2 “Should a 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 you say, ‘My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God's[a] 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 understanding.[b] Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7 “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? 8 It is higher than heaven[c]—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 passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back? 11 For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it? 12 But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkey's colt is born a man!
13 “If you prepare your heart, you will stretch 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 lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and will not fear. 16 You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. 17 And your life will be brighter 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 take your rest in security. 19 You will lie down, and none will make you afraid; many will court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to 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 understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these? 4 I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called to God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock. 5 In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune; it is ready for those whose feet slip. 6 The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hand.[d]
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;[e] and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. 11 Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food? 12 Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.
13 “With God[f] are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. 14 If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open. 15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. 16 With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. 17 He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools. 18 He looses 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 and takes away the discernment of the elders. 21 He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong. 22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. 23 He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. 24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste. 25 They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger 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 What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3 But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God. 4 As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all. 5 Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom! 6 Hear now my argument and listen to the pleadings of my lips. 7 Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him? 8 Will you show partiality toward him? Will you plead the case for God? 9 Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man? 10 He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality. 11 Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you? 12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; 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 put my life in my hand? 15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him;[g] yet I will argue my ways to his face. 16 This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. 17 Keep listening to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18 Behold, I have prepared my case; I know that I shall be in the right. 19 Who 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 hide myself from your face: 21 withdraw your hand far from me, and let not dread of you terrify me. 22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me. 23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why do you hide your face and count me as your enemy? 25 Will you frighten a driven leaf and pursue dry chaff? 26 For you write bitter things against me and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. 27 You put my feet in the stocks and watch all my paths; you set a limit for[h] the soles of my feet. 28 Man[i] wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.
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