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Thursday, December 19, 2019
The Books of Poetry
"Call now; is there any one who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn?
Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple.
I have seen the fool taking root, but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.
His sons are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate, and there is no one to deliver them.
His harvest the hungry eat, and he takes it even out of thorns; and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground;
but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
"As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause;
who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number:
he gives rain upon the earth and sends waters upon the fields;
he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
He takes the wise in their own craftiness; and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noonday as in the night.
But he saves the fatherless from their mouth, the needy from the hand of the mighty.
So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts her mouth.
"Behold, happy is the man whom God reproves; therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up; he smites, but his hands heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles; in seven there shall no evil touch you.
In famine he will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword.
You shall be hid from the scourge of the tongue, and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
At destruction and famine you shall laugh, and shall not fear the beasts of the earth.
For you shall be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.
You shall know that your tent is safe, and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
You shall know also that your descendants shall be many, and your offspring as the grass of the earth.
You shall come to your grave in ripe old age, as a shock of grain comes up to the threshing floor in its season.
Lo, this we have searched out; it is true. Hear, and know it for your good."
Then Job answered:
"O that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances!
For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my words have been rash.
For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
Does the wild ass bray when he has grass, or the ox low over his fodder?
Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the slime of the purslane?
My appetite refuses to touch them; they are as food that is loathsome to me.
"O that I might have my request, and that God would grant my desire;
that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
This would be my consolation; I would even exult in pain unsparing; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?
Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?
In truth I have no help in me, and any resource is driven from me.
"He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My brethren are treacherous as a torrent-bed, as freshets that pass away,
which are dark with ice, and where the snow hides itself.
In time of heat they disappear; when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
The caravans turn aside from their course; they go up into the waste, and perish.
The caravans of Tema look, the travelers of Sheba hope.
They are disappointed because they were confident; they come thither and are confounded.
Such you have now become to me; you see my calamity, and are afraid.
Have I said, 'Make me a gift'? Or, 'From your wealth offer a bribe for me'?
Or, 'Deliver me from the adversary's hand'? Or, 'Ransom me from the hand of oppressors'?
"Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have erred.
How forceful are honest words! But what does reproof from you reprove?
Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?
You would even cast lots over the fatherless, and bargain over your friend.
"But now, be pleased to look at me; for I will not lie to your face.
Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done. Turn now, my vindication is at stake.
Is there any wrong on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern calamity?
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