8If I were you, I would turn to God
and present my case to him.
9We cannot understand the great things he does,
and to his miracles there is no end.
10He sends rain on the land
and he waters the fields.
11Yes, it is God who raises the humble
and gives joy to all who mourn.
14even at noon they grope in darkness.
15But God saves the poor from death;
he saves the needy from oppression.
16He gives hope to the poor and silences the wicked.
17Happy is the person whom God corrects!
Do not resent it when he rebukes you.
18God bandages the wounds he makes;
his hand hurts you, and his hand heals.
19Time after time he will save you from harm;
20when famine comes, he will keep you alive,
and in war protect you from death.
21God will rescue you from slander;
he will save you when destruction comes.
22You will laugh at violence and hunger
and not be afraid of wild animals.
23The fields you plough will be free of rocks;
wild animals will never attack you.
24Then you will live at peace in your tent;
when you look at your sheep, you will find them safe.
25You will have as many children
as there are blades of grass in a pasture.
26Like wheat that ripens till harvest time,
you will live to a ripe old age.
27Job, we have learnt this by long study.
It is true, so now accept it.
1-2If my troubles and griefs were weighed on scales,
3they would weigh more than the sands of the sea,
so my wild words should not surprise you.
4Almighty God has pierced me with arrows,
and their poison spreads through my body.
God has lined up his terrors against me.
5A donkey is content when eating grass,
and a cow is quiet when eating hay.
6But who can eat tasteless, unsalted food?
What flavour is there in the white of an egg?
7I have no appetite for food like that,
and everything I eat makes me sick.
8Why won't God give me what I ask?
Why won't he answer my prayer?
9If only he would go ahead and kill me!
10If I knew he would, I would leap for joy,
no matter how great my pain.
I know that God is holy;
I have never opposed what he commands.
11What strength have I got to keep on living?
Why go on living when I have no hope?
12Am I made of stone? Is my body bronze?
13I have no strength left to save myself;
there is nowhere I can turn for help.
14In trouble like this I need loyal friends —
whether I've forsaken God or not.
15But you, my friends, you deceive me like streams
that go dry when no rain comes.
16The streams are choked with snow and ice,
17but in the heat they disappear,
and the stream beds lie bare and dry.
18Caravans get lost looking for water;
they wander and die in the desert.
19Caravans from Sheba and Tema search,
20but their hope dies beside dry streams.
21You are like those streams to me,
you see my fate and draw back in fear.
22Have I asked you to give me a gift
or to bribe someone on my behalf
23or to save me from some enemy or tyrant?
24All right, teach me; tell me my faults.
I will be quiet and listen to you.
25Honest words are convincing,
but you are talking nonsense.
26You think I am talking nothing but wind;
then why do you answer my words of despair?
27You would even throw dice for orphan slaves
and make yourselves rich off your closest friends!
28Look me in the face. I won't lie.
29You have gone far enough. Stop being unjust.
Don't condemn me. I'm in the right.
30But you think I am lying —
you think I can't tell right from wrong.
1Human life is like forced army service,
like a life of hard manual labour,
2like slaves longing for cool shade;
like workers waiting for their pay.
3Month after month I have nothing to live for;
night after night brings me grief.
4When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag;
I toss all night and long for dawn.
5My body is full of worms;
it is covered with scabs;
pus runs out of my sores.
6My days pass by without hope,
pass faster than a weaver's shuttle.
7Remember, O God, my life is only a breath;
my happiness has already ended.
8You see me now, but never again.
If you look for me, I'll be gone.
9-10Like a cloud that fades and is gone,
people die and never return;
they are forgotten by all who knew them.
11No! I can't be quiet!
I am angry and bitter.
I have to speak.
12Why do you keep me under guard?
Do you think I am a sea monster?
13I lie down and try to rest;
I look for relief from my pain.
14But you — you terrify me with dreams;
you send me visions and nightmares
15until I would rather be strangled
than live in this miserable body.
16I give up; I am tired of living.
Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.
17Why are human beings so important to you?
Why pay attention to what they do?
18You inspect them every morning
and test them every minute.
19Won't you look away long enough
for me to swallow my spittle?
20Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer?
Why use me for your target practice?
Am I so great a burden to you?
21Can't you ever forgive my sin?
Can't you pardon the wrong I do?
Soon I will be in my grave,
and I'll be gone when you look for me.
1-2Are you finally through with your windy speech?
3God never twists justice;
he never fails to do what is right.
4Your children must have sinned against God,
and so he punished them as they deserved.
5But turn now and plead with Almighty God;
6if you are so honest and pure,
then God will come and help you
and restore your household as your reward.
7All the wealth you lost will be nothing
compared with what God will give you then.
8Look for a moment at ancient wisdom;
consider the truths our ancestors learnt.
9Our life is short, we know nothing at all;
we pass like shadows across the earth.
10But let the wise ancestors teach you;
listen to what they had to say:
11“Reeds can't grow where there is no water;
they are never found outside a swamp.
12If the water dries up, they are the first to wither,
while still too small to be cut and used.
13Godless men are like those reeds;
their hope is gone, once God is forgotten.
14They trust a thread — a spider's web.
15If they lean on a web, will it hold them up?
If they grab for a thread, will it help them stand?”
16The wicked sprout like weeds in the sun,
like weeds that spread all through the garden.
17Their roots wrap round the stones
and hold fast to every rock.
18But then pull them up —
no one will ever know they were there.
19Yes, that's all the joy wicked people have;
others now come and take their places.
20But God will never abandon the faithful
or ever give help to evil people.
21He will let you laugh and shout again,
22but he will bring disgrace on those who hate you,
and the homes of the wicked will vanish.
3How can anyone argue with him?
He can ask a thousand questions
that no one could ever answer.
4God is so wise and powerful;
no one can stand up against him.
5Without warning he moves mountains
and in anger he destroys them.
6God sends earthquakes and shakes the ground;
he rocks the pillars that support the earth.
7He can keep the sun from rising,
and the stars from shining at night.
8No one helped God spread out the heavens
or trample the sea monster's back.
9God hung the stars in the sky — the Great Bear,
Orion, the Pleiades, and the stars of the south.
10We cannot understand the great things he does,
11God passes by, but I cannot see him.
12He takes what he wants, and no one can stop him;
no one dares ask him, “What are you doing?”
13God's anger is constant. He crushed his enemies
who helped Rahab, the sea monster, oppose him.
14So how can I find words to answer God?
15Though I am innocent, all I can do
is beg for mercy from God my judge.
16Yet even then, if he lets me speak,
I can't believe he would listen to me.
17He sends storms to batter and bruise me
without any reason at all.
18He won't let me get my breath;
he has filled my life with bitterness.
19Should I try force? Try force on God?
Should I take him to court? Could anyone make him go?
20I am innocent and faithful, but my words sound guilty,
and everything I say seems to condemn me.
23When an innocent person suddenly dies,
24God gave the world to the wicked.
He made all the judges blind.
And if God didn't do it, who did?