Passage: Job 3, 4 (RSV)

Job 3

1After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
2And Job said:
3"Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night which said, `A man-child is conceived.'
4Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, nor light shine upon it.
5Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6That night -- let thick darkness seize it! let it not rejoice among the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.
7Yea, let that night be barren; let no joyful cry be heard in it.
8Let those curse it who curse the day, who are skilled to rouse up Levi'athan.
9Let the stars of its dawn be dark; let it hope for light, but have none, nor see the eyelids of the morning;
10because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb, nor hide trouble from my eyes.
11"Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?
12Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should suck?
13For then I should have lain down and been quiet; I should have slept; then I should have been at rest,
14with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.
16Or why was I not as a hidden untimely birth, as infants that never see the light?
17There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.
18There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
19The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master.
20"Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul,
21who long for death, but it comes not, and dig for it more than for hid treasures;
22who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they find the grave?
23Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, whom God has hedged in?
24For my sighing comes as my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water.
25For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.
26I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest; but trouble comes."

Job 4

1Then Eli'phaz the Te'manite answered:
2"If one ventures a word with you, will you be offended? Yet who can keep from speaking?
3Behold, you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands.
4Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees.
5But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed.
6Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?
7"Think now, who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?
8As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.
9By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
10The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion, the teeth of the young lions, are broken.
11The strong lion perishes for lack of prey, and the whelps of the lioness are scattered.
12"Now a word was brought to me stealthily, my ear received the whisper of it.
13Amid thoughts from visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men,
14dread came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake.
15A spirit glided past my face; the hair of my flesh stood up.
16It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; there was silence, then I heard a voice:
17`Can mortal man be righteous before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?
18Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error;
19how much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth.
20Between morning and evening they are destroyed; they perish for ever without any regarding it.
21If their tent-cord is plucked up within them, do they not die, and that without wisdom?'

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