Job 11:1-14:22 Reading the Passage

Do You Desire a Personal Interview with God? – Job 11:1-14:22

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied, (2) Should a multitude of words go unanswered? Shall a man full of talk be acquitted? (3) Will your idle talk silence men? Will no one rebuke you for your scoffing? (4) You say to God, “My beliefs are orthodox and I am pure in your sight.” (5) I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you (6) and reveal to you the secrets of wisdom, for God is manifold in understanding. Be aware that God is requiring of you less than your iniquity deserves.

(7) Can you fathom the depths of God, or approach the extremities of the Almighty? (8) They are higher than the heavens—what can you do? They are deeper than Sheol—what can you know? (9) The measure of God’s wisdom is longer than the earth and wider than the sea! (10) When he passes through the land and imprisons a man and convenes the court, who can oppose him? (11) Surely he recognizes deceitful men; and when he sees evil, he takes note of it. (12) A vain man gains understanding when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man.

(13) But if you would direct your heart in the way of righteousness, and stretch out your hands to him; (14) if you would remove whatever sin is in your hand, and let no injustice reside in your tent, (15) then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand secure without fear. (16) You will forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters that have flowed past. (17) Life for you will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will be like the morning. (18) You will be confident, because there is hope; you will look around you and take your rest in safety. (19) You will lie down and there will be no one to terrify you; on the contrary, many will court your favor. (20) But the eyesight of the wicked will become poor, and there will be nowhere for them to flee—their hope will be turned into despair.

12 Then Job responded, (2) Without doubt you are the elite, and wisdom will die with you. (3) But I have intelligence as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know these things? (4) I have become a laughingstock to my friends—I who called upon God and he answered. The righteous, the blameless man, has become a laughingstock. (5) Men who are at ease have contempt for calamity, viewing it as the fate reserved for those whose feet are slipping.

(6) The tents of marauders are safe; those who provoke God are secure—those into whose hand God brings abundance. (7) But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; ask the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. (8) Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; even the fish of the sea will inform you. (9) Who among all these creatures does not know that the hand of God has done this—(10) the one in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? (11) Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?

(12) With the Aged One is wisdom and with the Long-lived One is understanding. (13) With him are wisdom and might; he possesses counsel and understanding. (14) What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man he imprisons cannot be released. (15) If he withholds the waters, there is a drought; if he releases them, they inundate the earth. (16) To him belong both strength and wisdom; both the deceived and the deceiver are under his control. (17) He leads counselors away stripped and makes fools of judges. (18) He unbuckles the belt of kings and removes the waistband from their loins. (19) He leads priests away stripped and overthrows those with secure temple positions. (20) He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders. (21) He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty. (22) He reveals deep things out of darkness and even brings the deep darkness into the light. (23) He exalts nations, and destroys them; he enlarges a people, and disperses them. (24) He deprives the leaders of the peoples of the earth of their reason; he causes them to wander through a wasteland without pathways. (25) They grope in darkness with no light; he causes them to stagger like drunkards.

13 My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it. (2) What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. (3) But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case before God. (4) You, however, whitewash my case with lies; you are worthless physicians—all of you! (5) If only you would be completely silent, that would be your wisdom! (6) Now hear my argument; listen to the plea of my lips. (7) Will you speak unjustly on God’s behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him? (8) Will you show partiality toward him? Will you argue the case for God? (9) Will it turn out well for you when he examines you? Can you deceive him as you deceive men? (10) He will surely rebuke you if you secretly show partiality. (11) Will not his majesty terrify you? Will not his dread fall upon you? (12) Your maxims are proverbs of ashes! Your defenses are defenses of clay!

(13) Be silent! Let me speak!—then whatever happens to me, let it happen. (14) Why do I put my flesh between my teeth and take my life in my hands? (15) If he desires to slay me, I have no hope. Nevertheless, I will defend my ways before him. (16) Surely this will prove to be my salvation, for a godless man cannot stand before his presence. (17) Listen attentively to my words; let your ears take in what I say. (18) I have prepared my case; I know that I will be acquitted. (19) Who is he that can bring a charge against me? If there is such a man, I will be silent and die. (20) Only spare me from two things, O God; then I need not hide from your face. (21) Remove your hand far from me and do not let your dread terrify me; (22) then summon me and I will respond; or let me speak and you reply.

(23) How many iniquities and sins have I committed? Show me my rebellion and my sin. (24) Why are you hiding your face and treating me as your enemy? (25) Will you cause a wind-driven leaf to tremble? Will you pursue dry chaff? —(26) for you write down bitter things against me and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. (27) You have fastened a chain and ball to my feet; you closely guard my every way of escape; you have branded the soles of my feet like a criminal. (28) I am wasting away like something rotten, like a garment that is eaten by moths.

14 Man, born of woman, has few days and is full of turmoil. (2) He springs up like a flower and then withers away; he flees like a shadow and does not endure. (3) Do you, indeed, fix your eyes on such a one? Will you bring him into judgment with yourself? (4) Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing? No one. (5) Indeed, man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. (6) So look away from him and relent, until he has put in his time like a hired laborer.

(7) I plead this because, though there is hope for a tree,—if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not die; (8) its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, (9) yet at the scent of water it will bud and produce shoots like a sapling—(10) a vigorous man dies and lies prostrate; a man expires and where is he? (11) As water evaporates from the sea, or a riverbed becomes parched and dry, (12) so man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens cease to exist, he will not awake nor be roused out of his sleep. (13) If only you would hide me in Sheol, and conceal me there until your wrath has passed; oh that you would erect a stela for me and remember me. (14) If a man dies, will he live again? If so, then throughout all the days of my term of suffering I would wait until my discharge has come. (15) You would call and I would answer you; you would yearn for the one your hands have made.

(16) But now, as it is, you count my steps. Do you not take close notice of my sin? (17) My transgression is sealed in a bag, and you cover up my iniquity for safe-keeping. (18) But as a mountain erodes and crumbles, or as a boulder is moved from its place by an earthquake; (19) as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the earth’s soil, so you relentlessly destroy man’s hope. (20) You forever overpower him and he passes away; you change his expression and send him away. (21) If his sons are honored, he does not know it; or if they are brought low, he does not see it. (22) On the contrary, he feels only the pain of his own body, and his soul mourns for himself.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.