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Thursday, December 31, 2020
The Books of Poetry
Then Job answered:
"Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be just before God?
If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength--who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded? --
he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger;
who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;
who alone stretched out the heavens, and trampled the waves of the sea;
who made the Bear and Orion, the Plei'ades and the chambers of the south;
who does great things beyond understanding, and marvelous things without number.
Lo, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him? Who will say to him, 'What doest thou'?
"God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him?
Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
If I summoned him and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
For he crushes me with a tempest, and multiplies my wounds without cause;
he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness.
If it is a contest of strength, behold him! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
I am blameless; I regard not myself; I loathe my life.
It is all one; therefore I say, he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges--if it is not he, who then is it?
"My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.
They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey.
If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer,'
I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know thou wilt not hold me innocent.
I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain?
If I wash myself with snow, and cleanse my hands with lye,
yet thou wilt plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will abhor me.
For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together.
There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both.
Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me.
Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.
"I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why thou dost contend against me.
Does it seem good to thee to oppress, to despise the work of thy hands and favor the designs of the wicked?
Hast thou eyes of flesh? Dost thou see as man sees?
Are thy days as the days of man, or thy years as man's years,
that thou dost seek out my iniquity and search for my sin,
although thou knowest that I am not guilty, and there is none to deliver out of thy hand?
Thy hands fashioned and made me; and now thou dost turn about and destroy me.
Remember that thou hast made me of clay; and wilt thou turn me to dust again?
Didst thou not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese?
Thou didst clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews.
Thou hast granted me life and steadfast love; and thy care has preserved my spirit.
Yet these things thou didst hide in thy heart; I know that this was thy purpose.
If I sin, thou dost mark me, and dost not acquit me of my iniquity.
If I am wicked, woe to me! If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head, for I am filled with disgrace and look upon my affliction.
And if I lift myself up, thou dost hunt me like a lion, and again work wonders against me;
thou dost renew thy witnesses against me, and increase thy vexation toward me; thou dost bring fresh hosts against me.
"Why didst thou bring me forth from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me,
and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.
Are not the days of my life few? Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort
before I go whence I shall not return, to the land of gloom and deep darkness,
the land of gloom and chaos, where light is as darkness."
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