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Job 9-10 Common English Bible (CEB)

Hymnic praise

Job responded:

I know for certain that this is so;
    and how can anyone be innocent before God?
If one wants to contend with him,
    he won’t answer one in a thousand.
He is wise[a] and powerful;
    who can resist him and prosper?
Who removes mountains, and they are unaware;
    who overthrows them in anger?
Who shakes the earth from its place,
    and its pillars shudder?
Who commands the sun, and it does not rise,
    even seals up the stars;
    stretched out the heavens alone
    and trod on the waves of the Sea;[b]
    made the Bear and Orion, Pleiades
    and the southern constellations;
10     does great and unsearchable things,
    wonders beyond number?

A mismatch

11 If God goes by me, I can’t see him;
    he glides past, and I can’t perceive him.
12 If he seizes, who can bring back?
    Who can say to him, “What are you doing?”
13 God won’t retract his anger;
    the helpers of Rahab bow beneath him.
14 Yet I myself will answer him;
    I’ll choose my words in a contest[c] with him.
15 Even if I’m innocent, I can’t answer;
    I must plead for justice.
16 If I were to call and he answered me,
    I couldn’t believe that he heard my voice.
17 Who bruises me with a tempest
    and multiplies my wounds for no reason?
18 He doesn’t let me catch my breath,
    for he fills me with bitterness.
19 If the issue is strength—behold power!
    If justice—who calls God to meet me?

There is no justice

20 If I’m innocent, my mouth condemns me;
    I have integrity; but God declares me perverse.
21 I’m blameless, yet don’t know myself;
    I reject my life.
22 It’s all the same;
    therefore, I say God destroys the blameless and the sinners.
23 If calamity suddenly kills,
    he mocks at the slaying[d] of innocents.
24 The earth is handed over to the wicked;
    he covers the faces of its judges.
    If not God, then who does?

Job wants an arbitrator

25 My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee and don’t experience good.
26 They sweep by like ships made of reeds,
    as an eagle swoops on prey.
27 If I say, “I’ll forget my lament,
    put on a different face so I can smile,”
28     I’m still afraid of all my suffering;
        I know that you won’t declare me innocent.
29 I myself am thought guilty;
    why have I tried so hard in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow,
        purify my hands with soap,
31     then you’ll hurl me into a slimy pit
        so that my clothes detest me.
32 God is not a man like me—someone I could answer—
    so that we could come together in court.
33 Oh, that[e] there were a mediator between us;
    he would lay his hand on both of us,
34     remove his rod from me,
        so his fury wouldn’t frighten me.
35 Then I would speak—unafraid—
    for I’m not that way.

Complaint to God

10 I loathe my life; I will let loose my complaint;
    I will speak out of my own bitterness.
I will say to God, Don’t declare me guilty;
    tell me what you are accusing me of doing.
Does it seem good to you that you oppress me,
    that you reject the work of your hands
    and cause the purpose of sinners to shine?
Do you have physical eyes;
    do you see like a human?
Are your days like those of a human,
    your years like years of a human,
        that you search for my wrongdoing
        and seek my sin?
You know that I’m not guilty,
    yet no one delivers me from your power.


Your hands fashioned and made me;
    yet you want to destroy me utterly.
Remember that you made me from[f] clay,
    and you will return me to dust.
10 Didn’t you pour me out like milk,
    curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    wove me from bones and sinews.
12 Life and kindness you gave me,
    and you oversaw and preserved my breath.

No hiding place

13 These things you hid in your heart;
    I know this is the case with you.
14 If I sin and you observe me,
    you won’t consider me innocent of wrongdoing.
15 If I were guilty, doom to me;
    I’m innocent, but can’t lift my head,
    full of shame and facing my misery.
16 I could boast like a lion, and you would hunt me;
    you would do awesome things to me again.
17 You continue to send your witnesses against me
    and increase your anger toward me,
        a swift army against me.[g]

Death wish

18 Why did you let me emerge from the womb?
    I wish I had died without any eye seeing me.
19 Then I would be just as if I hadn’t existed,
    taken from the belly to the grave.
20 Aren’t my few days coming to an end?
Look away from me so I can brighten up a little
21     before I go and don’t return
    to a land of deepest darkness,
22     a land whose light is like gloom,
        utter darkness and confusion,
        such that light shines like gloom.


  1. Job 9:4 Or wise in heart; cf 37:24
  2. Job 9:8 Heb Yam, a sea god
  3. Job 9:14 Heb lacks in a contest.
  4. Job 9:23 Heb uncertain
  5. Job 9:33 Or There is no
  6. Job 10:9 Or like
  7. Job 10:17 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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