Zophar Speaks: Here Is My Answer
Then Zophar from Naama replied to Job,
2 “My disturbing thoughts make me answer,
and because of them I am upset.
3 I have heard criticism that makes me ashamed,
but a spirit beyond my understanding gives me answers.
A Wicked Person’s Joy Is Short, His Pain Long
4 “Don’t you know
that from ancient times,
from the time humans were placed on earth,
5 the triumph of the wicked is short-lived,
and the joy of the godless person lasts only a moment?
6 If his height reaches to the sky
and his head touches the clouds,
7 he will certainly rot[a] like his own feces.
Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 He will fly away like a dream and not be found.
He will be chased away like a vision in the night.
9 Eyes that saw him will see him no more.
His home will not look at him again.
10 His children will have to ask the poor for help.
His own hands will have to give back his wealth.
11 His bones, once full of youthful vigor,
will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth
and he hides it under his tongue. . . .
13 Though he savors it and won’t let go of it
and he holds it on the roof of his mouth,
14 the food in his belly turns sour.
It becomes snake venom in his stomach.
15 He vomits up the riches that he swallowed.
God forces them out of his stomach.
16 The godless person sucks the poison of snakes.
A viper’s fang kills him.
17 He won’t be able to drink from the streams
or from the rivers of honey and buttermilk.
18 He will give back what he earned without enjoying it.
He will get no joy from the profits of his business
19 because he crushed and abandoned the poor.
He has taken by force a house that he didn’t build.
20 He will never know peace in his heart.
He will never allow anything he desires to escape his grasp.
21 “Nothing is left for him to eat.
His prosperity won’t last.
22 Even with all his wealth
the full force of misery comes down on him.
23 Let that misery fill his belly.
God throws his burning anger at the godless person
and makes his wrath come down on him like rain.
24 If that person flees from an iron weapon,
a bronze bow will pierce him.
25 He pulls it out, and it comes out of his back.
The glittering point comes out of his gallbladder.
“Terrors come quickly to the godless person:
26 Total darkness waits in hiding for his treasure.
A fire that no one fans will burn him.
Whatever is left in his tent will be devoured.
27 Heaven exposes his sin.
Earth rises up against him.
28 A flood will sweep away his house,
a flash flood on the day of his anger.
29 This is the reward God gives to the wicked person,
the inheritance God has appointed for him.”
Job Speaks: Comfort Me by Listening to Me
Then Job replied to his friends,
2 “Listen carefully to my words,
and let that be the comfort you offer me.
3 Bear with me while I speak.
Then after I’ve spoken, you may go on mocking.
4 Am I complaining about a person?
Why shouldn’t I be impatient?
5 Look at me, and be shocked,
and put your hand over your mouth.
6 When I remember it, I’m terrified,
and shuddering seizes my body.
Wicked People Do Not Suffer for Their Sins
7 “Why do the wicked go on living, grow old,
and even become more powerful?
8 They see their children firmly established with them,
and they get to see their descendants.
9 Their homes are free from fear,
and God doesn’t use his rod on them.
10 Their bulls are fertile when they breed.
Their cows give birth to calves and never miscarry.
11 They send their little children out to play
like a flock of lambs,
and their children dance around.
12 They sing with the tambourine and lyre,
and they are happy with the music of the flute.
13 They spend their days in happiness,
and they go peacefully to the grave.
14 But they say to God,
‘Leave us alone.
We don’t want to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty that we should serve him?
What do we gain if we pray to him?’
16 Anyhow, isn’t their happiness in their own power?
(The plan of the wicked is foreign to my way of thinking.)
17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out?
How often does disaster happen to them?
How often does an angry God give them pain?
18 How often are they like straw in the wind
or like husks that the storm sweeps away?
19 “You say, ‘God saves a person’s punishment for his children.’
God should pay back that person
so that he would know that it is a punishment.
20 His eyes should see his own ruin.
He should drink from the wrath of the Almighty.
21 How can he be interested in his family after he’s gone,
when the number of his months is cut short?
No One Understands How God Deals with Humans
22 “Can anyone teach God knowledge?
Can anyone judge the Most High?
23 One person dies in his prime
and feels altogether happy and contented.
24 His stomach is full of milk,
and his bones are strong and healthy.
25 Another person, never having tasted happiness,
dies with a bitter soul.
26 Together they lie down in the dust,
and worms cover them.
My Friends Have Betrayed Me
27 “You see, I know your thoughts
and the schemes you plot against me
28 because you ask,
‘Where is the house of the influential person?
Where is the tent where wicked people live?’
29 Haven’t you asked travelers?
But you didn’t pay attention to their directions.
30 On the day of disaster the wicked person is spared.
On the day of God’s anger he is rescued.
31 Who will tell him to his face how he lived?
Who will pay him back for what he did?
32 He is carried to the cemetery,
and his grave is guarded.
33 The soil in the creekbed is sweet to him.
Everyone follows him.
Countless others went before him.
34 How can you comfort me with this nonsense
when your answers continue to betray me?”
Eliphaz Speaks: Admit You Are Wicked, Job
Then Eliphaz from Teman replied to Job,
2 “Can a human be of any use to God
when even a wise person is only useful to himself?
3 Is the Almighty pleased when you are righteous?
Does he gain anything when you follow the path of integrity?
4 Does God correct you
and bring you into a court of law because you fear him?
5 “Aren’t you really very wicked?
Is there no end to your wrongdoing?
6 For no reason you take your brothers’ goods as security for a loan
and strip them of their clothes.[b]
7 You don’t even give a tired person a drink of water,
and you take food away from hungry people.
8 A strong person owns the land.
A privileged person lives in it.
9 You send widows away empty-handed,
and the arms of orphans are broken.
10 That is why traps are all around you
and great fear suddenly grips you.
11 That is why darkness surrounds you and you cannot see
and a flood of water covers you.
12 “Isn’t God high above in the heavens?
Look how high the highest stars are!
13 You ask, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge anything from behind a dark cloud?
14 Thick clouds surround him so that he cannot see.
He walks above the clouds.’[c]
15 “Are you following the old path that wicked people have taken?
16 They are snatched up before their time.
A river washes their foundation away.
17 They told God, ‘Leave us alone!
What can the Almighty do for us?’
18 Yet, he filled their homes with good things.
(The plan of the wicked is foreign to my way of thinking.)
19 The righteous saw it and were glad,
and the innocent made fun of them by saying,
20 ‘Indeed, their wealth has been wiped out,
and a fire has burned up what little they had left.’
Make Peace with God
21 “Be in harmony and at peace with God.
In this way you will have prosperity.
22 Accept instruction from his mouth,
and keep his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will prosper.
If you put wrongdoing out of your tent,
24 and lay your gold down in the dust,
and put your gold from Ophir among the pebbles in the rivers,
25 then the Almighty will become your gold
and your large supply of silver.
26 Then you will be happy with the Almighty
and look up toward God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will listen to you,
and you will keep your vow to him.
28 When you promise to do something, you will succeed,
and light will shine on your path.
29 When others are discouraged, you will say, ‘Cheer up!’
Then he will save the humble person.[d]
30 He will rescue one who is not innocent.
That person will be rescued by your purity.”
1 Corinthians 1:1-11
1 From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother in the Christian faith.
2 To God’s church that was made holy by Christ Jesus and called to be God’s holy people in the city of Corinth and to people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Good will[a] and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
4 I always thank God for you because Christ Jesus has shown you God’s good will. 5 Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind. 6 Our message about Christ has been verified among you. 7 Therefore, you don’t lack any gift as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will continue to give you strength until the end so that no one can accuse you of anything on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God faithfully keeps his promises. He called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
God’s Wisdom Is Better Than the World’s Wisdom
10 Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions. 11 Brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that you are quarreling among yourselves.
- 1 Corinthians 1:3 Or “Grace.”
11 Do not withhold your compassion from me, O Lord.
May your mercy and your truth always protect me.
12 Countless evils have surrounded me.
My sins have caught up with me so that I can no longer see.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
I have lost heart.
13 O Lord, please rescue me!
Come quickly to help me, O Lord![a]
14 Let all those who seek to end my life
be confused and put to shame.
Let those who want my downfall
be turned back and disgraced.
15 Let those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be stunned by their own shame.
16 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad because of you.
Let those who love your salvation continually say,
“The Lord is great!”
17 But I am oppressed and needy.
May the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my savior.
O my God, do not delay!
2 The rich and the poor have this in common:
the Lord is the maker of them all.
3 Sensible people foresee trouble and hide from it,
but gullible people go ahead and suffer the consequence.
4 On the heels of humility (the fear of the Lord)
are riches and honor and life.