For there is hope for a tree: if it is cut down, it will sprout again. Its tender shoots will not cease. Job 14:7
Job’s Response to Zophar
1 Then Job answered,
2 “No doubt, but you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
3 But I have understanding as well as you.
I am not inferior to you.
Yes, who does not know such things as these?
4 I am a laughingstock to my friends,
I, whom God used to answer when I called on him.
The righteous, blameless man is a laughingstock.
5 Those who are at ease
view misfortune with contempt
and think it is waiting for those whose foot slips.
6 The tents of robbers prosper,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who carry their god in their hands.
7 But ask the animals, now, and they will teach you,
the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
8 Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you.
The fish of the sea will declare it to you.
9 Who does not know that in all these,
the hand of the Lord has done this,
10 in whose hand is the life of every living thing,
and the breath of all mankind?
11 Does the ear not try words,
just as the palate tastes its food?
12 With aged men is wisdom,
in length of days understanding.
13 With God is wisdom and might.
He has counsel and understanding.
14 He breaks down, and it cannot be rebuilt.
He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.
15 He withholds the waters, and they dry up.
He sends them back out, and they overtake the earth.
16 With him is strength and wisdom.
The deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped.
He makes judges fools.
18 He loosens the bond of kings.
He binds their waist with a belt.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the mighty.
20 He withholds the speech of those who are trusted
and removes the understanding of the elders.
21 He pours contempt on princes
and loosens the belt of the strong.
22 He uncovers deep things out of darkness
and brings to light the shadow of death.
23 He increases the nations, and he destroys them.
He enlarges the nations, and he leads them captive.
24 He takes away understanding from the leaders of the people of the earth
and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.
25 They grope in the dark without light.
He makes them stagger like a drunken man.”
Job Reproves his Friends
1 “My eye has seen all this.
My ear has heard and understood it.
2 What you know, I know also.
I am not inferior to you.
3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty.
I desire to reason with God.
4 But you whitewash truth with lies.
You are all worthless physicians.
5 Oh that you would be altogether silent!
Then you would be wise.
6 Hear now my reasoning.
Listen as I present my defense.
7 Will you speak for God incorrectly
and speak for him falsely?
8 Will you show partiality to him?
Will you argue the case for him?
9 Will it be good if he should examine you?
Or as one deceives a man, will you deceive him?
10 He will surely reprove you
if you secretly show partiality.
11 Shall not his majesty make you afraid and his dread fall on you?
12 Your venerable sayings are proverbs of ashes.
Your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 Be silent!
Leave me alone, that I may speak.
Let come on me what will.
14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand?
15 He will kill me.
I have no hope.
Nevertheless, I will maintain my ways before him.
16 This also will be my salvation,
that a godless man will not come before him.
17 Listen carefully to my speech.
Let my declaration be in your ears.
18 See now, I have presented my case.
I know that I am righteous.
19 Who will charge me?
For then would I be silent and die.
20 Only do not do two things for me,
and I will not hide myself from your face.
21 Withdraw Your hand far from me
and do not let your terror frighten me.
22 Then call, and I will answer,
or let me speak, and you answer me.
23 How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make known to me how I am disobedient and what my sin is.
24 Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you harass a driven leaf?
Will you pursue dry stubble?
26 For you write bitter things against me and give me the sins of my youth as my inheritance.
27 You also put my feet in the stocks
and mark all my paths.
You set a bound to the soles of my feet,
28 though I am decaying like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten.”
Job Acknowledges the Finality of Death
1 “Man, who is born of woman,
is few of days and full of trouble.
2 He comes forth like a flower, then fades away.
He also flees like a shadow and vanishes away.
3 Do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you?
4 Who can make a clean thing out of an unclean?
5 Since man’s days are determined,
the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits, that he cannot pass.
6 Look away from him, that he may rest,
so he can enjoy his day like a hired man.
7 For there is hope for a tree: if it is cut down,
it will sprout again.
Its tender shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root grows old in the earth,
and its stock dies in the ground,
9 yet through the scent of water it will bud,
and sprout boughs like a plant.
10 But man dies and is laid low.
Yes, man gives up the spirit, and where is he?
11 As the waters fail from the sea
and the river wastes and dries up,
12 so man lies down and does not rise.
Until the heavens are no more,
they will not awake,
nor be roused from their sleep.
13 Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would keep me secret until your wrath is past,
that you would appoint me a set time and remember me!
14 If a man dies, will he live again?
All the days of my appointed time, I will wait,
until my change comes.
15 You would call, and I would answer you.
You would have a desire for the work of your hands.
16 But now you count my steps.
Do you not watch over my sin?
17 My disobedience is sealed up in a bag.
You fasten up my iniquity.
18 But the mountain falling comes to nothing.
The rock is removed from its place.
19 The waters wear the stones.
The torrents of it wash away the dust of the earth.
So you destroy the hope of man.
20 You forever prevail against him, and he departs.
You change his face and send him away.
21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it.
They are brought low, but he is not aware of it.
22 But his flesh feels pain,
and his soul within him mourns.”
Eliphaz: Job Does Not Fear God
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered,
2 “Should a wise man answer with counsel that is full of wind
and fill himself with hot air?
3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk,
or with speeches with which he can do no good?
4 Yes, you are discarding reverent fear,
and hindering devotion before God.
5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the language of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you and not I.
Yes, your own lips testify against you.
7 Are you the first man who was born?
Or were you brought out before the hills?
8 Have you heard the secret counsel of God?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
9 What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand which is not in us?
10 With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men,
much older than your father.
11 Are the consolations of God too small for you,
the word that is gentle toward you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away?
Why do your eyes flash,
13 that you turn your spirit against God and let such words go from your mouth?
14 What is man, that he should be pure?
What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 He puts no trust in his holy ones.
Yes, the heavens are not pure in his sight;
16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
a man who drinks iniquity like water!
17 I will show you. Listen to me.
That which I have seen I will declare
18 (which wise men have told by their fathers
and have not hidden it,
19 to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them).
20 The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor.
21 A sound of terrors is in his ears.
In prosperity the destroyer will come on him.
22 He does not believe that he will return from darkness.
He is waited for by the sword.
23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
24 Distress and anguish make him afraid.
They prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God
and defies the Almighty.
26 He runs at him with a stiff neck,
with the thick shields of his bucklers.
27 Although he has covered his face with fat
and gathered fat on his thighs,
28 he will live in desolate cities,
in houses which no one inhabited,
which are practically ruins.
29 He will not be rich, nor will his wealth continue,
nor will their possessions be extended on the earth.
30 He will not depart from darkness.
The flame will dry up his branches,
and by the breath of God’s mouth he will be swept away.
31 Let him not trust in that which is worthless, deceiving himself,
for futility will be his reward.
32 It will be accomplished before his time.
His branch will not be green.
33 He will shake off his unripe grape like a vine
and will cast off his flower like the olive tree.
34 For the company of the godless will be barren
and fire will consume the tents of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief and produce iniquity.
Their heart prepares deceit.”
1 Corinthians 15:35-58
The Resurrection Body
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and “With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish one, that which you yourself sow is not brought to life unless it dies. 37 That which you sow is not the body that will be, but a mere grain, maybe of wheat or of some other kind. 38 But God gives it a body as it pleased him and to each seed a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies, but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for one star differs from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown perishable. It is raised imperishable. 43 Sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. Sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 Sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is also a spiritual body.
45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. 46 However that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the one made of dust, such are those who are also made of dust; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 As we have borne the image of those made of dust, let us also bear the image of the heavenly.
Where O Death is Your Victory?
50 Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Neither does the perishable inherit imperishable.
51 I will tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your sting?
O grave, where is your victory?” a
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 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor for the Lord is not in vain.
I Will Watch my Ways
For the Chief Musician. For Jeduthun. A Psalm by David.
1 I said, “I will guard my ways, so that I do not sin with my tongue.
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth while the wicked are before me.”
2 I was silent–unable to speak.
I held my peace, even from good,
and my sorrow was stirred.
3 My heart burned within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned.
I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Lord, show me my end,
what is the measure of my days,
that I may know how frail I am.
5 You have made my days a hand-breadth.
My lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely every man, in his best state, is altogether vapor.”
6 “Surely every man walks like a shadow.
Surely they busy themselves in vain.
He heaps up riches and does not know who shall gather them.
7 Now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
9 I was unable to speak.
I did not open my mouth,
because you have done this.
10 Stop striking me down.
I am consumed by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and correct man for iniquity,
you consume his wealth like a moth.
Surely every man is but a breath.”
12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry.
Hold not your peace at my tears.
For I am a stranger with you,
a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
13 Oh spare me, that I may recover strength,
before I go and am no more.”
30 There is no wisdom nor understanding
nor counsel against the Lord.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but victory is from the Lord.