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Then Job answered,

“Truly I know that it is so,
    but how can man be just with God?
If he is pleased to contend with him,
    he can’t answer him one time in a thousand.
God is wise in heart, and mighty in strength.
    Who has hardened himself against him and prospered?
He removes the mountains, and they don’t know it,
    when he overturns them in his anger.
He shakes the earth out of its place.
    Its pillars tremble.
He commands the sun and it doesn’t rise,
    and seals up the stars.
He alone stretches out the heavens,
    and treads on the waves of the sea.
He makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
    and the rooms of the south.
10 He does great things past finding out;
    yes, marvelous things without number.
11 Behold, he goes by me, and I don’t see him.
    He passes on also, but I don’t perceive him.
12 Behold, he snatches away.
    Who can hinder him?
    Who will ask him, ‘What are you doing?’

13 “God will not withdraw his anger.
    The helpers of Rahab stoop under him.
14 How much less will I answer him,
    And choose my words to argue with him?
15 Though I were righteous, yet I wouldn’t answer him.
    I would make supplication to my judge.
16 If I had called, and he had answered me,
    yet I wouldn’t believe that he listened to my voice.
17 For he breaks me with a storm,
    and multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 He will not allow me to catch my breath,
    but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a matter of strength, behold, he is mighty!
    If of justice, ‘Who,’ says he, ‘will summon me?’
20 Though I am righteous, my own mouth will condemn me.
    Though I am blameless, it will prove me perverse.
21 I am blameless.
    I don’t respect myself.
    I despise my life.

22 “It is all the same.
    Therefore I say he destroys the blameless and the wicked.
23 If the scourge kills suddenly,
    he will mock at the trial of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked.
    He covers the faces of its judges.
    If not he, then who is it?

25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner.
    They flee away. They see no good.
26 They have passed away as the swift ships,
    as the eagle that swoops on the prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will put off my sad face, and cheer up;’
28 I am afraid of all my sorrows,
    I know that you will not hold me innocent.
29 I will be condemned.
    Why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow,
    and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me in the ditch.
    My own clothes will abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him,
    that we should come together in judgment.
33 There is no umpire between us,
    that might lay his hand on us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me.
    Let his terror not make me afraid;
35 then I would speak, and not fear him,
    for I am not so in myself.


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.