21When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the LORD again, Satan was there among them. 2The LORD asked him, “Where have you been?”
Satan answered, “I have been walking here and there, roaming round the earth.”
3“Did you notice my servant Job?” the LORD asked. “There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil. You persuaded me to let you attack him for no reason at all, but Job is still as faithful as ever.”
4Satan replied, “A person will give up everything in order to stay alive. 5But now suppose you hurt his body — he will curse you to your face!”
6So the LORD said to Satan, “All right, he is in your power, but you are not to kill him.”
7Then Satan left the LORD's presence and made sores break out all over Job's body. 8Job went and sat by the rubbish heap and took a piece of broken pottery to scrape his sores. 9His wife said to him, “You are still as faithful as ever, aren't you? Why don't you curse God and die?”
10Job answered, “You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?” In spite of everything he suffered, Job said nothing against God.
11Three of Job's friends were Eliphaz, from the city of Teman, Bildad, from the land of Shuah, and Zophar, from the land of Naamah. When they heard how much Job had been suffering, they decided to go and comfort him. 12While they were still a long way off they saw Job, but did not recognize him. When they did, they began to weep and wail, tearing their clothes in grief and throwing dust into the air and on their heads. 13Then they sat there on the ground with him for seven days and nights without saying a word, because they saw how much he was suffering.
Finally Job broke the silence and cursed the day on which he had been born.
2-3O God, put a curse on the day I was born;
put a curse on the night when I was conceived!
4Turn that day into darkness, God.
Never again remember that day;
never again let light shine on it.
5Make it a day of gloom and thick darkness;
cover it with clouds, and blot out the sun.
6Blot that night out of the year,
and never let it be counted again;
7make it a barren, joyless night.
8Tell the sorcerers to curse that day,
those who know how to control Leviathan.3.8 Leviathan: Some take this to be the crocodile, others a legendary monster. Magicians were thought to be able to make him cause eclipses of the sun.
9Keep the morning star from shining;
give that night no hope of dawn.
10Curse that night for letting me be born,
for exposing me to trouble and grief.
11I wish I had died in my mother's womb
or died the moment I was born.
12Why did my mother hold me on her knees?
Why did she feed me at her breast?
13If I had died then, I would be at rest now,
14sleeping like the kings and rulers
who rebuilt ancient palaces.
15Then I would be sleeping like princes
who filled their houses with gold and silver,
16or sleeping like a stillborn child.
17In the grave wicked people stop their evil,
and tired workers find rest at last.
18Even prisoners enjoy peace,
free from shouts and harsh commands.
19Everyone is there, the famous and the unknown,
and slaves at last are free.
20Why let people go on living in misery?
Why give light to those in grief?
They wait for death, but it never comes;
they prefer a grave to any treasure.
22They are not happy till they are dead and buried;
23God keeps their future hidden
and hems them in on every side.
24Instead of eating, I mourn,
and I can never stop groaning.
25Everything I fear and dread comes true.
26I have no peace, no rest,
and my troubles never end.
41-2Job, will you be annoyed if I speak?
I can't keep quiet any longer.
3You have taught many people
and given strength to feeble hands.
4When someone stumbled, weak and tired,
your words encouraged him to stand.
5Now it's your turn to be in trouble,
and you are too stunned to face it.
6You worshipped God, and your life was blameless;
and so you should have confidence and hope.
7Think back now. Name a single case
where a righteous person met with disaster.
8I have seen people plough fields of evil
and sow wickedness like seed;
now they harvest wickedness and evil.
9Like a storm, God destroys them in his anger.
10The wicked roar and growl like lions,
but God silences them and breaks their teeth.
11Like lions with nothing to kill and eat,
they die, and all their children are scattered.
12Once a message came quietly,
so quietly I could hardly hear it.
Like a nightmare it disturbed my sleep.
14I trembled and shuddered;
my whole body shook with fear.
15A light breeze touched my face,
and my hair bristled with fright.
16I could see something standing there;
I stared, but couldn't tell what it was.
Then I heard a voice out of the silence:
17“Can anyone be righteous in the sight of4.17 righteous in the sight of; or more righteous than. God
or be pure before4.17 be pure before; or be more pure than. his Creator?
18God does not trust his heavenly servants;
he finds fault even with his angels.
19Do you think he will trust a creature of clay,
a thing of dust that can be crushed like a moth?
20Someone may be alive in the morning,
but die unnoticed before evening comes.
21All that he has is taken away;
he dies, still lacking wisdom.”