Read the Bible | July 4th
Job Continues: Where Is Wisdom?
 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold that they refine.
 Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted from the ore.
 Man puts an end to darkness
and searches out to the farthest limit
the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
 He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
they are forgotten by travelers;
they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
 As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
 Its stones are the place of sapphires,
and it has dust of gold.
 “That path no bird of prey knows,
and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
 The proud beasts have not trodden it;
the lion has not passed over it.
 “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock
and overturns mountains by the roots.
 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
and his eye sees every precious thing.
 He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,
and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.
 “But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
 Man does not know its worth,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
 It cannot be bought for gold,
and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or sapphire.
 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls.
 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
nor can it be valued in pure gold.
 “From where, then, does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
 It is hidden from the eyes of all living
and concealed from the birds of the air.
 Abaddon and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’
 “God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.
 For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
 When he gave to the wind its weight
and apportioned the waters by measure,
 when he made a decree for the rain
and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
 then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
 And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” (ESV)
Job's Summary Defense
 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:
 “Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me,
 when his lamp shone upon my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness,
 as I was in my prime,
when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
 when the Almighty was yet with me,
when my children were all around me,
 when my steps were washed with butter,
and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
 When I went out to the gate of the city,
when I prepared my seat in the square,
 the young men saw me and withdrew,
and the aged rose and stood;
 the princes refrained from talking
and laid their hand on their mouth;
 the voice of the nobles was hushed,
and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
 When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
and when the eye saw, it approved,
 because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to help him.
 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.
 I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
 I was a father to the needy,
and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
 Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
 my roots spread out to the waters,
with the dew all night on my branches,
 my glory fresh with me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
 “Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
 After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
 They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down.
 I chose their way and sat as chief,
and I lived like a king among his troops,
like one who comforts mourners. (ESV)
 “But now they laugh at me,
men who are younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
to set with the dogs of my flock.
 What could I gain from the strength of their hands,
men whose vigor is gone?
 Through want and hard hunger
they gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation;
 they pick saltwort and the leaves of bushes,
and the roots of the broom tree for their food.
 They are driven out from human company;
they shout after them as after a thief.
 In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell,
in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
 Among the bushes they bray;
under the nettles they huddle together.
 A senseless, a nameless brood,
they have been whipped out of the land.
 “And now I have become their song;
I am a byword to them.
 They abhor me; they keep aloof from me;
they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
 Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,
they have cast off restraint in my presence.
 On my right hand the rabble rise;
they push away my feet;
they cast up against me their ways of destruction.
 They break up my path;
they promote my calamity;
they need no one to help them.
 As through a wide breach they come;
amid the crash they roll on.
 Terrors are turned upon me;
my honor is pursued as by the wind,
and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
 “And now my soul is poured out within me;
days of affliction have taken hold of me.
 The night racks my bones,
and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
 With great force my garment is disfigured;
it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.
 God has cast me into the mire,
and I have become like dust and ashes.
 I cry to you for help and you do not answer me;
I stand, and you only look at me.
 You have turned cruel to me;
with the might of your hand you persecute me.
 You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it,
and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
 For I know that you will bring me to death
and to the house appointed for all living.
 “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
and in his disaster cry for help?
 Did not I weep for him whose day was hard?
Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
 But when I hoped for good, evil came,
and when I waited for light, darkness came.
 My inward parts are in turmoil and never still;
days of affliction come to meet me.
 I go about darkened, but not by the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
 I am a brother of jackals
and a companion of ostriches.
 My skin turns black and falls from me,
and my bones burn with heat.
 My lyre is turned to mourning,
and my pipe to the voice of those who weep. (ESV)
Job's Final Appeal
 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
how then could I gaze at a virgin?
 What would be my portion from God above
and my heritage from the Almighty on high?
 Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
 Does not he see my ways
and number all my steps?
 “If I have walked with falsehood
and my foot has hastened to deceit;
 (Let me be weighed in a just balance,
and let God know my integrity!)
 if my step has turned aside from the way
and my heart has gone after my eyes,
and if any spot has stuck to my hands,
 then let me sow, and another eat,
and let what grows for me be rooted out.
 “If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door,
 then let my wife grind for another,
and let others bow down on her.
 For that would be a heinous crime;
that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;
 for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon,
and it would burn to the root all my increase.
 “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,
when they brought a complaint against me,
 what then shall I do when God rises up?
When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
 Did not he who made me in the womb make him?
And did not one fashion us in the womb?
 “If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,
or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
 or have eaten my morsel alone,
and the fatherless has not eaten of it
 (for from my youth the fatherless grew up with me as with a father,
and from my mother's womb I guided the widow),
 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
or the needy without covering,
 if his body has not blessed me,
and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
because I saw my help in the gate,
 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
and let my arm be broken from its socket.
 For I was in terror of calamity from God,
and I could not have faced his majesty.
 “If I have made gold my trust
or called fine gold my confidence,
 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant
or because my hand had found much,
 if I have looked at the sun when it shone,
or the moon moving in splendor,
 and my heart has been secretly enticed,
and my mouth has kissed my hand,
 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
for I would have been false to God above.
 “If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,
or exulted when evil overtook him
 (I have not let my mouth sin
by asking for his life with a curse),
 if the men of my tent have not said,
‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’
 (the sojourner has not lodged in the street;
I have opened my doors to the traveler),
 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do
by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
 because I stood in great fear of the multitude,
and the contempt of families terrified me,
so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—
 Oh, that I had one to hear me!
(Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!)
Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
I would bind it on me as a crown;
 I would give him an account of all my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
 “If my land has cried out against me
and its furrows have wept together,
 if I have eaten its yield without payment
and made its owners breathe their last,
 let thorns grow instead of wheat,
and foul weeds instead of barley.”
The words of Job are ended. (ESV)
Elihu Rebukes Job's Three Friends
 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.  Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God.  He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.  Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he.  And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.
 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:
“I am young in years,
and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
to declare my opinion to you.
 I said, ‘Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom.’
 But it is the spirit in man,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
 It is not the old who are wise,
nor the aged who understand what is right.
 Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
let me also declare my opinion.’
 “Behold, I waited for your words,
I listened for your wise sayings,
while you searched out what to say.
 I gave you my attention,
and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
or who answered his words.
 Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
God may vanquish him, not a man.’
 He has not directed his words against me,
and I will not answer him with your speeches.
 “They are dismayed; they answer no more;
they have not a word to say.
 And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
because they stand there, and answer no more?
 I also will answer with my share;
I also will declare my opinion.
 For I am full of words;
the spirit within me constrains me.
 Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
like new wineskins ready to burst.
 I must speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
 I will not show partiality to any man
or use flattery toward any person.
 For I do not know how to flatter,
else my Maker would soon take me away. (ESV)
Elihu Rebukes Job
 “But now, hear my speech, O Job,
and listen to all my words.
 Behold, I open my mouth;
the tongue in my mouth speaks.
 My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
 The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
 Answer me, if you can;
set your words in order before me; take your stand.
 Behold, I am toward God as you are;
I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.
 Behold, no fear of me need terrify you;
my pressure will not be heavy upon you.
 “Surely you have spoken in my ears,
and I have heard the sound of your words.
 You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;
I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
 Behold, he finds occasions against me,
he counts me as his enemy,
 he puts my feet in the stocks
and watches all my paths.’
 “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
for God is greater than man.
 Why do you contend against him,
saying, ‘He will answer none of man's words’?
 For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though man does not perceive it.
 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
while they slumber on their beds,
 then he opens the ears of men
and terrifies them with warnings,
 that he may turn man aside from his deed
and conceal pride from a man;
 he keeps back his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword.
 “Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed
and with continual strife in his bones,
 so that his life loathes bread,
and his appetite the choicest food.
 His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
and his bones that were not seen stick out.
 His soul draws near the pit,
and his life to those who bring death.
 If there be for him an angel,
a mediator, one of the thousand,
to declare to man what is right for him,
 and he is merciful to him, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down into the pit;
I have found a ransom;
 let his flesh become fresh with youth;
let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
 then man prays to God, and he accepts him;
he sees his face with a shout of joy,
and he restores to man his righteousness.
 He sings before men and says:
‘I sinned and perverted what was right,
and it was not repaid to me.
 He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit,
and my life shall look upon the light.’
 “Behold, God does all these things,
twice, three times, with a man,
 to bring back his soul from the pit,
that he may be lighted with the light of life.
 Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
be silent, and I will speak.
 If you have any words, answer me;
speak, for I desire to justify you.
 If not, listen to me;
be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.” (ESV)
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus
 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.  When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them.  When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus.  He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.  But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.  But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him  and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.  Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia
 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem,  but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.  After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.”  So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen.  The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.  And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.  And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance.  All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.  Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.  And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’  Of this man's offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised.  Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.  And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.  For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.  And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed.  And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.  But God raised him from the dead,  and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.  And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers,  this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,
“‘You are my Son,
today I have begotten you.’
 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’
 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption,  but he whom God raised up did not see corruption.  Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,  and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.  Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:
 “‘Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”
 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath.  And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.
 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.  But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.  And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.  For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.  And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.  But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.  But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium.  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (ESV)