I Maintain the Rightness of My Cause.[a] 1 Job then continued his discourse:
2 “I swear by the living God who has denied me justice,
and by the Almighty who has filled my soul with bitterness,
3 that as long as I have a shred of life remaining in me
and the breath of God is in my nostrils,
4 never will my lips utter falsehood,
nor will my tongue be guilty of deceit.
5 “Never will I concede that you[b] are right;
until death I will not renounce my innocence.
6 I maintain the rightness of my cause;
my conscience does not reproach me for the life I have led.
7 “Let my enemy meet the fate of the wicked
and my adversary face the doom of the unjust.
8 For what hope does a godless man have when he is cut off,
when God takes away his life?
9 Will God pay heed to his cry
when disaster comes upon him?
10 Will he then take delight in the Almighty
and call upon him at all times?
11 “I will teach you about the power of God;
I will not conceal the designs of the Almighty.
12 Yet all of you have seen it yourselves;
how then can you waste your time with idle words?”
Zophar’s Third Speech[c]
The Law of the Violent
13 “This is the fate that God allots for the wicked man,
the inheritance that the violent receive from the Almighty.
14 Though numerous, his children are destined for the sword,
and his descendants will never have enough to eat.
15 His survivors will perish as a result of pestilence,
and their widows will not mourn for them.
16 “Even though he amasses silver like dust
and piles up clothes like clay,
17 it is the righteous who will wear those clothes
and the innocent who will divide the silver.
18 The house he builds is as flimsy as a cobweb
or like a shack that shelters the watchman.
19 He goes to bed a man of wealth for the final time;
he opens his eyes to find that it is all gone.
20 “By day terror overtakes him,
and at night a whirlwind carries him away.
21 An east wind seizes him and he is gone;
it sweeps him far away from his home.[d]
22 It assails him without pity,
and he flees from its force that menaces him.
23 His downfall is acclaimed with joy,
and he is derided wherever he may be.
- Job 27:1 Job gives a moving and energetic protest of his innocence, calling God as a witness. Going beyond the framework of the protest, the text describes the silence of God with which the man who has turned away from him will one day have to cope.
- Job 27:5 You: this word is plural in the original, indicating that Job is now speaking to his three friends as a group.
- Job 27:13 Despite its location here, this passage does not seem attributable to Job. It fits better with Zophar’s thinking because it picks up an idea he has already developed in his second speech: the punishment of the wicked (see Job 20:29); it fits rather well with Job 24:18-25.
- Job 27:21 See note on Job 15:2.