Is there anyone, even the wisest,
who could ever be of use to God?
3Does your doing right benefit God,
or does your being good help him at all?
4It is not because you stand in awe of God
that he reprimands you and brings you to trial.
5No, it's because you have sinned so much;
it's because of all the evil you do.
6To make your brother repay you the money he owed,
you took away his clothes and left him nothing to wear.
7You refused water to those who were tired,
and refused to feed those who were hungry.
8You used your power and your position
to take over the whole land.
9You not only refused to help widows,
but you also robbed and ill-treated orphans.
10So now there are pitfalls all round you,
and suddenly you are full of fear.
11It has grown so dark that you cannot see,
and a flood overwhelms you.
12Doesn't God live in the highest heavens
and look down on the stars, even though they are high?
13And yet you ask, “What does God know?
He is hidden by clouds — how can he judge us?”
14You think the thick clouds keep him from seeing,
as he walks on the dome of the sky.
15Are you determined to walk in the paths
that evil people have always followed?
16Even before their time had come,
they were washed away by a flood.
17These are the ones who rejected God
and believed that he could do nothing to them.
18And yet it was God who made them prosperous —
I can't understand the thoughts of the wicked.
19Good people are glad and the innocent laugh
when they see the wicked punished.
20All that the wicked own is destroyed,
and fire burns up anything that is left.
21Now, Job, make peace with God
and stop treating him like an enemy;
if you do, then he will bless you.
22Accept the teaching he gives;
keep his words in your heart.
23Yes, you must humbly22.23 One ancient translation humbly; Hebrew be built up. return to God
and put an end to all the evil
that is done in your house.
24Throw away your gold;
dump your finest gold in the dry stream bed.
25Let Almighty God be your gold,
and let him be silver, piled high for you.
26Then you will always trust in God
and find that he is the source of your joy.
27When you pray, he will answer you,
and you will keep the vows you made.
28You will succeed in all you do,
and light will shine on your path.
29God brings down the proud22.29 Probable text proud; Hebrew unclear.
and saves the humble.
30He will rescue you if you are innocent,22.30 Some ancient translations innocent; Hebrew not innocent.
if what you do is right.22.30 Verse 30 in Hebrew is unclear.
231-2I still rebel and complain against God;
I can't hold back my groaning.
3How I wish I knew where to find him,
and knew how to go where he is.
4I would state my case before him
and present all the arguments in my favour.
5I want to know what he would say
and how he would answer me.
6Would God use all his strength against me?
No, he would listen as I spoke.
7I am honest; I could reason with God;
he would declare me innocent23.7 he would declare me innocent; or then my rights would be safe. once and for all.
8I have searched in the east, but God is not there;
I have not found him when I searched in the west.
9God has been at work in the north and the south,
but still I have not seen him.
10Yet God knows every step I take;
if he tests me, he will find me pure.
11I follow faithfully the road he chooses,
and never wander to either side.
12I always do what God commands;
I follow his will, not my own desires.
13He never changes. No one can oppose him
or stop him from doing what he wants to do.
14He will fulfil what he has planned for me;
that plan is just one of the many he has;
15I tremble with fear before him.
16-17Almighty God has destroyed my courage.
It is God, not the dark, that makes me afraid —
even though the darkness has made me blind.
241Why doesn't God set a time for judging,
a day of justice for those who serve him?
2People move boundary stones to get more land;
they steal sheep and put them with their own flocks.
3They take donkeys that belong to orphans,
and keep a widow's ox till she pays her debts.
4They prevent the poor from getting their rights
and force the needy to run and hide.
5So the poor, like wild donkeys,
search for food in the dry wilderness;
nowhere else can they find food for their children.
6They have to harvest fields they don't own,24.6 fields they don't own: Having been cheated out of their own land, the poor are forced to work for others for very small pay.
and gather grapes in the vineyards of the wicked.
7At night they sleep with nothing to cover them,
nothing to keep them from the cold.
8They are drenched by the rain that falls on the mountains,
and they huddle beside the rocks for shelter.
9Evil people make slaves of fatherless infants
and take the children of the poor in payment for debts.
10But the poor must go out with no clothes to protect them;
they must go hungry while harvesting wheat.
11They press olives for oil, and grapes for wine,
but they themselves are thirsty.
12In the cities the wounded and dying cry out,
but God ignores their prayers.
13There are those who reject the light;
they don't understand it or go where it leads.
14At dawn the murderer gets up
and goes out to kill the poor,
and at night he steals.
15The adulterer waits for twilight to come;
he covers his face so that no one can see him.
16At night thieves break into houses,
but by day they hide and avoid the light.
17They fear the light of day,
but darkness holds no terror for them.
18The wicked are swept away by floods,
and the land they own is under God's curse;
they no longer go to work in their vineyards.
19As snow vanishes in heat and drought,
so sinners vanish from the land of the living.
20Not even their mothers remember them now;
they are eaten by worms and destroyed like fallen trees.
21That happens because they ill-treated widows
and showed no kindness to childless women.
22God, in his strength, destroys the mighty;
God acts — and the wicked die.
23God may let them live secure,
but keeps an eye on them all the time.
24For a while the wicked prosper,
but then they wither like weeds,
like ears of corn that have been cut off.
25Can anyone deny that this is so?
Can anyone prove that my words are not true?