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Job 9 American Standard Version (ASV)

Then Job answered and said,

Of a truth I know that it is so:
[a]But how can man be just [b]with God?
[c]If he be pleased to contend with him,
He cannot answer him one of a thousand.
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength:
Who hath hardened himself against him, and prospered?—
Him that removeth the mountains, and they know it not,
When he overturneth them in his anger;
That shaketh the earth out of its place,
And the pillars thereof tremble;
That commandeth the sun, and it riseth not,
And sealeth up the stars;
That alone stretcheth out the heavens,
And treadeth upon the [d]waves of the sea;
That maketh the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
And the chambers of the south;
10 That doeth great things past finding out,
Yea, marvellous things without number.
11 Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not:
He passeth on also, but I perceive him not.
12 Behold, he seizeth the prey, who can [e]hinder him?
Who will say unto him, What doest thou?

13 God will not withdraw his anger;
The helpers of [f]Rahab [g]do stoop under him.
14 How much less shall I answer him,
And choose out my words to reason with him?
15 Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer;
I would make supplication to my judge.
16 If I had called, and he had answered me,
Yet would I not believe that he hearkened unto my voice.
17 [h]For he breaketh me with a tempest,
And multiplieth my wounds without cause.
18 He will not suffer me to take my breath,
But filleth me with bitterness.
19 If we speak of strength, [i]lo, he is mighty!
And if of justice, Who, saith he, will summon me?
20 Though I be righteous, mine own mouth shall condemn me:
Though I be perfect, [j]it shall prove me perverse.
21 [k]I am perfect; I regard not myself;
I despise my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.
23 If the scourge slay suddenly,
He will mock at the [l]trial of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
He covereth the faces of the judges thereof:
If it be not he, who then is it?

25 Now my days are swifter than a [m]post:
They flee away, they see no good.
26 They are passed away as the [n]swift ships;
As the eagle that swoopeth on the prey.
27 If I say, I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad countenance, and [o]be of good cheer;
28 I am afraid of all my sorrows,
I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.
29 I shall be condemned;
Why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself [p]with snow water,
And [q]make my hands never so clean;
31 Yet wilt thou plunge me in the ditch,
And mine own clothes shall abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him,
That we should come together in judgment.
33 There is no umpire betwixt us,
That might lay his hand upon us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me,
And let not his terror make me afraid:
35 Then would I speak, and not fear him;
For I am not so in myself.


  1. Job 9:2 Or, For
  2. Job 9:2 Or, before
  3. Job 9:3 Or, If one should desire . . . He could not etc.
  4. Job 9:8 Hebrew high places.
  5. Job 9:12 Or, turn him back
  6. Job 9:13 Or, arrogancy. See Isa. 30:7.
  7. Job 9:13 Or, did
  8. Job 9:17 Hebrew He who.
  9. Job 9:19 Or, Lo, here am I, saith he; And if of judgement, Who etc.
  10. Job 9:20 Or, he
  11. Job 9:21 Or, Though I be perfect, I will not regard etc.
  12. Job 9:23 Or, calamity
  13. Job 9:25 Or, runner
  14. Job 9:26 Hebrew ships of reed.
  15. Job 9:27 Hebrew brighten up.
  16. Job 9:30 Another reading is, with snow.
  17. Job 9:30 Hebrew cleanse my hands with lye.

Job 9 New International Version (NIV)


Then Job replied:

“Indeed, I know that this is true.
    But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?
Though they wished to dispute with him,
    they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.
His wisdom is profound, his power is vast.
    Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?
He moves mountains without their knowing it
    and overturns them in his anger.
He shakes the earth from its place
    and makes its pillars tremble.
He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;
    he seals off the light of the stars.
He alone stretches out the heavens
    and treads on the waves of the sea.
He is the Maker of the Bear[a] and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
    miracles that cannot be counted.
11 When he passes me, I cannot see him;
    when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him?
    Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 God does not restrain his anger;
    even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.

14 “How then can I dispute with him?
    How can I find words to argue with him?
15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;
    I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.
16 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
17 He would crush me with a storm
    and multiply my wounds for no reason.
18 He would not let me catch my breath
    but would overwhelm me with misery.
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!
    And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him[b]?
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
    if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.

21 “Although I am blameless,
    I have no concern for myself;
    I despise my own life.
22 It is all the same; that is why I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When a scourge brings sudden death,
    he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,
    he blindfolds its judges.
    If it is not he, then who is it?

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
26 They skim past like boats of papyrus,
    like eagles swooping down on their prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will change my expression, and smile,’
28 I still dread all my sufferings,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 Since I am already found guilty,
    why should I struggle in vain?
30 Even if I washed myself with soap
    and my hands with cleansing powder,
31 you would plunge me into a slime pit
    so that even my clothes would detest me.

32 “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him,
    that we might confront each other in court.
33 If only there were someone to mediate between us,
    someone to bring us together,
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,
    so that his terror would frighten me no more.
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,
    but as it now stands with me, I cannot.


  1. Job 9:9 Or of Leo
  2. Job 9:19 See Septuagint; Hebrew me.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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