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Testament > Job
Final Summation: Job 29.1-37.24
I long for the past, when God took care of me,
light from his lamp
showed me the way through the dark.
I was in the
prime of life,
God All-Powerful was my closest friend,
and all of my children were nearby.
gave enough milk to bathe my feet,
and from my olive harvest flowed rivers
When I sat down at the meeting of the city council,
leaders stepped aside,
while the older ones stood
and remained silent.
Everyone was pleased with what I said and did.
When poor people or
orphans cried out for help,
I came to their rescue.
And I was highly
praised for my generosity to widows
and others in poverty.
and justice were my coat and hat;
I was good to the
blind and to the lame.
I was a father to the needy, and I defended them in
even if they were strangers.
When criminals attacked, I broke
and set their victims free.
I felt certain that I would live a long and happy life,
then die in my
In those days I was strong
like a tree with deep roots and
with plenty of water,
or like an archer's new bow.
Everyone listened in silence to my welcome advice,
and when I finished speaking, nothing needed to be
My words were eagerly accepted like the showers of spring,
and the smile on my face renewed everyone's hopes.
My advice was followed
as though I were a king leading my troops,
or someone comforting those in sorrow.
Young people now insult me, although their fathers
would have been a
disgrace to my sheep dogs.
And those who insult me are helpless
They must claw the desert sand in the dark
to satisfy their hunger.
They gather tasteless shrubs for food and
and they are run out of towns, as though
they were thieves.
Their only homes are ditches or holes between rocks,
where they bray like donkeys gathering around shrubs.
senseless donkeys they are chased away.
Those worthless nobodies make up jokes and songs
to disgrace me.
They are hateful and keep their distance,
even while spitting in my
God has destroyed me,
and so they don't care what they
Their attacks never stop,
though I am defenseless, and my feet are
Without any help, they prevent my escape,
completely and leaving me crushed.
Terror has me surrounded; my reputation
and my riches
have vanished like a cloud.
I am sick at heart! Pain has taken its toll.
Night chews on my bones,
causing endless torment,
and God has shrunk my
skin, choking me to death.
I have been thrown in the dirt and now am dirt
I beg God for help, but there is no answer;
and when I stand
up, he simply stares.
God has turned brutal,
stirring up a windstorm to toss me about.
Soon he will send me home to the world of the dead,
where we all must
No one refuses help to others, when disaster
I mourned for the poor and those who
But when I beg for relief and light,
Soon he will send me home to the world of the dead,
where we all must
go. all I receive are
disaster and darkness.
My stomach is tied in knots; pain is my daily
Suffering has scorched my skin,
in the city council I stand and cry out,
mournful sounds like jackals and owls.
My skin is so parched, that it
peels right off,
and my bones are burning.
only songs are sorrow and sadness.
I promised myself never to stare with desire
at a young woman.
All-Powerful punishes men who do that.
In fact, God sends disaster on all
and he keeps a close watch on everything I
I am not dishonest or deceitful,
and I beg God
to prove my innocence.
If I have disobeyed him or even wanted to,
then others can eat my harvest and uproot my crops.
If I have desired someone's wife and chased after her,
then let some stranger steal my wife from me.
If I took someone's wife, it would be a horrible crime,
sending me to destruction and my crops to the
When my servants complained against me,
I was fair to them.
Otherwise, what answer would I give to God
when he judges me?
all, God is the one who gave life to each of us
before we were born.
I have never cheated widows or others in need,
and I have always shared my food with orphans.
Since the time I was young,
I have cared for orphans and helped widows.
I provided clothes for the
poor, and I was praised
for supplying woolen garments to keep them warm.
If I have ever raised my arm to threaten an orphan
when the power was
I hope that arm will fall from its socket.
I could not have been abusive; I was terrified at the thought
God might punish me.
I have never trusted the power of wealth,
or taken pride in owning many possessions.
have never openly or secretly worshiped the sun or moon.
sins would have deserved
punishment from God.
I have never laughed
when my enemies were struck by disaster.
Neither have I sinned by asking God to send down on them
the curse of
No one ever went hungry at my house,
and travelers were always welcome.
Many have attempted to hide their sinsfrom others
but I refused.
And the fear of public disgrace never
to keep silent about what I had done.
Why doesn't God All-Powerful listen and answer?
If God has something
let him speak up or put it in writing!
Then I would wear
his charges on my clothes and forehead.
And with my head held high, I
would tell him everything
I have ever done.
I have never mistreated the land I farmed
and made it mourn.
have I cheated my workers and caused them pain.
If I had, I would pray for
weeds instead of wheat
to grow in my fields.
After saying these
Job was silent.
Finally, these three men stopped arguing with Job, because he refused to
admit that he was guilty.
Elihu from Buz was there, and he had become upset with Job for blaming God
instead of himself. He was also angry with Job's three friends for not beingable to prove that Job was wrong. Elihu was younger than these three, and helet them speak first. But he became irritated when they could not answer Job,and he said to them:
I am much younger than you,
so I have shown respect by keeping silent.
I once believed age was the source of wisdom;
now I truly realize wisdom comes from God.
Age is no guarantee of wisdom
That's why I ask you to listen
I eagerly listened to each of your arguments,
but not one of you proved Job to be wrong.
You shouldn't say, "We know
Let God punish him."
Job hasn't spoken against me,
and so I won't answer him with your arguments.
All of you are shocked; you don't know what to say.
But am I to remain
just because you have stopped speaking?
No! I will give my
because I have so much to say,
that I can't keep quiet.
I am like a swollen wineskin,
and I will burst if I don't speak.
Idon't know how to be unfair or to flatter anyone
if I did, my Creator
would quickly destroy me!
Job, listen to me! Pay close attention.
Everything I will say is true and sincere,
just as surely as the Spirit of
gave me the breath of life.
Now line up your
arguments and prepare to face me.
We each were made from clay, and God has
so don't be afraid of me or what I
I have heard you argue that you are innocent,
guilty of nothing.
You claim that God has made you his enemy,
has bound your feet and blocked your path.
But, Job, you're wrong
is greater than any human.
So why do you challenge God to answer you?
God speaks in different ways,
and we don't always recognize his voice.
Sometimes in the night, he uses terrifying dreams
to give us warnings.
God does this to make us
turn from sin and pride
and to protect us from being swept away
the world of the dead.
Sometimes we are punished with a serious illness
and aching joints.
Merely the thought of our favorite food
makes our stomachs sick,
and we become so skinny
that our bones stick out.
We feel death and
the grave taking us in their grip.
One of a thousand angels then comes to our rescue
by saying we are
The angel shows kindness, commanding death to release us,
because the price was paid.
Our health is restored, we feel young again,
and we ask God to accept us.
Then we joyfully
and we are rewarded because we are innocent.
happens, we tell everyone,
"I sinned and did wrong, but God forgave me
and rescued me from death! Now I will see the light."
God gives each of us chance after chance
to be saved from death and
brought into the light
that gives life.
So, Job, pay attention and
though I would gladly listen
to anything you say
that proves you are right.
Otherwise, listen in silence to my wisdom.
You men think you are wise, but just listen to me!
Think about my words, as you would taste food.
Then we can decide the case
and give a just verdict.
Job claims he is innocent
and God is guilty
of mistreating him.
Job also argues that God considers him a liar
that he is suffering severely in spite of his innocence.
But to tell the
truth, Job is shameless!
He spends his time with sinners, because he has
"It doesn't pay to please God."
If any of you are smart, you will listen and learn
All-Powerful does what is right.
God always treats everyone the way they
and he is never unfair.
very beginning, God has been in control
of all the world.
If God took back the breath that he breathed into us,
we humans would die and return to the soil.
So be smart and listen!
The mighty God is the one who brings about
and you are condemning him.
Indeed, God is the one who
condemns unfair rulers.
And God created us all; he has no favorites,
whether rich or poor.
Even powerful rulers die in the darkness of night
when they least expect it, just like the rest of us.
God watches everything we do.
No evil person
can hide in the deepest darkness.
And so, God doesn't need to set a time
Without asking for advice, God removes mighty leaders
and puts others in their place.
He knows what they are like,
wipes them out in the middle of the night.
And while others look on, he
because they were evil and refused to obey him.
persons they mistreated had prayed for help,
until God answered their
When God does nothing,
can any person or nation find fault
But still, he punishes rulers who abuse
Job, you should tell God that you are guilty
and promise to do better.
Then ask him to point out what you did wrong,
so you won't do it
Do you make the rules, or does God?
You have to decideI can't
do it for you;
now make up your mind.
Job, anyone with good sense can
that you are speaking nonsense and lack
So I pray for you to suffer as much as possible
talking like a sinner.
You have rebelled against God, time after time,
and have even insulted us.
Job, are you really innocent in the sight of God?
you honestly believe it pays to obey him?
give the answers to you and your friends.
Look up to the heavens and
Do your sins hurt God?
Is any good you may have done at all
helpful to him?
The evil or good you do only
affects other humans.
In times of trouble, everyone begs the mighty God
to have mercy.
But after their Creator helps them through hard times,
they forget about
him, though he makes us wiser
than animals or birds.
God won't listen
to the prayers of proud and evil people.
If God All-Powerful refuses
to answer their empty prayers,
he will surely deny your impatient request
to face him in court.
Job, you were wrong to say God doesn't punish
Everything you have said adds up to nonsense.
Be patient a while longer;
I have something else to
say in God's defense.
God always does right
and this knowledge comes
straight from God.
You can rest assured that what I say is true.
Although God is mighty, he cares about everyone
and makes fair
The wicked are cut down,
and those who are wronged receive justice.
God watches over good people and places them
in positions of power and
But when people are prisoners of suffering and pain,
God points out their sin and their pride,
warns them to turn back to him.
And if they obey, they will be successful
and happy from then on.
But if they foolishly refuse, they will be
with a violent death.
Godless people are too angry
to ask God for help when he punishes
So they die young in shameful disgrace.
Hard times and trouble
are God's way of getting our attention!
this very moment,
God deeply desires to lead you from trouble
spread your table with your favorite food.
Now that the judgment for your sins has fallen upon you,
your anger and the pain you endured
make you sneer at God.
reputation and riches cannot protect you from distress,
nor can you find safety in the dark world
Be on guard! Don't turn to evil as a way of escape.
is unlimited. He needs no teachers
to guide or
Others have praised God for what he has done,
so join with them.
From down here on earth, everyone has looked up
and seen how great Godis
God is more than we imagine;
no one can count the years he has
God gathers moisture into the clouds
and supplies us with rain.
Who can understand
how God scatters the clouds
and speaks from his home in the thunderstorm?
And when God sends lightning,
it can be seen at the bottom of the
By producing such rainstorms, God rules the world
us with food.
Each flash of lightning is one of his arrows
and the thunder tells of his anger against sin.
I am frightened and tremble all over,
when I hear the roaring voice of
God in the thunder,
and when I see his lightning
flash across the sky.
God's majestic voice thunders his
creating miracles too marvelous for us to
Snow and heavy rainstorms
make us stop and think about
and they force animals to seek
The windstorms of winter strike,
the breath of God freezes streams and rivers.
Rain clouds filled with
lightning appear at God's command,
traveling across the sky to releasetheir cargo
sometimes as punishment for sin, sometimes as kindness.
Job, consider carefully the many wonders of God.
Can you explain why
at the orders of God who knows all things?
Or how he
hangs the clouds in empty space?
You almost melt in the heat of fierce
when the sky is like brass.
God can spread out the
clouds to get relief from the heat,
but can you?
Tell us what to say to God! Our minds are in the dark,
and we don't
know how to argue our case.
Should I risk my life by telling God that I
want to speak?
No one can stare at the sun
after a breeze has blown
the clouds from the sky.
Yet the glorious splendor of God All-Powerful
is brighter by far.
God cannot be seen
but his power is great,
and he is always fair.
And so we humans fear God, because he shows no
for those who are proud and think they know so much.
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