Catholic Encyclopedia s.v. "Job"
Job's View of His Own
Insignificance Before God
Job Chapter 9
1. Then Job answered and said:
2. I know well that it is so; but how can a man be justified before God?
3. Should one wish to contend with him, he could not answer him once in a thousand times.
4. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has withstood him and remained unscathed?
5. He removes the mountains before they know it; he overturns them in his anger.
6. He shakes the earth out of its place, and the pillars beneath it tremble.
7. He commands the sun, and it rises not; he seals up the stars.
8. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea.
9. He made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south;
10. He does great things past finding out, marvelous things beyond reckoning.
11. Should he come near me, I see him not; should he pass by, I am not aware of him;
12. Should he seize me forcibly, who can say him nay? Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"
13. He is God and he does not relent; the helpers of Rahab bow beneath him.
14. How much less shall I give him any answer, or choose out arguments against him!
15. Even though I were right, I could not answer him, but should rather beg for what was due me.
16. If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words;
17. With a tempest he might overwhelm me, and multiply my wounds without cause;
18. He need not suffer me to draw breath, but might fill me with bitter griefs.
19. If it be a question of strength, he is mighty; and if of judgment, who will call him to account?
20. Though I were right, my own mouth might condemn me; were I innocent, he might put me in the wrong.
21. Though I am innocent, I myself cannot know it; I despise my life.
22. It is all one! therefore I say: Both the innocent and the wicked he destroys.
23. When the scourge slays suddenly, he laughs at the despair of the innocent.
24. The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges. If it is not he, who then is it?
25. My days are swifter than a runner, they flee away; they see no happiness;
26. They shoot by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping upon its prey.
27. If I say: I will forget my complaining, I will lay aside my sadness and be of good cheer,
28. Then I am in dread of all my pains; I know that you will not hold me innocent.
29. If I must be accounted guilty, why then should I strive in vain?
30. If I should wash myself with snow and cleanse my hands with lye,
31. Yet you would plunge me in the ditch, so that my garments would abhor me.
32. For he is not a man like myself, that I should answer him, that we should come together in judgment.
33. Would that there were an arbiter between us, who could lay his hand upon us both
34. and withdraw his rod from me. Would that his terrors did not frighten me;
35. that I might speak without being afraid of him. Since this is not the case with me,
Job's View of the
Afterlife: There is Hope in Heaven for Those Who Suffer on Earth
Job Chapter 19
19:1. Then Job answered, and said:
19:2. How long do you afflict my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
19:3. Behold, these ten times you confound me, and are not ashamed to
19:4. For if I have been ignorant, my ignorance shall be with me.
19:5. But you set yourselves up against me, and reprove me with my
19:6. At least now understand, that God hath not afflicted me with an
equal judgment, and compassed me with his scourges.
19:7. Behold I shall cry suffering violence, and no one will hear: I
shall cry aloud, and there is none to judge.
19:8. He hath hedged in my path round about, and I cannot pass, and in my
way he hath set darkness.
19:9. He hath stripped me of my glory, and hath taken the crown from my
19:10. He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am lost, and he hath
taken away my hope, as from a tree that is plucked up.
19:11. His wrath is kindled against me, and he hath counted me as his
19:12. His troops have come together, and have made themselves a way by
me, and have besieged my tabernacle round about.
19:13. He hath put my brethren far from me, and my acquaintance like
strangers have departed from me.
19:14. My kinsmen have forsaken me, and they that knew me, have forgotten
19:15. They that dwell in my house, and my maidservants have counted me
as a stranger, and I have been like an alien in their eyes.
19:16. I called my servant, and he gave me no answer, I entreated him
with my own mouth.
19:17. My wife hath abhorred my breath, and I entreated the children of
19:18. Even fools despised me, and when I was gone from them, they spoke
19:19. They that were sometime my counsellors, have abhorred me: and he
whom I loved most is turned against me.
19:20. The flesh being consumed, my bone hath cleaved to my skin, and
nothing but lips are left about my teeth.
19:21. Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends, because
the hand of the Lord hath touched me.
19:22. Why do you persecute me as God, and glut yourselves with my flesh?
19:23. Who will grant me that my words may be written? who will grant me
that they may be marked down in a book?
19:24. With an iron pen and in a plate of lead, or else be graven with an
instrument in flint stone?
19:25. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall
rise out of the earth.
19:26. And I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I
shall see my God.
19:27. Whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not
another: this my hope is laid up in my bosom.
19:28. Why then do you say now: Let us persecute him, and let us find
occasion of word against him?
19:29. Flee then from the face of the sword, for the sword is the
revenger of iniquities: and know ye that there is a judgment.
Job is Reminded of His
Insignificance by God
Job Chapter 38
1. Then the LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:
2. Who is this that obscures divine plans with words of ignorance?
3. Gird up your loins now, like a man; I will question you, and you tell me the answers!
4. Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
5. Who determined its size; do you know? Who stretched out the measuring line for it?
6. Into what were its pedestals sunk, and who laid the cornerstone,
7. While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8. And who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb;
9. When I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands?
10. When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door,
11. And said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!
12. Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning and shown the dawn its place
13. For taking hold of the ends of the earth, till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
14. The earth is changed as is clay by the seal, and dyed as though it were a garment;
15. But from the wicked the light is withheld, and the arm of pride is shattered.
16. Have you entered into the sources of the sea, or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
17. Have the gates of death been shown to you, or have you seen the gates of darkness?
18. Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell me, if you know all:
19. Which is the way to the dwelling place of light, and where is the abode of darkness,
20. That you may take them to their boundaries and set them on their homeward paths?
21. You know, because you were born before them, and the number of your years is great!
22. Have you entered the storehouse of the snow, and seen the treasury of the hail
23. Which I have reserved for times of stress, for the days of war and of battle?
24. Which way to the parting of the winds, whence the east wind spreads over the earth?
25. Who has laid out a channel for the downpour and for the thunderstorm a path
26. To bring rain to no man's land, the unpeopled wilderness;
27. To enrich the waste and desolate ground till the desert blooms with verdure?
28. Has the rain a father; or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29. Out of whose womb comes the ice, and who gives the hoarfrost its birth in the skies,
30. When the waters lie covered as though with stone that holds captive the surface of the deep?
31. Have you fitted a curb to the Pleiades, or loosened the bonds of Orion?
32. Can you bring forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or guide the Bear with its train?
33. Do you know the ordinances of the heavens; can you put into effect their plan on the earth?
34. Can you raise your voice among the clouds, or veil yourself in the waters of the storm?
35. 8 Can you send forth the lightnings on their way, or will they say to you, "Here we are"?
37. Who counts the clouds in his wisdom? Or who tilts the water jars of heaven
38. So that the dust of earth is fused into a mass and its clods made solid?
39. Do you hunt the prey for the lioness or appease the hunger of her cubs,
40. While they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in the thicket?
36. Who puts wisdom in the heart, and gives the cock its understanding?
41. Who provides nourishment for the ravens when their young ones cry out to God, and they rove abroad without food?