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Job Replies: There Is No Mediator

Then Job answered:

“Indeed, I know that this is so,
    but how can a mortal be just before God?(A)
If one wished to contend with him,
    one could not answer him once in a thousand.(B)
He is wise in heart and mighty in strength;
    who has resisted him and succeeded?(C)
He removes mountains, and they do not know it
    when he overturns them in his anger;
he shakes the earth out of its place,
    and its pillars tremble;(D)
he commands the sun, and it does not rise;
    he seals up the stars;
he alone stretched out the heavens
    and trampled the waves of the Sea;[a](E)
he made the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;(F)
10 he does great things beyond understanding
    and marvelous things without number.(G)
11 Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him;
    he moves on, but I do not perceive him.(H)
12 He snatches away; who can stop him?
    Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’(I)

13 “God will not turn back his anger;
    the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him.(J)
14 How then can I answer him,
    choosing my words with him?
15 Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
    I must appeal to my accuser for my right.(K)
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
    I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
17 For he crushes me with a tempest
    and multiplies my wounds without cause;(L)
18 he will not let me get my breath
    but fills me with bitterness.(M)
19 If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
    If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?[b]
20 Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
    though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21 I am blameless; I do not know myself;
    I loathe my life.(N)
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’(O)
23 When disaster brings sudden death,
    he mocks at the calamity[c] of the innocent.(P)
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
    he covers the eyes of its judges—
    if it is not he, who then is it?(Q)

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee away; they see no good.
26 They go by like skiffs of reed,
    like an eagle swooping on the prey.(R)
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint;
    I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer,’
28 I become afraid of all my suffering,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 I shall be condemned;
    why then do I labor in vain?(S)
30 If I wash myself with soap
    and cleanse my hands with lye,(T)
31 yet you will plunge me into filth,
    and my own clothes will abhor me.
32 For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him,
    that we should come to trial together.(U)
33 There is no mediator[d] between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.(V)
34 If he would take his rod away from me
    and not let dread of him terrify me,(W)
35 then I would speak without fear of him,
    for I know I am not what I am thought to be.[e]


  1. 9.8 Or trampled the back of the sea dragon
  2. 9.19 Compare Gk: Heb me
  3. 9.23 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. 9.33 Another reading is Would that there were a mediator
  5. 9.35 Cn: Heb for I am not so in myself