Job 13
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it.

א  הֶן כֹּל רָאֲתָה עֵינִי שָׁמְעָה אָזְנִי וַתָּבֶן לָהּ.

2  What ye know, do I know also; I am not inferior unto you.

ב  כְּדַעְתְּכֶם יָדַעְתִּי גַם אָנִי לֹא נֹפֵל אָנֹכִי מִכֶּם.

3  Notwithstanding I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.

ג  אוּלָם אֲנִי אֶל שַׁדַּי אֲדַבֵּר וְהוֹכֵחַ אֶל אֵל אֶחְפָּץ.

4  But ye are plasterers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.

ד  וְאוּלָם אַתֶּם טֹפְלֵי שָׁקֶר רֹפְאֵי אֱלִל כֻּלְּכֶם.

5  Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it would be your wisdom.

ה  מִי יִתֵּן הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישׁוּן וּתְהִי לָכֶם לְחָכְמָה.

6  Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.

ו  שִׁמְעוּ נָא תוֹכַחְתִּי וְרִבוֹת שְׂפָתַי הַקְשִׁיבוּ.

7  Will ye speak unrighteously for God, and talk deceitfully for Him?

ז  הַלְאֵל תְּדַבְּרוּ עַוְלָה וְלוֹ תְּדַבְּרוּ רְמִיָּה.

8  Will ye show Him favour? Will ye contend for God?

ח  הֲפָנָיו תִּשָּׂאוּן אִם לָאֵל תְּרִיבוּן.

9  Would it be good that He should search you out? Or as one mocketh a man, will ye mock Him?

ט  הֲטוֹב כִּי יַחְקֹר אֶתְכֶם אִם כְּהָתֵל בֶּאֱנוֹשׁ תְּהָתֵלּוּ בוֹ.

10  He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly show favour.

י  הוֹכֵחַ יוֹכִיחַ אֶתְכֶם אִם בַּסֵּתֶר פָּנִים תִּשָּׂאוּן.

11  Shall not His majesty terrify you, and His dread fall upon you?

יא  הֲלֹא שְׂאֵתוֹ תְּבַעֵת אֶתְכֶם וּפַחְדּוֹ יִפֹּל עֲלֵיכֶם.

12  Your memorials shall be like unto ashes, your eminences to eminences of clay.

יב  זִכְרֹנֵיכֶם מִשְׁלֵי אֵפֶר לְגַבֵּי חֹמֶר גַּבֵּיכֶם.

13  Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.

יג  הַחֲרִישׁוּ מִמֶּנִּי וַאֲדַבְּרָה אָנִי וְיַעֲבֹר עָלַי מָה.

14  Wherefore? I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand.

יד  עַל מָה אֶשָּׂא בְשָׂרִי בְשִׁנָּי וְנַפְשִׁי אָשִׂים בְּכַפִּי.

15  Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him; but I will argue my ways before Him.

טו  הֵן יִקְטְלֵנִי לא (לוֹ) אֲיַחֵל אַךְ דְּרָכַי אֶל פָּנָיו אוֹכִיחַ.

16  This also shall be my salvation, that a hypocrite cannot come before Him.

gam hu lee lee-shu-AH kee lo l’-fa-NAV kha-NAYF ya-VO

טז  גַּם הוּא לִי לִישׁוּעָה כִּי לֹא לְפָנָיו חָנֵף יָבוֹא.

13:16   That a hypocrite cannot come before him

Job rebukes those who come to comfort him by telling them that, though he challenges God’s justice and they do not, he is still more righteous than they are. He, at least, approaches God honestly, and not hypocritically. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik explains that it was the prophet Jeremiah who set the precedent for challenging God in difficult times. In the Book of Lamentations, instead of merely accepting what has happened, he demands of God an explanation for the ruin of Jerusalem and the devastation of the Land of Israel. While it is ok to question the Lord, it must be coupled with a belief that although we might not understand His ways, they are ultimately for the good.


17  Hear diligently my speech, and let my declaration be in your ears.

יז  שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ מִלָּתִי וְאַחֲוָתִי בְּאָזְנֵיכֶם.

18  Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.

יח  הִנֵּה נָא עָרַכְתִּי מִשְׁפָּט יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אֲנִי אֶצְדָּק.

19  Who is he that will contend with me? For then would I hold my peace and die.

יט  מִי הוּא יָרִיב עִמָּדִי כִּי עַתָּה אַחֲרִישׁ וְאֶגְוָע.

20  Only do not two things unto me, then will I not hide myself from Thee:

כ  אַךְ שְׁתַּיִם אַל תַּעַשׂ עִמָּדִי אָז מִפָּנֶיךָ לֹא אֶסָּתֵר.

21  Withdraw Thy hand far from me; and let not Thy terror make me afraid.

כא  כַּפְּךָ מֵעָלַי הַרְחַק וְאֵמָתְךָ אַל תְּבַעֲתַנִּי.

22  Then call Thou, and I will answer; or let me speak, and answer Thou me.

כב  וּקְרָא וְאָנֹכִי אֶעֱנֶה אוֹ אֲדַבֵּר וַהֲשִׁיבֵנִי.

23  How many are mine iniquities and sins? Make me to know my transgression and my sin.

כג  כַּמָּה לִי עֲו‍ֹנוֹת וְחַטָּאוֹת פִּשְׁעִי וְחַטָּאתִי הֹדִיעֵנִי.

24  Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face, and holdest me for Thine enemy?

כד  לָמָּה פָנֶיךָ תַסְתִּיר וְתַחְשְׁבֵנִי לְאוֹיֵב לָךְ.

25  Wilt Thou harass a driven leaf? And wilt Thou pursue the dry stubble?

כה  הֶעָלֶה נִדָּף תַּעֲרוֹץ וְאֶת קַשׁ יָבֵשׁ תִּרְדֹּף.

26  That Thou shouldest write bitter things against me, and make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth.

כו  כִּי תִכְתֹּב עָלַי מְרֹרוֹת וְתוֹרִישֵׁנִי עֲו‍ֹנוֹת נְעוּרָי.

27  Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; Thou drawest Thee a line about the soles of my feet;

כז  וְתָשֵׂם בַּסַּד רַגְלַי וְתִשְׁמוֹר כָּל אָרְחוֹתָי עַל שָׁרְשֵׁי רַגְלַי תִּתְחַקֶּה.

28  Though I am like a wine-skin that consumeth, like a garment that is moth-eaten.

כח  וְהוּא כְּרָקָב יִבְלֶה כְּבֶגֶד אֲכָלוֹ עָשׁ.

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Job 13