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Job’s Reply to Bildad

What You Say Is True

Job said:

What you say is true.
No human is innocent
    in the sight of God.
Not once in a thousand times
could we win our case
    if we took him to court.
God is wise and powerful—
who could possibly
    oppose him and win?
When God becomes angry,
he can move mountains
    before they even know it.
God can shake the earth loose
    from its foundations
or command the sun and stars
    to hold back their light.
God alone stretched out the sky,
    stepped on the sea,[a]
and set the stars in place—
    the Big Dipper and Orion,
the Pleiades and the stars
    in the southern sky.
10 Of all the miracles God works,
    we cannot understand a one.
11 God walks right past me,
    without making a sound.
12 And if he grabs something,
who can stop him
    or raise a question?

13 When God showed his anger,
the servants of the sea monster[b]
    fell at his feet.
14 How, then, could I possibly
    argue my case with God?

Though I Am Innocent

15 Even though I am innocent,
    I can only beg for mercy.
16 And if God came into court
when I called him,
    he would not hear my case.
17 He would strike me with a storm[c]
and increase my injuries
    for no reason at all.
18 Before I could get my breath,
    my miseries would multiply.
19 God is much stronger than I am,
and who would call me into court
    to give me justice?

20 Even if I were innocent,
    God would prove me wrong.[d]
21 I am not guilty,
but I no longer care
    what happens to me.
22 What difference does it make?
God destroys the innocent
    along with the guilty.
23 When a good person dies
a sudden death,
    God sits back and laughs.
24 And who else but God
    blindfolds the judges,
then lets the wicked
    take over the earth?

My Life Is Speeding By

25 My life is speeding by,
    without a hope of happiness.
26 Each day passes swifter
than a sailing ship
    or an eagle swooping down.
27 Sometimes I try to be cheerful
    and to stop complaining,
28 but my sufferings frighten me,
because I know that God
    still considers me guilty.
29 So what’s the use of trying
    to prove my innocence?
30 Even if I washed myself
    with the strongest soap,
31 God would throw me into a pit
of stinking slime,
leaving me
    disgusting to my clothes.

32 God isn’t a mere human like me.
    I can’t put him on trial.
33 Who could possibly judge
    between the two of us?
34 Can someone snatch away
the stick God carries
    to frighten me?
35 Then I could speak up
without fear of him,
    but for now, I cannot speak.[e]

Footnotes

  1. 9.8 sea: Or “sea monster” (see verse 13 and the note there).
  2. 9.13 the sea monster: The Hebrew text has “Rahab,” which was some kind of sea monster with supernatural powers (see the notes at 3.8 and 26.12).
  3. 9.17 strike. . . storm: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 9.20 God. . . wrong: Or “my own words would prove me wrong.”
  5. 9.35 but. . . speak: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.