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Thursday, December 14, 2017
The Books of Poetry
Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
And Job said,
" Let the day perish on which I was to be born, And the night which said, "A boy is conceived.'
"May that day be darkness; Let not God above care for it, Nor light shine on it.
"Let darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
"As for that night, let darkness seize it; Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; Let it not come into the number of the months.
"Behold, let that night be barren; Let no joyful shout enter it.
"Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
"Let the stars of its twilight be darkened; Let it wait for light but have none, And let it not see the breaking dawn;
Because it did not shut the opening of my mother's womb, Or hide trouble from my eyes.
" Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire?
"Why did the knees receive me, And why the breasts, that I should suck?
"For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
With kings and with counselors of the earth, Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
Or with princes who had gold, Who were filling their houses with silver.
"Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, As infants that never saw light.
"There the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest.
"The prisoners are at ease together; They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
"The small and the great are there, And the slave is free from his master.
"Why is light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul,
Who long for death, but there is none, And dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
Who rejoice greatly, And exult when they find the grave?
"Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, And whom God has hedged in?
"For my groaning comes at the sight of my food, And my cries pour out like water.
"For what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread befalls me.
"I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.' 4
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered,
"If one ventures a word with you, will you become impatient? But who can refrain from speaking?
"Behold you have admonished many, And you have strengthened weak hands.
"Your words have helped the tottering to stand, And you have strengthened feeble knees.
"But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; It touches you, and you are dismayed.
"Is not your fear of God your confidence, And the integrity of your ways your hope?
"Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed?
"According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it.
"By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end.
"The roaring of the lion and the voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken.
"The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the whelps of the lioness are scattered.
"Now a word was brought to me stealthily, And my ear received a whisper of it.
"Amid disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men,
Dread came upon me, and trembling, And made all my bones shake.
"Then a spirit passed by my face; The hair of my flesh bristled up.
"It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, then I heard a voice:
"Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?
" He puts no trust even in His servants; And against His angels He charges error.
"How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before the moth!
" Between morning and evening they are broken in pieces; Unobserved, they perish forever.
"Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them? They die, yet without wisdom.' 5
Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.
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