Job's Final Defense Continued

Job 30:1-31

1 "But now those younger than I mock me, Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock. 2 "Indeed, what good was the strength of their hands to me? Vigor had perished from them. 3 "From want and famine they are gaunt Who gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation, 4 Who pluck mallow by the bushes, And whose food is the root of the broom shrub. 5 "They are driven from the community; They shout against them as against a thief, 6 So that they dwell in dreadful valleys, In holes of the earth and of the rocks. 7 "Among the bushes they cry out; Under the nettles they are gathered together. 8 "Fools, even those without a name, They were scourged from the land.

9 "And now I have become their taunt, I have even become a byword to them. 10 "They abhor me and stand aloof from me, And they do not refrain from spitting at my face. 11 "Because He has loosed His bowstring and afflicted me, They have cast off the bridle before me. 12 "On the right hand their brood arises; They thrust aside my feet and build up against me their ways of destruction. 13 "They break up my path, They profit from my destruction; No one restrains them. 14 "As through a wide breach they come, Amid the tempest they roll on. 15 "Terrors are turned against me; They pursue my honor as the wind, And my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.

16 "And now my soul is poured out within me; Days of affliction have seized me. 17 "At night it pierces my bones within me, And my gnawing pains take no rest. 18 "By a great force my garment is distorted; It binds me about as the collar of my coat. 19 "He has cast me into the mire, And I have become like dust and ashes.

20 "I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me. 21 "You have become cruel to me; With the might of Your hand You persecute me. 22 "You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride; And You dissolve me in a storm. 23 "For I know that You will bring me to death And to the house of meeting for all living.

24 "Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, Or in his disaster therefore cry out for help? 25 "Have I not wept for the one whose life is hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? 26 "When I expected good, then evil came; When I waited for light, then darkness came. 27 "I am seething within and cannot relax; Days of affliction confront me. 28 "I go about mourning without comfort; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help. 29 "I have become a brother to jackals And a companion of ostriches. 30 "My skin turns black on me, And my bones burn with fever. 31 "Therefore my harp is turned to mourning, And my flute to the sound of those who weep.

Job 31:1-40

1 "I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin? 2 "And what is the portion of God from above Or the heritage of the Almighty from on high? 3 "Is it not calamity to the unjust And disaster to those who work iniquity? 4 "Does He not see my ways And number all my steps?

5 "If I have walked with falsehood, And my foot has hastened after deceit, 6 Let Him weigh me with accurate scales, And let God know my integrity.

7 "If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart followed my eyes, Or if any spot has stuck to my hands, 8 Let me sow and another eat, And let my crops be uprooted.

9 "If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or I have lurked at my neighbor's doorway, 10 May my wife grind for another, And let others kneel down over her. 11 "For that would be a lustful crime; Moreover, it would be an iniquity punishable by judges. 12 "For it would be fire that consumes to Abaddon, And would uproot all my increase.

13 "If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves When they filed a complaint against me, 14 What then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him? 15 "Did not He who made me in the womb make him, And the same one fashion us in the womb?

16 "If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 Or have eaten my morsel alone, And the orphan has not shared it 18 (But from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, And from infancy I guided her), 19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or that the needy had no covering, 20 If his loins have not thanked me, And if he has not been warmed with the fleece of my sheep, 21 If I have lifted up my hand against the orphan, Because I saw I had support in the gate, 22 Let my shoulder fall from the socket, And my arm be broken off at the elbow. 23 "For calamity from God is a terror to me, And because of His majesty I can do nothing.

24 "If I have put my confidence in gold, And called fine gold my trust, 25 If I have gloated because my wealth was great, And because my hand had secured so much; 26 If I have looked at the sun when it shone Or the moon going in splendor, 27 And my heart became secretly enticed, And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth, 28 That too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment, For I would have denied God above.

29 "Have I rejoiced at the extinction of my enemy, Or exulted when evil befell him? 30 "No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin By asking for his life in a curse. 31 "Have the men of my tent not said, 'Who can find one who has not been satisfied with his meat'? 32 "The alien has not lodged outside, For I have opened my doors to the traveler. 33 "Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34 Because I feared the great multitude, And the contempt of families terrified me, And kept silent and did not go out of doors?

35 "Oh that I had one to hear me! Behold, here is my signature; Let the Almighty answer me! And the indictment which my adversary has written, 36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, I would bind it to myself like a crown. 37 "I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.

38 "If my land cries out against me, And its furrows weep together; 39 If I have eaten its fruit without money, Or have caused its owners to lose their lives, 40 Let briars grow instead of wheat, And stinkweed instead of barley." The words of Job are ended.