Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter
9 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be zin the right before God?
3 If one wished to acontend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
4 He is bwise in heart and mighty in strength
—who has chardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
6 who dshakes the earth out of its place,
and eits pillars tremble;
7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
8 who alone fstretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
9 who gmade hthe Bear and iOrion,
the Pleiades jand the chambers of the south;
10 who does kgreat things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number.
11 Behold, he passes by me, and I lsee him not;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12 Behold, he snatches away; mwho can turn him back?
nWho will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 “God will not turn back his anger;
beneath him bowed the helpers of oRahab.
14 pHow then can I qanswer him,
choosing my words with him?
15 rThough I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
I must sappeal for mercy to my accuser.1
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
17 For he crushes me with a tempest
and multiplies my wounds twithout cause;
18 he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a contest of ustrength, behold, he is mighty!
If it is a matter of justice, who can vsummon him?2
20 Though I am in the right, wmy own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21 I am xblameless; I regard not myself;
I yloathe my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He zdestroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When adisaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity3 of the innocent.
24 bThe earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he ccovers the faces of its judges—
dif it is not he, who then is it?
25 “My edays are swifter than fa runner;
they flee away; they see no good.
26 They go by like gskiffs of reed,
like han eagle swooping on the prey.
27 If I say, i‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and jbe of good cheer,’
28 I become kafraid of all my suffering,
for I know you will not lhold me innocent.
29 I shall be mcondemned;
why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow
and ncleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will oabhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should pcome to trial together.
33 qThere is no4 arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
34 rLet him take his srod away from me,
and let tnot dread of him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak without fear of him,
for I am not so in myself.
Job Continues: A Plea to God
10 “I uloathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my vcomplaint;
I will speak in wthe bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God, Do not xcondemn me;
let me know why you ycontend against me.
3 zDoes it seem good to you to oppress,
to despise athe work of your hands
band favor the designs of the wicked?
4 Have you ceyes of flesh?
dDo you see as man sees?
5 Are your days as the days of man,
or your eyears as a man’s years,
6 that you fseek out my iniquity
and search for my sin,
7 although you gknow that I am not guilty,
and there is hnone to deliver out of your hand?
8 iYour hands fashioned and made me,
and now you have destroyed me altogether.
9 Remember that you have made me like jclay;
and will you return me to the kdust?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12 You have granted me life and steadfast love,
and your care has preserved my spirit.
13 Yet these things you hid in your heart;
I know that lthis was your purpose.
14 If I sin, you mwatch me
and do not nacquit me of my iniquity.
15 oIf I am guilty, woe to me!
If I am pin the right, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
and qlook on my affliction.
16 And were my head lifted up,1 you would hunt me like ra lion
and again work swonders against me.
17 You renew your twitnesses against me
and increase your vexation toward me;
you ubring fresh troops against me.
18 v“Why did you bring me out from the womb?
Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
19 wand were as though I had not been,
carried from the womb to the grave.
20 xAre not my days few?
yThen cease, and leave me alone, zthat I may find a little cheer
21 before I go—and aI shall not return—
to the land of bdarkness and cdeep shadow,
22 the land of gloom like thick darkness,
like deep shadow without any order,
where light is as thick darkness.”
Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse
11 Then dZophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2 “Should ea multitude of words go unanswered,
and a man full of talk be judged right?
3 Should your babble silence men,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
4 For fyou say, ‘My gdoctrine is pure,
and I am clean in God’s1 eyes.’
5 But oh, that God would speak
and open his lips to you,
6 and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
For he is manifold in hunderstanding.2
Know then that God iexacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7 j“Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
8 It is khigher than heaven3—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
9 Its measure is longer than the earth
and broader than the sea.
10 If he lpasses through and mimprisons
and summons the court, who can nturn him back?
11 For he knows oworthless men;
when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12 But a stupid man will get understanding
13 “If you rprepare your heart,
you will sstretch out your hands toward him.
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
15 Surely then you will tlift up your face without ublemish;
you will be secure and will not fear.
16 You will vforget your misery;
you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17 And your life will be wbrighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.
18 And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and xtake your rest in security.
19 You will xlie down, and none will make you afraid;
many will ycourt your favor.
20 But zthe eyes of the wicked will fail;
all way of escape will be lost to them,
and their hope is ato breathe their last.”
Job Replies: The Lord Has Done This
12 Then Job answered and said:
2 “No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
3 But I have bunderstanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know csuch things as these?
4 I am da laughingstock to my friends;
I, who ecalled to God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
5 In the thought of one who is fat ease there is contempt for misfortune;
it is ready for those whose feet slip.
6 gThe tents of robbers are at peace,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hand.1
7 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;2
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9 Who among all these does not know
that hthe hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In ihis hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not jthe ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is with kthe aged,
and understanding in length of days.
13 l“With God3 are wisdom and might;
he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, none can rebuild;
if he mshuts a man in, none can open.
15 If he nwithholds the waters, they dry up;
if he osends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and psound wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads qcounselors away stripped,
and rjudges he makes fools.
18 He slooses the bonds of kings
and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted
tand takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He upours contempt on princes
and loosens the belt of the strong.
22 He vuncovers the deeps out of darkness
and brings wdeep darkness to light.
23 He xmakes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and yleads them away.
24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and zmakes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They agrope in the dark without light,
and he makes them bstagger like a drunken man.
Job Continues: Still I Will Hope in God
13 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
my ear has heard and understood it.
2 cWhat you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3 dBut I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to eargue my case with God.
4 As for you, fyou whitewash with lies;
gworthless physicians are you all.
5 Oh that you would hkeep silent,
and it would be your wisdom!
6 Hear now my argument
and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
7 Will you ispeak falsely for God
and speak ideceitfully for him?
8 Will you show partiality toward him?
Will you jplead the case for God?
9 Will it be well with you when he ksearches you out?
Or lcan you deceive him, as one deceives a man?
10 He will surely rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.
11 Will not his mmajesty terrify you,
and the dread of him fall upon you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of nashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and oput my life in my hand?
15 pThough he slay me, I will qhope in him;1
yet I will rargue my ways to his face.
16 This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
17 sKeep listening to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.
18 Behold, I have tprepared my case;
I know that I shall be in the right.
19 uWho is there who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
20 Only grant me two things,
then I will not vhide myself from your face:
21 wwithdraw your hand far from me,
and let not xdread of you terrify me.
22 yThen call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins?
zMake me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why ado you hide your face
and bcount me as your enemy?
25 Will you frighten ca driven leaf
and pursue dry dchaff?
26 For you ewrite bitter things against me
and make me inherit fthe iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in gthe stocks
and hwatch all my paths;
you set a limit for2 the soles of my feet.
28 Man3 wastes away like ia rotten thing,
like a garment that is jmoth-eaten.