Job Chides His Accusers
12 Then Job responded,
“No doubt you are the [only wise] people [in the world],
And wisdom will die with you!
“But I have intelligence and understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these [of God’s wisdom and might]?
“I am a joke to my friends;
I, one whom God answered when he called upon Him—
A just and blameless man is a joke [and laughed to scorn].
“He who is at ease has contempt for misfortune,
But misfortune is ready [and anxiously waiting] for those whose feet slip.
“The tents of the destroyers prosper;
And those who provoke God are [apparently] secure,
Whom God brings into their power.
“Now ask the animals, and let them teach you [that God does not deal with His creatures according to their character];
And ask the birds of the air, and let them tell you;
Or speak to the earth [with its many forms of life], and it will teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare [this truth] to you.
“Who among all these does not recognize [in all these things that good and evil are randomly scattered throughout nature and human life]
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
“Does the ear not put words to the test,
Just as the palate tastes its food [distinguishing between the desirable and the undesirable]?
“With the aged [you say] is wisdom,
And with [a]long life is understanding.
Job Speaks of the Power of God
“But [only] with Him are [perfect] wisdom and might;
He [alone] has [true] counsel and understanding.
“Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt;
He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.
“Behold, He restrains the waters, and they dry up;
Again, He sends the waters out, and they overwhelm and devastate the earth.
“With Him are might and sound wisdom,
The misled and the misleader are His [and in His power].
“He makes [great and scheming] counselors walk barefoot
And makes fools of judges.
“He loosens the bond of kings
And binds their loins with a loincloth.
“He makes priests walk barefoot,
And He overturns men firmly seated and secure.
“He deprives the trusted ones of speech
And takes away the discernment and discretion of the aged.
“He pours contempt on princes and nobles
And loosens the belt of the strong [disabling them].
“He uncovers mysteries [that are difficult to grasp and understand] out of the darkness
And brings black gloom and the shadow of death into light.
“He makes nations great, and He destroys them;
He enlarges nations, and leads them away [captive].
“He removes intelligence and understanding from the leaders of the people of the earth
And makes them wander and move blindly in a pathless waste.
“They grope in darkness without light,
And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.”
Job Says His Friends’ Proverbs Are Ashes
13 [Job continued:] “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
My ear has heard and understood it.
“What you know I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
“But I wish to speak to [b]the Almighty,
And I desire to argue with God.
“But you smear me with lies [you defame my character most untruthfully];
You are all worthless physicians and have no remedy to offer.
“Oh, that you would be completely silent,
And that silence would be your wisdom!
“Please hear my argument
And listen to the pleadings of my lips.
“Will you speak what is unjust for God,
And speak what is deceitful for Him?
“Will you show partiality for Him [and be unjust to me so that you may gain favor with Him]?
Will you contend and plead for God?
“Will it be well for you when He investigates you [and your tactics against me]?
Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man?
“He will surely reprimand you
If you secretly show partiality.
“Will not His majesty terrify you,
And will not the dread of Him fall upon you?
“Your memorable sayings are [worthless, merely] proverbs of ashes;
Your defenses are defenses of [crumbling] clay.
Job Is Sure He Will Be Vindicated
“Be silent before me so that I may speak;
And let happen to me what may.
“Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
And put my life in my hands [incurring the wrath of God]?
“Even though He kills me;
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face.
“This also will be my salvation,
For a godless man may not come before Him.
“Listen diligently to my speech,
And let my declaration fill your ears.
“Behold now, I have prepared my case;
I know that I will be vindicated.
“Who will argue and contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
“Only [O Lord,] do not do two things to me,
And then I will not hide myself from Your face:
Withdraw Your hand from me and remove this bodily suffering,
And let not the dread of You terrify me.
“Then [Lord,] call, and I will answer;
Or let me speak, and then reply to me.
“How many are my iniquities and sins [that so much sorrow should come to me]?
Make me recognize and understand my transgression and my sin.(A)
“Why do You hide Your face [as if offended]
And consider me Your enemy?
“Will You cause a windblown leaf to tremble?
Will You pursue the chaff of the dry stubble?
“For You write bitter things against me [in Your indictment]
And make me inherit and suffer for the iniquities of my youth.
“You also put my feet in the stocks [as punishment]
And [critically] observe all my paths;
You set a circle and limit around the soles of my feet [which I must not overstep],
While I waste away like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Job Speaks of the Finality of Death
14 “Man, who is born of a woman,
Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
“Like a flower he comes forth and withers;
He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
“You also open Your eyes upon him
And bring him into judgment with Yourself.
“Who can make a clean thing out of the unclean?
“Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You [in Your control],
And You have made his limits so he cannot pass [his allotted time].
“[O God] turn your gaze from him so that he may rest,
Until he fulfills his day [on earth] like a hired man.
“For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that the shoots of it will not cease nor fail, [but there is no such hope for man].
“Though its roots grow old in the earth
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
Yet at the scent of water [the stump of the tree] will flourish
And bring forth sprigs and shoots like a seedling.
“But [the brave, strong] man must die and lie face down;
Man breathes his last, and where is he?
“As water evaporates from the sea,
And a river drains and dries up,
So man lies down and does not rise [again].
Until the heavens are no longer,
The dead will not awake nor be raised from their sleep.
“Oh, that You would hide me in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead),
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would set a definite time and then remember me [and in Your lovingkindness imprint me on your heart]!
“If a man dies, will he live again?
I will wait all the days of my struggle
Until my change and release will come.(C)
“[Then] You will call, and I will answer You;
You will long for [me] the work of Your hands.
“But now You number [each of] my steps;
You do not observe nor take note of my sin.
“My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover my wickedness [from Your view].
“But as a mountain, if it falls, crumbles into nothing,
And as the rock is moved from its place,
Water wears away the stones,
Its floods and torrents wash away the soil of the earth,
So You [O Lord] destroy the hope of man.
“You prevail forever against him and overpower him, and he passes on;
You change his appearance and send him away [from the presence of the living].
“His sons achieve honor, and he does not know it;
They become insignificant, and he is not aware of it.
“But his body [lamenting its decay] grieves in pain over it,
And his soul mourns over [the loss of] himself.”
Eliphaz Says Job Presumes Much
15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered [Job] and said,
“Should a wise man [such as you] utter such windy and vain knowledge [as we have just heard]
And fill himself with the east wind [of withering, parching, and violent accusations]?
“Should he rebuke and argue with useless talk?
Or with words in which there is no benefit?
“Indeed, you are doing away with fear,
And you are diminishing meditation before God.
“For your guilt teaches your mouth,
And you choose [to speak] the language of the crafty and cunning.
“Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
Yes, your own lips testify against you.
“Were you the first man to be born [the original wise man],
Or were you created before the hills?
“Do you hear the secret counsel of God,
And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself?
“What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not equally clear to us?
“Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged,
Older than your father.
“Are the consolations of God [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you,
[Or] were we too gentle toward you [in our first speech] to be effective?
“Why does your heart carry you away [allowing you to be controlled by emotion]?
And why do your eyes flash [in anger or contempt],
That you should turn your spirit against God
And let such words [as you have spoken] go out of your mouth?
“What is man, that he should be pure and clean,
Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous and just?
“Behold, God puts no trust in His holy ones (angels);
Indeed, the heavens are not pure in His sight—
How much less [pure and clean is] the one who is repulsive and corrupt,
Man, who drinks unrighteousness and injustice like water!
What Eliphaz Has Seen of Life
“I will tell you, listen to me;
And what I have seen I will also declare;
What wise men have [freely] told,
And have not hidden [anything passed on to them] from their fathers,
To whom alone the land was given,
And no stranger passed among them [corrupting the truth].
“The wicked man writhes with pain all his days,
And numbered are the years stored up for him, the ruthless one.
“A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears;
While at peace and in a time of prosperity the destroyer comes upon him [the tent of the robber is not at peace].
“He does not believe that he will return out of the darkness [for fear of being murdered],
And he is destined for the sword [of God’s vengeance].
“He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already at hand.
“Distress and anxiety terrify him,
They overpower him like a king ready for battle.
“Because he has stretched out his hand against God
And behaves arrogantly against [c]the Almighty,
Running and charging headlong against Him
With his ornamented and massive shield;
For he has covered his face with his fat,
Adding layers of fat to his thighs [giving himself up to pleasures],
And he has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities,
In houses which no one should inhabit,
Which were destined to become heaps [of ruins];
He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure;
And his grain will not bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth.
“He will not escape from darkness [fleeing disaster];
The flame [of God’s wrath] will wither his branch,
And by the blast of His mouth he will go away.
“Let him not trust in vanity (emptiness, futility) and be led astray;
For emptiness will be his [d]reward [for such living].
“It will be fulfilled while he still lives,
And his branch will not be green [but shall wither away].
“He will fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine,
And will cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree.
“For the company of the godless is barren,
And fire consumes the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice).
“They conceive mischief and bring forth wickedness,
And their inmost soul prepares deceit and fraud.”
1 Corinthians 15:29-58
29 Otherwise, what will those do who are being [a]baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people even baptized for them? 30 [For that matter] why are we [running such risks and putting ourselves] [b]in danger [nearly] every hour [if there is no resurrection]? 31 I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in [your union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [I face death and die to self]. 32 What good has it done me if, [merely] from a human point of view, I [c]fought with wild animals at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised [at all], let us eat and drink [enjoying ourselves now], for tomorrow we die.(A) 33 Do not be deceived: [d]“Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Be sober-minded [be sensible, wake up from your spiritual stupor] as you ought, and stop sinning; for some [of you] have no knowledge of God [you are disgracefully ignorant of Him, and ignore His truths]. I say this to your shame.
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body will they come?” 36 You fool! Every time you plant seed you sow something that does not come to life [germinating, springing up and growing] unless it first dies. 37 The seed you sow is not the body (the plant) which it is going to become, but it is a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each kind of seed a body of its own [is given].(B) 39 All flesh is not the same. There is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies [sun, moon and stars] and earthly bodies [humans, animals, and plants], but the glory and beauty of the heavenly is one kind, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is a glory and beauty of the sun, another glory of the moon, and yet another [distinctive] glory of the stars; and one star differs from another in glory and brilliance.
42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. The [human] body that is sown is perishable and mortal, it is raised imperishable and immortal.(C) 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in strength; 44 it is sown a natural body [mortal, suited to earth], it is raised a spiritual body [immortal, suited to heaven]. As surely as there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written [in Scripture], “The first man, Adam, became a living soul (an individual);” the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving spirit [restoring the dead to life].(D) 46 However, the spiritual [the immortal life] is not first, but the physical [the mortal life]; then the spiritual. 47 The first man [Adam] is from the earth, earthy [made of dust]; the second Man [Christ, the Lord] is from heaven.(E) 48 As is the earthly man [the man of dust], so are those who are of earth; and as is the heavenly [Man], so are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthly [the man of dust], [e]we will also bear the image of the heavenly [the Man of heaven].
The Mystery of Resurrection
50 Now I say this, believers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit nor be part of the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (mortal) inherit the imperishable (immortal). 51 Listen very carefully, I tell you a mystery [a secret truth decreed by God and previously hidden, but now revealed]; we will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed], 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [who believed in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we will be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed]. 53 For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us that is capable of dying] must put on immortality [which is freedom from death]. 54 And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever).(F) 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”(G) 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin [by which it brings death] is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].
- 1 Corinthians 15:29 This has nothing to do with Christian baptism or salvation. Paul may be referring to the practices of a pagan religion that required a ritual washing to enter an afterlife.
- 1 Corinthians 15:30 Paul’s life was continuously threatened because of his public commitment to Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 15:32 This may refer figuratively to the furious crowd that rose up against Paul in Ephesus, rather than to literal animals (Acts 19:23-41).
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 Paul quotes this one verse maxim from the writings of the Greek dramatist Menander (342-291 b.c.). “Bad company” in this case undoubtedly refers to the teachers who were denying the truth of the resurrection.
- 1 Corinthians 15:49 Two early mss read “let us also.”
The Vanity of Life.
To the Chief Musician; for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
39 I said, “I will guard my ways
That I may not sin with my tongue;
I will muzzle my mouth
While the wicked are in my presence.”
I was mute and silent [before my enemies],
I refrained even from good,
And my [a]distress grew worse.
My heart was hot within me.
While I was musing the fire burned;
Then I spoke with my tongue:
“Lord, let me know my [life’s] end
And [to appreciate] the extent of my days;
Let me know how frail I am [how transient is my stay here].
“Behold, You have made my days as [short as] hand widths,
And my lifetime is as nothing in Your sight.
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath [a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes]!(A) Selah.
“Surely every man walks around like a shadow [in a charade];
Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
Each one builds up riches, not knowing who will receive them.(B)
“And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait?
My hope [my confident expectation] is in You.
“Save me from all my transgressions;
Do not make me the scorn and reproach of the [self-righteous, arrogant] fool.
“I am mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is You who has done it.
“Remove Your plague from me;
I am wasting away because of the conflict and opposition of Your hand.
“With rebukes You discipline man for sin;
You consume like a moth what is precious to him;
Surely every man is a mere breath [a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes]. Selah.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and listen to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am Your temporary guest,
A sojourner like all my fathers.
“O look away from me, that I may smile and again know joy
Before I depart and am no more.”
- Psalm 39:2 Lit pain.
There is no [human] wisdom or understanding
Or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.
The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance and victory belong to the Lord.