2 “Be patient with me a little longer, and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s defense. 3 I will get my knowledge from far away and prove that my Creator is fair. 4 Certainly, my words are not lies. The one who knows everything is speaking with you.
God’s Justice Is Beyond Human Understanding
5 “Certainly, God is mighty. He doesn’t despise anyone. He is mighty and brave. 6 He doesn’t allow the wicked person to live. He grants justice to those who are oppressed. 7 He doesn’t take his eyes off righteous people. He seats them on thrones with kings to honor them forever. 8 However, if righteous people are bound in chains and tangled in ropes of misery, 9 he tells them what they’ve done wrong and that they’ve behaved arrogantly. 10 He makes them listen to his warning and orders them to turn away from wrong.
11 “If righteous people listen and serve him, they will live out their days in prosperity and their years in comfort. 12 But if they don’t listen, they will cross the River of Death and die like those who have no knowledge. 13 But those who have godless hearts remain angry. They don’t even call for help when he chains them up. 14 They die while they’re young, or they live on as male prostitutes in the temples of idols. 15 He rescues suffering people through their suffering, and he opens their ears through distress.
16 “Yes, he lured you away from the jaws of trouble into an open area where you were not restrained, and your table was covered with rich foods. 17 But you are given the judgment evil people deserve. A fair judgment will be upheld. 18 Be careful that you are not led astray with riches. Don’t let a large bribe turn you to evil ways. 19 Will your riches save you from having to suffer? Will all your mighty strength help you? 20 Don’t look forward to the night, when people disappear from their places. 21 Be careful! Don’t turn to evil, because you have chosen evil instead of suffering.[a]
22 “God does great things by his power. Is there any teacher like him? 23 Who can tell him which way he should go? Who can say to him, ‘You did wrong’? 24 Remember that you should praise his work. People have sung about it. 25 Every person has seen it. Mortals have looked at it from a distance.
26 “Certainly, God is so great that he is beyond our understanding. The number of his years cannot be counted. 27 He collects drops of water. He distills rain from his mist, 28 which then drips from the clouds. It pours down on many people. 29 Can anyone really understand how clouds spread out or how he thunders from his dwelling place? 30 Look, he scatters his flashes of lightning around him and covers the depths of the sea. 31 This is how he uses the rains to provide for people and to give them more than enough food. 32 He fills his hands with lightning and orders it to hit the target. 33 The thunder announces his coming. The storm announces his angry wrath.
Job 36:21Hebrew meaning of verses 17–21 uncertain. The first two words of verse 18 (in Hebrew) were added to the end of verse 17 to express the complex Hebrew sentence structure more clearly in English.
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