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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 19


Then Job answered and said:


How long will you vex my soul, grind me down with words?


These ten times you have reviled me, have assailed me without shame!


Be it indeed that I am at fault and that my fault remains with me,


Even so, if you would vaunt yourselves against me and cast up to me any reproach,


Know then that God has dealt unfairly with me, and compassed me round with his net.


If I cry out "Injustice!" I am not heard. I cry for help, but there is no redress.


He has barred my way and I cannot pass; he has veiled my path in darkness;


He has stripped me of my glory, and taken the diadem from my brow.


He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; my hope he has uprooted like a tree.


His wrath he has kindled against me; he counts me among his enemies.


His troops advance as one man; they build up their road to attack me, and they encamp around my tent.


My brethren have withdrawn from me, and my friends are wholly estranged.


My kinsfolk and companions neglect me, and my guests have forgotten me.


Even my handmaids treat me as a stranger; I am an alien in their sight.


I call my servant, but he gives no answer, though in my speech I plead with him.


My breath is abhorred by my wife; I am loathsome to the men of my family.


The young children, too, despise me; when I appear, they speak against me.


All my intimate friends hold me in horror; those whom I loved have turned against me!


1 My bones cleave to my skin, and I have escaped with my flesh between my teeth.


Pity me, pity me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has struck me!


2 Why do you hound me as though you were divine, and insatiably prey upon me?


3 Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record:


That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever!


4 But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;


And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.


Whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him,


But you who say, "How shall we persecute him, seeing that the root of the matter is found in him?"


Be afraid of the sword for yourselves, for these crimes deserve the sword; that you may know that there is a judgment.



1 [20] With my flesh between my teeth: meaning perhaps that Job has been reduced to such an extremity that he scarcely has thin lips over his teeth. But the current Hebrew text of this line is probably corrupt.

2 [22] Divine: possessing God's attributes of judgment and authority to punish.

3 [23-24] Job regards what he is about to say as so important that he wishes it recorded in a permanent manner.

4 [25, 27] The meaning of this passage is obscure because the original text has been poorly preserved and the ancient versions do not agree among themselves. It is certain that Job expresses his belief in a future vindication by God (called here in the Hebrew "Goel"), but the time and manner of this vindication are undefined. In the Vulgate Job is made to indicate a belief in physical resurrection after death, but the Hebrew and the other ancient versions are less specific.

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