1BE THAT as it may, Job, I beg of you to hear what I have to say and give heed to all my words.
2Behold, here I am with open mouth; here is my tongue talking.
3My words shall express the uprightness of my heart, and my lips shall speak what they know with utter sincerity.
4[It is] the Spirit of God that made me [which has stirred me up], and the breath of the Almighty that gives me life [which inspires me].
5Answer me now, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand.
6Behold, I am toward God and before Him even as you are; I also am formed out of the clay [though I speak with abnormal wisdom because of a divine illumination].
7See my terror [for I am only a fellow mortal, not God]; I shall not make you afraid, neither shall my pressure be heavy upon you.
8Surely you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the voice of your words, saying,
9I am clean, without transgression; I am innocent, neither is there iniquity in me.
10But behold, God finds occasions against me and causes of alienation and indifference; He counts me as His enemy.
11He puts my feet in the stocks; He [untrustingly] watches all my paths [you say].
12I reply to you, Behold, in this you are not just; God is superior to man.
13Why do you contend against Him? For He does not give account of any of His actions. [Sufficient for us it should be to know that it is He Who does them.]
14For God [does reveal His will; He] speaks not only once, but more than once, even though men do not regard it [including you, Job].
15[One may hear God’s voice] in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men while slumbering upon the bed,
16Then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction [terrifying them with warnings],
17That He may withdraw man from his purpose and cut off pride from him [disgusting him with his own disappointing self-sufficiency].
18He holds him back from the pit [of destruction], and his life from perishing by the sword [of God’s destructive judgments].
19[God’s voice may be heard by man when] he is chastened with pain upon his bed and with continual strife in his bones or while all his bones are firmly set,
20So that his desire makes him loathe food, and even dainty dishes [nauseate him].
21His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen, and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22Yes, his soul draws near to corruption, and his life to the inflicters of death (the destroyers).
23[God’s voice may be heard] if there is for the hearer a messenger or an angel, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show to man what is right for him [how to be upright and in right standing with God],
24Then [God] is gracious to him and says, Deliver him from going down into the pit [of destruction]; I have found a ransom (a price of redemption, an atonement)!
25[Then the man’s] flesh shall be restored; it becomes fresher and more tender than a child’s; he returns to the days of his youth.
26He prays to God, and He is favorable to him, so that he sees His face with joy; for [God] restores to him his righteousness (his uprightness and right standing with God–with its joys).
27He looks upon other men or sings out to them, I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it did not profit me, or He did not requite me [according to my iniquity]!
28[God] has redeemed my life from going down to the pit [of destruction], and my life shall see the light!
29[Elihu comments] Behold, God does all these things twice, yes, three times, with a man,
30To bring back his life from the pit [of destruction], that he may be enlightened with the light of the living.
31Give heed, O Job, listen to me; hold your peace, and I will speak.
32If you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you.
33If [you do] not [have anything to say], listen to me; hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.