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The Wisdom of Israel

(Category 9 of 16)

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Zophar’s Sermon on the Wicked Man


1 Then aZophar the Naamathite answered and said:

2 “Therefore my anxious thoughts make me answer, Because of the turmoil within me.
3 I have heard the rebuke 1that reproaches me, And the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer.

4 “Do you not know this of aold, Since man was placed on earth,

CHAPTER 20 References

1 aJob 11:1
3 1Lit. of my
insulting correction
4 aJob 8:8;
5 aPs. 37:35, 36
b[Job 8:13;
13:16; 15:34;
27:8] 6 aIs. 14:13, 14
8 aPs. 73:20;
90:5 bJob
11 aJob 13:26
bJob 21:26
13 1Lit. palate
17 aPs. 36:8;
Jer. 17:8
19 1crushed
20 aEccl.
5:13–15 1Lit.
22 1Or the
wretched or

JOB 20:23

5 aThat the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a bmoment?
6 aThough his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens, And his head reaches to the clouds,
7 Yet he will perish forever like his own refuse; Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 He will fly away alike a dream, and not be found; Yes, he bwill be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye that saw him will see him no more, Nor will his place behold him anymore.
10 His children will seek the favor of the poor, And his hands will restore his wealth.
11 His bones are full of ahis youthful vigor, bBut it will lie down with him in the dust.

12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth, And he hides it under his tongue,
13 Though he spares it and does not forsake it, But still keeps it in his 1mouth,
14 Yet his food in his stomach turns sour; It becomes cobra venom within him.
15 He swallows down riches And vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly.
16 He will suck the poison of cobras; The viper’s tongue will slay him.
17 He will not see athe streams, The rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18 He will restore that for which he labored, And will not swallow it down; From the proceeds of business He will get no enjoyment.
19 For he has 1oppressed and forsaken the poor, He has violently seized a house which he did not build.

20 “Becausea he knows no quietness in his 1heart, He will not save anything he desires.
21 Nothing is left for him to eat; Therefore his well-being will not last.
22 In his self-sufficiency he will be in distress; Every hand of 1misery will come against him.
23 When he is about to fill his stomach,

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JOB 20:24

God will cast on him the fury of His wrath, And will rain it on him while he is eating.
24 aHe will flee from the iron weapon; A bronze bow will pierce him through.
25 It is drawn, and comes out of the body; Yes, athe glittering point comes out of his 1gall. bTerrors come upon him;
26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures. aAn unfanned fire will consume him; It shall go ill with him who is left in his tent.
27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity, And the earth will rise up against him.
28 The increase of his house will depart, And his goods will flow away in the day of His awrath.
29 aThis is the portion from God for a wicked man, The heritage appointed to him by God.”

Job’s Discourse on the Wicked


1 Then Job answered and said:

2 “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be your 1consolation.
3 Bear with me that I may speak, And after I have spoken, keep amocking.

4 “As for me, is my complaint against man? And if it were, why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me and be astonished; aPut your hand over your mouth.
6 Even when I remember I am terrified, And trembling takes hold of my flesh.
7 aWhy do the wicked live and become old, Yes, become mighty in power?
8 Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe from fear, aNeither is 1the rod of God upon them.
10 Their bull breeds without failure; Their cow calves awithout miscarriage.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance.
12 They sing to the tambourine and harp,

24 aIs. 24:18;
Amos 5:19
25 aJob 16:13
bJob 18:11, 14
26 aPs. 21:9
28 aJob 20:15;
29 aJob 27:13;
31:2, 3

CHAPTER 21 References

2 1comfort
3 aJob 16:10
5 aJudg. 18:19;
Job 13:5; 29:9;
7 aJob 12:6;
Ps. 17:10, 14;
73:3, 12; [Jer.
12:1]; Hab.
1:13, 16
9 aPs. 73:5
1The rod of
God’s chastisement
10 aEx. 23:26
13 aJob 21:23;
36:11 1Without
2Or Sheol
14 aJob 22:17
15 aEx. 5:2;
Job 22:17;
34:9 bJob 35:3;
Mal. 3:14
16 aJob 22:18;
Ps. 1:1; Prov.
1:10 1Lit. their
17 a[Job 31:2,
3; Luke 12:46] 18 aPs. 1:4;
35:5; Is. 17:13;
Hos. 13:3
1steals away
19 a[Ex. 20:5];
Jer. 31:29;
Ezek. 18:2
1stores up
2Lit. his
20 aPs. 75:8; Is.
51:17; Jer.
25:15; Rev.
14:10; 19:15
22 aJob 35:11;
36:22; [Is.
40:13; 45:9;
Rom. 11:34;
1 Cor. 2:16] 24 1LXX,Vg.
bowels; Syr.
sides; Tg.
26 aJob 3:13;
20:11; Eccl.
28 1Vg. omits
the tent

And rejoice to the sound of the flute.
13 They aspend their days in wealth, And 1in a moment go down to the 2grave.
14 aYet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.
15 aWho is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And bwhat profit do we have if we pray to Him?’
16 Indeed 1their prosperity is not in their hand; aThe counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? How often does their destruction come upon them, The sorrows God adistributes in His anger?
18 aThey are like straw before the wind, And like chaff that a storm 1carries away.
19 They say, ‘God 1lays up 2one’s iniquity afor his children’; Let Him recompense him, that he may know it.
20 Let his eyes see his destruction, And alet him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what does he care about his household after him, When the number of his months is cut in half?

22 “Cana anyone teach God knowledge, Since He judges those on high?
23 One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and secure;
24 His 1pails are full of milk, And the marrow of his bones is moist.
25 Another man dies in the bitterness of his soul, Never having eaten with pleasure.
26 They alie down alike in the dust, And worms cover them.

27 “Look, I know your thoughts, And the schemes with which you would wrong me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince? And where is 1the tent, The dwelling place of the wicked?’
29 Have you not asked those who travel the road?

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And do you not know their signs?
30 aFor the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath.
31 Who condemns his way to his face? And who repays him for what he has done?
32 Yet he shall be brought to the grave, And a vigil kept over the tomb .
33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him; aEveryone shall follow him, As countless have gone before him.
34 How then can you comfort me with empty words, Since 1falsehood remains in your answers?”

Eliphaz Accuses Job of Wickedness


1 Then aEliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

2 “Cana a man be profitable to God, Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself?
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous? Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?

4 “Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you, And enters into judgment with you?
5 Is not your wickedness great, And your iniquity without end?
6 For you have ataken pledges from your brother for no reason, And stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 You have not given the weary water to drink, And you ahave withheld bread from the hungry.
8 But the 1mighty man possessed the land, And the honorable man dwelt in it.
9 You have sent widows away empty, And the 1strength of the fatherless was crushed.
10 Therefore snares are all around you, And sudden fear troubles you,
11 Or darkness so that you cannot see; And an abundance of awater covers you.

12 “Is not God in the height of heaven?

30 aJob 20:29;
[Prov. 16:4;
2 Pet. 2:9] 33 aHeb. 9:27
34 1faithlessness

CHAPTER 22 References

1 aJob 4:1;
15:1; 42:9
2 aJob 35:7;
[Ps. 16:2;
Luke 17:10] 6 a[Ex. 22:26,
27]; Deut.
24:6, 10, 17;
Job 24:3, 9;
Ezek. 18:16
7 aDeut. 15:7;
Job 31:17; Is.
58:7; Ezek.
18:7; Matt.
8 1Lit. man of
9 1Lit. arms
11 aJob 38:34;
Ps. 69:1, 2;
124:5; Lam.
13 aPs. 73:11
14 aPs. 139:11,
16 aJob 14:19;
15:32; Ps.
90:5; Is. 28:2;
Matt. 7:26, 27
17 aJob 21:14,
15 1LXX, Syr.
19 aPs. 52:6;
58:10; 107:42
20 1LXX substance
21 a[Ps. 34:10];
Is. 27:5
22 aJob 6:10;
23:12; Prov.
2:6 b[Ps.
119:11] 24 a2 Chr. 1:15
25 1Ancient
vss. suggest
defense; MT
gold, as in v.
26 aJob 27:10;
Ps. 37:4; Is.
27 aJob 11:13;
33:26; [Is.
58:9–11] 29 aJob 5:11;
[Matt. 23:12;
James 4:6;
1 Pet. 5:5]

JOB 22:30

And see the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13 And you say, a‘What does God know? Can He judge through the deep darkness?
14 aThick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see, And He walks above the circle of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old way Which wicked men have trod,
16 Who awere cut down before their time, Whose foundations were swept away by a flood?
17 aThey said to God, ‘Depart from us! What can the Almighty do to 1them?’
18 Yet He filled their houses with good things; But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

19 “Thea righteous see it and are glad, And the innocent laugh at them:
20 ‘Surely our 1adversaries are cut down, And the fire consumes their remnant.’

21 “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and abe at peace; Thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive, please, ainstruction from His mouth, And blay up His words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; You will remove iniquity far from your tents.
24 Then you will alay your gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
25 Yes, the Almighty will be your 1gold And your precious silver;
26 For then you will have your adelight in the Almighty, And lift up your face to God.
27 aYou will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, And you will pay your vows.
28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.
29 When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come!’ Then aHe will save the humble person.
30 He will even deliver one who is not innocent;

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JOB 23:1

Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”

Job Proclaims God’s Righteous Judgments


1 Then Job answered and said:

2 “Even today my acomplaint is bitter; 1My hand is listless because of my groaning.
3 aOh, that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat!
4 I would present my case before Him, And fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know the words which He would answer me, And understand what He would say to me.
6 aWould He contend with me in His great power? No! But He would take note of me.
7 There the upright could reason with Him, And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.

8 “Look,a I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;
9 When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.
10 But aHe knows the way that I take; When bHe has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 aMy foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the acommandment of His lips; bI have treasured the words of His mouth More than my 1necessary food.

13 “But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever aHis soul desires, that He does.
14 For He performs what is aappointed for me, And many such things are with Him.
15 Therefore I am terrified at His presence; When I consider this, I am afraid of Him.
16 For God amade my heart weak, And the Almighty terrifies me;
17 Because I was not acut off 1from the presence of darkness, And He did not hide deep darkness from my face.

CHAPTER 23 References

2 aJob 7:11
1So with MT,
Tg.,Vg.; LXX,
Syr. His
3 aJob 13:3,
18; 16:21;
6 aIs. 57:16
8 aJob 9:11;
10 a[Ps. 1:6;
139:1–3] b[Ps.
17:3; 66:10;
James 1:12] 11 aJob 31:7;
Ps. 17:5
12 aJob 6:10;
22:22 bPs.
44:18 1Lit. appointed
13 a[Ps. 115:3] 14 a[1 Thess.
3:2–4] 16 aPs. 22:14
17 aJob 10:18,
19 1Or by or

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Prayer for Deliverance from Evil Men

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 DELIVER me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men,
2 Who plan evil things in their hearts; aThey continually gather together for war.
3 They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The apoison of asps is under their lips. Selah

4 aKeep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men, Who have purposed to make my steps stumble.
5 The proud have hidden a asnare for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside; They have set traps for me. Selah

6 I said to the LORD: “You are my God; Hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.

PSALM 140 References

2 aPs. 56:6
3 aPs. 58:4;
Rom. 3:13;
James 3:8
4 aPs. 71:4
5 aPs. 35:7;
Jer. 18:22
7 1sheltered
8 aDeut. 32:27
10 aPs. 11:6
12 a1 Kin. 8:45;
Ps. 9:4

7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have 1covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; Do not further his wicked scheme, aLest they be exalted. Selah

9 “As for the head of those who surround me, Let the evil of their lips cover them;
10 aLet burning coals fall upon them; Let them be cast into the fire, Into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
11 Let not a slanderer be established in the earth; Let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him.”

12 I know that the LORD will amaintain The cause of the afflicted, And justice for the poor.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence.




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