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The Book of Job

From the Hebrew Job means “hated and oppressed”

(Part Three)


The 23rd Chapter
     Job answered, and said: My saying is yet this day in bitterness, and my hand heavy among my groanings. O' that I might see him and find him: O' that I might come before his seat, to plead my cause before him, and to fill my mouth with arguments: That I might know, what answer he would give me: and that I might understand, what he would say unto me. Will he plead against me with his great power and strength, or will he lean himself utterly upon me? Oh no, let him not do so with me. But let him give me like power to go to the law, then am I sure to win my matter. For though I go before, I find him not: If I come behind, I can get no knowledge of him: If I go on the left side to ponder his works, I can not attain unto them. Again, if I go on the right side, he hides himself, that I can not see him. But as for my way, he knows it: and trys me as the gold in the fire.
     Nevertheless my feet keep his path, his high street have I holden, and not gone out of it. I have not forsaken the commandment of his lips, but look what he charged me with his mouth, that I have shut up in my heart. It is he him self alone, who will turn him back? He does as him listeth, and brings to pass what he will. He rewards me in to my bosom, and many things more does he, as he may by his power. This is the cause, that I shrink at his presence, so that when I consider him, I am afraid of him. For in so much as he is God, he makes my heart soft: and seeing that he is Almighty, he puts me in fear. Thus I can not get out of darkness, the cloud has so covered my face.

The 24th Chapter
     Considering then that there is no time hid from the Almighty, how happens it, that they which know him, will not regard his days? For some men there be, that remove other mens landmarks: that rob them of their castle, and keep the same for their own: that drive away the ass of the fatherless: that take the widows ox for a pledge: that thrust the poor out of the way, and oppress the simple of the world together. Behold, the wild asses in the desert go by times, as their manner is, to spoil: Yes the very wilderness ministers food for their children. They reap the corn field that is not their own: and gather the grapes out of his vineyard, whom they have oppressed by violence. They are the cause that so many men are naked and bare, having no clothes to cover them and to keep them from the cold: So that when the showers in the mountains have rained upon them, and they be all wet, they have none other succour, but to keep them among the rocks.
     They spoil the sucking fatherless children, and put the poor in prison: In so much that they let them go naked without clothing, and yet the hungry bear the sheaves. The poor are faine (obliged) to labor in their oil mills, yes and to tread in their wine presses, and yet to suffer thirst. The whole city crys unto the Lord with sighing, the souls of the slayen make their complaint: But God destroys them not for all this, where as they (notwithstanding) are rebellious and disobedient enemies: which seek not his light and way, nor turn again in to his path. Timely in the morning do they arise, to murder the simple and poor, and in the night they go a stealing.
     The eye of the ungodly is like the *advouterer, that waits for the darkness, and says thus in him self: Tush, there shall no man see me, and so he disguises his face. In the night season they search the houses, and hide themselves in the day time, but will not know the light. For as soon as the day breaks, the shadow of death comes upon them, and they go in horrible darkness. The ungodly is very swift: O that his portion on earth were swifter than the running water, which allows not the shipman to behold the fair and pleasant vineyards. O that they (for that wickedness which they have done) were drawn into the hell, sooner than snow melts with the heat. O that all compassion upon them were forgotten: that their dainties were worms, that they were clean put out of remembrance, and utterly hewn down like an unfruitful tree. For they maintain the barren, and make them that they cannot bare, and unto widows they do no good. They pluck down the mighty with their power, and when they themselves are gotten up, they are never without fear, as long as they live. And though they might be safe, yet they will not receive it, for their eyes look upon their own ways. They are exalted for a little, but shortly are they gone, brought to extreme poverty, and taken out of the way: yes and utterly plucked off, as the ears of corn. Is it not so? Who will then reprove me as a liar? and say that my words are nothing worth? *advouterer: prefix "a" meaning not or without, devout: devotion; plain hearted to God see James 2 for adultery

The 25th Chapter
     Baldad = "confusing (by mingling) love" Shuhite = "wealth"
     Then answered Baldad the Suhite, and said: Power and fear is with him above, that makes peace, sitting in his highness, whose men of war are innumerable, and whose light arises over all. But how may a man compared unto God be justified? Or, how can he be clean, that is born of a woman? Behold, the Moon shines nothing in comparison to him, and the stars are unclean in his sight. How much more then man, that is but corruption: and the son of man, which is but a worm?

The 26th Chapter
     Job answered, and said: O how helped you the weak? what comfort give you unto him that has no strength? Where is that counsel that you should give him, which has no wisdom? Will you so show your excellent righteousness? Before whom have you spoken those words? Who made the breath to come out of that mouth: The giants and worthies that are slayen, and lay under the world with their companions: yes and all they that dwell beneath in the hell are not hid from him, and that very destruction it self can not be kept out of his sight. He stretches out the north over the empty, and hangs the earth upon nothing. He binds the water in his clouds, that they fall not down together. He holds back his *stoule, that it can not be seen, and spreads his clouds before it. *stoule = stole; robe, covering and in the Hebrew "clouds" are destruction.
     He has compassed the waters with certain bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The very pillars of heaven tremble and quake at his reproof. He fills the sea with his power, and through his wisdom he has set forth the world. With his spirit he has garnished the heavens, and with his hand has he wounded the rebellious serpent. This is now a short sum of his doings. But who is able to sufficiently rehearse his works? Who can perceive and understand the thunder of his power.

The 27th Chapter
     And Job proceeded a went forth in his communication saying: As truly as God lives (which has taken away my power from me) and the Almighty, that has vexed my mind: My lips shall talk of no vanity, and my tongue shall speak no deceit, while my breath is in me, and as long as the wind (that God has given me) is in my nostrils.
     God forbid, that I should grant your cause to be right. As for me, until mine end come will I never go from my innocency. My righteous dealings shall I keep fast, which I will not forsake: my heart shall not reprove me of my days. Therefore mine enemy shall be found as ungodly, and he that takes part against me, as the unrighteous. What hope has the hypocrite, though he have great good, and though God give him riches after his hearts desire? does Gog hear him the sooner, when he crys unto him in his necessity? Has he such pleasure and delight in the Almighty, that he dare call upon God? I will teach you in the name of God? and the thing that I have of the Almighty, will I not keep from you. Behold, you stand in your own conceit, as though you knew all things. Wherefore then do you go about with such vain words saying: This is that portion that the wicked shall have of God, and the heritage that the Tyrants shall receive of the Almighty. If he get many children, they shall perish with the sword, and his posterity shall have scarceness of bread. Look whom he leaves behind him, they shall die and be buried, and no man shall pity of his widows. though he have as much money as the dust of the earth, and raiment as ready as the clay, he may well prepare it: but the godly shall put it upon him, and the innocent shall deal out the money. His house shall endure as the moth, and as a booth (tent) that the watchman makes. When the rich man dies, he carries nothing with him: he is gone in the twinkling of an eye. Destruction takes hold upon him as the water flood, and the tempest steals him away in the night season. A vehement wind carries him from here, now, and departs: a storm plucks him out of his place. It rushes in upon him, and spares him not, he may not escape the power thereof. Then clap men their hands at him, yes and jest of him, when they look upon his place.

The 28th Chapter
     There are places were silver is molten, and where gold is tried: where iron is digged out of the ground, and stones are resolved to metal. The darkness shall once come to an end, he can seek out the ground of all things: the stones, the dark, and the horrible shadow. With the river of water parts he asunder the strange people, That knows no good neighbor head: such as are rude, unmannerly and boisterous: He brings food out of the earth, and that which is under, consumes he with fire. There is found a place, whose stones are clean Sapphires, and where the clots of the are gold. There is a way also that the birds know not, that no vultures eye has seen: wherein the proud and high minded walk not, and where no lion comes. There puts he his hand upon the stoney rocks, and over throws the mountains. Rivers flow out of the rocks, and look what is pleasant, his eye sees it. Out of the rocks brings he great floods together, and the thing that is hid brings he to light. How comes a man then by wisdom? Where is the place where men find understanding? Verily no man can tell how worthy a thing she is, neither is she found in the land of the living. The deep says: she is not in me. The sea says: she is not with me. She cannot be gotten for the most fine gold, neither may the price of her be bought with any money. No wedges of the gold of Ophir, no precious Onyx stones, no Sapphire may be compared unto her. No, neither gold nor Crystal, neither sweet odors nor golden plate. There is nothing so worthy, or so excellent, as once to be named unto her: for perfect wisdom goes far beyond them all. The Topaz that comes out of Inde, may no wise be likened unto her: yes no manner of apparel how pleasant and fair soever it be.
     From where then comes wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? She is hid from the eyes of all men, yes and from the fouls of the air. Destruction and death say: We have heard tell of her with our ears. But God sees her way, and knows her place. For he holds the ends of the world and looks upon all that is under heaven. When he weighed the winds, and measured the waters: When he set the rain in order, and gave the mighty floods a law. Then did he see her, then declared he her, prepared her and knew her. And unto man he said: Behold, to fear the Lord, is wisdom: and to forsake evil, is understanding.

The 29th Chapter
     So Job proceeded and went forth in his communication, saying: Oh that I were as I was in the months by past, and in the days when God preserved me: When his light shined upon my head: by I went after the same light and shining even through the darkness. As it stood with me, when I was wealthy and had enough: when God prospered my house: When the Almighty was with me: when my household flocks stood about me: When my ways ran over with butter, and when the stony rocks gave me rivers of oil: When I went through the city unto the gate, and when they set me a chair in the street: When the young men (as soon as they saw me) hid themselves, when the Princes left of their talking, and laid their hand to their mouth: when the mighty keep still their voice, and when their tongues cleaved to the roof of their mouths. When all they that heard me, called me happy: and when all they that saw me, wished me good. For I delivered the poor when he cried, and the fatherless that wanted help. He that should have been lost, gave me a good word, and the widows heart praised me. And why? I put upon me righteousness, which covered me as a garment, and equity was my crown. I was an eye unto the blind, and a foot to the lame, I was a father unto the poor, and when I knew not their cause, I sought it out diligently. I brake the *chafes (annoyance, vexation) of the unrighteous, and plucked the spoil out of their teeth.
     Therefore, I thought verily, that I should have died in my nest: and that my days should have been as many as the sands of the sea. For my root was spread out by the water side, and the dew lay upon my corn. My honor increased more and more, and my bow was ever stronger in my hand. Unto me men gave ear, me they regarded, and with silence they tarried for my counsel. If I had spoken, they would have it none other ways, my words were so well taken among them. They waited for me, as the does for the rain: and gaped upon me, as the does to receive the latter shower. When I laughed, they knew well it was not in earnest: and this testimony of my countenance pleased them nothing at all. When I was chief, and sat as a king among his servants: Or as one that comforts such as be in heaviness.

The 30th Chapter
     But now they that are mine inferiors and younger then I, have me in derision: yes even they, whose fathers I would have thought scorn to have set with the dogs of my cattle. The power and strength of their hands might do me no good, and as for their age, it is spent and past away without any profit. For very misery and hunger, they went about in the wilderness like wretches and beggars, plucking up herbs from among the bushes, and the Junipers root was their meat. And when they were driven forth, men cried after them, as it had been after a thief. Their dwelling was beside foul brooks, yes even in the caves and dens of the earth. Upon the dry *heath (low shrubs and brush) went they about crying, and in the broom hills they gathered them together. They were children of fools and villains, which are dead away from the world. Now am I their song, and am become their jesting stock: they abhor me, they flee far from me, and stain my face with spit, for the lord has opened his quiver, he has hit me and put a bridle in my mouth. Upon my right hand they rose together against me, they have hurt my feet, made a way to destroy me, and my path have they clean marred. It was so easy for them to do me harm, that they needed no man to help them. They fell upon me, as it had been the breaking in of waters, and came in by heaps to destroy me. Fearfulness has turned against me.
     Mine honor vanishes away more swiftly than wind, and my prosperity departs from here, now like as it were a cloud. Therefore is my mind poured full of heaviness, and the days of trouble have taken hold upon me. My bones are pierced through in the night season, and my sinews take no rest. With all their power have they changed my garment, and girded me therewith, as it were with a coat. I am even as it were clay, and am become like ashes and dust. I cry unto you, you do not hear me: and though I stand before you, yet you regard me not. You are become mine enemy, and with your violent hand you take part against me. In times past you did set me up on high, as it were above the wind, but now have you given me a very sore fall. Sure I am, that you will deliver me unto death: whereas a lodging is prepared for all men living. Now use not me to do violence unto them, that are destroyed already: but where hurt is done, there use they to help. Did I not weep in the time of trouble? Had not my soul com passion upon the poor? Yet nevertheless where as I looked for good, evil happened unto me: and where as I waited for light, there came darkness. My bowels sees within me, and take no rest, for the days of my trouble are come upon me. Meekly and lowly I came in, yes and without any displeasure: I stood up in the congregation, and communed with them. But now I am a companion of dragons, and a fellow of the Ostriches. My skin upon me is turned to black, and my bones are burnt with heat: my harp is turned to sorrow, and my pipe to weeping.

The 31st Chapter
     I made a covenant with mine eyes, that I would not look upon a damsel. For how great a portion shall I have of God from above? and what inheritance from the almighty from on high? As for the ungodly and he that joins himself to the company of wicked doers shall not destruction and misery come upon him? does not he see my ways, and tell all my goings. If I have cleaved unto vanity, or if my feet have run to deceive: Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may see my innocency. If so be that I have withdrawn my foot out of the right way, if my heart has followed mine eyesight, if I have stained or defiled mine hands: O' then is it reason that I sow, and another eat, yes that my generation and posterity be clean rooted out. If mine heart has *lusted after my neighbors wife, (kjv = been deceived by a woman) or if I have laid wait at his door. O' then let my wife *be another mans harlot and let other lie with her. (kjv = grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.) For this is a wickedness and sin, that is worthy to be punished, yes and a fire that utterly shall consume, and root out all my substance. Did I ever think scorn to do right unto my servants and maidens, when they had any matter against me. But seeing that God will sit in judgement what shall I do? And for so much as he will needs visit me, what answer shall I give him? He that did fashion me in my mothers womb, made he not him also? were we not both shaped alike in our mothers bodies? When the poor desires anything at me, have I denied them? Have I caused the widow stand waiting for me in vain? Have I eaten my portion alone, that the fatherless has had no part with me? For mercy grew up with me from my youth, and compassion from my mothers womb. Have I seen any man perish through nakedness and want of clothing? Or any poor man for lack of raiment, whose sides thanked me not, because he was warmed with the wool of my sheep?
     Did I ever lifted up my hand to hurt the fatherless? Yee in the gates where I saw myself to be in authority: then let mine arm fall from my shoulder, and mine arm holes be broken from the joints. For I have ever feared the vengeance and punishment of God, and knew very well, that I was not able to bear his burden. Have I put my trust in gold? Or have I said to the finest gold of all: you are my confidence? Have I rejoiced because my substance was great, and because my hand got so much? Did I ever greatly regard the rising of the son? Or had I the going down of the moon in great reputation? Has my heart meddled privately with any deceit? Or, did I ever kiss mine own hand? That were a wickedness worth to be punished, for then should I have denied the God that was above. Have I ever rejoiced at the hurt of mine enemy? Or was I ever glad, that any harm happened to him? Oh no . I never allowed my mouth to do such a sin, as to wish him evil. Yet they of mine own household say: who shall let us to have our belly full of his flesh? I have not allowed a stranger to lay without, but opened my doors unto him. Have I ever done any wicked deed where through I shamed myself before men: or any abomination, that I was *faine (obliged/ willing) to hide it? For if I had feared any great multitude of people: or if I had been despised of the simple, O' then I should have been afraid. Thus I have quietly spent my life, and not gone out at the door. O' that I had one which did hear me. Lo, this is my cause. Let the almighty give me answer: and let him that is my contrary party , sue me with libel. Then shall I take it upon my shoulder, and as a garland about my head. I have told the number of my goings, and delivered them unto him as to a Prince. But if cause be that my land cry against me, or that the furrows thereof make any complaint: if I have eaten the fruits thereof unpaid for, yes if I have grieved any of the plowmen: then let thistles grow instead of my wheat, and thorns for my barley.

Here end the words of Job

The 32nd Chapter
     So these three men would strive no more with Job, because he held himself a righteous man. (kjv =in his own eyes) But Eliu the son of Barachell the Bussite of the kindred of Ram, was very sore displeased at Job, that he called him self just before God. And with Jobs three friends he was angry also, because they had found no reasonable answer to over come him. Now tarried Eliu till they had ended their communication with Job, for why they were elder than he. So when Eliu the son of Barachell the Bussite saw, that these three men were not able to make Job answer, he was miscontent: so that he gave answer himself, and said: Considering, that I am young, and you be men of age, I was afraid, and durst not show forth my mind, for I thought thus within myself: It becomes old men to speak, and the aged to teach wisdom. Every man (no doubt) has a mind, but it is the inspiration of the Almighty that gives understanding. All men are not wise, neither does every aged man understand the thing that is lawful. Therefore will I speak also (in so far as I may be heard) and will show you mine opinion. For when I had waited till you made an end of your talking, and heard your wisdom, what arguments you made in your communication: Yes when I had diligently pondered what you said, I found not one of you that made any good argument against Job, or that could directly make answer unto his words: least you should praise yourselves, to have found out wisdom: because it is God that has cast him out, and no man. Nevertheless, seeing that he has not spoken unto me, therefore will I not answer him as you have done (for they where abashed that they could not make answer, nor speak one word) but in so much as you will not speak, standing still like dumb men, and making no answer: I have a good hope to snap him an answer, and to show him my meaning. For I am full of words, and the spirit that is within me, compels me.
     Behold I am as the new wine, which has no vent, and bursts the new vessels asunder. Therefore will I speak, that I may have vent: I will open my lips, and make answer. I will regard no manner of person, no man will I spare for if I would go about to please men, I know not how soon my maker would take me away.

The 33rd Chapter
     Wherefore hear my words (O' Job) and hearken to me all, that I will say: Behold, I will open my mouth, and my tongue shall speak out of my jaws. My heart shall order my words aright, and my lips shall talk of pure wisdom. The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the almighty has given me life. If you can, then give me answer: prepare yourself to stand before me face to face. Behold, before God am I, even as you, for I am fashioned and made even of the same mould. Therefore, you need not be afraid of me, neither need you to fear, that may authority , shall be too heavy for you. Now have you spoken in mine ears, and I have heard the voice of your words: I am clean without any fault, I am innocent, and there is no wickedness in me. But lo, he has picked a quarrel against me, and takes me for his enemy: He has put my feet in the stocks, and looks narrowly unto all my paths. Behold, unto these unreasonable words of thin will I make answer.
     Should God be reproved of man? Why do you strive against him? because he gives you no *accomptes (acceptable accounts) of all his doings? For when God does once command a thing there should no man be curious, to search whether it be right. In dreams and visions of the night season When slumbering comes upon men, that they fall asleep in their beds ) he rounds them in the ears, he informs them, and shows them plainly, that it is he, which withdraws man from evil, delivers him from pride, keeps his soul from destruction, and his life from the sword. He chastens him with sickness, and brings him to his bed: he lays sore punishment upon his bones, so that his life may away with no bread, and his soul abhors to eat any dainty meat. In so much that his body is clean consumed away, and his bones appear no more. His soul draws onto destruction, and his life to death. Now if there be a messenger (one among a thousand) sent for to speak unto man, and to show him the right way: then the Lord is merciful unto him, and says: He shall be delivered, that he fall not down to destruction, for I am sufficiently reconciled. Then his flesh (which has been in misery and trouble) shall be as it was in his youth. For if he submit himself unto God, he is gracious, and shows him his countenance joyfully, and rewards man for his righteousness. Such a respect has he unto men. Therefore let a man confess (and say) I offended, but he has chastened and reformed me: I did unrighteously nevertheless he has not recompensed me thereafter. Yes he has delivered my soul from destruction, and my life, that it sees the light. Lo, thus works God always with man, that he keeps his soul from perishing, and lets him enjoy the light of living. Mark well (O' Job) and hear me: hold you still until I have spoken. But if you have anything to say, then answer me, and speak. fro your answer pleases me. If you have nothing, then hear me, and hold your tongue, so shall I teach you wisdom. *accomptes; appears to be an original compound word which was latter divide into two words: acceptable / accounts /accomplishments.

CONTINUE

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