The Bible in Its Traditions

Job 6:1–30

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Then Job answered and said

But Job answered and said,

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Oh that my vexation were but weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances altogether!

Oh that one would indeed weigh the wrath that is upon me, and take up my griefs in a balance together!

I wish that my sins, for which I deserve wrath, and the calamity that I endure, were weighed out on a balance.

For now it would be heavier than the sand of the seas; therefore are my words broken.

And verily they would be heavier than the sand by the seashore: but, as it seems, my words are vain.

Compared to the sand of the sea, they would appear heavier, and so my words are full of sorrow.

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For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof my spirit drinketh up; the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

For the arrows of the Lord are in my body, whose violence drinks up my blood: whenever I am going to speak, they pierce me.

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Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?

What then? will the wild ass bray for nothing, if he is not seeking food? or again, will the ox low at the manger, when he has a fodder?

Will the wild ass bray when he has grass? Or will the ox bellow when he stands before a full manger?

Can that which hath no savour be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the juice of mallows?

Shall bread be eaten without salt? or again, is there taste in empty words?

Or can one eat bland food, which is not seasoned with salt? Or can anyone taste that which, if tasted, causes death?

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My soul refuseth to touch them; they are as the sickness of my flesh.

For my wrath cannot cease; for I perceive my food as the smell of a lion to be loathsome.

My soul is weary of its troubles, I lament like a drunken man in my affliction.

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Oh that I might have my request, and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!

For oh that he would grant my desire, and my petition might come, and the Lord would grant my hope!

Who will grant that my petition may arrive and that God may bestow on me what I expect,

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Even that it would please God to crush me; that He would let loose His hand, and cut me off!

Let the Lord begin and wound me, but let him not utterly destroy me.

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10  Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would exult in pain, though He spare not; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

10  And may this be my consolation, that in afflicting me with sorrow, although he might not be lenient with me, I still do not contradict the words of the Holy One.

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11  What is my strength, that I should wait? and what is mine end, that I should be patient?

11  For what is my strength, that I continue? what is my time, that my soul endures?

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12  Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?

12  My strength is not the strength of stones, nor is my flesh made of bronze.

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13  Is it that I have no help in me, and that sound wisdom is driven quite from me?

13  Or have I not trusted in him? but help is far from me.

13  Behold, there is no help for me in myself, and my loved ones also have withdrawn from me.

14  To him that is ready to faint kindness is due from his friend, even to him that forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.

14  Mercy has rejected me; and the visitation of the Lord has disregarded me.

14  He who takes away mercy from his friend, abandons the fear of the Lord.

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15  My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, as the channel of brooks that overflow,

15  My nearest relations have not regarded me; they have passed me by like a failing brook, or like a wave.

15  My brethren have disregarded me, like a torrent that passes swiftly through the steep valleys.

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16  Which are black by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow hideth itself;

16  They who used to reverence me, now have come against me like snow or congealed ice.

16  Those who fear frost, snow will rush over them.

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17  What time they wax warm, they vanish, when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.

17  When it has melted at the approach of heat, it is not known what it was.

17  At that time, when they are scattered, they will perish, and when it becomes hot, they will be freed from their place.

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18  The paths of their way do wind, they go up into the waste, and are lost.

18  Thus I also have been deserted of all; and I am ruined, and become an outcast.

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19  The caravans of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them--

19  Behold the ways of the Thaemanites, ye that mark the paths of the Sabaeans.

19  Consider the paths of Thema, the ways of Saba, and wait a little while.

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20  They were ashamed because they had hoped; they came thither, and were confounded.

20  They too that trust in cities and riches shall come to shame.

20  They have been thrown into confusion, just as I had hoped; they have even come to me and are overwhelmed with shame.

21  For now ye are become His; ye see a terror, and are afraid.

21  But ye also have come to me without pity; so that beholding my wound ye are afraid.

21  Now you have arrived, and merely by seeing my affliction, you are afraid.

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22  Did I say: 'Give unto me'? or: 'Offer a present for me of your substance'?

22  What? have I made any demand of you? or do I ask for strength from you,

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23  or: 'Deliver me from the adversary's hand'? or: 'Redeem me from the hand of the oppressors'?

23  to deliver me from enemies, or to rescue me from the hand of the mighty ones?

23  or, “Free me from the hand of the enemy and rescue me from the hand of the strong?”

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24  Teach me, and I will hold my peace; and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

24  Teach ye me, and I will be silent: if in anything I have erred, tell me.

24  Teach me, and I will be silent, and if by chance I have been ignorant of anything, instruct me.

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25  How forcible are words of uprightness! But what doth your arguing argue?

25  But as it seems, the words of a true man are vain, because I do not ask strength of you.

25  Why have you diminished the words of truth, when there is none of you who is able to offer proof against me?

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26  Do ye hold words to be an argument, but the speeches of one that is desperate to be wind?

26  You prepare speeches as so much noise, and you offer words into the wind.

26  Behold you are seeking to find words with which to reprove, and against my soul you are conjuring up words.

27  Yea, ye would cast lots upon the fatherless, and dig a pit for your friend.

27  You encroach upon the orphan, and you strive to undermine your friend.

27  Behold, you overwhelm the fatherless, and you grieve your friend.

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28  Now therefore be pleased to look upon me; for surely I shall not lie to your face.

28  But now, having looked upon your countenances, I will not lie.

28  Such is true, so finish what you have begun. Listen closely, and see if I lie.

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29  Return, I pray you, let there be no injustice; yea, return again, my cause is righteous.

29  Sit down now, and let there not be unrighteousness; and unite again with the just.

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30  Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern crafty devices?

30  For there is no injustice in my tongue; and does not my throat meditate understanding?

30  And you will not find iniquity on my tongue, nor will foolishness resound in my throat.