Job 12:1-15:35; 1 Corinthians 15:29-58; Psalms 39:1-13; Proverbs 21:30-31 (New English Translation)
Job’s Reply to Zophar
12 Then Job answered:
2 “Without a doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
3 I also have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
4 I am a laughingstock to my friends,
I, who called on God and whom he answered—
a righteous and blameless man
is a laughingstock!
5 For calamity, there is derision
(according to the ideas of the fortunate)—
a fate for those whose feet slip!
6 But the tents of robbers are peaceful,
and those who provoke God are confident—
who carry their god in their hands.
Knowledge of God’s Wisdom
7 “But now, ask the animals and they will teach you,
or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.
8 Or speak to the earth and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea declare to you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
10 in whose hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all the human race.
11 Does not the ear test words,
as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
13 “With God are wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 If he tears down, it cannot be rebuilt;
if he imprisons a person, there is no escape.
15 If he holds back the waters, then they dry up;
if he releases them, they destroy the land.
16 With him are strength and prudence;
both the one who goes astray
and the one who misleads are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped
and makes judges into fools.
18 He loosens the bonds of kings
and binds a loincloth around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the potentates.
20 He deprives the trusted advisers of speech
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on noblemen
and disarms the powerful.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness,
and brings deep shadows into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he extends the boundaries of nations
and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth
of their understanding;
he makes them wander
in a trackless desert waste.
25 They grope about in darkness without light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.
Job Pleads His Cause to God
13 “Indeed, my eyes have seen all this,
my ears have heard and understood it.
2 What you know, I know also;
I am not inferior to you!
3 But I wish to speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to argue my case with God.
4 But you, however, are inventors of lies;
all of you are worthless physicians!
5 If only you would keep completely silent!
For you, that would be wisdom.
6 “Listen now to my argument,
and be attentive to my lips’ contentions.
7 Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?
Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8 Will you show him partiality?
Will you argue the case for God?
9 Would it turn out well if he would examine you?
Or as one deceives a man would you deceive him?
10 He would certainly rebuke you
if you secretly showed partiality!
11 Would not his splendor terrify you
and the fear he inspires fall on you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Refrain from talking with me so that I may speak;
then let come to me what may.
14 Why do I put myself in peril,
and take my life in my hands?
15 Even if he slays me, I will hope in him;
I will surely defend my ways to his face!
16 Moreover, this will become my deliverance,
for no godless person would come before him.
17 Listen carefully to my words;
let your ears be attentive to my explanation.
18 See now, I have prepared my case;
I know that I am right.
19 Who will contend with me?
If anyone can, I will be silent and die.
20 Only in two things spare me, O God,
and then I will not hide from your face:
21 Remove your hand far from me
and stop making me afraid with your terror.
22 Then call, and I will answer,
or I will speak, and you respond to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and sins?
Show me my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and regard me as your enemy?
25 Do you wish to torment a windblown leaf
and chase after dry chaff?
26 For you write down bitter things against me
and cause me to inherit the sins of my youth.
27 And you put my feet in the stocks
and you watch all my movements;
you put marks on the soles of my feet.
28 So I waste away like something rotten,
like a garment eaten by moths.
The Brevity of Life
14 “Man, born of woman,
lives but a few days, and they are full of trouble.
2 He grows up like a flower and then withers away;
he flees like a shadow, and does not remain.
3 Do you fix your eye on such a one?
And do you bring me before you for judgment?
4 Who can make a clean thing come from an unclean?
5 Since man’s days are determined,
the number of his months is under your control;
you have set his limit and he cannot pass it.
6 Look away from him and let him desist,
until he fulfills his time like a hired man.
The Inevitability of Death
7 “But there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Although its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump begins to die in the soil,
9 at the scent of water it will flourish
and put forth shoots like a new plant.
10 But man dies and is powerless;
he expires—and where is he?
11 As water disappears from the sea,
or a river drains away and dries up,
12 so man lies down and does not rise;
until the heavens are no more,
they will not awake
nor arise from their sleep.
The Possibility of Another Life
13 “O that you would hide me in Sheol,
and conceal me till your anger has passed!
O that you would set me a time
and then remember me!
14 If a man dies, will he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait
until my release comes.
15 You will call and I—I will answer you;
you will long for the creature you have made.
The Present Condition
16 “Surely now you count my steps;
then you would not mark my sin.
17 My offenses would be sealed up in a bag;
you would cover over my sin.
18 But as a mountain falls away and crumbles,
and as a rock will be removed from its place,
19 as water wears away stones,
and torrents wash away the soil,
so you destroy man’s hope.
20 You overpower him once for all,
and he departs;
you change his appearance
and send him away.
21 If his sons are honored,
he does not know it;
if they are brought low,
he does not see it.
22 Only his flesh has pain for himself,
and he mourns for himself.”
Eliphaz’s Second Speech
15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2 “Does a wise man answer with blustery knowledge,
or fill his belly with the east wind?
3 Does he argue with useless talk,
with words that have no value in them?
4 But you even break off piety,
and hinder meditation before God.
5 Your sin inspires your mouth;
you choose the language of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, not I;
your own lips testify against you.
7 “Were you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s secret council?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we don’t know?
What do you understand that we don’t understand?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
men far older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations too trivial for you;
or a word spoken in gentleness to you?
12 Why has your heart carried you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
13 when you turn your rage against God
and allow such words to escape from your mouth?
14 What is man that he should be pure,
or one born of woman, that he should be righteous?
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,
if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less man, who is abominable and corrupt,
who drinks in evil like water!
17 “I will explain to you;
listen to me,
and what I have seen, I will declare,
18 what wise men declare,
from the tradition of their ancestors,
19 to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigner passed among them.
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,
throughout the number of the years
that are stored up for the tyrant.
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;
in a time of peace marauders attack him.
22 He does not expect to escape from darkness;
he is marked for the sword;
23 he wanders about—food for vultures;
he knows that the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Distress and anguish terrify him;
they prevail against him
like a king ready to launch an attack,
25 for he stretches out his hand against God,
and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him
with a thick, strong shield!
27 Because he covered his face with fat,
and made his hips bulge with fat,
28 he lived in ruined towns
and in houses where no one lives,
where they are ready to crumble into heaps.
29 He will not grow rich,
and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness;
a flame will wither his shoots
and he will depart
by the breath of God’s mouth.
31 Let him not trust in what is worthless,
for worthlessness will be his reward.
32 Before his time he will be paid in full,
and his branches will not flourish.
33 Like a vine he will let his sour grapes fall,
and like an olive tree
he will shed his blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of those who accept bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and bring forth evil;
their belly prepares deception.”
1 Corinthians 15:29-58
29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they baptized for them? 30 Why too are we in danger every hour? 31 Every day I am in danger of death! This is as sure as my boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If from a human point of view I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what did it benefit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Sober up as you should, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame!
The Resurrection Body
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 Fool! What you sow will not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare seed—perhaps of wheat or something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as he planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same: People have one flesh, animals have another, birds and fish another. 40 And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The glory of the heavenly body is one sort and the earthly another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory.
42 It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living person”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 Like the one made of dust, so too are those made of dust, and like the one from heaven, so too those who are heavenly. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven.
50 Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen,
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.
1 I decided, “I will watch what I say
and make sure I do not sin with my tongue.
I will put a muzzle over my mouth
while in the presence of an evil man.”
2 I was stone silent;
I held back the urge to speak.
My frustration grew;
3 my anxiety intensified.
As I thought about it, I became impatient.
Finally I spoke these words:
4 “O Lord, help me understand my mortality
and the brevity of life!
Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!
5 Look, you make my days short-lived,
and my life span is nothing from your perspective.
Surely all people, even those who seem secure, are nothing but vapor.
6 Surely people go through life as mere ghosts.
Surely they accumulate worthless wealth
without knowing who will eventually haul it away.”
7 But now, O Lord, upon what am I relying?
You are my only hope!
8 Deliver me from all my sins of rebellion!
Do not make me the object of fools’ insults!
9 I am silent and cannot open my mouth
because of what you have done.
10 Please stop wounding me!
You have almost beaten me to death!
11 You severely discipline people for their sins;
like a moth you slowly devour their strength.
Surely all people are a mere vapor. (Selah)
12 Hear my prayer, O Lord!
Listen to my cry for help!
Do not ignore my sobbing!
For I am dependent on you, like one residing outside his native land;
I am at your mercy, just as all my ancestors were.
13 Turn your angry gaze away from me, so I can be happy
before I pass away.
30 There is no wisdom and there is no understanding,
and there is no counsel against the Lord.
31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but the victory is from the Lord.