171The end of my life is near. I can hardly breathe;
there is nothing left for me but the grave.
2I watch how bitterly everyone mocks me.
3I am being honest, God. Accept my word.
There is no one else to support what I say.
4You have closed their minds to reason;
don't let them triumph over me now.
5In the old proverb someone betrays his friends for money,
and his children suffer for it.17.5 someone… suffer for it; or someone entertains his friends while his children go hungry.
6And now people use this proverb against me;
they come and spit in my face.
7My grief has almost made me blind;
my arms and legs are as thin as shadows.
8Those who claim to be honest are shocked,
and they all condemn me as godless.
9Those who claim to be respectable
are more and more convinced they are right.
10But if all of them came and stood before me,
I would not find even one of them wise.
11My days have passed; my plans have failed;
my hope is gone.
12But my friends say night is daylight;
they say that light is near,
but I know I remain in darkness.
13My only hope is the world of the dead,
where I will lie down to sleep in the dark.
14I will call the grave my father,
and the worms that eat me
I will call my mother and my sisters.
15Where is there any hope for me?
Who sees any?
16Hope will not go with me17.16 One ancient translation with me; Hebrew unclear.
when I go down to the world of the dead.
181-2Job, can't people like you ever be quiet?
If you stopped to listen, we could talk to you.
3What makes you think we are as stupid as cattle?
4You are only hurting yourself with your anger.
Will the earth be deserted because you are angry?
Will God move mountains to satisfy you?
The light of the wicked will still be put out;
its flame will never burn again.
6The lamp in their tents will be darkened.
7Their steps were firm, but now they stumble;
they fall — victims of their own advice.
8They walk into a net, and their feet are caught;
9a trap catches their heels and holds them.
10On the ground a snare is hidden;
a trap has been set in their path.
11All round them terror is waiting;
it follows them at every step.
12They used to be rich, but now they go hungry;
disaster stands and waits at their side.
13A deadly disease spreads over their bodies
and causes their arms and legs to rot.
14They are torn from the tents where they lived secure,
and are dragged off to face King Death.
15Now anyone may live in their tents —18.15 Now anyone may live in their tents; Hebrew unclear.
after sulphur is sprinkled to disinfect them!18.15 to disinfect them: Sulphur was used in the ancient world as a disinfectant and to clean rooms that had contained corpses.
16Their roots and branches are withered and dry.
17Their fame is ended at home and abroad;
no one remembers them any more.
18They will be driven out of the land of the living,
driven from light into darkness.
19They have no descendants, no survivors.
20From east to west, all who hear of their fate
shudder and tremble with fear.
21That is the fate of wicked people,
the fate of those who care nothing for God.
191-2Why do you keep tormenting me with words?
3Time after time you insult me
and show no shame for the way you abuse me.
4Even if I have done wrong,
how does that hurt you?
5You think you are better than I am,
and regard my troubles as proof of my guilt.
6Can't you see it is God who has done this?
He has set a trap to catch me.
7I protest against his violence,
but no one is listening;
no one hears my cry for justice.
8God has blocked the way, and I can't get through;
he has hidden my path in darkness.
9He has taken away all my wealth
and destroyed my reputation.
10He batters me from every side.
He uproots my hope
and leaves me to wither and die.
11God is angry and rages against me;
he treats me like his worst enemy.
12He sends his army to attack me;
they dig trenches and lay siege to my tent.
13God has made my own family forsake me;
I am a stranger to those who knew me;
14my relatives and friends are gone.
15Those who were guests in my house have forgotten me;
my servant women treat me like a stranger and a foreigner.
16When I call a servant, he doesn't answer —
even when I beg him to help me.
17My wife can't stand the smell of my breath,
and my own brothers won't come near me.
18Children despise me and laugh when they see me.
19My closest friends look at me with disgust;
those I loved most have turned against me.
20My skin hangs loose on my bones;
I have barely escaped with my life.19.20 Verse 20 in Hebrew is unclear.
21You are my friends! Take pity on me!
The hand of God has struck me down.
22Why must you persecute me as God does?
Haven't you tormented me enough?
23How I wish that someone would remember my words
and record them in a book!
24Or with a chisel carve my words in stone
and write them so that they would last for ever.19.24 last for ever; or be on record.
25But I know there is someone in heaven
who will come at last to my defence.
26Even after my skin is eaten by disease,
while still in this body19.26 while still in this body; or although not in this body. I will see God.19.26 Verse 26 in Hebrew is unclear.
27I will see him with my own eyes,
and he will not be a stranger.
My courage failed because you said,
28“How can we torment him?”
You looked for some excuse to attack me.
29But now, be afraid of the sword —
the sword that brings God's wrath on sin,
so that you will know there is one who judges.19.29 one who judges; or a judgement.