2 “Indeed, I’m fully aware that this is so, but how can a person become right with God? 3 If one were to seek to argue with him, he won’t be able to answer him even once in a thousand times. 4 He is wise in heart and strong in will— who can be stubborn against him and succeed?
5 “He removes mountains without their knowledge, overthrowing them in his anger. 6 He shakes the earth from its orbit,[a] so that its foundations shudder. 7 He commands the sun so that it doesn’t shine[b] and seals up the stars. 8 He alone spreads out the heavens, he walks on the waves[c] of the sea. 9 He created Bear, Orion, the Pleiades, and the southern constellations. 10 He does great things that cannot be explained, and awesome deeds that cannot be counted.
11 “If he were to pass near me, I wouldn’t notice; if he moves by, I wouldn’t perceive him. 12 Indeed, if he snatches someone[d] away, who could restrain him? Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 “God doesn’t restrain his anger. Rahab’s assistants are humiliated under him. 14 So how am I to answer him, choosing what I am to say to him? 15 Even if I’m in the right, I cannot answer him. I can only appeal for mercy.
16 “Were I to be summoned, and he were to answer me, I wouldn’t even believe that he was listening to what I have to say.[e] 17 For he crushes me with a storm, and keeps on wounding me for no reason. 18 He won’t let me catch my breath; instead, he fills me with bitterness.
19 “Is this a contest of strength? He is obviously stronger! Is this a matter of justice? Who can sue him? 20 Though I’m in the right, my own mouth will condemn me; though I’m blameless, he’ll pronounce me as guilty.
21 “I’m blameless; I don’t know myself; I despise my life. 22 I say it’s all the same— he destroys both the blameless and the guilty.[f] 23 If a calamity[g] causes sudden death, he’ll mock at the despair of the innocent. 24 A land is given into the hands of a wicked person;[h] he covers the faces of its judges. If it is not God,[i] then who is it?”
Job Argues that God Won’t Acquit Him
25 “My days pass faster than a runner; but they pass quickly without seeing anything good. 26 They pass by like a ship made of reeds, like an eagle swooping down on its prey. 27 If I were to say, ‘Let me forget my complaint,’ change[j] the expression on[k] my face, and look cheerful, 28 then I still dread all of my suffering; I know you still won’t acquit me. 29 I will be condemned, so why should I wear myself out with this futility?
30 “If I wash myself with water from snow, and cleanse my hands with lye, 31 you’ll still drop me into the Pit,[l] and my own clothes will despise me. 32 He’s not a man like me, so that I can answer him, or that we can enter into litigation[m] with one another. 33 There is not yet a mediator between us, who would set his hand on the two of us, 34 removing his rod from me, and not letting terror of him overwhelm me. 35 Otherwise, I would speak without being terrified of him, because I’m not like that inside myself.”
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