The Third Speech of Bildad
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied,
“God is King. He should be feared.
He establishes peace in the highest parts of heaven.
Can anyone count his troops?
Is there anyone his light doesn’t shine on?
How can human beings be right with God?
How can mere people really be pure?
Even the moon isn’t bright
and the stars aren’t pure in God’s eyes.
So how about human beings? They are like maggots.
How about mere people? They are like worms.”
“Bildad, you haven’t helped people who aren’t strong!
You haven’t saved people who are weak!
You haven’t offered advice to those who aren’t wise!
In fact, you haven’t understood anything at all!
Who helped you say these things?
Whose spirit was speaking through you?
“The spirits of the dead are suffering greatly.
So are those that are under the waters.
And so are all those that live in them.
The place of the dead is naked in the sight of God.
The grave lies open in front of him.
He spreads out the northern skies over empty space.
He hangs the earth over nothing.
He wraps up water in his clouds.
They are heavy, but they don’t burst.
He covers the face of the full moon.
He spreads his clouds over it.
He marks out the place where the sky meets the sea.
He marks out the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of the heavens shake.
They are terrified when his anger blazes out.
With his power he stirred up the oceans.
In his wisdom he cut the sea monster Rahab to pieces.
His breath made the skies bright and clear.
His hand wounded the serpent that glides through the sea.
Those are only on the edges of what he does.
They are only the soft whispers that we hear from him.
So who can understand how very powerful he is?”
Job’s Final Reply to His Friends
Job continued to speak. He said,
“God hasn’t treated me fairly.
The Mighty One has made my life bitter.
You can be sure that God lives.
And here’s something else you can be sure of.
As long as I have life
and God gives me breath,
my mouth won’t say evil things.
My lips won’t tell lies.
I’ll never admit you people are right.
Until I die, I’ll say I’m telling the truth.
I’ll continue to say I’m right.
I’ll never let go of that.
I won’t blame myself as long as I live.
“May my enemies suffer like sinful people!
May my attackers be punished like those who aren’t fair!
What hope do ungodly people have when their lives are cut short?
What hope do they have when God takes away their lives?
God won’t listen to their cry
when trouble comes on them.
They won’t take delight in the Mighty One.
They’ll never call out to God.
“I’ll teach all of you about God’s power.
I won’t hide the things the Mighty One does.
You have seen those things yourselves.
So why do you continue your useless talk?
“Here’s what God does to sinful people.
Here’s what those who are mean receive from the Mighty One.
All their children will be killed by swords.
They’ll never have enough to eat.
A plague will kill those who are left alive.
The widows of sinful men
won’t even weep over their own children.
Sinners might store up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay.
But people who do what is right will wear those clothes.
People who haven’t done anything wrong
will divide up that silver.
The house an evil person builds is like a moth’s cocoon.
It’s like a hut that’s made by someone on guard duty.
Sinful people lie down wealthy, but their wealth is taken away.
When they open their eyes, everything is gone.
Terrors sweep over them like a flood.
A storm takes them away during the night.
The east wind carries them off, and they are gone.
It sweeps them out of their houses.
It blows against them without mercy.
They try to escape from its power.
It claps its hands and makes fun of them.
It hisses them out of their houses.”
The Place Where Wisdom Is Found Is Explained
There are mines where silver is found.
There are places where gold is purified.
Iron is taken out of the earth.
Copper is melted down from ore.
Human beings light up the darkness.
They search for ore in the deepest pits.
They look for it in the blackest darkness.
Far from where people live they cut a tunnel.
They do it in places where other people don’t go.
Far away from people they swing back and forth on ropes.
Food grows on the surface of the earth.
But far below, the earth is changed as if by fire.
Lapis lazuli is taken from the rocky earth.
Its dust contains nuggets of gold.
No bird knows that hidden path.
No falcon’s eye has seen it.
Proud animals don’t walk on it.
Lions don’t prowl there.
Human hands attack the hardest rock.
Their strong hands uncover the base of the mountains.
They tunnel through the rock.
Their eyes see all its treasures.
They search the places where the rivers begin.
They bring hidden things out into the light.
But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding live?
No human being understands how much it’s worth.
It can’t be found anywhere in the world.
The ocean says, “It’s not in me.”
The sea says, “It’s not here either.”
It can’t be bought with the finest gold.
Its price can’t be weighed out in silver.
It can’t be bought with gold from Ophir.
It can’t be bought with priceless onyx or lapis lazuli.
Gold or crystal can’t compare with it.
It can’t be bought with jewels made of gold.
Don’t bother to talk about coral and jasper.
Wisdom is worth far more than rubies.
A topaz from Cush can’t compare with it.
It can’t be bought with the purest gold.
So where does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding live?
It’s hidden from the eyes of every living thing.
Even the birds in the sky can’t find it.
Death and the Grave say,
“Only reports about it have reached our ears.”
But God understands the way to it.
He is the only one who knows where it lives.
He sees from one end of the earth to the other.
He views everything in the world.
He made the mighty wind.
He measured out the waters.
He gave orders for the rain to fall.
He made paths for the thunderstorms.
Then he looked at wisdom and set its price.
He established it and tested it.
He said to human beings,
“Have respect for the Lord. That will prove you are wise.
Avoid evil. That will show you have understanding.”
Job’s Final Speech
Job continued to speak. He said,
“How I long for the times when things were better!
That’s when God watched over me.
The light of his lamp shone on me.
I walked through darkness by his light.
Those were the best days of my life.
That’s when God’s friendship blessed my house.
The Mighty One was still with me.
My children were all around me.
The path in front of me was like sweet cream.
It was as if the rock poured out olive oil for me.
“In those days I went to the city gate.
I took my seat as a member of the council.
Young people who saw me stepped to one side.
Old people stood up as I approached.
The leaders stopped speaking.
They covered their mouths with their hands.
The voices of the nobles became quiet.
Their tongues stuck to the roofs of their mouths.
Everyone who heard me said good things about me.
Those who saw me honored me.
That’s because I saved poor people who cried out for help.
I saved helpless children whose fathers had died.
Those who were dying gave me their blessing.
I made the hearts of widows sing.
I put on a godly life as if it were my clothes.
Fairness was my robe and my turban.
I was like eyes for those who were blind.
I was like feet for those who couldn’t walk.
I was like a father to needy people.
I stood up for strangers in court.
Sinners are like animals that have powerful teeth.
But I took from their mouths the people they had caught.
“I thought, ‘I’ll die in my own house.
The days of my life will be as many as the grains of sand.
My roots will reach down to the water.
The dew will lie all night on my branches.
I will remain healthy and strong.
My bow will stay as good as new in my hand.’
“People wanted to hear what I had to say.
They waited silently for the advice I gave them.
After I had spoken, they didn’t speak anymore.
My words fell gently on their ears.
They waited for me just as they would wait for rain showers.
They drank my words just as they would drink the spring rain.
When I smiled at them, they could hardly believe it.
The light of my face lifted their spirits.
I chose the way they should go. I sat as their chief.
I lived as a king lives among his troops.
I was like someone who comforts those who are sad.