Chapter 5

  1. Then answered Zophar the Naamathite and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be justified? Should your lies make men hold their peace? And when you mock, shall no man make you ashamed? For you have said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in your eyes. But oh that God would speak and open his lips against you, and that he would show you the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is. Know therefore that God exacts of you less than your iniquity deserves.
  2. Can you by searching find out God? Can you find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what can you do? Deeper than hell, what can you know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. If he cut off and shut up or gather together, then who can hinder him? For he knows vain men. He sees wickedness also. Will he not then consider it? For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’s colt.
  3. If you prepare your heart and stretch out your hands toward him, if iniquity is in your hand, put it far away and let not wickedness dwell in your tabernacles; for then shall you lift up your face without spot. Yea, you shall be steadfast and shall not fear, because you shall forget your misery and remember it as waters that pass away. And your age shall be clearer than the noonday. You shall shine forth, you shall be as the morning. And you shall be secure, because there is hope. Yea, you shall dig about you, and you shall take your rest in safety. Also, you shall lie down and none shall make you afraid. Yea, many shall make suit unto you, but the eyes of the wicked shall fail and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.
  4. And Job answered and said, No doubt but you are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. But I have understanding as well as you. I am not inferior to you. Yea, who knows not such things as these?
  5. I am as one mocked of his neighbor, who calls upon God and he answers him. The just upright man is laughed to scorn. He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease. The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure, into whose hand God brings abundantly.
  6. But ask now the beasts and they shall teach you, and the fowls of the air and they shall tell you. Or speak to the earth and it shall teach you, and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto you. Who knows not in all these that the hand of the Lord has wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. Does not the ear try words, and the mouth taste his food? With the elder is wisdom, and in length of days understanding.
  7. With him is wisdom and strength. He has counsel and understanding. Behold, he breaks down and it cannot be built again. He shuts up a man and there can be no opening. Behold, he withholds the waters and they dry up; also, he sends them out and they overturn the earth. With him is strength and wisdom. The deceived and the deceiver are his. He leads counselors away spoiled, and makes the judges fools. He loosens the bond of kings, and girds their loins with a girdle. He leads princes away spoiled, and overthrows the mighty. He removes away the speech of the trusty, and takes away the understanding of the aged. He pours contempt upon princes, and weakens the strength of the mighty. He reveals deep things out of darkness, and brings out to light the shadow of death. He increases the nations and destroys them. He enlarges the nations and overthrows them again. He takes away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them to stagger like a drunken man.
  8. Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. What you know do I know also. I am not inferior unto you. Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God. But you are forgers of lies, you are all physicians of no value. Oh that you would altogether hold your peace, and it should be your wisdom. Hear now my reasoning and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
  9. Will you speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him? Will you respect his person? Will you contend for God? Is it good that he should search you out? Or as one man mocks another, do you so mock him? He will surely reprove you if you do secretly respect persons. Shall not his excellence make you afraid and his dread fall upon you? Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.
  10. Hold your peace, let me alone that I may speak, and let come on me what will. Why do I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand? Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him; but I will maintain my own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation, for a hypocrite shall not come before him. Hear diligently my speech and my declaration with your ears. Behold, now I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be justified. Who is he that will plead with me? For now if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.
  11. Only do not two things unto me, then will I not hide myself from you: withdraw your hand far from me, and let not your dread make me afraid. Then call, and I will answer. Or let me speak, and you answer me. How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me to know my transgression and my sin. Why do you hide your face, and hold me for your enemy? Will you break a leaf driven to and fro? And will you pursue the dry stubble? For you write bitter things against me, and make me to possess the iniquities of my youth. You put my feet also in the stocks and look narrowly unto all my paths. You set a print upon the heels of my feet.
  12. And he, as a rotten thing, consumes, as a garment that is moth-eaten. Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and is cut down. He flees also as a shadow and continues not. And do you open your eyes upon such a one, and bring me into judgment with you? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with you, you have appointed his bounds that he cannot pass. Turn from him that he may rest until he shall accomplish, as a hired hand, his day.
  13. For there is hope of a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground, yet through the scent of water it will bud and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dies and wastes away. Yea, man gives up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea and the flood decays and dries up, so man lies down and rises not until the heavens are no more. They shall not awake, nor be roused out of their sleep.
  14. Oh that you would hide me in the grave, that you would keep me secret until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time and remember me. If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait until my change come. You shall call, and I will answer you. You will have a desire to the work of your hands; for now you number my steps. Do you not watch over my sin? My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and you sew up my iniquity.
  15. And surely the mountain falling comes to naught, and the rock is removed out of his place. The waters wear the stones. You wash away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth, and you destroy the hope of man. You prevail for ever against him, and he passes. You change his countenance and send him away. His sons come to honor and he knows it not, and they are brought low, but he perceives it not of them. But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.