Zophar Speaks

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

Should this abundance of words(A) go unanswered
and such a talker[a] be acquitted?
Should your babbling put others to silence,
so that you can keep on ridiculing
with no one to humiliate you?
You have said, “My teaching(B) is sound,
and I am pure in your sight.”
But if only God would speak
and open his lips against you!
He would show you the secrets of wisdom,(C)
for true wisdom has two sides.
Know then that God has chosen to overlook some of your iniquity.(D)

Can you fathom the depths of God
or discover the limits of the Almighty?(E)
They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
They are deeper than Sheol—what can you know?(F)
Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.

10 If he passes by and throws someone in prison
or convenes a court, who can stop him?(G)
11 Surely he knows which people are worthless.
If he sees iniquity, will he not take note of it?(H)
12 But a stupid person will gain understanding
as soon as a wild donkey is born a human!

13 As for you, if you redirect your heart
and spread out your hands to him in prayer—
14 if there is iniquity in your hand, remove it,
and don’t allow injustice to dwell in your tents—
15 then you will hold your head high, free from fault.
You will be firmly established and unafraid.(I)
16 For you will forget your suffering,
recalling it only as water that has flowed by.
17 Your life will be brighter than noonday;
its darkness[b] will be like the morning.(J)
18 You will be confident, because there is hope.(K)
You will look carefully about and lie down in safety.(L)

19 You will lie down with no one to frighten you,
and many will seek your favor.(M)
20 But the sight of the wicked(N) will fail.
Their way of escape will be cut off,
and their only hope is their last breath.(O)

Job’s Reply to Zophar

12 Then Job answered:

No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you!
But I also have a mind like you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who doesn’t know the things you are talking about?[c](P)

I am a laughingstock to my[d] friends,
by calling on God, who answers me.[e]
The righteous and upright man is a laughingstock.(Q)
The one who is at ease(R) holds calamity in contempt
and thinks it is prepared for those whose feet are slipping.
The tents of robbers are safe,(S)
and those who trouble God are secure;
God holds them in his hands.[f](T)

But ask the animals, and they will instruct you;
ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.(U)
Or speak to the earth, and it will instruct you;
let the fish of the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?(V)
10 The life of every living thing is in his hand,
as well as the breath of all mankind.(W)
11 Doesn’t the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is found with the elderly,
and understanding comes with long life.(X)

13 Wisdom and strength belong to God;
counsel and understanding are his.(Y)
14 Whatever he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
whoever he imprisons cannot be released.(Z)
15 When he withholds water, everything dries up,
and when he releases it, it destroys the land.(AA)
16 True wisdom and power belong to him.
The deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away barefoot
and makes judges go mad.(AB)
18 He releases the bonds[g] put on by kings(AC)
and fastens a belt around their waists.
19 He leads priests away barefoot
and overthrows established leaders.(AD)
20 He deprives trusted advisers of speech
and takes away the elders’ good judgment.
21 He pours out contempt on nobles
and disarms[h] the strong.
22 He reveals mysteries from the darkness
and brings the deepest darkness into the light.(AE)
23 He makes nations great, then destroys them;
he enlarges nations,(AF) then leads them away.
24 He deprives the world’s leaders of reason,
and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.(AG)
25 They grope around in darkness without light;
he makes them stagger like a drunkard.(AH)

Footnotes

  1. 11:2 Lit a man of lips
  2. 11:17 Text emended; MT reads noonday; you are dark, you
  3. 12:3 Lit With whom are not such things as these?
  4. 12:4 Lit his
  5. 12:4 Lit him
  6. 12:6 Or secure; to those who bring their god in their hands
  7. 12:18 Text emended; MT reads discipline
  8. 12:21 Lit and loosens the belt of

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