Job’s Final Defense
29 Then Job again took up his discourse and said,
2 “O that I were as in the months before,
as in the days when God watched over me,
3 when his shining lamp was over my head—
by his light I walked through darkness—
4 as when I was in the days of my prime,
when God’s confiding was over my house,
5 when Shaddaiwas still with me,
my children were all around me,
6 when my paths were washed in sour milk,
and the rock poured out streams of oil for me.
7 “At my going out the gate to the city,
I secured my seat in the square.
8 Young men saw me and stepped aside,
and the aged rose up and stood.
9 Officials refrained from talking,
and they laid their hand on their mouth.
10 The voices of nobles were hushed,
and their tongue stuck to their palate.
11 “When the ear heard and commended me,
and the eye saw and testified in support of me
12 because I saved the needy who cried for help,
and I saved the orphan for whom there was no helper.
13 The blessing of the wretched came upon me,
and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a headband.
15 “I was eyes to the blind,
and I was feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor,
and I investigated the stranger’s legal dispute.
17 And I broke the evil one’s jaw bones,
and I made his prey drop from his teeth.
18 “And I thought, ‘I will pass away in my nest,
and like the phoenix I shall multiply my days.
19 My roots were open to water,
and dew spent the night on my branches;
20 My glory was new with me,
and I was revitalized regularly.’
21 “They listened to me and waited,
and they kept silent for my counsel.
22 After my word, they did not speak again,
and my word dropped down like dew upon them.
23 And they waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled for them when they had no confidence in anything,
and they did not extinguish the light of my face.
25 I chose their way, and I sat as head,
and I dwelled like a king among the troops,
like one who comforts mourners.
Job’s Final Defense Continued
30 “But now those younger than I, as far as days, laugh at me,
whose fathers I rejected for setting with the dogs of my sheep and goats.
2 Moreover, what use to me is the strength of their hands?
With them, vigor is destroyed.
3 Through want and through barren hunger
they are gnawing in the dry region in the darkness of desolation and waste.
4 They are picking salt herbs, the leaves of bushes,
and the roots of broom trees to warm themselves.
5 They were driven out from fellow people;
they shout at them as at a thief,
6 so that they dwell
in holes of the ground and in the rocks.
7 They bray among the bushes;
they are gathered under the nettles.
8 A senseless crowd, yes, a disreputable brood,
they were cast out from the land.
9 “But now I am their mocking song,
and I have become a byword for them.
10 They abhor me; they keep aloof from me,
and they do not withhold spit from my face
11 because he has loosened his bowstring and humbled me,
and they have thrown off restraint in my presence.
12 On the right hand the brood rises up;
they put me to flight,
and they build up their siege ramps against me.
13 They destroy my path;
they promote my destruction;
they have no helper.
14 As through a wide breach they come;
amid a crash they rush on.
15 Terrors are turned upon me;
my honor is pursued as by the wind,
and my hope of deliverance passed by like a cloud.
16 “And now my life is poured out onto me;
days of misery have taken hold of me.
17 At night I am in great pain;
my pains do not take a rest.
18 He seizes my clothing with great power;
he grasps me by my tunic’s collar.
19 He has cast me into the dirt,
and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you for help, but you do not answer me;
I stand, and you merely look at me.
21 You have turned cruel to me;
you persecute me with your hand’s might.
22 You lift me up to the wind—you make me ride it,
and you toss me about in the storm.
23 Indeed, I know that you will bring me to death
and to the house of assembly for all the living.
24 “Surely someone must not send a hand against the needy
when, in his misfortune, there is a cry of help for them.
25 Have I not wept for the unfortunate,
and grieved myself over the poor?
26 Indeed, I hoped for good, but evil came,
and I waited for light, but darkness came.
27 My bowels are in turmoil, and they are not still;
days of misery come to confront me.
28 I go about in mourning garb, but not in sunlight;
I stand up in the assembly, and I cry for help.
29 I am a companion for the jackals
and a companion for ostriches.
30 My skin turns black on me,
and my bones burn with heat.
31 So my lyre came to be used for mourning,
and my flute for the voice of those who weep.