2 “How long will you speak these things, And the words of your mouth be like a strong wind? 3 Does God subvert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice? 4 If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression. 5 If you would earnestly seek God And make your supplication to the Almighty, 6 If you were pure and upright, Surely now He would awake for you, And prosper your rightful dwelling place. 7 Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly.
8 “For inquire, please, of the former age, And consider the things discovered by their fathers; 9 For we were born yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days on earth are a shadow. 10 Will they not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their heart?
11 “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water? 12 While it is yet green and not cut down, It withers before any other plant. 13 So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, 14 Whose confidence shall be cut off, And whose trust is a spider’s web. 15 He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure. 16 He grows green in the sun, And his branches spread out in his garden. 17 His roots wrap around the rock heap, And look for a place in the stones. 18 If he is destroyed from his place, Then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have not seen you.’
19 “Behold, this is the joy of His way, And out of the earth others will grow. 20 Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers. 21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing. 22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing.”[a]
Job: There Is No Mediator
9 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Truly I know it is so, But how can a man be righteous before God? 3 If one wished to contend with Him, He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand. 4 God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered? 5 He removes the mountains, and they do not know When He overturns them in His anger; 6 He shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; 7 He commands the sun, and it does not rise; He seals off the stars; 8 He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea; 9 He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the chambers of the south; 10 He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number. 11 If He goes by me, I do not see Him; If He moves past, I do not perceive Him; 12 If He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’ 13 God will not withdraw His anger, The allies of the proud[b] lie prostrate beneath Him.
14 “How then can I answer Him, And choose my words to reason with Him? 15 For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him; I would beg mercy of my Judge. 16 If I called and He answered me, I would not believe that He was listening to my voice. 17 For He crushes me with a tempest, And multiplies my wounds without cause. 18 He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills me with bitterness. 19 If it is a matter of strength, indeed He is strong; And if of justice, who will appoint my day in court? 20 Though I were righteous, my own mouth would condemn me; Though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse.
21 “I am blameless, yet I do not know myself; I despise my life. 22 It is all one thing; Therefore I say, ‘He destroys the blameless and the wicked.’ 23 If the scourge slays suddenly, He laughs at the plight of the innocent. 24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If it is not He, who else could it be?
25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away, they see no good. 26 They pass by like swift ships, Like an eagle swooping on its prey. 27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile,’ 28 I am afraid of all my sufferings; I know that You will not hold me innocent. 29 If I am condemned, Why then do I labor in vain? 30 If I wash myself with snow water, And cleanse my hands with soap, 31 Yet You will plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes will abhor me. 32 “For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. 33 Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both. 34 Let Him take His rod away from me, And do not let dread of Him terrify me. 35 Then I would speak and not fear Him, But it is not so with me.
Job: I Would Plead with God
10 “My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; Show me why You contend with me. 3 Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, That You should despise the work of Your hands, And smile on the counsel of the wicked? 4 Do You have eyes of flesh? Or do You see as man sees? 5 Are Your days like the days of a mortal man? Are Your years like the days of a mighty man, 6 That You should seek for my iniquity And search out my sin, 7 Although You know that I am not wicked, And there is no one who can deliver from Your hand?
8 ‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me, An intricate unity; Yet You would destroy me. 9 Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay. And will You turn me into dust again? 10 Did You not pour me out like milk, And curdle me like cheese, 11 Clothe me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews? 12 You have granted me life and favor, And Your care has preserved my spirit.
13 ‘And these things You have hidden in Your heart; I know that this was with You: 14 If I sin, then You mark me, And will not acquit me of my iniquity. 15 If I am wicked, woe to me; Even if I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head. I am full of disgrace; See my misery! 16 If my head is exalted, You hunt me like a fierce lion, And again You show Yourself awesome against me. 17 You renew Your witnesses against me, And increase Your indignation toward me; Changes and war are ever with me.
18 ‘Why then have You brought me out of the womb? Oh, that I had perished and no eye had seen me! 19 I would have been as though I had not been. I would have been carried from the womb to the grave. 20 Are not my days few? Cease! Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort, 21 Before I go to the place from which I shall not return, To the land of darkness and the shadow of death, 22 A land as dark as darkness itself, As the shadow of death, without any order, Where even the light is like darkness.’”
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