Job’s Reply to Bildad

Then Job answered:

Yes, I know what you’ve said is true,
but how can a person be justified before God?(A)
If one wanted to take(B) him to court,
he could not answer God[a] once in a thousand times.(C)
God is wise(D) and all-powerful.
Who has opposed him and come out unharmed?
He removes mountains without their knowledge,
overturning them in his anger.(E)
He shakes the earth from its place
so that its pillars tremble.
He commands the sun not to shine
and seals off the stars.(F)
He alone stretches out the heavens(G)
and treads on the waves of the sea.[b]
He makes the stars: the Bear,[c] Orion,
the Pleiades,(H) and the constellations[d] of the southern sky.
10 He does great and unsearchable things,
wonders without number.(I)
11 If he passed by me, I wouldn’t see him;(J)
if he went by, I wouldn’t recognize him.
12 If he snatches something, who can stop[e] him?
Who can ask him, “What are you doing?” (K)
13 God does not hold back his anger;
Rahab’s(L) assistants cringe in fear beneath him!
14 How then can I answer him
or choose my arguments against him?
15 Even if I were in the right, I could not answer.
I could only beg my Judge for mercy.(M)
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
I do not believe he would pay attention to what I said.
17 He batters me with a whirlwind(N)
and multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 He doesn’t let me catch my breath
but fills me with bitter experiences.
19 If it is a matter of strength, look, he is the powerful one!(O)
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon(P) him?[f]
20 Even if I were in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;(Q)
if I were blameless, my mouth would declare me guilty.
21 Though I am blameless,
I no longer care about myself;
I renounce my life.(R)
22 It is all the same. Therefore I say,
“He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.”(S)
23 When catastrophe[g] brings sudden death,
he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 The earth[h] is handed over to the wicked;
he blindfolds[i] its judges.(T)
If it isn’t he, then who is it?

25 My days fly by faster than a runner;[j](U)
they flee without seeing any good.(V)
26 They sweep by like boats made of papyrus,
like an eagle swooping down on its prey.(W)
27 If I said, “I will forget my complaint,
change my expression, and smile,”
28 I would still live in terror of all my pains.(X)
I know you will not acquit me.(Y)
29 Since I will be found guilty,(Z)
why should I struggle in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow,
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 then you dip me in a pit of mud,
and my own clothes despise me!

32 For he is not a man like me, that I can answer him,(AA)
that we can take each other to court.
33 There is no mediator between us,
to lay his hand on both of us.
34 Let him take his rod away from me
so his terror will no longer frighten me.(AB)
35 Then I would speak and not fear him.
But that is not the case; I am on my own.


  1. 9:3 Or court, God would not answer him
  2. 9:8 Or and walks on the back of the sea god
  3. 9:9 Or Aldebaran
  4. 9:9 Or chambers
  5. 9:12 Or dissuade
  6. 9:19 LXX; MT reads me
  7. 9:23 Or whip; Hb obscure
  8. 9:24 Or land
  9. 9:24 Lit covers the faces of
  10. 9:25 = a royal messenger

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