Job 11
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1  Then answered Tzofar the Naamathite, and said:

א  וַיַּעַן צֹפַר הַנַּעֲמָתִי וַיֹּאמַר.

2  Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be accounted right?

ב  הֲרֹב דְּבָרִים לֹא יֵעָנֶה וְאִם אִישׁ שְׂפָתַיִם יִצְדָּק.

3  Thy boastings have made men hold their peace, and thou hast mocked, with none to make thee ashamed;

ג  בַּדֶּיךָ מְתִים יַחֲרִישׁוּ וַתִּלְעַג וְאֵין מַכְלִם.

4  And thou hast said: ‘My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in Thine eyes.’

ד  וַתֹּאמֶר זַךְ לִקְחִי וּבַר הָיִיתִי בְעֵינֶיךָ.

5  But oh that God would speak, and open His lips against thee;

ה  וְאוּלָם מִי יִתֵּן אֱלוֹהַּ דַּבֵּר וְיִפְתַּח שְׂפָתָיו עִמָּךְ.

6  And that He would tell thee the secrets of wisdom, that sound wisdom is manifold! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.

ו  וְיַגֶּד לְךָ תַּעֲלֻמוֹת חָכְמָה כִּי כִפְלַיִם לְתוּשִׁיָּה וְדַע כִּי יַשֶּׁה לְךָ אֱלוֹהַּ מֵעֲו‍ֹנֶךָ.

7  Canst thou find out the deep things of God? Canst thou attain unto the purpose of the Almighty?

ha-KHAY-ker e-LO-ha tim-TZA im ad takh-LEET sha-DAI tim-TZA

ז  הַחֵקֶר אֱלוֹהַּ תִּמְצָא אִם עַד תַּכְלִית שַׁדַּי תִּמְצָא.

11:7   Canst thou find out the deep things of God?

Zophar questions Job’s insistence that he is innocent, suggesting that Job is perhaps not as pure as he thinks he is since man cannot comprehend God’s mind nor his desires of us. Even Moses, the greatest prophet of all time, was denied the request to fully comprehend the ways of the Lord. After the sin of the golden calf, Moses prays for the people and seeks closeness to God. Sensing that this was a time of mercy, he pleads with the Lord to let him understand His ways, and requests of Him: “Show me, I pray Thee, Thy glory.” God’s response, however, is “’Thou canst not see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.” The Sages understand this not as a literal request to see God’s face, rather as a plea to understand the Lord. In fact, the Sages of the Talmud suggest that Moses was specifically seeking the answer to the question of theodicy, wondering why bad things happen to good people and vice versa. This is indeed the question that bothers Job throughout his book, and continues to trouble us for eternity. However, as Moses is told, we cannot comprehend the ways of God and might never understand the answer to this question as long as we are living.

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8  It is high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than the nether-world; what canst thou know?

ח  גָּבְהֵי שָׁמַיִם מַה תִּפְעָל עֲמֻקָּה מִשְּׁאוֹל מַה תֵּדָע.

9  The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

ט  אֲרֻכָּה מֵאֶרֶץ מִדָּהּ וּרְחָבָה מִנִּי יָם.

10  If He pass by, and shut up, or gather in, then who can hinder Him?

י  אִם יַחֲלֹף וְיַסְגִּיר וְיַקְהִיל וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ.

11  For He knoweth base men; and when He seeth iniquity, will He not then consider it?

יא  כִּי הוּא יָדַע מְתֵי שָׁוְא וַיַּרְא אָוֶן וְלֹא יִתְבּוֹנָן.

12  But an empty man will get understanding, when a wild ass’s colt is born a man.

יב  וְאִישׁ נָבוּב יִלָּבֵב וְעַיִר פֶּרֶא אָדָם יִוָּלֵד.

13  If thou set thy heart aright, and stretch out thy hands toward Him–

יג  אִם אַתָּה הֲכִינוֹתָ לִבֶּךָ וּפָרַשְׂתָּ אֵלָיו כַּפֶּיךָ.

14  If iniquity be in thy hand, put it far away, and let not unrighteousness dwell in thy tents–

יד  אִם אָוֶן בְּיָדְךָ הַרְחִיקֵהוּ וְאַל תַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאֹהָלֶיךָ עַוְלָה.

15  Surely then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear;

טו  כִּי אָז תִּשָּׂא פָנֶיךָ מִמּוּם וְהָיִיתָ מֻצָק וְלֹא תִירָא.

16  For thou shalt forget thy misery; thou shalt remember it as waters that are passed away;

טז  כִּי אַתָּה עָמָל תִּשְׁכָּח כְּמַיִם עָבְרוּ תִזְכֹּר.

17  And thy life shall be clearer than the noonday; though there be darkness, it shall be as the morning.

יז  וּמִצָּהֳרַיִם יָקוּם חָלֶד תָּעֻפָה כַּבֹּקֶר תִּהְיֶה.

18  And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt look about thee, and shalt take thy rest in safety.

יח  וּבָטַחְתָּ כִּי יֵשׁ תִּקְוָה וְחָפַרְתָּ לָבֶטַח תִּשְׁכָּב.

19  Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee.

יט  וְרָבַצְתָּ וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד וְחִלּוּ פָנֶיךָ רַבִּים.

20  But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall have no way to flee, and their hope shall be the drooping of the soul.

כ  וְעֵינֵי רְשָׁעִים תִּכְלֶינָה וּמָנוֹס אָבַד מִנְהֶם וְתִקְוָתָם מַפַּח נָפֶשׁ.

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Job 12

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Job 11