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Pain in suffering
Job 2:11 - Job 4:21

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Bible Passage

Job 2:11–4:21 (Listen)

Job's Three Friends

11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

Job Laments His Birth

3:1 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said:

  “Let the day perish on which I was born,
    and the night that said,
    ‘A man is conceived.’
  Let that day be darkness!
    May God above not seek it,
    nor light shine upon it.
  Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
    Let clouds dwell upon it;
    let the blackness of the day terrify it.
  That night—let thick darkness seize it!
    Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
    let it not come into the number of the months.
  Behold, let that night be barren;
    let no joyful cry enter it.
  Let those curse it who curse the day,
    who are ready to rouse up Leviathan.
  Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
    let it hope for light, but have none,
    nor see the eyelids of the morning,
10   because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb,
    nor hide trouble from my eyes.
11   “Why did I not die at birth,
    come out from the womb and expire?
12   Why did the knees receive me?
    Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
13   For then I would have lain down and been quiet;
    I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
14   with kings and counselors of the earth
    who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15   or with princes who had gold,
    who filled their houses with silver.
16   Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,
    as infants who never see the light?
17   There the wicked cease from troubling,
    and there the weary are at rest.
18   There the prisoners are at ease together;
    they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
19   The small and the great are there,
    and the slave is free from his master.
20   “Why is light given to him who is in misery,
    and life to the bitter in soul,
21   who long for death, but it comes not,
    and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22   who rejoice exceedingly
    and are glad when they find the grave?
23   Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
    whom God has hedged in?
24   For my sighing comes instead of1 my bread,
    and my groanings are poured out like water.
25   For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
    and what I dread befalls me.
26   I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
    I have no rest, but trouble comes.”

Eliphaz Speaks: The Innocent Prosper

4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

  “If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
    Yet who can keep from speaking?
  Behold, you have instructed many,
    and you have strengthened the weak hands.
  Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
    and you have made firm the feeble knees.
  But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
    it touches you, and you are dismayed.
  Is not your fear of God2 your confidence,
    and the integrity of your ways your hope?
  “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
    Or where were the upright cut off?
  As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
    and sow trouble reap the same.
  By the breath of God they perish,
    and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
10   The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
    the teeth of the young lions are broken.
11   The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
    and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
12   “Now a word was brought to me stealthily;
    my ear received the whisper of it.
13   Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
14   dread came upon me, and trembling,
    which made all my bones shake.
15   A spirit glided past my face;
    the hair of my flesh stood up.
16   It stood still,
    but I could not discern its appearance.
  A form was before my eyes;
    there was silence, then I heard a voice:
17   ‘Can mortal man be in the right before3 God?
    Can a man be pure before his Maker?
18   Even in his servants he puts no trust,
    and his angels he charges with error;
19   how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
    whose foundation is in the dust,
    who are crushed like4 the moth.
20   Between morning and evening they are beaten to pieces;
    they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
21   Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them,
    do they not die, and that without wisdom?’

Footnotes

[1] 3:24 Or like; Hebrew before
[2] 4:6 Hebrew lacks of God
[3] 4:17 Or more than; twice in this verse
[4] 4:19 Or before

(ESV)