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Thursday, January 23, 2020
The Books of Poetry
Then Eliphaz the Temanite responded,
"Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge And fill himself with the east wind?
"Should he argue with useless talk, Or with words which are not profitable?
"Indeed, you do away with reverence And hinder meditation before God.
"For your guilt teaches your mouth, And you choose the language of the crafty.
"Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; And your own lips testify against you.
"Were you the first man to be born, Or were you brought forth before the hills?
"Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And limit wisdom to yourself?
" What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that we do not?
"Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us, Older than your father.
"Are the consolations of God too small for you, Even the word spoken gently with you?
"Why does your heart carry you away? And why do your eyes flash,
That you should turn your spirit against God And allow such words to go out of your mouth?
"What is man, that he should be pure, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
"Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones, And the heavens are not pure in His sight;
How much less one who is detestable and corrupt, Man, who drinks iniquity like water!
"I will tell you, listen to me; And what I have seen I will also declare;
What wise men have told, And have not concealed from their fathers,
To whom alone the land was given, And no alien passed among them.
"The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, And numbered are the years stored up for the ruthless.
" Sounds of terror are in his ears; While at peace the destroyer comes upon him.
"He does not believe that he will return from darkness, And he is destined for the sword.
"He wanders about for food, saying, "Where is it?' He knows that a day of darkness is at hand.
"Distress and anguish terrify him, They overpower him like a king ready for the attack,
Because he has stretched out his hand against God And conducts himself arrogantly against the Almighty.
"He rushes headlong at Him With his massive shield.
"For he has covered his face with his fat And made his thighs heavy with flesh.
"He has lived in desolate cities, In houses no one would inhabit, Which are destined to become ruins.
"He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure; And his grain will not bend down to the ground.
"He will not escape from darkness; The flame will wither his shoots, And by the breath of His mouth he will go away.
"Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; For emptiness will be his reward.
"It will be accomplished before his time, And his palm branch will not be green.
"He will drop off his unripe grape like the vine, And will cast off his flower like the olive tree.
"For the company of the godless is barren, And fire consumes the tents of the corrupt.
"They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity, And their mind prepares deception.' 16
Then Job answered,
"I have heard many such things; Sorry comforters are you all.
"Is there no limit to windy words? Or what plagues you that you answer?
"I too could speak like you, If I were in your place. I could compose words against you And shake my head at you.
"I could strengthen you with my mouth, And the solace of my lips could lessen your pain.
"If I speak, my pain is not lessened, And if I hold back, what has left me?
"But now He has exhausted me; You have laid waste all my company.
"You have shriveled me up, It has become a witness; And my leanness rises up against me, It testifies to my face.
"His anger has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with His teeth; My adversary glares at me.
"They have gaped at me with their mouth, They have slapped me on the cheek with contempt; They have massed themselves against me.
"God hands me over to ruffians And tosses me into the hands of the wicked.
"I was at ease, but He shattered me, And He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target.
"His arrows surround me. Without mercy He splits my kidneys open; He pours out my gall on the ground.
"He breaks through me with breach after breach; He runs at me like a warrior.
"I have sewed sackcloth over my skin And thrust my horn in the dust.
"My face is flushed from weeping, And deep darkness is on my eyelids,
Although there is no violence in my hands, And my prayer is pure.
"O earth, do not cover my blood, And let there be no resting place for my cry.
"Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, And my advocate is on high.
"My friends are my scoffers; My eye weeps to God.
"O that a man might plead with God As a man with his neighbor!
"For when a few years are past, I shall go the way of no return. 17
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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