“Please, Job, listen to my words and consider everything I say. 2 I’ve opened my mouth. The words are on the tip of my tongue. 3 My words are straight from the heart, and I sincerely speak the knowledge that is on my lips.
4 “God’s Spirit has made me. The breath of the Almighty gives me life. 5 Answer me if you can. Present your case to me, and take your stand. 6 Indeed, I stand in front of God as you do. I, too, was formed from a piece of clay. 7 You certainly don’t need to be terrified of me. I won’t put too much pressure on you.
God Doesn’t Have to Answer You, Job
8 “But you spoke directly to me, and I listened to your words. 9 You said, ‘I’m pure—without any rebellious acts against God. I’m clean; I have no sin. 10 God is only looking for an excuse to attack me. He considers me his enemy. 11 He puts my feet in the stocks and watches all my paths.’ 12 You aren’t right about this! I’ve got an answer for you: God is greater than any mortal. 13 Why do you quarrel with him since he doesn’t answer any questions?
Two Ways God Warns People
14 “God speaks in one way, even in two ways without people noticing it: 15 In a dream, a prophetic vision at night, when people fall into a deep sleep, when they sleep on their beds, 16 he opens people’s ears and terrifies them with warnings. 17 He warns them to turn away from doing wrong and to stop being arrogant.[a] 18 He keeps their souls from the pit and their lives from crossing the River of Death. 19 In pain on their sickbeds, they are disciplined with endless aching in their bones 20 so that their whole being hates food and they lose their appetite for a delicious meal. 21 Their flesh becomes so thin that it can’t be seen. Their bones, not seen before, will be exposed. 22 Their souls approach the pit. Their lives come close to those already dead.
A Third Way God Warns People
23 “If they have a messenger for them, a spokesman, one in a thousand, to tell people what is right for them, 24 then he will have pity on them and say, ‘Free them from going into the pit. I have found a ransom.’ 25 Then their flesh will become softer than a child’s. They will go back to the days of their youth. 26 They will pray to God, who will be pleased with them. They will see God’s face and shout for joy as he restores their righteousness.[b] 27 Each one sings in front of other people and says, ‘I sinned and did wrong instead of what was right, and it did me no good. 28 The messenger has freed my soul from going into the pit, and my life will see the light.’ 29 Truly, God does all this two or three times with people 30 to turn their souls away from the pit and to enlighten them with the light of life.
Pay Attention, Job
31 “Pay attention, Job! Listen to me! Keep quiet, and let me speak. 32 If you have a response, answer me. Speak, because I’d be happy if you were right. 33 If not, you listen to me. Keep quiet, and I’ll teach you wisdom.”
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