The Bible in Its Traditions

Job 6:1–7:21

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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.

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7:1  Is there not a time of service to man upon earth? And are not his days like the days of a hireling?

The life of a man on the earth is a battle, and his days are like the days of a hired hand.

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7:2  As a servant that eagerly longeth for the shadow, and as a hireling that looketh for his wages;

Or as a servant that fears his master, and one who has grasped a shadow? or as a hireling waiting for his pay?

Just as a servant desires the shade, and just as the hired hand looks forward to the end of his work,

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7:3  So am I made to possess--months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.

So have I also endured months of vanity, and nights of pain have been appointed me.

so also have I had empty months and have counted my burdensome nights.

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7:4  When I lie down, I say: 'When shall I arise?' But the night is long, and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.

Whenever I lie down, I say, When will it be day? and whenever I rise up, again I say when will it be evening? and I am full of pains from evening to morning.

If I lie down to sleep, I will say, “When will I rise?” And next I will hope for the evening and will be filled with sorrows even until darkness.

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7:5  My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin closeth up and breaketh out afresh.

And my body is covered with loathsome worms; and I waste away, scraping off clods of dust from my eruption.

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7:6  My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.

And my life is lighter than a word, and has perished in vain hope.

My days have passed by more quickly than threads are cut by a weaver, and they have been consumed without any hope.

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7:7  O remember that my life is a breath; mine eye shall no more see good.

Remember then that my life is breath, and mine eye shalt not yet again see good.

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7:8  The eye of him that seeth me shall behold me no more; while Thine eyes are upon me, I am gone.

Neither will the sight of man gaze upon me; your eyes are upon me, and I will not endure.

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7:9  As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.

I am as a cloud that is cleared away from the sky: for if a man go down to the grave, he shall not come up again

Just as a cloud is consumed and passes away, so he who descends to hell will not ascend.

7:10  He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.

10  and he shall surely not return to his own house, neither shall his place know him any more.

10  He will not return again to his house, nor will his own place know him any longer.

7:11  Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

11  Then neither will I refrain my mouth: I will speak being in distress; being in anguish I will disclose the bitterness of my soul.

11  And because of this, I will not restrain my mouth. I will speak in the affliction of my spirit. I will converse from the bitterness of my soul.

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7:12  Am I a sea, or a sea-monster, that Thou settest a watch over me?

12  Am I an ocean or a whale, that you have encircled me in a prison?

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7:13  When I say: 'My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint';

13  I said that my bed should comfort me, and I would privately counsel with myself on my couch.

13  If I say, “My bed will comfort me, and I will find rest, speaking with myself on my blanket,”

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7:14  Then Thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions;

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7:15  So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than these my bones.

15  Thou wilt separate life from my spirit; and yet keep my bones from death.

15  Thou hast drawn my life out of destruction, and my bones out of death.

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7:16  I loathe it; I shall not live alway; let me alone; for my days are vanity.

16  For I shall not live for ever, that I should patiently endure: depart from me, for my life is vain.

7:17  What is man, that Thou shouldest magnify him, and that Thou shouldest set Thy heart upon him,

17  For what is man, that thou hast magnified him? or that thou givest heed to him?

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7:18  And that Thou shouldest remember him every morning, and try him every moment?

18  Wilt thou visit him till the morning, and judge him till the time of rest?

18  You visit him at dawn, and you test him unexpectedly.

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7:19  How long wilt Thou not look away from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?

19  How long will you not spare me, nor release me to ingest my saliva?

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7:20  If I have sinned, what do I unto Thee, O Thou watcher of men? Why hast Thou set me as a mark for Thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

20  I have sinned; what should I do for you, O keeper of men? Why have you set me against you, so that I have become burdensome even to myself?

20  If I have sinned; what have I done to thee, O thou Creator of men? Why hast thou caused me to encounter thee? Thou hast become a burden to me.

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7:21  And why dost Thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? For now shall I lie down in the dust; and Thou wilt seek me, but I shall not be.

21  Why hast thou not forgotten my iniquity, and purged my sin? but now I shall depart to the earth; and in the morning I am no more.

21  Why do you not steal away my sin, and why do you not sweep away my iniquity? Behold, now I will sleep in the dust, and if you seek me in the morning, I will not remain.