Passage: Job 6, 7, 8 (RSV)

Job 6

1Then Job answered:
2"O that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances!
3For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my words have been rash.
4For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5Does the wild ass bray when he has grass, or the ox low over his fodder?
6Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the slime of the purslane?
7My appetite refuses to touch them; they are as food that is loathsome to me.
8"O that I might have my request, and that God would grant my desire;
9that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
10This would be my consolation; I would even exult in pain unsparing; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?
12Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?
13In truth I have no help in me, and any resource is driven from me.
14"He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15My brethren are treacherous as a torrent-bed, as freshets that pass away,
16which are dark with ice, and where the snow hides itself.
17In time of heat they disappear; when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18The caravans turn aside from their course; they go up into the waste, and perish.
19The caravans of Tema look, the travelers of Sheba hope.
20They are disappointed because they were confident; they come thither and are confounded.
21Such you have now become to me; you see my calamity, and are afraid.
22Have I said, `Make me a gift'? Or, `From your wealth offer a bribe for me'?
23Or, `Deliver me from the adversary's hand'? Or, `Ransom me from the hand of oppressors'?
24"Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have erred.
25How forceful are honest words! But what does reproof from you reprove?
26Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?
27You would even cast lots over the fatherless, and bargain over your friend.
28"But now, be pleased to look at me; for I will not lie to your face.
29Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done. Turn now, my vindication is at stake.
30Is there any wrong on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern calamity?

Job 7

1"Has not man a hard service upon earth, and are not his days like the days of a hireling?
2Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like a hireling who looks for his wages,
3so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
4When I lie down I say, `When shall I arise?' But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
5My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
6My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and come to their end without hope.
7"Remember that my life is a breath; my eye will never again see good.
8The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more; while thy eyes are upon me, I shall be gone.
9As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
10he returns no more to his house, nor does his place know him any more.
11"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12Am I the sea, or a sea monster, that thou settest a guard over me?
13When I say, `My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,'
14then thou dost scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
15so that I would choose strangling and death rather than my bones.
16I loathe my life; I would not live for ever. Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
17What is man, that thou dost make so much of him, and that thou dost set thy mind upon him,
18dost visit him every morning, and test him every moment?
19How long wilt thou not look away from me, nor let me alone till I swallow my spittle?
20If I sin, what do I do to thee, thou watcher of men? Why hast thou made me thy mark? Why have I become a burden to thee?
21Why dost thou not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; thou wilt seek me, but I shall not be."

Job 8

1Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2"How long will you say these things, and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
3Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
4If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the power of their transgression.
5If you will seek God and make supplication to the Almighty,
6if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and reward you with a rightful habitation.
7And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.
8"For inquire, I pray you, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have found;
9for we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow.
10Will they not teach you, and tell you, and utter words out of their understanding?
11"Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
12While yet in flower and not cut down, they wither before any other plant.
13Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless man shall perish.
14His confidence breaks in sunder, and his trust is a spider's web.
15He leans against his house, but it does not stand; he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.
16He thrives before the sun, and his shoots spread over his garden.
17His roots twine about the stoneheap; he lives among the rocks.
18If he is destroyed from his place, then it will deny him, saying, `I have never seen you.'
19Behold, this is the joy of his way; and out of the earth others will spring.
20"Behold, God will not reject a blameless man, nor take the hand of evildoers.
21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.
22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more."

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