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Thursday, December 26, 2019
The Books of Poetry
"Has not man a hard service upon earth, and are not his days like the days of a hireling?
Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like a hireling who looks for his wages,
so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
When I lie down I say, 'When shall I arise?' But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and come to their end without hope.
"Remember that my life is a breath; my eye will never again see good.
The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more; while thy eyes are upon me, I shall be gone.
As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
he returns no more to his house, nor does his place know him any more.
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Am I the sea, or a sea monster, that thou settest a guard over me?
When I say, 'My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,'
then thou dost scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
so that I would choose strangling and death rather than my bones.
I loathe my life; I would not live for ever. Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
What is man, that thou dost make so much of him, and that thou dost set thy mind upon him,
dost visit him every morning, and test him every moment?
How long wilt thou not look away from me, nor let me alone till I swallow my spittle?
If I sin, what do I do to thee, thou watcher of men? Why hast thou made me thy mark? Why have I become a burden to thee?
Why dost thou not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; thou wilt seek me, but I shall not be."
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
"How long will you say these things, and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the power of their transgression.
If you will seek God and make supplication to the Almighty,
if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and reward you with a rightful habitation.
And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.
"For inquire, I pray you, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have found;
for we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow.
Will they not teach you, and tell you, and utter words out of their understanding?
"Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
While yet in flower and not cut down, they wither before any other plant.
Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless man shall perish.
His confidence breaks in sunder, and his trust is a spider's web.
He leans against his house, but it does not stand; he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.
He thrives before the sun, and his shoots spread over his garden.
His roots twine about the stoneheap; he lives among the rocks.
If he is destroyed from his place, then it will deny him, saying, 'I have never seen you.'
Behold, this is the joy of his way; and out of the earth others will spring.
"Behold, God will not reject a blameless man, nor take the hand of evildoers.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.
Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more."
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