Job 13-29 back to reading plan

Job Continues: Still I Will Hope in God

13:1 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to argue my case with God.
As for you, you whitewash with lies;
worthless physicians are you all.
Oh that you would keep silent,
and it would be your wisdom!
Hear now my argument
and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak falsely for God
and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality toward him?
Will you plead the case for God?
Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?
He will surely rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.
Will not his majesty terrify you,
and the dread of him fall upon you?
Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.

“Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and put my life in my hand?
Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
Keep listening to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.
Behold, I have prepared my case;
I know that I shall be in the right.
Who is there who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
Only grant me two things,
then I will not hide myself from your face:
withdraw your hand far from me,
and let not dread of you terrify me.
Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
Why do you hide your face
and count me as your enemy?
Will you frighten a driven leaf
and pursue dry chaff?
For you write bitter things against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
You put my feet in the stocks
and watch all my paths;
you set a limit for the soles of my feet.
Man wastes away like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten.

Job Continues: Death Comes Soon to All

14:1 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
And do you open your eyes on such a one
and bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
Since his days are determined,
and the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
look away from him and leave him alone,
that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.

“For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
As waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
so a man lies down and rises not again;
till the heavens are no more he will not awake
or be roused out of his sleep.
Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my service I would wait,
till my renewal should come.
You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hands.
For then you would number my steps;
you would not keep watch over my sin;
my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.

“But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
and the rock is removed from its place;
the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of man.
You prevail forever against him, and he passes;
you change his countenance, and send him away.
His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
He feels only the pain of his own body,
and he mourns only for himself.”

Eliphaz Accuses: Job Does Not Fear God

15:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
and fill his belly with the east wind?
Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which he can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God
and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
your own lips testify against you.

“Are you the first man who was born?
Or were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
older than your father.
Are the comforts of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?
Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
that you turn your spirit against God
and bring such words out of your mouth?
What is man, that he can be pure?
Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones,
and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
a man who drinks injustice like water!

“I will show you; hear me,
and what I have seen I will declare
(what wise men have told,
without hiding it from their fathers,
to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them).
The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
and he is marked for the sword.
He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
distress and anguish terrify him;
they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
Because he has stretched out his hand against God
and defies the Almighty,
running stubbornly against him
with a thickly bossed shield;
because he has covered his face with his fat
and gathered fat upon his waist
and has lived in desolate cities,
in houses that none should inhabit,
which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the earth;
he will not depart from darkness;
the flame will dry up his shoots,
and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.
Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself,
for emptiness will be his payment.
It will be paid in full before his time,
and his branch will not be green.
He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
They conceive trouble and give birth to evil,
and their womb prepares deceit.”

Job Replies: Miserable Comforters Are You

16:1 Then Job answered and said:

“I have heard many such things;
miserable comforters are you all.
Shall windy words have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
I also could speak as you do,
if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you
and shake my head at you.
I could strengthen you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.

“If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
Surely now God has worn me out;
he has made desolate all my company.
And he has shriveled me up,
which is a witness against me,
and my leanness has risen up against me;
it testifies to my face.
He has torn me in his wrath and hated me;
he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
Men have gaped at me with their mouth;
they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
they mass themselves together against me.
God gives me up to the ungodly
and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
I was at ease, and he broke me apart;
he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target;
his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys and does not spare;
he pours out my gall on the ground.
He breaks me with breach upon breach;
he runs upon me like a warrior.
I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin
and have laid my strength in the dust.
My face is red with weeping,
and on my eyelids is deep darkness,
although there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.

“O earth, cover not my blood,
and let my cry find no resting place.
Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and he who testifies for me is on high.
My friends scorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,
that he would argue the case of a man with God,
as a son of man does with his neighbor.
For when a few years have come
I shall go the way from which I shall not return.

Job Continues: Where Then Is My Hope?

17:1 “My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
the graveyard is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers about me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.

“Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
who is there who will put up security for me?
Since you have closed their hearts to understanding,
therefore you will not let them triumph.
He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property—
the eyes of his children will fail.

“He has made me a byword of the peoples,
and I am one before whom men spit.
My eye has grown dim from vexation,
and all my members are like a shadow.
The upright are appalled at this,
and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
Yet the righteous holds to his way,
and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
But you, come on again, all of you,
and I shall not find a wise man among you.
My days are past; my plans are broken off,
the desires of my heart.
They make night into day:
‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’
If I hope for Sheol as my house,
if I make my bed in darkness,
if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?”

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

18:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“How long will you hunt for words?
Consider, and then we will speak.
Why are we counted as cattle?
Why are we stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself in your anger,
shall the earth be forsaken for you,
or the rock be removed out of its place?

“Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
and the flame of his fire does not shine.
The light is dark in his tent,
and his lamp above him is put out.
His strong steps are shortened,
and his own schemes throw him down.
For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
and he walks on its mesh.
A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare lays hold of him.
A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
a trap for him in the path.
Terrors frighten him on every side,
and chase him at his heels.
His strength is famished,
and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
It consumes the parts of his skin;
the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
He is torn from the tent in which he trusted
and is brought to the king of terrors.
In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
His roots dry up beneath,
and his branches wither above.
His memory perishes from the earth,
and he has no name in the street.
He is thrust from light into darkness,
and driven out of the world.
He has no posterity or progeny among his people,
and no survivor where he used to live.
They of the west are appalled at his day,
and horror seizes them of the east.
Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
such is the place of him who knows not God.”

Job Replies: My Redeemer Lives

19:1 Then Job answered and said:

“How long will you torment me
and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
are you not ashamed to wrong me?
And even if it be true that I have erred,
my error remains with myself.
If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
and make my disgrace an argument against me,
know then that God has put me in the wrong
and closed his net about me.
Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
I call for help, but there is no justice.
He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.
He has stripped from me my glory
and taken the crown from my head.
He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
He has kindled his wrath against me
and counts me as his adversary.
His troops come on together;
they have cast up their siege ramp against me
and encamp around my tent.

“He has put my brothers far from me,
and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
My relatives have failed me,
my close friends have forgotten me.
The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
My breath is strange to my wife,
and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
Even young children despise me;
when I rise they talk against me.
All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?

“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’
and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’
be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
that you may know there is a judgment.”

Zophar Speaks: The Wicked Will Suffer

20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

“Therefore my thoughts answer me,
because of my haste within me.
I hear censure that insults me,
and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
since man was placed on earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Though his height mount up to the heavens,
and his head reach to the clouds,
he will perish forever like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
He will fly away like a dream and not be found;
he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw him will see him no more,
nor will his place any more behold him.
His children will seek the favor of the poor,
and his hands will give back his wealth.
His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
but it will lie down with him in the dust.

“Though evil is sweet in his mouth,
though he hides it under his tongue,
though he is loath to let it go
and holds it in his mouth,
yet his food is turned in his stomach;
it is the venom of cobras within him.
He swallows down riches and vomits them up again;
God casts them out of his belly.
He will suck the poison of cobras;
the tongue of a viper will kill him.
He will not look upon the rivers,
the streams flowing with honey and curds.
He will give back the fruit of his toil
and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of his trading
he will get no enjoyment.
For he has crushed and abandoned the poor;
he has seized a house that he did not build.

“Because he knew no contentment in his belly,
he will not let anything in which he delights escape him.
There was nothing left after he had eaten;
therefore his prosperity will not endure.
In the fullness of his sufficiency he will be in distress;
the hand of everyone in misery will come against him.
To fill his belly to the full,
God will send his burning anger against him
and rain it upon him into his body.
He will flee from an iron weapon;
a bronze arrow will strike him through.
It is drawn forth and comes out of his body;
the glittering point comes out of his gallbladder;
terrors come upon him.
Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures;
a fire not fanned will devour him;
what is left in his tent will be consumed.
The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against him.
The possessions of his house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God's wrath.
This is the wicked man's portion from God,
the heritage decreed for him by God.”

Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

21:1 Then Job answered and said:

“Keep listening to my words,
and let this be your comfort.
Bear with me, and I will speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint against man?
Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be appalled,
and lay your hand over your mouth.
When I remember, I am dismayed,
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
Why do the wicked live,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
Their offspring are established in their presence,
and their descendants before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
and no rod of God is upon them.
Their bull breeds without fail;
their cow calves and does not miscarry.
They send out their little boys like a flock,
and their children dance.
They sing to the tambourine and the lyre
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
They say to God, ‘Depart from us!
We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand?
The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

“How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out?
That their calamity comes upon them?
That God distributes pains in his anger?
That they are like straw before the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?
You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’
Let him pay it out to them, that they may know it.
Let their own eyes see their destruction,
and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
For what do they care for their houses after them,
when the number of their months is cut off?
Will any teach God knowledge,
seeing that he judges those who are on high?
One dies in his full vigor,
being wholly at ease and secure,
his pails full of milk
and the marrow of his bones moist.
Another dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted of prosperity.
They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worms cover them.

“Behold, I know your thoughts
and your schemes to wrong me.
For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’
Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony
that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity,
that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
Who declares his way to his face,
and who repays him for what he has done?
When he is carried to the grave,
watch is kept over his tomb.
The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
all mankind follows after him,
and those who go before him are innumerable.
How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

Eliphaz Speaks: Job's Wickedness Is Great

22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
and enters into judgment with you?
Is not your evil abundant?
There is no end to your iniquities.
For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing
and stripped the naked of their clothing.
You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
The man with power possessed the land,
and the favored man lived in it.
You have sent widows away empty,
and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
Therefore snares are all around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,
or darkness, so that you cannot see,
and a flood of water covers you.

“Is not God high in the heavens?
See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
But you say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the deep darkness?
Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
Will you keep to the old way
that wicked men have trod?
They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away.
They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’
Yet he filled their houses with good things—
but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
The righteous see it and are glad;
the innocent one mocks at them,
saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
and what they left the fire has consumed.’

“Agree with God, and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you.
Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
if you remove injustice far from your tents,
if you lay gold in the dust,
and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
then the Almighty will be your gold
and your precious silver.
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
and you will pay your vows.
You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;
but he saves the lowly.
He delivers even the one who is not innocent,
who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Job Replies: Where Is God?

23:1 Then Job answered and said:

“Today also my complaint is bitter;
my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
that I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what he would answer me
and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No; he would pay attention to me.
There an upright man could argue with him,
and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.
Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.
God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;
yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
nor because thick darkness covers my face.

24:1 “Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty,
and why do those who know him never see his days?
Some move landmarks;
they seize flocks and pasture them.
They drive away the donkey of the fatherless;
they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
They thrust the poor off the road;
the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert
the poor go out to their toil, seeking game;
the wasteland yields food for their children.
They gather their fodder in the field,
and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
They lie all night naked, without clothing,
and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains
and cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
(There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast,
and they take a pledge against the poor.)
They go about naked, without clothing;
hungry, they carry the sheaves;
among the olive rows of the wicked they make oil;
they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
From out of the city the dying groan,
and the soul of the wounded cries for help;
yet God charges no one with wrong.

“There are those who rebel against the light,
who are not acquainted with its ways,
and do not stay in its paths.
The murderer rises before it is light,
that he may kill the poor and needy,
and in the night he is like a thief.
The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
and he veils his face.
In the dark they dig through houses;
by day they shut themselves up;
they do not know the light.
For deep darkness is morning to all of them;
for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

“You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters;
their portion is cursed in the land;
no treader turns toward their vineyards.
Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
so does Sheol those who have sinned.
The womb forgets them;
the worm finds them sweet;
they are no longer remembered,
so wickedness is broken like a tree.’

“They wrong the barren, childless woman,
and do no good to the widow.
Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
they rise up when they despair of life.
He gives them security, and they are supported,
and his eyes are upon their ways.
They are exalted a little while, and then are gone;
they are brought low and gathered up like all others;
they are cut off like the heads of grain.
If it is not so, who will prove me a liar
and show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be Righteous

25:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“Dominion and fear are with God;
he makes peace in his high heaven.
Is there any number to his armies?
Upon whom does his light not arise?
How then can man be in the right before God?
How can he who is born of woman be pure?
Behold, even the moon is not bright,
and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
how much less man, who is a maggot,
and the son of man, who is a worm!”

Job Replies: God's Majesty Is Unsearchable

26:1 Then Job answered and said:

“How you have helped him who has no power!
How you have saved the arm that has no strength!
How you have counseled him who has no wisdom,
and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
With whose help have you uttered words,
and whose breath has come out from you?
The dead tremble
under the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out the north over the void
and hangs the earth on nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not split open under them.
He covers the face of the full moon
and spreads over it his cloud.
He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
at the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble
and are astounded at his rebuke.
By his power he stilled the sea;
by his understanding he shattered Rahab.
By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity

27:1 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

“As God lives, who has taken away my right,
and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
as long as my breath is in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak falsehood,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right;
till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.

“Let my enemy be as the wicked,
and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off,
when God takes away his life?
Will God hear his cry
when distress comes upon him?
Will he take delight in the Almighty?
Will he call upon God at all times?
I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;
why then have you become altogether vain?

“This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:
If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword,
and his descendants have not enough bread.
Those who survive him the pestilence buries,
and his widows do not weep.
Though he heap up silver like dust,
and pile up clothing like clay,
he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,
and the innocent will divide the silver.
He builds his house like a moth's,
like a booth that a watchman makes.
He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more;
he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
Terrors overtake him like a flood;
in the night a whirlwind carries him off.
The east wind lifts him up and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
It hurls at him without pity;
he flees from its power in headlong flight.
It claps its hands at him
and hisses at him from its place.

Job Continues: Where Is Wisdom?

28:1 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold that they refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness
and searches out to the farthest limit
the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
they are forgotten by travelers;
they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires,
and it has dust of gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows,
and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
The proud beasts have not trodden it;
the lion has not passed over it.

“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock
and overturns mountains by the roots.
He cuts out channels in the rocks,
and his eye sees every precious thing.
He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,
and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.

“But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its worth,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
It cannot be bought for gold,
and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or sapphire.
Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
nor can it be valued in pure gold.

“From where, then, does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
It is hidden from the eyes of all living
and concealed from the birds of the air.
Abaddon and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

“God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.
For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
When he gave to the wind its weight
and apportioned the waters by measure,
when he made a decree for the rain
and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Job's Summary Defense

29:1 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone upon my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness,
as I was in my prime,
when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
when the Almighty was yet with me,
when my children were all around me,
when my steps were washed with butter,
and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
When I went out to the gate of the city,
when I prepared my seat in the square,
the young men saw me and withdrew,
and the aged rose and stood;
the princes refrained from talking
and laid their hand on their mouth;
the voice of the nobles was hushed,
and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
and when the eye saw, it approved,
because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to help him.
The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.
I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy,
and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
my roots spread out to the waters,
with the dew all night on my branches,
my glory fresh with me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’

“Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down.
I chose their way and sat as chief,
and I lived like a king among his troops,
like one who comforts mourners.