9 Job’s reply:
2 “Yes, I know all that. You’re not telling me anything new. But how can a man be truly good in the eyes of God? 3 If God decides to argue with him, can a man answer even one question of a thousand he asks? 4 For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever opposed him successfully?
5 “Suddenly he moves the mountains, overturning them in his anger. 6 He shakes the earth to its foundations. 7 The sun won’t rise, the stars won’t shine, if he commands it so! 8 Only he has stretched the heavens out and stalked along the seas. 9 He made the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern Zodiac.
10 “He does incredible miracles, too many to count. 11 He passes by, invisible; he moves along, but I don’t see him go. 12 When he sends death to snatch a man away,[a] who can stop him? Who dares to ask him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 “And God does not abate his anger. The pride of man[b] collapses before him. 14 And who am I that I should try to argue with Almighty God, or even reason with him? 15 Even if I were sinless, I wouldn’t say a word. I would only plead for mercy. 16 And even if my prayers were answered, I could scarce believe that he had heard my cry. 17 For he is the one who destroys, and multiplies my wounds without a cause. 18 He will not let me breathe, but fills me with bitter sorrows. 19 He alone is strong and just.
20 “But I? Am I righteous? My own mouth says no. Even if I were perfect, God would prove me wicked. 21 And even if I am utterly innocent, I dare not think of it. I despise what I am. 22 Innocent or evil, it is all the same to him, for he destroys both kinds. 23 He will laugh when calamity crushes the innocent. 24 The whole earth is in the hands of the wicked. God blinds the eyes of the judges and lets them be unfair. If not he, then who?
25 “My life passes swiftly away, filled with tragedy. 26 My years disappear like swift ships, like the eagle that swoops upon its prey.
27 “If I decided to forget my complaints against God, to end my sadness and be cheerful, 28 then he would pour even greater sorrows upon me. For I know that you will not hold me innocent, O God, 29 but will condemn me. So what’s the use of trying? 30 Even if I were to wash myself with purest water and cleanse my hands with lye to make them utterly clean, 31 even so you would plunge me into the ditch and mud; and even my clothing would be less filthy than you consider me to be!
32-33 “And I cannot defend myself, for you are no mere man as I am. If you were, then we could discuss it fairly, but there is no umpire between us, no middle man, no mediator to bring us together. 34 Oh, let him stop beating me, so that I need no longer live in terror of his punishment. 35 Then I could speak without fear to him and tell him boldly that I am not guilty.