The Bible in Its Traditions

Job 12:1–14:22

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Then Job answered and said

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No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.

So then ye alone are men, and wisdom shall die with you?

Are you, therefore, alone among men, and will wisdom die with you?

But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you; yea, who knoweth not such things as these?

But I also have a heart as well as you.

And I have a heart just as you also do, and I am not inferior to you. For who is ignorant of these things, which you know?

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I am as one that is a laughing-stock to his neighbour, a man that called upon God, and He answered him; the just, the innocent man is a laughing-stock,

For a righteous and blameless man has become a subject for mockery.

And yet he who called upon God became ridiculous to his friends, and he answered him who is pleased with the righteous who are unblemished,

A contemptible brand in the thought of him that is at ease, a thing ready for them whose foot slippeth.

For it had been ordained that he should fall under others at the appointed time, and that his houses should be spoiled by transgressors: let not however any one trust that, being evil, he shall be held guiltless,

Who is ready to do away with contempt and iniquity, and to strengthen the slippery feet.

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The tents of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure, in whatsoever God bringeth into their hand.

even as many as provoke the Lord, as if there were indeed to be no inquisition made of them.

The tabernacles of robbers are numerous, and they provoke God boldly; whereas, it is he who has given all things into their hands.

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But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee;

In truth, ask the mules, and they will teach you, and the birds of the sky, and they will reveal to you.

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Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee;

Tell the earth, if it may speak to thee: and the fishes of the sea shall explain to thee.

Speak with the earth, and it will respond to you, and the fish of the sea will explain.

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Who knoweth not among all these, that the hand of YHWH hath wrought this?

Who then has not known in all these things, that the hand of the Lord has made them?

Who is ignorant that the hand of the Lord has made all these things?

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10  In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.--

10  Whereas the life of all living things is in his hand, and the breath of every man.

10  In his hand is the soul of all the living and the spirit of all the flesh of mankind.

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11  Doth not the ear try words, even as the palate tasteth its food?

11  For the ear tries words, and the palate tastes meats.

12  Is wisdom with aged men, and understanding in length of days?--

12  In length of time is wisdom, and in long life knowledge.

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13  With Him is wisdom and might; He hath counsel and understanding.

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14  Behold, He breaketh down, and it cannot be built again; He shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

14  If he should cast down, who will build up? if he should shut up against man, who shall open?

14  If he tears down, there is no one who can build up; if he encloses a man, there is no one who can open.

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15  Behold, He withholdeth the waters, and they dry up; also He sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

15  If he should withhold the water, he will dry the earth: and if he should let it loose, he overthrows and destroys it.

15  If he restrains the waters, everything will dry up; and if he sends them forth, they will subdue the land.

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16  With Him is strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are His.

16  With him are strength and power: he has knowledge and understanding.

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17  He leadeth counsellors away stripped, and judges maketh He fools.

17  He leads advisors to a foolish end and judges to stupidity.

17  He leads kings amazingly, and makes judges fools.

18  He looseth the bond of kings, and bindeth their loins with a girdle.

18  He removes the belt of kings and encircles their waist with a rope.

18  He brings kings down to beg at the gates, and girds their loins with girdles of power.

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19  He leadeth priests away stripped, and overthroweth the mighty.

19  He sends away priests into captivity, and overthrows the mighty ones of the earth.

19  He leads away priests in dishonor and displaces nobles,

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20  He removeth the speech of men of trust, and taketh away the sense of the elders.

20  He changes the lips of the trusty, and he knows the understanding of the elders.

20  altering the lips of those who speak the truth and sweeping away the teaching of the aged.

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21  He poureth contempt upon princes, and looseth the belt of the strong.

21  He pours dishonour upon princes, and heals the lowly.

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22  He uncovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.

22  Revealing deep things out of darkness: and he has brought into light the shadow of death.

22  He reveals the depths of the darkness, and he brings the shadow of death into the light.

23  He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them; He enlargeth the nations, and leadeth them away.

23  Causing the nations to wander, and destroying them: overthrowing the nations, and leading them away.

23  He multiplies peoples, and destroys them, and, having been overthrown, he restores them anew.

24  He taketh away the heart of the chiefs of the people of the land, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.

24  Perplexing the minds of the princes of the earth: and he causes them to wander in a way, they have not known, saying,

24  He transforms the heart of the leaders of the people on earth, and misleads those who in vain advance upon the inviolable.

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25  They grope in the dark without light, and He maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.

25  Let them grope in darkness, and let there be no light, and let them wander as a drunken man.

25  They search in darkness without light, and they grope in darkness without understanding; and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

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13:1  Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it.

Behold, mine eye has seen these things, and mine ear has heard them.

Behold, my eye has seen all these things, and my ear has heard, and I have understood each one.

13:2  What ye know, do I know also; I am not inferior unto you.

And I know all that ye too know; and I have not less understanding than you.

In conformity with your knowledge, I also know. I am not inferior to you.

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13:3  Notwithstanding I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.

Nevertheless I will speak to the Lord, and I will reason before him, if he will.

But I would speak to the Almighty, and with my reproof would I reason with God.

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13:4  But ye are plasterers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.

having first shown that you fabricate lies and cultivate perverse teachings.

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13:5  Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it would be your wisdom.

But would that ye were silent, and it would be wisdom to you in the end.

And I wish that you would remain silent, so that you would be counted among the wise.

13:6  Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.

But hear ye the reasoning of my mouth, and attend to the judgement of my lips.

Therefore, listen to my correction, and pay attention to the judgment of my lips.

13:7  Will ye speak unrighteously for God, and talk deceitfully for Him?

Do ye not speak before the Lord, and utter deceit before him?

Does God require your lie, so that you would speak deceitfully for him?

13:8  Will ye show Him favour? Will ye contend for God?

Or will ye draw back? nay do, ye yourselves be judges.

Have you taken his place, and do you struggle to give judgment in favor of God?

13:9  Would it be good that He should search you out? Or as one mocketh a man, will ye mock Him?

For it were well if he would thoroughly search you: for though doing all things in your power ye should attach yourselves to him,

Or, will it please him, from whom nothing can be concealed? Or, will he be deceived, like a man, by your deceitfulness?

13:10  He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly show favour.

10  he will not reprove you at all the less: but if moreover ye should secretly respect persons,

10  He will accuse you because in secret you have preempted his presence.

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13:11  Shall not His majesty terrify you, and His dread fall upon you?

11  As soon as he moves himself, he will disturb you, and his dread will fall over you.

11  His excellency shall seek vengeance of you, and his terror will fall upon you.

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13:12  Your memorials shall be like unto ashes, your eminences to eminences of clay.

12  And your glorying shall prove in the end to you like ashes, and your body like a body of clay.

12  Remember that your power is from the earth, and your dwelling place is of clay.

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13:13  Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.

13  Be silent, that I may speak, and cease from mine anger,

13  Be silent for a little while, so that I may speak whatever my mind suggests to me.

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13:14  Wherefore? I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand.

14  Why do I wound my flesh with my teeth, and carry my soul in my hands?

14  Why am I so afflicted, and why is my life exposed to danger?

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13:15  Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him; but I will argue my ways before Him.

15  Though the Mighty One should lay hand upon me, forasmuch as he has begun, verily I will speak, and plead before him.

15  And now, if he would kill me, I will hope in him; in this, truly, I will correct my ways in his sight.

13:16  This also shall be my salvation, that a hypocrite cannot come before Him.

16  And this shall turn to me for salvation; for fraud shall have no entrance before him.

16  And he will be my savior, for no hypocrite at all will approach in his sight.

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13:17  Hear diligently my speech, and let my declaration be in your ears.

17  Listen to my words, and perceive an enigma with your ears.

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13:18  Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.

18  Behold, I am near my judgement: I know that I shall appear evidently just.

18  If I will be judged, I know that I will be found to be just.

13:19  Who is he that will contend with me? For then would I hold my peace and die.

19  For who is he that shall plead with me, that I should now be silent, and expire?

19  Who is it that will go to judgment with me? Let him approach. Why should I be consumed in silence?

13:20  Only do not two things unto me, then will I not hide myself from Thee

20  But grant me two things: then I will not hide myself from thy face.

20  Do not do such things to me twice, and then I will not hide from your face.

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13:21  Withdraw Thy hand far from me; and let not Thy terror make me afraid.

21  Withhold thine hand from me: and let not thy fear terrify me.

21  Take your hand far away from me, and do not let your dread terrify me.

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13:22  Then call Thou, and I will answer; or let me speak, and answer Thou me.

22  Then shalt thou call, and I will hearken to thee: or thou shalt speak, and I will give thee an answer.

22  Call me, and I will answer you, or else I will speak, and you can answer me.

13:23  How many are mine iniquities and sins? Make me to know my transgression and my sin.

23  How many are my sins and my transgressions? teach me what they are.

23  How many iniquities and sins do I have? Reveal my crimes and offenses to me.

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13:24  Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face, and holdest me for Thine enemy?

24  Why do you conceal your face and consider me to be your enemy?

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13:25  Wilt Thou harass a driven leaf? And wilt Thou pursue the dry stubble?

25  Wilt thou be startled at me, as at a leaf shaken by the wind? or wilt thou set thyself against me as against grass borne upon the breeze?

25  Against a leaf, which is carried away by the wind, you reveal your power, and you pursue dry straw.

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13:26  That Thou shouldest write bitter things against me, and make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth.

26  for thou hast written evil things against me, and thou hast compassed me with the sins of my youth.

26  For you write bitter things against me, and you want to consume me for the sins of my youth.

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13:27  Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; Thou drawest Thee a line about the soles of my feet;

27  And thou hast placed my foot in the stocks; and thou hast watched all my works, and hast penetrated my heels.

27  You have put my feet on a tether, and you have observed all my paths, and you have considered the steps of my feet.

13:28  Though I am like a wine-skin that consumeth, like a garment that is moth-eaten.

28  I am as that which waxes old like a bottle, or like a moth-eaten garment.

28  I will be left to decay like something rotten and like a garment that is being eaten by moths.

14:1  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

For a mortal born of a woman is short lived, and full of wrath.

Man, born of woman, living for a short time, is filled with many miseries.

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14:2  He cometh forth like a flower, and withereth; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

Or he falls like a flower that has bloomed; and he departs like a shadow, and cannot continue.

He comes forth like a flower, and is crushed, and he flees, as if a shadow, and never remains in the same state.

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14:3  And dost Thou open Thine eyes upon such a one, and bringest me into judgment with Thee?

Hast thou not taken account even of him, and caused him to enter into judgement before thee?

And do you consider it fitting to look down with your eyes on someone in this way and to lead him into judgment with you?

14:4  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

For who shall be pure from uncleanness? not even one;

Who can make him clean who is conceived of unclean seed? Are you not the only one who can?

14:5  Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months is with Thee, and Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

if even his life should be but one day upon the earth: and his months are numbered by him: thou hast appointed him for a time, and he shall by no means exceed it.

The days of man are short, and the number of his months is with you; you have determined his limits, which cannot be surpassed.

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14:6  Look away from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day.

Depart from him, that he may be quiet, and take pleasure in his life, though as a hireling.

Turn thy face away from him, and his days will be spent like a hireling.

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14:7  For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.

A tree has hope: if it has been cut, it turns green again, and its branches spring forth.

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14:8  Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;

For though its root should grow old in the earth, and its stem die in the rock;

If its roots grow old in the earth, and its trunk passes into dust,

14:9  Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and put forth boughs like a plant.

it will blossom from the scent of water, and will produce a crop, as one newly planted.

at the scent of water, it will sprout and bring forth leaves, as when it had first been planted.

14:10  But man dieth, and lieth low; yea, man perisheth, and where is he?

10  But a man that has died is utterly gone; and when a mortal has fallen, he is no more.

10  Truly, when a man dies, and has been left unprotected, and has decayed, I ask you where is he?

14:11  As the waters fail from the sea, and the river is drained dry;

11  For the sea wastes in length of time, and a river fails and is dried up.

11  It is as if the waters had receded from the sea and an emptied river had dried up;

14:12  So man lieth down and riseth not; till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be roused out of their sleep.

12  And man that has lain down in death shall certainly not rise again till the heaven be dissolved, and they shall not awake from their sleep.

12  just so, when a man is fallen asleep, he will not rise again, until the heavens are worn away; he will not awaken, nor rise from his sleep.

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14:13  Oh that Thou wouldest hide me in the nether-world, that Thou wouldest keep me secret, until Thy wrath be past, that Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!--

13  Who will grant this to me, that you will protect me in the underworld, and hide me until your fury passes by, and establish a time for me, in which you will remember me?

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14:14  If a man die, may he live again? All the days of my service would I wait, till my relief should come--

14  For if a man should die, shall he live again, having accomplished the days of his life? I will wait till I exist again?

14  Do you suppose that a dead man will live again? On each of the days in which I now battle, I wait until my transformation occurs.

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14:15  Thou wouldest call, and I would answer Thee; Thou wouldest have a desire to the work of Thy hands.

15  You will call me and I will answer you; to the work of your hands, you will extend your right hand.

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14:16  But now Thou numberest my steps, Thou dost not even wait for my sin;

16  But thou hast numbered my devices: and not one of my sins shall escape thee?

16  Indeed, you have numbered my steps, but you have been lenient with my sins.

14:17  My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and Thou heapest up mine iniquity.

17  And thou hast sealed up my transgressions in a bag, and marked if I have been guilty of any transgression unawares.

17  You have sealed up my offenses, as if in a purse, but you have cured my iniquity.

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14:18  And surely the mountain falling crumbleth away, and the rock is removed out of its place;

18  A falling mountain flows away, and a stone is transferred from its place.

14:19  The waters wear the stones; the overflowings thereof wash away the dust of the earth; so Thou destroyest the hope of man.

19  Waters wear away stones, and with a flood the land is reduced little by little; and similarly, you will destroy man.

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14:20  Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth; Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.

20  Thou drivest him to an end, and he is gone: thou settest thy face against him, and sendest him away;

20  You have strengthened him for a little while, so that he may cross over into eternity. You will change his face and send him forth.

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14:21  His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he regardeth them not.

21  Whether his sons have been noble or ignoble, he will not understand.

21  If his sons multiply, he does not know it; if they decrease, he perceives it not of them.

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14:22  But his flesh grieveth for him, and his soul mourneth over him.

22  And in this way his body, while he yet lives, will have grief, and his soul will mourn over himself.