29 Then Job continued 1 his speech:
2 “O that I could be 2 as 3 I was
in the months now gone, 4
in the days 5 when God watched 6 over me,
3 when 7 he caused 8 his lamp 9
to shine upon my head,
and by his light
I walked 10 through darkness; 11
4 just as I was in my most productive time, 12
when God’s intimate friendship 13 was experienced in my tent,
5 when the Almighty 14 was still with me
and my children were 15 around me;
6 when my steps 16 were bathed 17 with butter 18
and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil! 19
7 When I went out to the city gate
and secured my seat in the public square, 20
8 the young men would see me and step aside, 21
and the old men would get up and remain standing;
9 the chief men refrained from talking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
10 the voices of the nobles fell silent, 22
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 “As soon as the ear heard these things, 23 it blessed me, 24
and when the eye saw them, it bore witness to me,
12 for I rescued the poor who cried out for help,
and the orphan who 25 had no one to assist him;
13 the blessing of the dying man descended on me, 26
and I made the widow’s heart rejoice; 27
14 I put on righteousness and it clothed me, 28
my just dealing 29 was like a robe and a turban;
15 I was eyes for the blind
and feet for the lame;
16 I was a father 30 to the needy,
and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;
17 I broke the fangs 31 of the wicked,
and made him drop 32 his prey from his teeth.
18 “Then I thought, ‘I will die in my own home, 33
my days as numerous as the grains of sand. 34
19 My roots reach the water,
and the dew lies on my branches all night long.
20 My glory 35 will always be fresh 36 in me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
21 “People 37 listened to me and waited silently; 38
they kept silent for my advice.
22 After I had spoken, they did not respond;
my words fell on them drop by drop. 39
23 They waited for me as people wait 40 for the rain,
and they opened their mouths 41
as for 42 the spring rains.
24 If I smiled at them, they hardly believed it; 43
and they did not cause the light of my face to darken. 44
25 I chose 45 the way for them 46
and sat as their chief; 47
I lived like a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners. 48
30 “But now they mock me, those who are younger 1 than I,
whose fathers I disdained too much 2
to put with my sheep dogs. 3
2 Moreover, the strength of their 4 hands –
what use was it to me?
Men whose strength 5 had perished;
3 gaunt 6 with want and hunger,
they would gnaw 7 the parched land,
in former time desolate and waste. 8
4 By the brush 9 they would gather 10 herbs from the salt marshes, 11
and the root of the broom tree was their food.
5 They were banished from the community 12 –
people 13 shouted at them
like they would shout at thieves 14 –
6 so that they had to live 15
in the dry stream beds, 16
in the holes of the ground, and among the rocks.
7 They brayed 17 like animals among the bushes
and were huddled together 18 under the nettles.
8 Sons of senseless and nameless people, 19
they were driven out of the land with whips. 20
9 “And now I have become their taunt song;
I have become a byword 21 among them.
10 They detest me and maintain their distance; 22
they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Because God has untied 23 my tent cord and afflicted me,
people throw off all restraint in my presence. 24
12 On my right the young rabble 25 rise up;
they drive me from place to place, 26
and build up siege ramps 27 against me. 28
13 They destroy 29 my path;
they succeed in destroying me 30
without anyone assisting 31 them.
14 They come in as through a wide breach;
amid the crash 32 they come rolling in. 33
15 Terrors are turned loose 34 on me;
they drive away 35 my honor like the wind,
and like a cloud my deliverance has passed away.
16 “And now my soul pours itself out within me; 36
days of suffering take hold of me.
17 Night pierces 37 my bones; 38
my gnawing pains 39 never cease.
18 With great power God 40 grasps my clothing; 41
he binds me like the collar 42 of my tunic.
19 He has flung me into the mud,
and I have come to resemble dust and ashes.
20 I cry out to you, 43 but you do not answer me;
I stand up, 44 and you only look at me. 45
21 You have become cruel to me; 46
with the strength of your hand you attack me. 47
22 You pick me up on the wind and make me ride on it; 48
you toss me about 49 in the storm. 50
23 I know that you are bringing 51 me to death,
to the meeting place for all the living.
24 “Surely one does not stretch out his hand
against a broken man 52
when he cries for help in his distress. 53
25 Have I not wept for the unfortunate? 54
Was not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 But when I hoped for good, trouble came;
when I expected light, then darkness came.
27 My heart 55 is in turmoil 56 unceasingly; 57
the days of my affliction confront me.
28 I go about blackened, 58 but not by the sun;
in the assembly I stand up and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother to jackals
and a companion of ostriches. 59
30 My skin has turned dark on me; 60
my body 61 is hot with fever. 62
31 My harp is used for 63 mourning
and my flute for the sound of weeping.
31 “I made a covenant with 1 my eyes;
how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin? 2
2 What then would be one’s lot from God above,
one’s heritage from the Almighty 3 on high?
3 Is it not misfortune for the unjust,
and disaster for those who work iniquity?
4 Does he not see my ways
and count all my steps?
5 If 4 I have walked in falsehood,
and if 5 my foot has hastened 6 to deceit –
6 let him 7 weigh me with honest 8 scales;
then God will discover 9 my integrity.
7 If my footsteps have strayed from the way,
if my heart has gone after my eyes, 10
or if anything 11 has defiled my hands,
8 then let me sow 12 and let another eat,
and let my crops 13 be uprooted.
9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door, 14
10 then let my wife turn the millstone 15 for another man,
and may other men have sexual relations with her. 16
11 For I would have committed 17 a shameful act, 18
an iniquity to be judged. 19
12 For it is a fire that devours even to Destruction, 20
and it would uproot 21 all my harvest.
13 “If I have disregarded the right of my male servants
or my female servants
when they disputed 22 with me,
14 then what will I do when God confronts me in judgment; 23
when he intervenes, 24
how will I respond to him?
15 Did not the one who made me in the womb make them? 25
Did not the same one form us in the womb?
16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 26
or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,
and did not share any of it with orphans 27 –
18 but from my youth I raised the orphan 28 like a father,
and from my mother’s womb 29
I guided the widow! 30
19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing,
or a poor man without a coat,
20 whose heart did not bless me 31
as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep, 32
21 if I have raised my hand 33 to vote against the orphan,
when I saw my support in the court, 34
22 then 35 let my arm fall from the shoulder, 36
let my arm be broken off at the socket. 37
23 For the calamity from God was a terror to me, 38
and by reason of his majesty 39 I was powerless.
24 “If I have put my confidence in gold
or said to pure gold,
‘You are my security!’
25 if I have rejoiced because of the extent of my wealth,
or because of the great wealth my hand had gained,
26 if I looked at the sun 40 when it was shining,
and the moon advancing as a precious thing,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed,
and my hand threw them a kiss from my mouth, 41
28 then this 42 also would be iniquity to be judged, 43
for I would have been false 44 to God above.
29 If 45 I have rejoiced over the misfortune of my enemy 46
or exulted 47 because calamity 48 found him –
30 I 49 have not even permitted my mouth 50 to sin
by asking 51 for his life through a curse –
31 if 52 the members of my household 53 have never said, 54
‘If only there were 55 someone
who has not been satisfied from Job’s 56 meat!’ –
32 But 57 no stranger had to spend the night outside,
for I opened my doors to the traveler 58 –
33 if 59 I have covered my transgressions as men do, 60
by hiding 61 iniquity in my heart, 62
34 because I was terrified 63 of the great multitude, 64
and the contempt of families terrified me,
so that I remained silent
and would not go outdoors – 65
35 “If only I had 66 someone to hear me!
Here is my signature – 67
let the Almighty answer me!
If only I had an indictment 68
that my accuser had written. 69
36 Surely 70 I would wear it proudly 71 on my shoulder,
I would bind 72 it on me like a crown;
37 I would give him an accounting of my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
38 “If my land cried out against me 73
and all its furrows wept together,
39 if I have eaten its produce without paying, 74
or caused the death 75 of its owners, 76
40 then let thorns sprout up in place of wheat,
and in place of barley, weeds!” 77
The words of Job are ended.