3as long as God gives me breath,
4my lips will never say anything evil,
my tongue will never tell a lie.
5I will never say that you men are right;
I will insist on my innocence to my dying day.
6I will never give up my claim to be right;
my conscience is clear.
7May all who oppose me and fight against me
be punished like the wicked and the unrighteous.
8What hope is there for the godless
in the hour when God demands their life?
9When trouble comes, will God hear their cries?
10They should have desired the joy he gives;
they should have constantly prayed to him.
11Let me teach you how great is God's power,
and explain what Almighty God has planned.
12But no, after all, you have seen for yourselves;
so why do you talk such nonsense?
13This is how Almighty God
punishes wicked, violent people.
14They may have many sons,
but all will be killed in war;
their children never have enough to eat.
15Those who survive will die from disease,
and even their widows will not mourn their death.
16The wicked may have too much silver to count
and more clothes than anyone needs;
17but some good person will wear the clothes,
and some honest person will get the silver.
18The wicked build houses like a spider's web
or like the hut of a slave guarding the fields.
19One last time they will lie down rich,
and when they wake up, they will find their wealth gone.
20Terror will strike like a sudden flood;
a wind in the night will blow them away;
21the east wind will sweep them from their homes;
22it will blow down on them without pity
while they try their best to escape.
23The wind howls at them as they run,
frightening them with destructive power.
1There are mines where silver is dug;
There are places where gold is refined.
2Miners dig iron out of the ground
And melt copper out of the stones.
3They explore the deepest darkness.
They search the depths of the earth
And dig for rocks in the darkness.
4Far from where anyone lives
Or human feet ever travel,
They dig the shafts of mines.
There they work in loneliness,
Clinging to ropes in the pits.
5Food grows out of the earth,
But underneath the same earth
All is torn up and crushed.
6The stones of the earth contain sapphires,
And its dust contains gold.
7No hawk sees the roads to the mines,
And no vulture ever flies over them.
8No lion or other fierce beast
Ever travels those lonely roads.
9Miners dig the hardest rocks,
Dig mountains away at their base.
10As they tunnel through the rocks,
They discover precious stones.
11They dig to the sources of rivers
And bring to light what is hidden.
12But where can wisdom be found?
Where can we learn to understand?
13Wisdom is not to be found among mortals;
No one knows its true value.
14The depths of the oceans and seas
Say that wisdom is not found there.
15It cannot be bought with silver or gold.
16The finest gold and jewels
Cannot equal its value.
17It is worth more than gold,
Than a gold vase or finest glass.
18The value of wisdom is more
Than coral or crystal or rubies.
19The finest topaz and the purest gold
Cannot compare with the value of wisdom.
20Where, then, is the source of wisdom?
21No living creature can see it,
Not even a bird in flight.
22Even death and destruction
Admit they have heard only rumours.
23God alone knows the way,
Knows the place where wisdom is found,
24Because he sees the ends of the earth,
Sees everything under the sky.
25When God gave the wind its power
And determined the size of the sea;
26When God decided where the rain would fall,
And the path that the thunderclouds travel;
27It was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth —
He gave it his approval.
28God said to human beings,
“To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord.
To understand, you must turn from evil.”
1Job began speaking again.
2If only my life could once again
be as it was when God watched over me.
3God was always with me then
and gave me light as I walked through the darkness.
4Those were the days when I was prosperous,
and the friendship of God protected my home.
5Almighty God was with me then,
and I was surrounded by all my children.
6My cows and goats gave plenty of milk,
and my olive trees grew in the rockiest soil.
7Whenever the city elders met
and I took my place among them,
8young men stepped aside as soon as they saw me,
and old men stood up to show me respect.
9The leaders of the people would stop talking;
10even the most important men kept silent.
11Everyone who saw me or heard of me
had good things to say about what I had done.
12When the poor cried out, I helped them;
I gave help to orphans who had nowhere to turn.
13Those who were in deepest misery praised me,
and I helped widows find security.
14I have always acted justly and fairly.
15I was eyes for the blind,
and feet for the lame.
16I was like a father to the poor
and took the side of strangers in trouble.
17I destroyed the power of cruel men
and rescued their victims.
18I always expected to live a long life
and to die at home in comfort.
19I was like a tree whose roots always have water
and whose branches are wet with dew.
20Everyone was always praising me,
and my strength never failed me.
21When I gave advice, people were silent
and listened carefully to what I said;
22they had nothing to add when I had finished.
My words sank in like drops of rain;
23everyone welcomed them
just as farmers welcome rain in spring.
24I smiled on them when they had lost confidence;
my cheerful face encouraged them.
25I took charge and made the decisions;
I led them as a king leads his troops,
and gave them comfort in their despair.
1But men younger than I am make fun of me now!
Their fathers have always been so worthless
that I wouldn't let them help my dogs guard sheep.
2They were a bunch of worn-out men,
too weak to do any work for me.
3They were so poor and hungry
that they would gnaw dry roots —
at night, in wild, desolate places.
4They pulled up the plants of the desert and ate them,
even the tasteless roots of the broom tree!
5Everyone drove them away with shouts,
as if they were shouting at thieves.
6They had to live in caves,
in holes dug in the sides of cliffs.
7Out in the wilds they howled like animals
and huddled together under the bushes.
8A worthless bunch of nameless nobodies!
They were driven out of the land.
9Now they come and laugh at me;
I am nothing but a joke to them.
10They treat me with disgust;
they think they are too good for me,
and even come and spit in my face.
11Because God has made me weak and helpless,
they turn against me with all their fury.
12This mob attacks me head-on;
they send me running; they prepare their final assault.
13They cut off my escape and try to destroy me;
and there is no one to stop them.
14They pour through the holes in my defences
and come crashing down on top of me;
15I am overcome with terror;
my dignity is gone like a puff of wind,
and my prosperity like a cloud.
16Now I am about to die;
there is no relief for my suffering.
17At night my bones all ache;
the pain that gnaws me never stops.
18God seizes me by my collar
and twists my clothes out of shape.
19He throws me down in the mud;
I am no better than dirt.
20I call to you, O God, but you never answer;
and when I pray, you pay no attention.
21You are treating me cruelly;
you persecute me with all your power.
22You let the wind blow me away;
you toss me about in a raging storm.
23I know you are taking me off to my death,
to the fate in store for everyone.
24Why do you attack a ruined man,
one who can do nothing but beg for pity?
25Didn't I weep with people in trouble
and feel sorry for those in need?
26I hoped for happiness and light,
but trouble and darkness came instead.
27I am torn apart by worry and pain;
I have had day after day of suffering.
28I go about in gloom, without any sunshine;
I stand up in public and plead for help.
29My voice is as sad and lonely
as the cries of a jackal or an ostrich.
30My skin has turned dark; I am burning with fever.
31Where once I heard joyful music,
now I hear only mourning and weeping.