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Job: Who is Righteous Before God?

Job responded and said:

“Truly I know it is so,
    but how can one be righteous before God?[a]
If anyone wished to contend with Him,
    he could not answer Him once in a thousand.
He is wise in heart and mighty in strength.
Who has resisted Him and come out whole?

“He who moves mountains,
    yet they do not know it,
    who overthrows them in His anger;
who shakes the earth from its place
    until its pillars tremble;
who speaks to the sun so it does not rise,
    and seals up the stars;
He alone spreads out the heavens,
    and treads on the waves of the sea;
He makes the Bear, Orion and Pleiades,
    and the constellations of the south;
10 He does great and unfathomable things,
    wonders beyond number.
11 If He were to pass by me,
    I would not see Him!
Were He to move past me,
    I would not perceive Him.
12 If He were to snatch away,
    who could restrain Him?
Who could say to Him,
    ‘What are You doing?’

13 “God does not restrain His anger;
    under Him the helpers of Rahab cower.
14 How then can I answer Him
    or choose my words with Him?
15 Even if I were right, I would not answer;
    I would implore the mercy of my Judge.
16 Even if I called and He answered me,
    I would not believe that He would listen to my voice.
17 He who crushes me with a storm
    and multiplies my wounds for no reason.
18 He does not allow me to catch my breath,
    but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a question of strength—
    certainly, He is the mighty One!
If it is a matter of justice—
    who will summon me?
20 Even if I were innocent,
    my mouth would condemn me.
If I were guiltless,
    it will declare me perverse.

21 “I am guiltless.
I have no concern for myself.
I despise my life.
22 It is all the same, therefore I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 If a scourge smites suddenly,
    He mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 If the land falls into the hand of the wicked
    He blindfolds the faces of its judges.
    If it is not He, then who is it?

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee away without seeing goodness.
26 They slip by like reed boats,
    like an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will put off my sad face and be cheerful,’
28 I still dread all my pains,
    for I know You will not find me innocent.
29 If I am condemned—
    why should I struggle in vain?
30 If I wash myself with melted snow
    and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 then You would plunge me into a pit
    and my own clothes would detest me.
32 For He is not a human being, like I am,
    that I could answer Him,
    that we could go to court together.
33 There is no arbitrator between us,
    who could lay his hand on us both;
34 who could remove His rod from me,
    so that His terror would not frighten me.
35 Then I would speak and not fear Him
    —except it is not so with me.”


  1. Job 9:2 cf. Rom. 3:20.