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.
201-2Job, you upset me. Now I'm impatient to answer.
3What you have said is an insult,
but I know how to reply to you.
4Surely you know that from ancient times,
when human beings were first placed on earth,
5no wicked people have been happy for long.
6They may grow great, towering to the sky,
so great that their heads reach the clouds,
7but they will be blown away like dust.
Those who used to know them
will wonder where they have gone.
8They will vanish like a dream, like a vision at night,
and never be seen again.
9The wicked will disappear from the place where they used to live;
10and their children will make good what they stole from the poor.
11Their bodies used to be young and vigorous,
but soon they will turn to dust.
12-13Evil tastes so good to them
that they keep some in their mouths to enjoy its flavour.
14But in their stomachs the food turns bitter,
as bitter as any poison could be.
15The wicked vomit up the wealth they stole;
God takes it back, even out of their stomachs.
16What evil people swallow is like poison;
it kills them like the bite of a deadly snake.
17They will not live to see rivers of olive oil20.17 Probable text They will… olive oil; Hebrew unclear.
or streams that flow with milk and honey.
18They will have to give up all they have worked for;
they will have no chance to enjoy their wealth,
19because they oppressed and neglected the poor
and seized houses someone else had built.
20Their greed is never satisfied.
21When they eat, there is nothing left over,
but now their prosperity comes to an end.
22At the height of their success
all the weight of misery will crush them.
23Let them eat all they want!
God will punish them in fury and anger.
24When they try to escape from an iron sword,
a bronze bow will shoot them down.
25Arrows stick through their bodies;
the shiny points drip with their blood,
and terror grips their hearts.
26Everything they have saved is destroyed;
a fire not lit by human hands
burns them and all their families.
27Heaven reveals their sin,
and the earth gives testimony against them.
28All their wealth will be destroyed
in the flood of God's anger.
29This is the fate of the wicked,
the fate that God assigns to them.
211-2Listen to what I am saying;
that is all the comfort I ask from you.
3Give me a chance to speak and then,
when I am through, sneer if you like.
4My quarrel is not with mortals;
I have good reason to be impatient.
5Look at me. Isn't that enough
to make you stare in shocked silence?
6When I think of what has happened to me,
I am stunned, and I tremble and shake.
7Why does God let evil people live,
let them grow old and prosper?
8They have children and grandchildren,
and live to watch them all grow up.
9God does not bring disaster on their homes;
they never have to live in terror.
10Yes, all their cattle breed
and give birth without trouble.
11Their children run and play like lambs
12and dance to the music of harps and flutes.
13They live out their lives in peace
and quietly die without suffering.
14The wicked tell God to leave them alone;
they don't want to know his will for their lives.
15They think there is no need to serve God
nor any advantage in praying to him.
16They claim they succeed by their own strength,
but their way of thinking I can't accept.
17Was a wicked person's light ever put out?
Did one of them ever meet with disaster?
Did God ever punish the wicked in anger
18and blow them away like straw in the wind,
or like dust carried away in a storm?
19You claim God punishes a child for the sins of his father.
No! Let God punish the sinners themselves;
let him show that he does it because of their sins.
20Let sinners bear their own punishment;
let them feel the wrath of Almighty God.
21When our lives are over,
do we really care whether our children are happy?
22Can anyone teach God,
who judges even those in high places?
23-24Some people stay healthy till the day they die;
they die happy and at ease,
their bodies well nourished.
25Others have no happiness at all;
they live and die with bitter hearts.
26But all alike die and are buried;
they all are covered with worms.
27I know what spiteful thoughts you have.
28You ask, “Where are the houses of great people now,
those who practised evil?”
29Haven't you talked with people who travel?
Don't you know the reports they bring back?
30On the day God is angry and punishes,
it is the wicked who are always spared.
31There is no one to accuse the wicked
or pay them back for all they have done.
32When they are carried to the graveyard,
to their well-guarded tombs,
33thousands join the funeral procession,
and even the earth lies gently on their bodies.
34And you! You try to comfort me with nonsense!
Every answer you give is a lie!