Monday, November 30, 2009

The Job Digest continued: chapters 20-42

This is part 2 of the cycle of speeches following Job’s de-creation of himself in his speech of chapter 3.  We continue with Chapter 20 to the end of the chapter 41.

The warning goes unheeded that we are in the presence of the sword. I wonder what the second half of the book might reveal about the sword. (The word חֶרֶב does not appear again till the final speeches of YHWH.)


 Mentoring of my insult I hear
and the spirit of my understanding makes me answer
do you know this from old
from the setting of the human on earth?
for the joyful cry of the wicked is near-term
and the gladness of the hypocrite but a moment
though his rising ascend to heaven
and his head touch the cloud
like his own dung, in perpetuity he perishes
they who saw him say - where is he?
For what purpose do the wicked live
and are removed - though great in wealth?
their seed is prepared before their faces and with them
and their offspring in their eyes
their houses are at peace from dread
and the staff of God is not on them

his ox makes pass and it does not fall
his cow delivers and is not bereaved
they bring forth like sheep their unweaned
and their children skip

they lift up tambourine and harp
and rejoice at the voice of the pipes
they decay in the good of their days
and in a moment to Sheol, they are broken

and they say to the One, turn from us
and the knowledge of your ways we do not desire
who is Sufficient that we should serve him
and what is the benefit that we should meet him?
So why do you comfort me in vain
when your answers retain offense?
is not your wickedness great
and is there no termination to your iniquities?
If you return to the Sufficient you will be built
let injustice be far from your tents
and fix treasure as dust
And the Sufficient will become your treasure
and silver from great effort will be yours
for then in the Sufficient is your delight
and you will lift up your face to God
Even today bitter is my complaint
my hand heavy on my sighing
O that it was given me to know
and I would find him
will he in great strength contend against me?
no - but he himself would set me out
there the upright could reason with him
and I would be delivered in perpetuity from my judge
but he is in one and who will turn him?
and his being longs
so he does
therefore from his face I am dismayed
I am understanding - and I have dread from him
for the One makes tender my heart
and the Sufficient dismays me
for I did not vanish from the face of darkness
and from my face he covered gloom
And how can a mortal be just with the One
or how clean is one born of woman
the mortal worm and the maggot child of humus
how you help one of no strength!
you have saved the arm of no might
how you have counseled one of no wisdom
and the success of many you have made known!
A curse on me if I justify you
till I expire I will not turn away my completeness from me

The three friends - all speaking together
if his children are multiplied for the sword
and his offspring not satisfied with bread
what's left of him in death will be buried
and his widows will not weep

if he piles up silver like dust
and like clay prepares clothing
he prepares but the just one will be clothed
and silver the innocent will apportion

he builds as a moth his house
and as a booth the keeper makes
the rich lies down and is not gathered
his eyes he opens and he is not

destructions take hold of him like water
storm steals him by night
the east wind lifts him up and he goes
and he is whirled from his place

but that wisdom - from where is she found?
and where is this place of understanding?
mortal does not know her proportion
and she is not found in the earth of the living
depth says - not in me is she
and sea says - there is none in me
Abaddon and death say
with our ears we have heard her hearing
God understands her way
and he - he knows specifically her place
and he said to the human
lo - the fear of the Lord - that is wisdom
and to turn away from evil is understanding
Job's Defense
Who will give to me the months of old
like the days when God watched (over) me
when the Sufficient was still with me
round about me my lads
Brother I have become to a sea-monster
and friend to the daughters of an ostrich
my skin is black upon me
and my bones scorched from dryness
and my harp has become 'of lament'
and my pipes 'of the voice of those who weep'

if I have walked - if in emptiness
and hasted to deceit my foot
let me be weighed in a just balance
that God may know my completeness
if my paces have stretched the way
and after my eyes my heart has walked
and in my open palm clings a blemish
let me sow and another eat
and my offspring be uprooted
if my heart is enticed
and at the opening of my friend I take advantage
this is iniquity for intercessors
if I refuse the judgment of my servant
or my maid in their contention against me
then what will I do when the One rises
for when he visits - how will I turn to him?
has not he that made me from the belly also made him
and established us in the womb as one?
if I have brandished my hand against the orphan
when I saw in the gate my help
let my shoulder from her back fall
and my arm as a reed be maimed
for the burden of the One was dread to me
and from his height I have no power
if I have set gold as my confidence
or to the fine gold have said - my trust
if I rejoice because my wealth is great
or because my hand found much
if I see light shining
of the precious moon walking
and my heart enticed in concealment
or my mouth had kissed my hand
indeed this is iniquity for an intercessor
for I would deny the One above
if I rejoice in the burden of one hating me
or roused myself when evil found him
if I cover as Adam my transgression
and bury in my bosom my iniquity
for I was worried by a great crowd
who will give me a hearing?
lo - my mark
if against me my ground would call for help
and as one her furrows weeping
if fruits I have eaten without silver
and the beings of the owners I blew away
under wheat let thorns come forth
and under barley bindweed

Complete are the words of Job
So they rested - these three mortals from answering Job,
for he was justified in his eyes.
And it burned - the wrath of Elihu the son of Barkael the Buzite of the tribe of Ram
- at Job burned his wrath against his justifying himself over God.
I will answer - indeed I myself my portion
I will declare my knowledge - indeed I myself
for I am full of speeches
I am constrained by the spirit of my belly
behold my belly is as wine without opening
ready to burst as fresh skins

the spirit of God has made me
and the breath of the Sufficient has given me life
if you have power to turn me
order before my face - present yourself

from clay I am pinched - even I myself
behold my horror will not terrify you
and my open palm upon you will not be too heavy

lo this - you are not just - I answer you
for greater is God than a mortal
for what purpose against him do you contend
for all his speakings he does not answer

if there is for him a messenger
interpreting, one among a thousand
to tell a human his uprightness
and he makes supplication for him saying
ransom him from his descent to the pit
I have found a price

his flesh will be fresher than a lad's
he will return to the days of his youth
he will make supplication to God and he will accept him
and he will see his face with a shout of joy
for he will return to a mortal his righteousness

attend Job hear me
keep silence and I myself will speak
if you have a speech, turn it to me
speak for I desire to justify you
if there is no you, listen to me
keep silence and I will teach you wisdom

who is a warrior like Job
drinking derision like water
who takes a path cobbled together with workers of iniquity
and walks with mortals of wickedness
for he said there is no profit for a mortal
that he find acceptance with God

therefore mortals with heart hear me
a curse on the One from wickedness
and on the Sufficient from iniquity
for the work of a human will be repayed to him
and as a path of a man so let him find

indeed truly the One does not do wickedness
nor the Sufficient subvert judgment
who visits him of earth
and who sets out the whole world?

if he sets on him his heart
his spirit and his breath to him he gathers
all flesh will expire as one
and a human to dust will return
a curse on the One from wickedness
and on the Sufficient from iniquity
for the work of a human will be repayed to him
and as a path of a man so let him find
mortal of heart will say to me
and a man of wisdom hears me
Job without knowledge speaks
and his words are not with insight

my father he will be scrutinized in perpetuity
to the turnings in mortals of iniquity
for he continues to add to his sin transgression
among us he claps and he multiplies his words to the One

To the one whose work I am I will give justice
for in truth my speech is not a lie
give ear to this Job
stand and understand the wonders of the One
do you know God's setting of them
and the light of his mist he made shine?
do you know about the balancing of cloud
from the wonders of the perfect in knowledge?
how your garments warm
when he quiets earth from the south?
have you hammered out the sky with him
mighty as a poured mirror?

Make known to us what we will say to him
we cannot array in order in the face of darkness
will one recount to him that I will speak?
if a man speaks will he be swallowed?
and now they do not see the brilliant light
this is in the sky
but the wind passes over and purifies them

from the north gold comes
with God a fearful splendor
The Sufficient we do not find out
great of power and judgment
and much righteousness - he does not afflict
therefore mortals fear him
he does not see all the wise of heart

YHWH (sorry - I had to condense you too)
 Who is this darkening counsel
in speeches without knowledge?
gird please as a warrior your loins
and I will ask you and you make known to me
where were you when I founded earth?
or screened in the sea with doors
when he rushed breaking forth from the womb?

from your days have you commanded the morning?
have the gates of death been revealed to you?
where is this? the way of the dwelling of light?
and darkness - where is this - his place?
have you come to the storehouses of snow?
or the storehouses of hail have you seen?
which I have spared for the time of trouble
has the rain a father?
do you know the decrees of the heavens?
who puts wisdom in the inward parts?
or who gives to the sense understanding?

will you hunt prey for the lion parent
and fill the life of the whelps?
the writhing of the hart can you preserve?
you number the months they fulfill
and you know the time of their birthing
who sends the wild ass free?
will a wild bull consent to serve you?
or lodge at your manger?

Did you give to the horse power?
did you clothe his neck with silken vibration?
by your understanding does a hawk fly?
if by your mouth the eagle rises high
on the tooth of a rock and stronghold
from there he seeks food
and his eaglets suck up blood
and where the slain are, there is he

Will he who contends with the Sufficient be the mentor?
God's referee - let him answer
Lo I am slight, what will I return to you?
my hand I set over my mouth
once I have spoken and I will not answer
and twice - and I will add no more
Indeed will you frustrate my judgment?
will you make me wicked so you are righteous?
behold please Behemoth which I made with you
behold please his strength in his loins
and the vigor in the navel of his belly
he desires his tail - like a cedar
the sinews of his testicles are intertwined
his bones are a stream of brass
his reserve like bars of iron

he is the beginning of the ways of the One
the one who made him can approach his sword
lo he oppresses a river and is in no hurry
he trusts that the Jordan will break in his mouth
with his eyes he takes it
in snares his nose curses

You will drag Leviathan with a hook?
or with rope sink his tongue
Will he make many supplications to you?
if he will speak to you tenderly
will he cut a covenant with you
Will you take him for servant for ever
the doors of his face who will open?
his surrounding teeth horrible
a growing stream of shields
shutting up the impress of trouble
one to one they approach
and spirit cannot come between them
each to its other clings
they are captured and not dispersed
his sneezing shines a light
and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn
from his mouth lamps walk
and a striking of fire escapes
he snorts forth smoke
as the beloved blows the bullrushes

From his height the pillars shrink
from the breaking they make themselves clean from sin
a sword taking hold of him is not set
shaft dart and javelin
he counts iron straw
as a rotten tree brass
the child of the bow does not make him flee
and he laughs at the quake of a spear

his underparts are sharp potsherds
he spreads cuttings in the dirt
he makes the ocean deep boil like a pot
the sea he sets as spices
after him is an enlightened track
he counts the depth gray-haired
in all dust is his parable
the one who is made without fear
all the exalted he sees
he is king over all the children of pride

I know that you have all power
and thought is not withheld from you
therefore I told and I had not understood
things too wonderful for me and I did not know

hear please and I myself will speak
of the hearing of an ear I had heard of you
and now my eye sees you
therefore I refuse
and I am comforted in dust and ashes

Now you can safely reread the epilogue

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