2 “You really think you are the only wise people and that when you die, wisdom will die with you! 3 But my mind is as good as yours; you are not better than I am. Everyone knows all these things. 4 My friends all laugh at me when I call on God and expect him to answer me; they laugh at me even though I am right and innocent! 5 Those who are comfortable don’t care that others have trouble; they think it right that those people should have troubles. 6 The tents of robbers are not bothered, and those who make God angry are safe. They have their god in their pocket.
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you. 8 Speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea tell you. 9 Every one of these knows that the hand of the Lord has done this. 10 The life of every creature and the breath of all people are in God’s hand. 11 The ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. 12 Older people are wise, and long life brings understanding.
13 “But only God has wisdom and power, good advice and understanding. 14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; anyone he puts in prison cannot be let out. 15 If God holds back the waters, there is no rain; if he lets the waters go, they flood the land. 16 He is strong and victorious; both the one who fools others and the one who is fooled belong to him. 17 God leads the wise away as captives and turns judges into fools. 18 He takes off chains that kings put on and puts a garment on their bodies. 19 He leads priests away naked and destroys the powerful. 20 He makes trusted people be silent and takes away the wisdom of elders. 21 He brings disgrace on important people and takes away the weapons of the strong. 22 He uncovers the deep things of darkness and brings dark shadows into the light. 23 He makes nations great and then destroys them; he makes nations large and then scatters them. 24 He takes understanding away from the leaders of the earth and makes them wander through a pathless desert. 25 They feel around in darkness with no light; he makes them stumble like drunks.
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