Job 17-20

Posted on October 6, 2011 by

(Based upon the ESV chronological Bible reading plan.)

Job 17

Job Continues: Where Then Is My Hope?

1“My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
the graveyard is ready for me.
2Surely there are mockers about me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.

3“Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
who is there who will put up security for me?
4Since you have closed their hearts to understanding,
therefore you will not let them triumph.
5He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property—
the eyes of his children will fail.

6“He has made me a byword of the peoples,
and I am one before whom men spit.
7My eye has grown dim from vexation,
and all my members are like a shadow.
8The upright are appalled at this,
and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
9Yet the righteous holds to his way,
and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
10But you, come on again, all of you,
and I shall not find a wise man among you.
11My days are past; my plans are broken off,
the desires of my heart.
12They make night into day:
‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’[a]
13If I hope for Sheol as my house,
if I make my bed in darkness,
14if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
16Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?”

Job 18

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

1Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2“How long will you hunt for words?
Consider, and then we will speak.
3Why are we counted as cattle?
Why are we stupid in your sight?
4You who tear yourself in your anger,
shall the earth be forsaken for you,
or the rock be removed out of its place?

5“Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
and the flame of his fire does not shine.
6The light is dark in his tent,
and his lamp above him is put out.
7His strong steps are shortened,
and his own schemes throw him down.
8For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
and he walks on its mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare lays hold of him.
10A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
a trap for him in the path.
11 Terrors frighten him on every side,
and chase him at his heels.
12His strength is famished,
and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
13It consumes the parts of his skin;
the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
14He is torn from the tent in which he trusted
and is brought to the king of terrors.
15In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
16His roots dry up beneath,
and his branches wither above.
17His memory perishes from the earth,
and he has no name in the street.
18 He is thrust from light into darkness,
and driven out of the world.
19He has no posterity or progeny among his people,
and no survivor where he used to live.
20They of the west are appalled at his day,
and horror seizes them of the east.
21Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
such is the place of him who knows not God.”

Job 19

Job Replies: My Redeemer Lives

1Then Job answered and said:
2“How long will you torment me
and break me in pieces with words?
3These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
are you not ashamed to wrong me?
4And even if it be true that I have erred,
my error remains with myself.
5If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
and make my disgrace an argument against me,
6know then that God has put me in the wrong
and closed his net about me.
7Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
I call for help, but there is no justice.
8He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.
9He has stripped from me my glory
and taken the crown from my head.
10He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
11He has kindled his wrath against me
and counts me as his adversary.
12His troops come on together;
they have cast up their siege ramp[b] against me
and encamp around my tent.

13“He has put my brothers far from me,
and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
14My relatives have failed me,
my close friends have forgotten me.
15The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
16I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
17My breath is strange to my wife,
and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
18Even young children despise me;
when I rise they talk against me.
19All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
22Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?

23“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
25For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[c]
26And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in[d] my flesh I shall see God,
27whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
28If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’
and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’
29be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
that you may know there is a judgment.”

Job 20

Zophar Speaks: The Wicked Will Suffer

1Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2“Therefore my thoughts answer me,
because of my haste within me.
3I hear censure that insults me,
and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
4Do you not know this from of old,
since man was placed on earth,
5 that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
6 Though his height mount up to the heavens,
and his head reach to the clouds,
7he will perish forever like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8He will fly away like a dream and not be found;
he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye that saw him will see him no more,
nor will his place any more behold him.
10His children will seek the favor of the poor,
and his hands will give back his wealth.
11His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
but it will lie down with him in the dust.

12“Though evil is sweet in his mouth,
though he hides it under his tongue,
13though he is loath to let it go
and holds it in his mouth,
14yet his food is turned in his stomach;
it is the venom of cobras within him.
15He swallows down riches and vomits them up again;
God casts them out of his belly.
16He will suck the poison of cobras;
the tongue of a viper will kill him.
17He will not look upon the rivers,
the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18He will give back the fruit of his toil
and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of his trading
he will get no enjoyment.
19For he has crushed and abandoned the poor;
he has seized a house that he did not build.

20“Because he knew no contentment in his belly,
he will not let anything in which he delights escape him.
21There was nothing left after he had eaten;
therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22In the fullness of his sufficiency he will be in distress;
the hand of everyone in misery will come against him.
23To fill his belly to the full,
God[e] will send his burning anger against him
and rain it upon him into his body.
24 He will flee from an iron weapon;
a bronze arrow will strike him through.
25It is drawn forth and comes out of his body;
the glittering point comes out of his gallbladder;
terrors come upon him.
26Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures;
a fire not fanned will devour him;
what is left in his tent will be consumed.
27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against him.
28The possessions of his house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God’s[f] wrath.
29 This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
the heritage decreed for him by God.”

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