English Standard Version
Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter
9 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be (A)in the right before God?
3 If one wished to (B)contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
4 He is (C)wise in heart and mighty in strength
—who has (D)hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
6 who (E)shakes the earth out of its place,
and (F)its pillars tremble;
7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
8 who alone (G)stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
9 who (H)made (I)the Bear and (J)Orion,
the Pleiades (K)and the chambers of the south;
10 who does (L)great things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number.
11 Behold, he passes by me, and I (M)see him not;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12 Behold, he snatches away; (N)who can turn him back?
(O)Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 “God will not turn back his anger;
beneath him bowed the helpers of (P)Rahab.
14 (Q)How then can I (R)answer him,
choosing my words with him?
15 (S)Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
I must (T)appeal for mercy to my accuser.[a]
16 If I summoned him 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 (U)without cause;
18 he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a contest of (V)strength, behold, he is mighty!
If it is a matter of justice, who can (W)summon him?[b]
20 Though I am in the right, (X)my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21 I am (Y)blameless; I regard not myself;
I (Z)loathe my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He (AA)destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When (AB)disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity[c] of the innocent.
24 (AC)The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he (AD)covers the faces of its judges—
(AE)if it is not he, who then is it?
25 “My (AF)days are swifter than (AG)a runner;
they flee away; they see no good.
26 They go by like (AH)skiffs of reed,
like (AI)an eagle swooping on the prey.
27 If I say, (AJ)‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and (AK)be of good cheer,’
28 I become (AL)afraid of all my suffering,
for I know you will not (AM)hold me innocent.
29 I shall be (AN)condemned;
why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow
and (AO)cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will (AP)abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should (AQ)come to trial together.
33 (AR)There is no[d] arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
34 (AS)Let him take his (AT)rod away from me,
and let (AU)not dread of him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak without fear of him,
for I am not so in myself.