The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
Listen, then, Job, to my remonstrances, and hear me out;
flows my speech free, tongue and throat are loosed;
here be plain words, uttered in all honesty.
A creature I; God’s spirit made me, the breath of omnipotence woke me to life;
if answer thou hast, thou canst meet me fearlessly,
since God made us both, and we were fashioned of one clay;
here are no terrors to daunt thee, no threats to overbear thee.
Openly thou hast said, with my own ears to witness it,
Innocent though I be of all wrong, free from the stain of guilt,
God has picked a quarrel with me; that is the reason, and no other, why he treats me as an enemy,
holds me so close a prisoner, and watches me wherever I go.
But there is no substance in thy plea; I tell thee, man cannot be matched with God.
What, wouldst thou complain that he does not meet these charges of thine?
Know, then, that God warns us once, but does not repeat his warning.✻
Sometimes in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men as they lie abed,
he speaks words of revelation, to teach them the lesson they need.
This is one means by which he will turn a man away from his designs, purge him of his pride;
and so the grave is disappointed, the sword misses its prey.
Or else he will use the pains of the sick-bed for a man’s correction, and leave his whole frame wasted with disease.
Evil days, when he sickens at the thought of food, of all the dainties he once loved so well;
when the flesh pines and the bones have nought to cover them,
when death encroaches on life, and the powers of darkness daunt his spirits!
Then it is an angel’s✻ task, as many angels there be, to interpret his need, and shew him where man’s good lies;
and the word of mercy will be spoken, Let be, the grave is not for him; I have found the secret of his ransoming;✻
enough, now, torment has racked him, let him return to the vigour of his youth!
So, God’s pardon wooed and won, the sick man stands in his presence once more, all thankfulness, restored to favour.
He turns to the bystanders and makes acknowledgement, A sinner I, no doubt but I have greatly offended, my punishment was less than I deserved!
Now God has reprieved me from death’s exile, I am to live still, and see the light.
Such mercy, not once or twice, God shews to man,
rescuing him from the grave, rekindling the lamp of life for him.
Listen to me, then, Job, and hear me out;
make answer to me, if answer thou canst, for I would fain see thee acquitted.
If answer thou hast none, listen to me in silence while I unfold the truth.✻
The Holy Bible