20 Zophar the Naamathite reiterated his concern for Job.
2 Zophar: My anguished thoughts force me to respond
because I feel an urgency within myself.
3 I caught wind of your words that dishonor me,
but I am prompted to answer based on my own spirit and understanding.
4 Don’t you know how it has always been?
Since humankind was first put here on the earth,
5 The celebrations of the wicked have been brief,
and the joy of the profane lasts only a moment.
6 Even if he were tall enough to reach into the heavens
and his head were to reach to the clouds,
7 He would still perish forever, like his own excrement;
those who once looked upon him would wonder,
“Where has he gone?”
8 Like a dream, he flies off where no one can find him;
he is chased away only to vanish into the air like a vision of the night.
9 The eyes that saw him before see him no more;
his home doesn’t ever welcome him again.
10 His children beg at the door of the poor;
his hands render his wealth back to them.
11 The vigor of youth had a home, a residence in his bones,
but it lies down in the dust with him.
12 Though his wrongdoing is sweet in his mouth,
though he hides it under his tongue,
13 Though he holds it close and will not let it go
(but must keep it in his mouth),
14 His food will be transformed within him
into the bitter venom of the asp.
15 The wealth he has swallowed will be poison.
He will vomit it up—God will cast it out.
16 It is as they say, “He sucks the venom of asps
and is slain by the tongue of the viper.”
17 Never again will he gaze at the brook’s edge
or see streams that flow with milk and honey—
18 The food for which he worked he vomits up or cannot swallow,
and the gains of his trading, he can never enjoy.
19 After all, he’s an oppressor;
he’s crushed and forsaken the poor;
he made his home in a house he stole from another,
a house he did not build himself.
20 Because he’s never known inner peace,
he has seized everything he’s ever craved.
21 Because he consumed all he could see, nothing is left;
his prosperity cannot last.
22 When he is fat with satisfaction,
the belt of distress will tighten around him
and the hands of the downtrodden will rise up against him.
23 When he has filled up his belly,
God will visit him with His ferocious anger;
it will rain down on him while he is eating.
24 Let him attempt to escape the iron weapon.
Instead, a bow of bronze will send death to tear into him.
25 When the arrow is drawn it comes out of his back,
and the shining arrowhead comes out of his organ,
bringing terror upon him.
26 A great darkness waits for and stalks everything he values.
A mysterious fire—unstoked yet burning hot—will consume him
and devour everything and everyone left behind in his tent.
27 The skies will tell on him, exposing his wrongdoing;
the earth will rebel against him.
28 All that he labored to build will be carried off,
washed away in the day of God’s furious anger.
29 This is how it will be for the wicked of humanity before God;
this is the inheritance God bequeaths them.
21 Then Job answered Zophar.
2 Job: Listen carefully to what I’m about to say,
and let your listening be the consolation you give me.
3 Suffer me to speak to you,
and after I’ve said what I need to say,
you may commence mocking.
4 Is my complaint addressed to humanity, or has it ever been?
Why shouldn’t I, by this point, be impatient with all of this?
5 Stay with me, and be stunned at what has happened to such a righteous person;
cover your gaping mouth with your hand.
6 When I think back upon everything that has gone before, I’m terrified;
my body is overtaken with trembling.
7 Why do the wicked live
on an ever-upward path to long life and riches?
8 Their children become well-established in front of them;
their offspring are guaranteed to grow up before their very eyes.
9 Their houses are immune to approaching terrors;
the rod of God is not on their backs punishing them.
10 Their bulls are consistent breeders;
their cows deliver healthy calves without miscarrying.
11 They produce flocks of children and send them all out into the world;
their young ones dance around free of care.
12 They still participate in celebration,
raising their voices to the song of the tambourine and the harp;
delighting in the sound of the flute.
13 They pass their time in the lap of abundance,
and they are even permitted to pass quickly to the land of the dead,
instead of lingering with chronic pain.
14 They tell God, “Leave us be.
We have no interest in You or Your ways.
15 Who is the Highest One[a] anyway,
and why should we serve Him?
What can we possibly gain by asking favors of Him?
Isn’t He generous enough already?”
16 Look, don’t you see?
The wicked do not control their own wealth, God does;
I am a long way from understanding the plan for the wicked.
17 Bildad claims the flame of the wicked is blown out.
But how often is their lamp extinguished?
How often does disaster strike them or does God give them pain
because of His anger at what they’ve done?
Throughout the Bible, God is called by many names. One of the most frequent in the Old Testament, Shaddai, was a favorite name of God for patriarchs such as Abraham and Moses. Based on the etymology of the name, many suggest Abraham brought that epithet with him from Mesopotamia, so it is logical that Job (another patriarch from outside of Israel) could often refer to Him the same way.
El Shaddai, which translates to “God of my mountain” or possibly “God of might,” aptly describes many characteristics of God. He is strong and high above everything, just like the heights of a mountain. He is a protector, just like the rocky crags in the side of a cliff. And certainly God associates Himself with mountain ranges—having Abraham bind Isaac on Mount Moriah, giving the Israelites the law from Mount Sinai, and placing His sacred temple on Mount Zion. Whether speaking to humanity from the top of a mountain or the heights of heaven, the Lord is certainly the Highest One; no one is above Him.
18 How often are they as straw in the wind
or the chaff separated from the grain by fierce winds?
19 It is said, “God stores away a man’s misdeeds
and delivers them to his children.”[b]
Let Him repay the man Himself, so the man can know it.
20 Let the wicked see his ruin with his own eyes
as he drinks down the wrath of the Highest One.
21 After all, once he’s dead and gone and his time is up,
what will he care for his household and family?
22 Now who dares impart knowledge to God
since He stands as judge over the most powerful?
23 One person dies when he is fit and strong,
completely secure and totally at peace;
24 His body[c] is vigorous and well fed;
his bones are strong and moist.
25 Another person dies with a bitter soul,
having never even tasted goodness.
26 But they lie down together in the same dust,
covered by the same blanket of worms.
27 I know how your minds work, my friends,
and how you plan to wrong me—your thoughts of retribution.
28 You will counter, “Show me!
Where is the palatial estate?
Where are the vaulted tents of the wicked?”
29 But I say, have you never consulted with those who travel this world?
They can tell you the complexions of many lands.
But you’ve never permitted their witness
in your courts of opinion, have you?
30 Well, if you had, you’d have heard
that when disaster strikes, the wicked are spared;
On the day of fury,
they are escorted safely through.
31 Who challenges them openly regarding their actions,
and who repays them on account of all they’ve done?
32 When death finally comes and they are laid in their graves,
guards stand watch over their tombs, fending off grave robbers.
33 Laid to rest beside the stream, clods of earth cover them kindly;
while countless souls have gone before, all of humanity follows after.
34 So, my friends, how can you continue trying to comfort me with these empty consolations?
So far, your answers have been only thinly veiled lies!
22 Eliphaz the Temanite made suggestions to Job.
2 Eliphaz: Can a strong person be of any use to God?
How about one who is wise? Can he help himself?
3 Is the Highest One[d] made happy if you are righteous?
Does He profit from your perfect ways?
4 Do you really think He takes you to task because you revere Him too much?
Is this why He brings allegations against you?
5 Is it not possible that you are, in fact, great with wickedness
and endless in your wrongdoing?
6 When your relatives came to you needing money,
for no good reason you took their clothes for collateral
and left them naked.
7 You have never given so much as a cup of water to the thirsty
or a crumb to the hungry.
8 You must think only the powerful and privileged possess the land
and can live in it any way they wish.
9 You have sent away widows who were wanting,
and you have obliterated the only support of orphans.
10 This is why you are surrounded by snares,
why you are overcome with dreadful fears,
11 Why you’re in the dark, without a glimmer to help you see,
sunk beneath the rush of flooding water.
12 Is not God up there at the crown of the highest arc of heaven?
And the highest stars!
See how lofty they are!
13 But you—you say, “What does God know?
Can He send His judgments through such thick darkness?
14 Those clouds are just a veil for Him so He does not have to look upon us
while He saunters, oblivious, through the chambers of the sky.”
15 Job, are you now guardian of the ancient road
where the wicked have traveled?
16 The wicked, who are captured
and taken off before their time,
their foundations washed out by a flooded river,
17 They are the ones who tell God, “Leave us be.”
They say, “What can the Highest One do to us?”
18 How are they repaid for their insolence?
You say, “He stuffs their homes with goodness,”
Then you shake your head and mutter,
“Far be it from me to understand the thoughts and plans of the wicked.”
19 The righteous would look upon their ruin and laugh for delight;
the innocent would taunt
20 By saying, “Sure enough, our enemies have gone to their annihilation,
and what they’ve left behind feeds a hungry fire.”
21 Now be of use to God;
be at peace with Him,
and goodness will return to your life.
22 Receive instruction directly from His lips,
and make His words a part of you.
23 If you return to the Highest One,
you will be restored;
if you banish the evil from your tents,
24 And consider your gold as common as earth’s dust
and Ophir’s refined gold as plentiful as stones in rock-lined streams,
25 Then your true treasure will be the Highest One—
worth more than gold and silver beyond measure.
26 For then, at last, you will find pleasure in the Highest One,
and you will finally be able to show Him your face.
27 When you approach Him, He will listen;
you will make good on your promises to Him.
28 You will pronounce something to be,
and He will make it so;
light will break out across all of your paths.
29 God will humble, but you say, “Raise them up.”
He will save the downcast.
30 He will even consent to deliver those who are not innocent
through the purity of your then-washed-clean hands.
1 Corinthians 1:1-11
1 Paul, called out by God’s will to be an emissary[a] for Jesus the Anointed, along with brother Sosthenes, 2 to God’s church gathering in the city of Corinth. As people who are united with Jesus, the Anointed One, you have been set apart for service. You are all called into community to live as saints with all who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed
3 I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, will shower you with grace and peace.
4 I am continuously thanking my God for you when I think about the grace God has offered you in Jesus the Anointed. 5 In this grace, God is enriching every aspect of your lives by gifting you with the right words to say and everything you need to know. 6 In this way, your life story confirms the life story of the Anointed One, 7 so you are not ill-equipped or slighted on any necessary gifts as you patiently anticipate the day when our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, is revealed. 8 Until that final day, He will preserve you; and on that day, He will consider you faultless. 9 Count on this: God is faithful and in His faithfulness called you out into an intimate relationship with His Son, our Lord Jesus the Anointed.
10 My brothers and sisters, I urge you by the name of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, to come together in agreement. Do not allow anything or anyone to create division among you. Instead, be restored, completely fastened together with one mind and shared judgment. 11 I have heard troubling reports from Chloe’s people that you, my siblings, are consumed by fighting and petty disagreements.
- 1:1 Literally, apostle
11 Please, Eternal One, don’t hold back
Your kind ways from me.
I need Your strong love and truth
to stand watch over me and keep me from harm.
12 Right now I can’t see because I am surrounded by troubles;
my sins and shortcomings have caught up to me,
so I am swimming in darkness.
Like the hairs on my head, there are too many to count,
so my heart deserts me.
13 O Eternal One, please rescue me.
O Eternal One, hurry; I need Your help.
14 May those who are trying to destroy me
be humiliated and ashamed instead;
May those who want to ruin my reputation
be cut off and embarrassed.
15 May those who try to catch me off guard,
those who look at me and say, “Aha, we’ve trapped you,”
be caught in their own shame instead.
16 But may all who look for You
discover true joy and happiness in You;
May those who cherish how You save them
always say, “O Eternal One, You are great and are first in our hearts.”
17 Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much,
but I know the Lord is thinking of me.
You are my help; only You can save me, my True God.
2 Rich and poor have something in common:
both are created by the Eternal.
3 Prudent people see trouble coming and hide,
but the naive walk right into it and take a beating.
4 A humble person who fears the Eternal
can expect to receive wealth, honor, and life.