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The Book of Job

From the Hebrew Job means “hated and oppressed”

(Part Two)


The 12th Chapter
     So Job answered, and said: Then (no doubt) you are the men alone, and wisdom shall perish with you. But I have understanding as well as you, and am no less than you. Yes, who knows not these things? Thus he that calls upon God, and whom God hears, is mocked of his neighbor: the godly and innocent man is laughed to scorn. Godliness is a light despised in the hearts of the rich, and is set for them to stumble upon. The houses of robbers are in wealth and prosperity, and they that maliciously meddle against God, dwell without care: yes God gives all things richly with his hand.
     Ask the cattle, and they inform you: the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you: Speak to the earth, and it shall show you: Or to the fishes of the sea, and they shall certify you. What is he, but he knows that the hand of the Lord made all these? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all men. Have not the ears pleasure in hearing, and the mouth in tasting the thing that it eats? Among old persons there is wisdom, and among the aged is understanding. Yes with God is wisdom and strength, it is he that has counsel and fore knowledge. If he break down a thing, who can set it up again? If he shut a thing, who will open it? Behold, if he withhold the waters, they dry up: If he let them go, they destroy the earth. With him is strength and wisdom: he knows both the deceiver and him that is deceived.
     He carry away the wise men, as it were a spoil, and brings the judges out of their wits. He loosens the girdle of kings, and girdles their loins with a bond. He leads away the Priests in to captivity, and turns the mighty up side down. He takes the *verity (truth, factual, real) from out of the mouth, and disappoint the aged of their wisdom. He pours out confusion upon the Princes, and comforts them that are oppressed. Look what lies hide in darkness, he declares it openly: and the very shadow of death brings he to light. He both increases the people and destroys them: He makes them to multiply, and drives them away. He changes the hearts of the Princes and Kings of the earth, and disappoints them: so that they go wandering out of the way, and grope in the dark without light, staggering to and fro like drunk men.

The 13th Chapter
     Lo, all this have I seen with mine eye, heard with my ear, and understand it. Look what you know, that same do I know also, neither am I inferior unto you. Nevertheless I am purposed to talk with the almighty, and my desire is to commune with God. As for you, you are workmasters of lies, and unprofitable Physicians all together. Would God you keep your tongue, that you might be taken as wise men. Therefore hear my words, and ponder the sentence of my lips. Will you make an answer for God with lies, and maintain him with deceit? Will you except the person of God, and entreat for him? Shall that help you, when hr calls you to reckoning. Think you to beguile him, as a man is beguiled? He shall punish you, and reprove you, if you do secretly except any person. Shall he not make you afraid, when he shows himself? Shall not his terrible face fall upon you? your remembrance shall be like unto dust, and your pride shall be turned into clay. Hold your tongues now, and let me speak, for their is something come into my mind. Wherefore do I bare my flesh in my teeth, and my soul in my hands? Lo, there is neither comfort nor hope for me, if he will slay me. But if I show and reprove mine own ways in his sight, he is even the same that makes me whole: And why? There may no hypocrite come before him. Hear my words, and ponder my sayings with your ears. Behold, now have I prepared my judgement, and know that I will be found righteous. What is he that will go to the law with me? For if I hold my tongue, I shall die. Nevertheless grant me two things, and then will I not hide myself from you.
     Withdraw your hand from me, and let not the fearful dread of you make me afraid. And then send for me to the law, that, I may answer for myself: or else, let me speak, and give you the answer. How great are my misdeeds and sins? Let me know my transgressions and offenses. Wherefore hide you your face, and hold me for your enemy? Will you be so cruel and extreme unto a flying leaf, and follow upon dry stubble? That you lay so sharply to my charge, and will utterly undo me, for the sins of my youth? You have put my foot in the stocks: you look narrowly unto all my paths, and mark the steps of my feet: where as I (notwithstanding) must consume like as a foul carrion, and as a cloth that is moth eaten.

The 14th Chapter
     Man that is born of a woman, has but a short time to live, and is full of diverse miseries. He comes up and falls away like a flower. He flys as it were a shadow, and never continues in one state. Think you it now well done, to open your eyes upon such one, and to bring me before you in judgement? Who can make it clean, that comes from an unclean thing? Nobody. The days of a man are short, the number of his months are known only to you. You have appointed him his bounds, he cannot go beyond them. Go from him , that he might rest alittle: until his day come, which he looks for, like as an hireling does.
     If a tree be cut down, there is some hope yet, that it will sprout and shout forth the branches again; For though a root be waxen old and dead in the ground, yet when the stock get the scent of water, it will bud, and bring forth bows, like as when it was first planted. But as for a man, when he is dead, perished and consumed away, what becomes him? The floods when they be dried up, and the rivers when they be empty, are filled again through the flowing waters of the sea: but when a man sleeps, he rises not again, until the heaven perish: he shall not wake up nor rise out of his sleep. O' that you would keep me, and hide me in the hell, until your wrath were spilled: and to appoint me a time, wherein you might remember me. May a dead man live again? All the days of this my pilgrimage am I looking, when my changing shall come. If you would but call me, I should obey you: only despise not the work of your own hands.
     For you have numbered all my goings, yet be not you to extreme upon my sins. You have sealed up mine offenses, as it were in a bag: but be merciful unto my wickedness. The mountains fall away at the last, the rocks are removed out of their place, the waters pierce through the very stones by little and little, the floods wash away the gravel and the earth: Even so destroyed you the hope of a man in like manner. You prevail against him, so that he passes away : you changes his estate, and putt him from you. Whether his children come to worship or no, he can not tell: And if they be men of low degree, he knows not. While he lives, his flesh must have travail: And while the soul is in him, he must be in sorrow.

The 15th Chapter
     names from the Hebrew are: *Eliphaz = "my God is (fine) gold"
Themanite = "southward" to destroy, to perish

     Then answered *Eliphaz the Themanite, and said: Should a wise man answer as the silence of the wind, and fill his belly with the wind of the east? You reproves with words, that are nothing worth: and speak the things, that do no good. As for shame, you have set it aside, else would you not make so many words before God: but your wickedness aches your mouth, and so you have chosen the a crafty tongue. your own mouth condemns you, and not I : yes your own lips shape the answer. are you the first man, that ever was born? Or, was you made before the hills? have you heard the secrete counsel of God, that all wisdom is to little for you? What know you that we know not? What understands you, but we can the same? With us are old and aged men, yes such as have lived longer than your forefathers.
     Think you it a small thing of the consolations of God? and are they with the* living word. Why does your heart make you so proud? Why stand you so greatly in your own conceit? Where unto your eyes, that your mind is so puffed up against God and lets such words come out of your mouth? What is a man, that he should be clean? what has he (which is born of a woman) whereby he might be known to be righteous? Behold there is no trust to his *fanctes: yes the very heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more then an abominable and vile man, which drinks wickedness like water? I will tell you, hear me: I will show you a thing, that I know: which wise men have told, and has not been hid from their fathers: unto whom only the land was given, that no stranger should ever come among them.
note this "living word" *fanctes = fancies, imaginations
     The ungodly despair all the days of their life, and the number of a tyrants years is unknown. And fearful found is ever in his ears, and when it is peace yet fears he destruction: He believes never to be delivered out of darkness, the sword is always before his eyes. When he goes forth to get his living, he thinks plainly, that the day of darkness is at hand. Sorrow and carefulness make him afraid, and compass him round about, like as it where a king with his host ready to the battle. For he has stretched out his hand against God, and armed himself against the Almighty. He runs proudly upon him, and with stiffneck fights he against him: where as he covers his face with fatness, and makes his body well liking. Therefore shall his dwelling be in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabits, but are become heaps of stones.
     He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, nor increase upon the earth. He shall never come out of darkness, the flame shall dry up his branches, with the blast of the mouth of God shall he be taken away. He will never apply himself to faithfulness and truth, so sore is he deceived with vanity.
     He shall perish, before his time be worn out, and his hand shall not be green. He shall be plucked off as an untimely grape from the vine, and shall let his flower fall, as the olive doth. For the congregation of hypocrites is unfruitful, and the fire shall consume the houses of such, as are greedy to receive gifts. He conceives travail, he bears mischief, and his body brings forth deceit.

The 16th Chapter
     Job answered, and said: I have often times heard such things. Miserable givers of comfort are ye, all the fort of you. Shall not your vain words come yet to an end? Or, have you yet any more to say? I could speak as you do also. But would God, that your soul were in my souls stead.: then should I heap up words against you, and shake my head at you. I should comfort you with my mouth, and release your pain with the talking of my lips. But what shall I do? For all my words, my sorrow will not cease: and though I hold my tongue, yet will it not depart from me. And now that I am full of pain, and all that I have destroyed (whereof my wrinkles bare witness) there stands up a disassembler to make me answer with lies to my face. He is angry at me, he hates me, and gnashes upon me with his teeth. Mine enemy schools upon me with his eyes.
     They have opened their mouths wide upon me, and smitten me upon the cheek despitefully, they have eased themselves through mine adversary. God has given me over to the ungodly. I was some time in wealth, but suddenly he has brought me to nought. He has taken me by the neck, he has rent me, and set me, as it were a mark for him to shoot at. He has compassed me round about with his darts, he has wounded my loins, and not spared. My bowels has he poured upon the ground. He has given me one wound upon another, and is fallen upon me like a giant. I have sowed sack cloth upon my skin, and lay with my strength in the dust.
     My face is swollen with weeping, and mine eyes are waxen dim. Howbeit there is no wickedness in my hands, and my prayer is clean. O' earth, cover not my blood, and let my crying find no room. For lo, my witness is in heaven, and he that knows me, is above in the height. My friends laugh me to scorn, but mine eye pours out tears unto God. though a body might plead with God, as one man does another, yet the number of my years are come, and I must go the way, from where I shall not turn again.

The 17th Chapter
     My breath fails, my days are shortened. I am hard at deaths door. I have deceived no man, yet must mine eye continue in heaviness. O' deliver me and set me by you: who shall then be able to thrust my hands together? You have withholden their hearts from understanding, therefore shall they not be set up on high. He promises his friends part of his good, but his own children spend it. He has made me as it were a byword of the common people. I am his jesting stock among them. My countenance is heavy for very anger, and the members of my body are become like a shadow. Virtuous men therefore shall well consider this, an innocent shall take part against the hypocrite.
     The righteous will keep his way, and he that has clean hands, will ever be stronger and stronger. As for you, turn you, and get you from here, now, for I can not see one wise man among you. My days are past, my thoughts are vanished away, which have vexed my heart, changing the night into day, and the light into darkness. though I tarry never so much, yet the grave is my house, and I must make my bed in the dark. I call corruption my father, and the worms call I my mother and my sister. What helps then my long tarrying? Or, who will fulfill the thing, that I look for? All that I have, shall go down into the pit, and lay with me in the dust.

The 18th Chapter
     Baldad = "confusing (by mingling) love" Shuhite = "wealth"
     Then answered Baldad the Suhite, and said: when will you make an end of your words? Mark well, and consider, we will speak also. Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed so vile in your sight? Why destroyed you your self with anger? Shall the earth be forsaken, or the stones removed out of there place because of you? Shall not the light of the ungodly be put out? Yes and the flame of his fire shall not burn. The light shall be dark in his dwelling, and his candle shall be put out with him. His presumptious goings shall be kept in, and his own counsel shall cast him down. For his feet shall be taken in the net, and he shall walk in the snare. His foot shall be holden in the gilder, and the thirsty shall catch him. The snare is layed for him in the ground, and a pitfall in the way.
     Fearfulness shall make him afraid on every side, that he shall not know, where to get out. Hunger shall be his substance, and misfortune shall hang upon him. He shall eat the strength of his skin, the first bone of death shall *cate (delicacy) his members. All his comfort and hope shall be rooted out of his dwelling, very fearfullness shall bring him unto the king. Other men shall dwell in his house (which is now none of his) and brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation. His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his harvest be cut down. He rememberance shall perish from the earth, and his name shall not be praised in the streets: he shall be driven from the light into darkness, and cast clean out of the world. He shall neither have children nor kinfolks among his people, no, nor any prosperity in his country: young and old shall be astonished at his death. Such are now the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knows not God.

The 19th Chapter
     Job answered, and said: how long will you vex my mind, and trouble me with words? Lo, ten times have you reproved me: are you not ashamed, for to laugh me to scorn? If I go wrong, I go wrong to myself. But if you will enhance yourselves against me, and accuse me to be a wicked person because of the shame that is come upon me: know this then, that it is God, which has handled me so violently, and has compassed me about with his scourges. Behold, though I cry, yet violence is done unto me, I can not be heard: though I complain, there is none to give sentence with me. He has hedged up my path, I can not get away, he has set darkness in my gate. He has spoiled me of mine honor, and taken the crown away from my head. He has destroyed me on every side, and I am undone: My hope has he taken away from me, as it were a tree plucked up by the root. His wrath is kindled against me, he takes me, as though I were his enemy.
     His men of war came together, which made their way over me, and besieged my dwelling round about. He has put my brethren far away from me, and such as were of mine acquaintance, are become strangers unto me. Mine own kinfolk have forsaken me, and my friends have put me out of remembrance. The servants and maids of mine own house take me for a stranger, and I am become as an *aleaunt in their sight. *aleaunt = alien
     When I call upon my servant, he gives me no answer: no though I pray him with my mouth. Mine own wife may not abide my breath, I am faint to speak fair unto the children of mine own body. Yes the very desert fools despise me, and when I am gone form them, they speak evil upon me. All such as were my most familiar, abhor me: And they whom I loved best, are turned against me. My bone hangs to my skin, and my flesh is away, only there is left to me is the skin about my teeth. Have pity upon me, (O you my friends) for the hand of the Lord has touched me. Why do you persecute me as God, and are not satisfied of my flesh?
     O' that my words were written, O' that they were put in a book: would God they were graven with an iron pen in lead or stone. For I am sure, that my redeemer lives, and that I shall rise out of the earth in the latter day: that I shall be clothed again with this skin, and see God in my flesh. Yes I myself shall behold him, not with other but these same eyes. My reins are consumed within in me, when you say: Why do we not persecute him? We have found an occasion against him. But beware of the sword, for the sword will be avenged of wickedness, and be sure, that there is a judgement.

The 20th Chapter
     Sophar = "sparrow" "Melek is father" or "my father is king" Abel Mizraim = "meadow of Egypt" field of copts (adversaries) fertileness of Egypt, to go early, depart early ,Naamathite = see Naamah "pleasantness"
     Then answered Sophar the Naamathite, and said: For the same cause do my thoughts compel me to answer. And why? My mind is tossed here and there. I have sufficiently heard your checking and reproof, therefore am I purposed to make answer after mine own understanding. Know you not this, namely: that from the beginning (ever since the creation of man upon the earth) the praise of the ungodly has been short, and that the joy of the Hypocrites continued but the twinkling of an eye? though he be magnified up to the heaven, so that his head reaches into the clouds: yet he perish at the last like dung: In so much that they which have seen him, say: Where is he? He vanishes as a dream, so that he can no more be found, and passes away as a vision in the night. So that the eye which saw him before, gets now no sight of him, and his place knows him no more. His children go a begging, their hands bring them to sorrow and heaviness.
     From his youth his bones are full of vice, which shall lay down with him in the earth. When wickedness is sweet in his mouth, he hides it under his tongue. That he favoreth, that he will not forsake, but keeps it close in his throat. The meat that he eats, shall be turned to the poison of serpents, within his body. The riches that he devours, shall he perbrake (vomit) again, for God will draw them out of his belly, he shall suck the serpents head, and the adders tongue shall slay him: so that he shall no more see the rivers, and brooks of honey and butter: But labor shall he, and yet have nothing to eat. Great travail shall he make for riches, but he shall not enjoy them. And why? he has oppressed the poor, and not helped them: houses has he spoiled, and not builded them. His belly could never be filled, therefore shall he perish in his covetness. He devoured so greedily, that he left nothing behind, therefore his goods shall not prosper. though he had plenteousness of everything, yet he was poor, and therefore he is but a wretch on every side.
     For the wicked have never so much to fill his belly, yet God shall send his wrath upon him, and cause his battle to rain over him: so that if he flee the iron weapons, he shall be shot with a steel bow. The arrow shall be taken forth, and go out at his back, and a glittering sword through the gall of him, fear shall come upon him. There shall no darkness be able to hide him. And unkindled fire shall consume him, and look what remains in his house, it shall be destroyed. The heaven shall declare his wickedness, and the earth take part against him. The substance that he has in his house, shall be taken away and perish, in the day of the Lords wrath. This is the portion that the wicked shall have of God, and the heritage that he may look for of the Lord.

The 21st Chapter
     Job answered, and said: O' hear my words, and amend yourselves. Allow me a little, that I may speak also, and then laugh my words to scorn, if you will. Is it with a man, that I make this disputation? Which if it were so, should not my spirit be in sore trouble? Mark me well, be abashed, and lay your hand upon your mouth. For when I ponder and consider this, I am afraid, and my flesh is smitten with fear. Wherefore do wicked men live in health and prosper, come to their old age, and increase in riches? Their childrens children live in their sight, and their generation before their eyes. Their houses are safe from all fear, for the rod of God does not smite them. Their bullock genders, and that not out of time: their cow calves, and is not unfruitful.
     They send forth their children by flocks, and their sons lead the dance. They bare with them taberetts and harps, and have instruments of music at their pleasure. They spend their days in wealthiness: but suddenly they go down to hell. They say unto God: go from us, we desire not the knowledge of your ways. What manner of fellow is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What profit should we have, to submit our selves unto him? Lo, there is utterly no goodness in them, therefore will not I have to do with the counsel of the ungodly. How often shall the candle of the wicked put out? How often comes their destruction upon them? Oh what sorrow shall God give them for their part in his wrath. Yes they shall be even as chaff before the wind, and as dust that the storm carries away.
     And though God save their children from such sorrow, yet will he so reward themselves, that they shall know it. Their own destruction and misery shall they see with their own eyes, and drink of the fearful wrath of the Almighty. For what cares he, what be come of his household after his death? Whose months pass away swifter than an arrow. In as much then as God has the highest power of all, who can teach him any knowledge? One dies now when he is mighty and at his best, rich, and in prosperity: even when his bowels are at the fattest, and his bones full of merry. An other dies in sorrow and heaviness, and never had good days. Now sleep they both alike in the earth, and the worms cover them. But I know what you think, yes and what you imagine against me unrighteously. For you say: Where is the Princes palace? where is the dwelling of the ungodly: Ask any man that goes by the way, and (if you will not regard their tokens and deeds) he shall tell you, that the wicked is kept unto the day of destruction, and that the ungodly shall be brought forth in the day of wrath. Who dare reprove him for his ways to his face? Who rewards him for the ungraciousness that he doth? Yet shall he be brought to his grave, and watch among the heap of the dead. Then shall he be *faine (willing/ obliged) to be buried among the stones by the brook side. All men must follow him, and there are innumerable gone before him. O how vain is the comfort that you give me? Are not your answers clean contrary to right and truth?

The 22nd Chapter
     So Eliphas the Themanite gave answer, and said: May a man be compared unto God in wisdom, though he seem to himself, for to be like him? What pleasure has God in that you are righteous? Or what does it profit him, that your ways are perfect? Is he afraid to reprove you, and to step forth with you in to judgement? Comes not this for that great wickedness, and for your ungracious deeds which are innumerable? You have taken the pledge from your brethren for nought, and robbed the naked of their clothing: To such as were weary, you have given no water to drink, you have withdrawn bread from the hungry: Should such one then as uses violence, wrong and oppression (doing all things of parcialite, and having respect of persons) dwell in the land? You have sent the widows away empty and oppressed the poor fatherless.
     Therefore are you compassed about with snares on every side, and suddenly vexed with fear. Should you then see no darkness? Should not then the water flood run over you? Now because that God is higher then the heavens, and because you see the stars are so high, will you therefore say: Tush, how should God know? does his dominion reach beyond the clouds? Tush the clouds cover him that he may not see, for he dwells in heaven. Well, you will keep the old way, that all wicked men have gone: both old an young, whose foundation is a running water, which says unto God: go from us, and after this manner: Tush what will the Almighty do unto us? where as he (notwithstanding) fills their houses with all good. Which meaning of the ungodly be far from me. For with joy shall the godly, and with gladness shall the innocent see, that their increase shall be hewn down, and their prosperity consumed with fire.
     Therefore reconcile you unto God, and be content, so shall all things prosper with you rightwell. Receive the law at his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. For if you will turn to the Almighty, you shall stand fast, and all unrighteousness shall be far from your dwelling: He shall give you an harvest, which in plenty and abundance shall exceed the dust of the earth, and the gold of Ophir like river stones. Yes the Almighty his own self shall be your harvest, and the heap of your money. Then shall you have your delight in the Almighty, and lift up your face unto God. Then shall you make your prayer unto him, and he shall hear you, and you shall keep your promises. Then look what you take in hand, he shall make it to prosper with you, and the light shall shine in your ways. For who so humbles himself, him shall he set up: and who so looks meekly, shall be healed. If you be innocent, he shall save you: and through the unguiltyness of your hands shall you be delivered.

CONTINUE

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