The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
And Eliu spoke on:
A word for the wise; listen, you that are the world’s sages;
for food, the discerning palate, for wisdom, the discerning ear.
Award we must give, this way or that; of two ways we must choose the better.
Here is Job telling us that he is innocent, that God denies him his rights,
judges him falsely, and plies him with punishment undeserved.
Are there many such, many that thirst so greedily for the opportunity to cavil?
What is this but to take part with wrong-doers, range himself among the impious,
when he complains that there is no pleasing God, however ready a man is to do his will?
Listen to me, then, discerning hearts! From God, the Almighty, far removed is all wickedness, is every thought of wrong;
he treats men only as they deserve, giving due reward to each.
What, should Almighty God pervert justice by condemning the innocent?
Is the care of the wide earth entrusted to some other; is not the maker of the world himself the world’s judge?
He has but to turn his thought towards men, reclaiming the spirit he once breathed into them,
and all life would fail everywhere; mankind would return to its dust.
Is Job wise? Then let him listen to these words of mine, heed well my warning.
Can there be healing,✻ where there is no love of right? Wouldst thou find fault with him whose justice runs so deep?
He it is that says Traitor to a crowned king, and finds princes themselves guilty of rebellion.
Nothing cares he for royal dignity, nor takes the oppressor’s part against the friendless; are not all alike his creatures?
Suddenly death falls; there is a stir among the people at midnight, and they pass by to see the tyrant carried out, and yet no hand laid on him!✻
Still God’s eye watches over men, whatever they do, wherever they take their path;
darkness is none, though it were the shadow of death itself, that can hide the wrong-doer;
not at a time of his own choosing man meets God in judgement.
A whole world of men he will destroy, and put others in their place;
weary of their ill deeds, he bids darkness fall, and there is an end of them.
In some place where many triumph at the sight, he beats down the rebels✻
that hitherto of set purpose defied him, recked nothing of his commandments,
till at last the despairing cry of poor folk unbefriended reached his ears.
So long as he grants prosperity, redress there is none; it is when he frowns upon man or nation that no eye can meet him.
Yet for a people’s sins, he will appoint a false-hearted king to rule them.
Such is the testimony I give to God; now let us hear thine;
shew me my error, and if thou canst prove that I have spoken amiss, I will speak no more.
Perhaps thou thinkest it part of the punishment God asks of thee, hearing what it pains thee to hear? But it was thou, not I, wert the first to speak. If thou hast better advice to offer, say on.✻
O for wise tongues to speak, for discerning ears to listen to me!
This Job has spoken as fools do; no word of his that echoes true doctrine!
Father,✻ let Job be tried still, tried to the uttermost; have no patience with a man so perverse,
that sets a crown on his sins by blasphemy! For a while, let us see all ease denied him; and let him cite God to judgement if he will!
The Holy Bible