Job’s Reply to Bildad

Then Job answered:

Yes, I know what you’ve said is true,
but how can a person be justified before God?(A)
If one wanted to take(B) Him to court,
he could not answer God[a] once in a thousand times.(C)
God is wise(D) and all-powerful.
Who has opposed Him and come out unharmed?
He removes mountains without their knowledge,
overturning them in His anger.(E)
He shakes the earth from its place
so that its pillars tremble.
He commands the sun not to shine
and seals off the stars.(F)
He alone stretches out the heavens(G)
and treads on the waves of the sea.[b]
He makes the stars: the Bear,[c] Orion,
the Pleiades,(H) and the constellations[d] of the southern sky.
10 He does great and unsearchable things,
wonders without number.(I)
11 If He passes by me, I wouldn’t see Him;(J)
if He goes right by, I wouldn’t recognize Him.
12 If He snatches something, who can stop[e] Him?
Who can ask Him, “What are You doing?”(K)
13 God does not hold back His anger;
Rahab’s(L) assistants cringe in fear beneath Him!

14 How then can I answer Him
or choose my arguments against Him?
15 Even if I were in the right, I could not answer.
I could only beg my Judge for mercy.(M)
16 If I summoned Him and He answered me,
I do not believe He would pay attention to what I said.
17 He batters me with a whirlwind(N)
and multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 He doesn’t let me catch my breath
but soaks me with bitter experiences.
19 If it is a matter of strength, look, He is the Mighty One!(O)
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon(P) Him?[f]
20 Even if I were in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;(Q)
if I were blameless, my mouth would declare me guilty.

21 Though I am blameless,
I no longer care about myself;
I renounce my life.(R)
22 It is all the same. Therefore I say,
“He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.”(S)
23 When disaster brings sudden death,
He mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 The earth[g] is handed over to the wicked;
He blindfolds[h] its judges.(T)
If it isn’t He, then who is it?

25 My days fly by faster than a runner;[i](U)
they flee without seeing any good.(V)
26 They sweep by like boats made of papyrus,
like an eagle swooping down on its prey.(W)
27 If I said, “I will forget my complaint,
change my expression, and smile,”
28 I would still live in terror of all my pains.(X)
I know You will not acquit me.(Y)
29 Since I will be found guilty,(Z)
why should I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow,
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 then You dip me in a pit of mud,
and my own clothes despise me!

32 For He is not a man like me, that I can answer Him,(AA)
that we can take each other to court.
33 There is no one to judge between us,
to lay his hand on both of us.
34 Let Him take His rod away from me
so His terror will no longer frighten me.(AB)
35 Then I would speak and not fear Him.
But that is not the case; I am on my own.


  1. Job 9:3 Or court, God would not answer him
  2. Job 9:8 Or and walks on the back of the sea god
  3. Job 9:9 Or Aldebaran
  4. Job 9:9 Or chambers
  5. Job 9:12 Or dissuade
  6. Job 9:19 LXX; MT reads me
  7. Job 9:24 Or land
  8. Job 9:24 Lit covers the faces of
  9. Job 9:25 = a royal messenger


Then Job replied:

“Indeed, I know that this is true.
    But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?(A)
Though they wished to dispute with him,(B)
    they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.(C)
His wisdom(D) is profound, his power is vast.(E)
    Who has resisted(F) him and come out unscathed?(G)
He moves mountains(H) without their knowing it
    and overturns them in his anger.(I)
He shakes the earth(J) from its place
    and makes its pillars tremble.(K)
He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;(L)
    he seals off the light of the stars.(M)
He alone stretches out the heavens(N)
    and treads on the waves of the sea.(O)
He is the Maker(P) of the Bear[a] and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.(Q)
10 He performs wonders(R) that cannot be fathomed,
    miracles that cannot be counted.(S)
11 When he passes me, I cannot see him;
    when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.(T)
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him?(U)
    Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’(V)
13 God does not restrain his anger;(W)
    even the cohorts of Rahab(X) cowered at his feet.

14 “How then can I dispute with him?
    How can I find words to argue with him?(Y)
15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;(Z)
    I could only plead(AA) with my Judge(AB) for mercy.(AC)
16 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I do not believe he would give me a hearing.(AD)
17 He would crush me(AE) with a storm(AF)
    and multiply(AG) my wounds for no reason.(AH)
18 He would not let me catch my breath
    but would overwhelm me with misery.(AI)
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!(AJ)
    And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him[b]?(AK)
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
    if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.(AL)

21 “Although I am blameless,(AM)
    I have no concern for myself;(AN)
    I despise my own life.(AO)
22 It is all the same; that is why I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’(AP)
23 When a scourge(AQ) brings sudden death,
    he mocks the despair of the innocent.(AR)
24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,(AS)
    he blindfolds its judges.(AT)
    If it is not he, then who is it?(AU)

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;(AV)
    they fly away without a glimpse of joy.(AW)
26 They skim past(AX) like boats of papyrus,(AY)
    like eagles swooping down on their prey.(AZ)
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,(BA)
    I will change my expression, and smile,’
28 I still dread(BB) all my sufferings,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.(BC)
29 Since I am already found guilty,
    why should I struggle in vain?(BD)
30 Even if I washed myself with soap(BE)
    and my hands(BF) with cleansing powder,(BG)
31 you would plunge me into a slime pit(BH)
    so that even my clothes would detest me.(BI)

32 “He is not a mere mortal(BJ) like me that I might answer him,(BK)
    that we might confront each other in court.(BL)
33 If only there were someone to mediate between us,(BM)
    someone to bring us together,(BN)
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,(BO)
    so that his terror would frighten me no more.(BP)
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,(BQ)
    but as it now stands with me, I cannot.(BR)


  1. Job 9:9 Or of Leo
  2. Job 9:19 See Septuagint; Hebrew me.