A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.
O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draws nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that has no strength: free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lies hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah. Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. My eye mourns by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goes over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and my acquaintance into darkness.
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.
If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;) If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.
If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul. If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied. The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller. If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?
Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him. If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley.
The words of Job are ended.
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled. And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said,
I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words: Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man. Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches. They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;) I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion. For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provokes him to anger sins against his own soul.
It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
The just man walks in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
A king that sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD has made even both of them.
Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
It is naught, it is naught, says the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasts.
There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
He that goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flatters with his lips.
Whoso curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.
Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
It is a snare to the man who devours that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.
A wise king scatters the wicked, and brings the wheel over them.
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upheld by mercy.
The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.
The blueness of a wound cleanses away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.