December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Therefore, O Job, hear my discourse, and hearken to all my words.
- Behold, now I open my mouth; my tongue and my voice form words.
- I will state directly what is in my mind, my lips shall utter knowledge sincerely;
- For the spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty keeps me alive.
- If you are able, refute me; draw up your arguments and stand forth.
- Behold I, like yourself, have been taken from the same clay by God.
- Therefore no fear of me should dismay you, nor should my presence weigh heavily upon you.
- But you have said in my hearing, as I listened to the sound of your words:
- "I am clean and without transgression; I am innocent; there is no guilt in me.
- Yet he invents pretexts against me and reckons me as his enemy.
- He puts my feet in the stocks; he watches all my ways!"
- In this you are not just, let me tell you; for God is greater than man.
- Why, then, do you make complaint against him that he gives no account of his doings?
- For God does speak, perhaps once, or even twice, though one perceive it not.
- In a dream, in a vision of the night, (when deep sleep falls upon men) as they slumber in their beds,
- It is then he opens the ears of men and as a warning to them, terrifies them;
- By turning man from evil and keeping pride away from him,
- He withholds his soul from the pit and his life from passing to the grave.
- Or a man is chastened on his bed by pain and unceasing suffering within his frame,
- So that to his appetite food becomes repulsive, and his senses reject the choicest nourishment.
- His flesh is wasted so that it cannot be seen, and his bones, once invisible, appear;
- His soul draws near to the pit, his life to the place of the dead.
- 1 If then there be for him an angel, one out of a thousand, a mediator, To show him what is right for him and bring the man back to justice,
- He will take pity on him and say, "Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found him a ransom."
- Then his flesh shall become soft as a boy's; he shall be again as in the days of his youth.
- He shall pray and God will favor him; he shall see God's face with rejoicing.
- He shall sing before men and say, "I sinned and did wrong, yet he has not punished me accordingly.
- He delivered my soul from passing to the pit, and I behold the light of life."
- Lo, all these things God does, twice, or thrice, for a man,
- Bringing back his soul from the pit to the light, in the land of the living.
- Be attentive, O Job; listen to me! Be silent and I will speak.
- If you have aught to say, then answer me. Speak out! I should like to see you justified.
- If not, then do you listen to me; be silent while I teach you wisdom.
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1  Angel: one of the thousands who stand between God and man as intermediaries, reminding man of his duties and giving God an account of their fulfillment.
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