Job 24-27; Rev 17
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
‘Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days?
Some move landmarks; they seize flocks and pasture them.
They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
They thrust the poor off the road; the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert the poor go out to their toil, seeking game; the wasteland yields food for their children.
They gather their fodder in the field, and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains and cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
(There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast, and they take a pledge against the poor.)
They go about naked, without clothing; hungry, they carry the sheaves;
among the olive rows of the wicked they make oil; they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
From out of the city the dying groan, and the soul of the wounded cries for help; yet God charges no one with wrong.
‘There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths.
The murderer rises before it is light, that he may kill the poor and needy, and in the night he is like a thief.
The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me’; and he veils his face.
In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the light.
For deep darkness is morning to all of them; for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.
‘You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters; their portion is cursed in the land; no treader turns toward their vineyards.
Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned.
The womb forgets them; the worm finds them sweet; they are no longer remembered, so wickedness is broken like a tree.’
‘They wrong the barren childless woman, and do no good to the widow.
Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power; they rise up when they despair of life.
He gives them security, and they are supported, and his eyes are upon their ways.
They are exalted a little while, and then are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like the heads of grain.
If it is not so, who will prove me a liar and show that there is nothing in what I say?”
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
‘Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven.
Is there any number to his armies? Upon whom does his light not arise?
How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure?
Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!”
Then Job answered and said:
‘How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength!
How you have counseled him who has no wisdom, and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
With whose help have you uttered words, and whose breath has come out from you?
The dead tremble under the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them.
He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it his cloud.
He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke.
By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab.
By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”
And Job again took up his discourse, and said:
‘As God lives, who has taken away my right, and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right; till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
‘Let my enemy be as the wicked, and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off, when God takes away his life?
Will God hear his cry when distress comes upon him?
Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times?
I will teach you concerning the hand of God; what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves; why then have you become altogether vain?
‘This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:
If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword, and his descendants have not enough bread.
Those who survive him the pestilence buries, and his widows do not weep.
Though he heap up silver like dust, and pile up clothing like clay,
he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver.
He builds his house like a moth’s, like a booth that a watchman makes.
He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more; he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
Terrors overtake him like a flood; in the night a whirlwind carries him off.
The east wind lifts him up and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place.
It hurls at him without pity; he flees from its power in headlong flight.
It claps its hands at him and hisses at him from its place.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ”Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters,
with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.”
And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.
And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: ”Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.”
And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly.
But the angel said to me, ”Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her.
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.
This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated;
they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while.
As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.
And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.
These are of one mind and hand over their power and authority to the beast.
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
And the angel said to me, ”The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.
And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire,
for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”