Passages related to Job on the theme of contending with God

From the Jewish Publication Society (1985) translation (compare with NAB)

Words that translate the Hebrew verb ריב riv are underlined. It is difficult to translate because English uses so many different words depending on context. Outside a courtroom we might say “accuse,” “argue,” “contend with.” In a courtroom we might say “sue,” “prosecute,” “indict,” “seek judgment.” It is one word in Hebrew, and has a legal connotation even outside a legal context.

Micah 6:1-4

Hear what the LORD is saying:

Come, present My case before the mountains, And let the hills hear you pleading.

Hear, you mountains, the case of the LORD—You firm foundations of the earth!

For the LORD has a case against His people, He has a suit against Israel.

“My people! What wrong have I done you? What hardship have I caused you? Testify against Me.

In fact, I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

Hosea 4:1-5

Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel!

For the LORD has a case Against the inhabitants of this land,

Because there is no honesty and no goodness And no obedience to God in the land.

False swearing, dishonesty, and murder, And theft and adultery are rife; Crime follows upon crime!

For that, the earth is withered: Everything that dwells on it languishes –

Beasts of the field and birds of the sky—Even the fish of the sea perish.

“Let no man rebuke, let no man protest!” For this your people has a grievance against you, O priest!

So you shall stumble by day, And by night a prophet shall stumble as well, And I will destroy your kindred.

Jeremiah 2:9

Oh, I will go on accusing you—declares the LORD—And I will accuse your children's children!

Jeremiah 12:1-4

You will win, O LORD, if I make claim against You, Yet I shall present charges against You:

Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are the workers of treachery at ease?

You have planted them, and they have taken root, They spread, they even bear fruit.

You are present in their mouths, But far from their thoughts.

Yet You, LORD, have noted and observed me; You have tested my heart, and found it with You.

Drive them out like sheep to the slaughter, Prepare them for the day of slaying!

How long must the land languish, And the grass of all the countryside dry up?

Must beasts and birds perish, Because of the evil of its inhabitants, Who say, “He will not look upon our future”?

Isaiah 45:5-10

I am the LORD and there is none else; Beside Me, there is no god.

I engird you, though you have not known Me,So that they may know, from east to west,

That there is none but Me. I am the LORD and there is none else,

I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe—I the LORD do all these things.

Pour down, O skies, from above! Let the heavens rain down victory!

Let the earth open up and triumph sprout, Yes, let vindication spring up: I the LORD have created it.

Shame on him who argues with his Maker, Though naught but a potsherd of earth!

Shall the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing? Your work has no handles”?

10 Shame on him who asks his father, “What are you begetting?” Or a woman, “What are you bearing?”

Genesis 18:22-33

The men went on from there to Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Abraham came forward and said, “Will You sweep away the innocent along with the guilty? 24 What if there should be fifty innocent within the city; will You then wipe out the place and not forgive it for the sake of the innocent fifty who are in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing, to bring death upon the innocent as well as the guilty, so that innocent and guilty fare alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” 26 And the LORD answered, “If I find within the city of Sodom fifty innocent ones, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham spoke up, saying, “Here I venture to speak to my Lord, I who am but dust and ashes: 28 What if the fifty innocent should lack five? Will You destroy the whole city for want of the five?” And He answered, “I will not destroy if I find forty-five there.” 29 But he spoke to Him again, and said, “What if forty should be found there?” And He answered, “I will not do it, for the sake of the forty.” 30 And he said, “Let not my Lord be angry if I go on: What if thirty should be found there?” And He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “I venture again to speak to my Lord: What if twenty should be found there?” And He answered, “I will not destroy, for the sake of the twenty.” 32 And he said, “Let not my Lord be angry if I speak but this last time: What if ten should be found there?” And He answered, “I will not destroy, for the sake of the ten.” 33 When the LORD had finished speaking to Abraham, He departed; and Abraham returned to his place.

Genesis 32:23-33

That same night he arose, and taking his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven children, he crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 24 After taking them across the stream, he sent across all his possessions. 25 Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he wrenched Jacob's hip at its socket, so that the socket of his hip was strained as he wrestled with him. 27 Then he said, “Let me go, for dawn is breaking.” But he answered, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 28 Said the other, “What is your name?” He replied, “Jacob.” 29 Said he, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with beings divine and human, and have prevailed.” 30 Jacob asked, “Pray tell me your name.” But he said, “You must not ask my name!” And he took leave of him there. 31 So Jacob named the place Peniel, meaning, “I have seen a divine being face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”

32 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping on his hip. 33 That is why the children of Israel to this day do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the socket of the hip, since Jacob's hip socket was wrenched at the thigh muscle.