them. They’re the worst food to me.
[8 -13] “Oh that I might have what I ask, that God would give me what I want, even that God would finish me and let me die! It would still be my consolation, yes, my praise even in unending pain, that I haven’t denied the truth of the words of the Sacred God. How strong am I, that I should wait? What will happen in the end, that I should be patient? Do I have the strength of a rock? Or is my body like brass? Isn’t it true that I can’t help myself, and that my wisdom has quite left me?
[14-20] “Kindness should be shown from the friend of those who are troubled; but you haven’t shown respect to the Almighty. My own friends have treated me as falsely as a river, which dries up; which are darkened and full because of the thawing ice and melting snow. In the dry season, they disappear. When it’s hot, they’re completely gone from where they were. The people that travel beside them turn to go to them, but when they do, they find no water and die of thirst. The caravans of Tema looked for them. The people of Sheba hoped for them. They were upset because they were confident the river was there. But when they came there, they were confused.
[21-26] Now you’re just like them and are no help. You see my terrible troubles, and are scared. Did I ask you to give me anything or say that you should offer me a present from your stuff? Or did I ask you to save me from my enemy? Or save me from the power of the abusers? Tell me, and I’ll be quiet. Cause me to understand where I’ve gone wrong. How painful to hear what you truly believe! But of what does your argument accuse me? Do you intend to correct me for words spoken by someone who is desperate, and are as empty as wind?
[27-30] Yes, you would even gamble over those without a parent, and sell your best friend. Now look at me, I wouldn’t lie to your face. Please, change your mind. Let there be no injustice here. Yes, think again. I am right and haven’t said anything wrong. Don’t I know what’s evil and what’s good?
7[1-6] “Isn’t everyone forced to work hard on earth? Aren’t a person’s life like the days of a hired hand? As a worker who desperately wants the end of the day to come, and as a hired hand who waits to be paid, so I’m made to take months of misery, and long nights are given to me. When I lie down, I say, ‘When will I get up, and the night be gone?’ I toss and turn until dawn. My skin is full of worms and dust clods. My skin heals, and breaks out again. My days pass quickly by, and are spent without hope.
[7-11] Oh remember that my life is as a breath and I won’t see anymore good. Those who see me now will see me no more. Your eyes will see my body, but I won’t be there. As the cloud scatters and disappears, so those who go down to Hell will come up no more. They won’t come back to their house, nor will anyone see them again. So I won’t be quiet. I’ll tell of the suffering of my spirit. I’ll complain in the sorrow of my heart.
[12-16] Am I such a monster, that you watch over me like a guard? When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me. My couch will ease my troubles; ‘then you scare me to death with dreams and visions, so that I would choose strangling, or death rather than keeping my body. I hate my life. I don’t want to live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath.
[17-21] What’s a human being, that you should watch them so carefully, and that you should think about them, and that you should visit them every morning, and test them every moment? How long will it be before You look away from me, and leave me alone and let me swallow down my spit? If I’ve sinned, what could I do to harm You, You watcher of humanity? Why have You set a mark on me, so that I am unable to help myself? Why won’t you forgive my disobedience, and take away my sin? I’ll soon be laid in the dust. You’ll search for me carefully, but I won’t be here.”
8[1-7] Then Bildad the Shuhite answered, “How long will you say these things? Your words are like a blast of wind. Does God distort justice? Or does the Almighty distort goodness? If your children have sinned against God, God has punished them for their disobedience. If you want to look for God carefully, make your prayer to the Almighty. If you were pure and good, truly now God would awaken for you, and make you and your house do well. Though you had little at first, still in the end it would greatly increase.
[8 -18] “Please ask of past generations. Find out what our ancestors believed. But we’re only born yesterday, and know nothing, because our days on earth are a like a passing shadow. Won’t they teach you, and tell you, and speak words from their heart? “Can the papyrus grow up without mud? Can the rushes grow without water? While it’s still in its greenness, not cut down, it withers before any other reed. So are the paths of all who forget God. The hope of the godless human beings will die, whose confidence will fail, whose trust is like a fragile spider’s web. They may lean on it, but it won’t stand. They’ll hang on to it, but it will break. They are green in the sunshine, whose shoots grow all over their garden. Their roots are wrapped around the rock pile, looking for a place through the stones. If it’s uprooted from its place, then it’s never even missed.’ See, this is how God works; when that plant is gone, another will take its place.
[20 -22] “See, God won’t punish anyone without fault, nor uphold someone who does evil. God will still fill your mouth with laughter, and you’ll shout for joy. Those who hate you will be covered in shame. The house of the sinful will be no more.”
Job Answers Bildad
9[1 -10] Then Job answered, “Truly I know that it’s so, but how can human beings be right with God? If someone wanted to argue with God, they couldn’t answer one time in a thousand. God, who is wise in heart, and strong in strength; who has ever argued with God and done well? God shakes the mountains, and they don’t know it, when they are overturned in God’s anger. God makes the earth quake from its foundations. God speaks to the sun, and it doesn’t come up, and tells the stars not to shine. God stretches out the heavens, and walks on the waves of the sea.
God makes the stars of the Bear, Orion, and Pleiades, and the constellations of the south. God does such wonderful things that we can’t even understand; yes, so many wonderful things that we can’t even count them all.
[11-18] See, God passes by me, who I don’t even see. God passes on also, and I never know it. See, if God snatches a life away, who can stop it? Who will ask God, ‘What are You doing?’ “God won’t withdraw anger and even those who helped Rahab, the Sea Monster, bowed to God. So how much less could I answer and choose my words to argue with God? Though I were truly good, still I wouldn’t answer God. I would pray and put myself in the mercy of my judge. If I had called, and God had answered me, still I wouldn’t believe that God had heard me, who destroys me with a storm, and multiplies my wounds without cause; who won’t even let me catch my breath, but fills me with resentment.
[19-24] If it’s a matter of strength, God is strong! If of justice, God says, ‘Who will summon me?’ Though I am good, my own mouth will condemn me. Though I am without fault, it will prove me guilty. I am without fault. I don’t think of myself. I hate my life. It’s all the same. So I say God destroys those without fault and the sinful as well. If a disease or wound suddenly kills, God will mock at the trial of the innocent. The earth is in the hands of the sinful. God blindfolds the eyes of the judges. If not God, then who is it?
[25 Now my days pass faster than a runner. They run away and see no good; they’ve passed by like the fast ships, like the eagle that swoops down on its prey. If I say, ‘I’ll forget my complaint, I’ll put off my sad face, and be happy;’ I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that You won’t hold me innocent. I’ll be condemned. So why then do I do these good works for nothing? If I wash myself with snow, and cleanse my hands with lye, still You’ll throw me in the ditch. I would be dirtier than my own clothes. God isn’t just a human being, as I am, that I could answer and that we could come together in agreement. There is no one to come between us, who could lay a hand on us both. Oh God, stop this beating of me. Don’t keep me in a state of fear; then I would speak, and not be afraid, but now I’m scared.
10[1-7] I’m tired of my life. I’ll speak freely of my complaint. I’ll speak in my resentment. I’ll tell God, ‘Don’t condemn me. Show me why You are hurting me. Is it good to You that You abuse me, that You should hate the creation of Your own hands, and smile on the plans of the sinful? Do You see and think like a human being? Are Your days as the days of mortals, or Your years as human being’s years, that You ask after my sin, and search for my sin, even though you know that I am not sinful, and there is no one who can save me out of Your hand?
[8-14] Your own hands have made me and designed me, and still You destroy me. Remember, I beg You, that You’ve made me from clay. Will You bring me to dust again? Haven’t You poured me out like milk, and curdled me like cheese? You’ve clothed me with skin and muscles, and put me together with bones and tendons. You’ve given me life and loving kindness, watching over my spirit to keep me safe. Still, You hid these things in your heart. I know that this what You think; if I sin, then you mark me. You won’t forgive me of my sin.
[15 -22] If I am sinful, sorrow comes to me. If I am good, I still won’t be able to lift up my head, being filled with disgrace, and conscious of my trouble. If my head is held high, You hunt me like a lion. Again You show me that You are very powerful. You bring new witnesses against me, and abuse me even more. You change Your tactics and start new wars with me. So why, then, have You brought me out of the womb? I wish I had died, and no one had ever seen me. I should have been as though I hadn’t ever been. I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
Don’t I only have a few days to live? So stop then and leave me alone, that I may find a little comfort, before I go where I won’t come back from, to the land of darkness and of the shadow of death; where it’s dark as midnight, and as the shadow of death comes without any order, where even the light is as dark as midnight.”