Add parallel Print Page Options

Job Replies: There Is No Mediator

Then Job answered:

“Indeed I know that this is so;
    but how can a mortal be just before God?
If one wished to contend with him,
    one could not answer him once in a thousand.
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength
—who has resisted him, and succeeded?—
he who removes mountains, and they do not know it,
    when he overturns them in his anger;
who shakes the earth out of its place,
    and its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
    who seals up the stars;
who alone stretched out the heavens
    and trampled the waves of the Sea;[a]
who made the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10 who does great things beyond understanding,
    and marvelous things without number.
11 Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him;
    he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12 He snatches away; who can stop him?
    Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

13 “God will not turn back his anger;
    the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him.
14 How then can I answer him,
    choosing my words with him?
15 Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
    I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.[b]
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
    I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
17 For he crushes me with a tempest,
    and multiplies my wounds without cause;
18 he will not let me get my breath,
    but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
    If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?[c]
20 Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
    though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21 I am blameless; I do not know myself;
    I loathe my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
    he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
23 When disaster brings sudden death,
    he mocks at the calamity[d] of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
    he covers the eyes of its judges—
    if it is not he, who then is it?

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee away, they see no good.
26 They go by like skiffs of reed,
    like an eagle swooping on the prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint;
    I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer,’
28 I become afraid of all my suffering,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 I shall be condemned;
    why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with soap
    and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into filth,
    and my own clothes will abhor me.
32 For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him,
    that we should come to trial together.
33 There is no umpire[e] between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.
34 If he would take his rod away from me,
    and not let dread of him terrify me,
35 then I would speak without fear of him,
    for I know I am not what I am thought to be.[f]

Job: I Loathe My Life

10 “I loathe my life;
    I will give free utterance to my complaint;
    I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
    let me know why you contend against me.
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
    to despise the work of your hands
    and favor the schemes of the wicked?
Do you have eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as humans see?
Are your days like the days of mortals,
    or your years like human years,
that you seek out my iniquity
    and search for my sin,
although you know that I am not guilty,
    and there is no one to deliver out of your hand?
Your hands fashioned and made me;
    and now you turn and destroy me.[g]
Remember that you fashioned me like clay;
    and will you turn me to dust again?
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 this was your purpose.
14 If I sin, you watch me,
    and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am wicked, woe to me!
    If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
    and look upon my affliction.
16 Bold as a lion you hunt me;
    you repeat your exploits against me.
17 You renew your witnesses against me,
    and increase your vexation toward me;
    you bring fresh troops against me.[h]

18 “Why did you bring me forth from the womb?
    Would that I had died before any eye had seen me,
19 and were as though I had not been,
    carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are not the days of my life few?[i]
    Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort[j]
21 before I go, never to return,
    to the land of gloom and deep darkness,
22 the land of gloom[k] and chaos,
    where light is like darkness.”

Zophar Speaks: Job’s Guilt Deserves Punishment

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:

“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
    and should one full of talk be vindicated?
Should your babble put others to silence,
    and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
For you say, ‘My conduct[l] is pure,
    and I am clean in God’s[m] sight.’
But O that God would speak,
    and open his lips to you,
and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
    For wisdom is many-sided.[n]
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.

“Can you find out the deep things of God?
    Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?[o]
It is higher than heaven[p]—what can you do?
    Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth,
    and broader than the sea.
10 If he passes through, and imprisons,
    and assembles for judgment, who can hinder him?
11 For he knows those who are worthless;
    when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12 But a stupid person will get understanding,
    when a wild ass is born human.[q]

13 “If you direct your heart rightly,
    you will stretch out your hands toward him.
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
    and do not let wickedness reside 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 have confidence, because there is hope;
    you will be protected[r] and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid;
    many will entreat 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: I Am a Laughingstock

12 Then Job answered:

“No doubt you are the people,
    and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you;
    I am not inferior to you.
    Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends;
    I, who called upon God and he answered me,
    a just and blameless man, I am a laughingstock.
Those at ease have contempt for misfortune,[s]
    but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.
The tents of robbers are at peace,
    and those who provoke God are secure,
    who bring their god in their hands.[t]

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth,[u] and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
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 every human being.
11 Does not the ear test words
    as the palate tastes food?
12 Is wisdom with the aged,
    and understanding in length of days?

13 “With God[v] are wisdom and strength;
    he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, no one can rebuild;
    if he shuts someone in, no one can open up.
15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
    if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and wisdom;
    the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped,
    and makes fools of judges.
18 He looses the sash of kings,
    and binds a waistcloth on their loins.
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 looses the belt of the strong.
22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness,
    and brings deep darkness to light.
23 He makes nations great, then destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
24 He strips understanding from the leaders[w] of the earth,
    and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
25 They grope in the dark without light;
    he makes them stagger like a drunkard.

Footnotes

  1. Job 9:8 Or trampled the back of the sea dragon
  2. Job 9:15 Or for my right
  3. Job 9:19 Compare Gk: Heb me
  4. Job 9:23 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Job 9:33 Another reading is Would that there were an umpire
  6. Job 9:35 Cn: Heb for I am not so in myself
  7. Job 10:8 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb made me together all around, and you destroy me
  8. Job 10:17 Cn Compare Gk: Heb toward me; changes and a troop are with me
  9. Job 10:20 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb Are not my days few? Let him cease!
  10. Job 10:20 Heb that I may brighten up a little
  11. Job 10:22 Heb gloom as darkness, deep darkness
  12. Job 11:4 Gk: Heb teaching
  13. Job 11:4 Heb your
  14. Job 11:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  15. Job 11:7 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  16. Job 11:8 Heb The heights of heaven
  17. Job 11:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  18. Job 11:18 Or you will look around
  19. Job 12:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  20. Job 12:6 Or whom God brought forth by his hand; Meaning of Heb uncertain
  21. Job 12:8 Or speak to the earth
  22. Job 12:13 Heb him
  23. Job 12:24 Heb adds of the people

Bible Gateway Recommends