Job 12-14; Psalm 100; Rev 13
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Then Job answered and said:
‘No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called to God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune; it is ready for those whose feet slip.
The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hand.
‘But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food?
Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.
‘With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open.
If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his.
He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools.
He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty.
He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders.
He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong.
He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light.
He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.
‘Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God.
As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all.
Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!
Hear now my argument and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality toward him? Will you plead the case for God?
Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?
He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality.
Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you?
Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay.
‘Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may.
Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand?
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him.
Keep listening to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears.
Behold, I have prepared my case; I know that I shall be in the right.
Who is there who will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die.
Only grant me two things, then I will not hide myself from your face:
withdraw your hand far from me, and let not dread of you terrify me.
Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me.
How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin.
Why do you hide your face and count me as your enemy?
Will you frighten a driven leaf and pursue dry chaff?
For you write bitter things against me and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
You put my feet in the stocks and watch all my paths; you set a limit for the soles of my feet.
Man wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.
‘Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.
He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.
And do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.
Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
look away from him and leave him alone, that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.
‘For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.
But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he?
As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up,
so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.
Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come.
You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands.
For then you would number my steps; you would not keep watch over my sin;
my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity.
‘But the mountain falls and crumbles away, and the rock is removed from its place;
the waters wear away the stones; the torrents wash away the soil of the earth; so you destroy the hope of man.
You prevail forever against him, and he passes; you change his countenance, and send him away.
His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
He feels only the pain of his own body, and he mourns only for himself.”
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.
And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.
One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, ”Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.
If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.
It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.
It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,
and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,
so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.
This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.