Job’s Reply to Bildad

Then Job answered:

Yes, I know what you’ve said is true,
but how can a person be justified before God?(A)
If one wanted to take(B) him to court,
he could not answer God[a] once in a thousand times.(C)
God is wise(D) and all-powerful.
Who has opposed him and come out unharmed?
He removes mountains without their knowledge,
overturning them in his anger.(E)
He shakes the earth from its place
so that its pillars tremble.
He commands the sun not to shine
and seals off the stars.(F)
He alone stretches out the heavens(G)
and treads on the waves of the sea.[b]
He makes the stars: the Bear,[c] Orion,
the Pleiades,(H) and the constellations[d] of the southern sky.
10 He does great and unsearchable things,
wonders without number.(I)
11 If he passed by me, I wouldn’t see him;(J)
if he went by, I wouldn’t recognize him.
12 If he snatches something, who can stop[e] him?
Who can ask him, “What are you doing?” (K)
13 God does not hold back his anger;
Rahab’s(L) assistants cringe in fear beneath him!
14 How then can I answer him
or choose my arguments against him?
15 Even if I were in the right, I could not answer.
I could only beg my Judge for mercy.(M)
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
I do not believe he would pay attention to what I said.
17 He batters me with a whirlwind(N)
and multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 He doesn’t let me catch my breath
but fills me with bitter experiences.
19 If it is a matter of strength, look, he is the powerful one!(O)
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon(P) him?[f]
20 Even if I were in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;(Q)
if I were blameless, my mouth would declare me guilty.
21 Though I am blameless,
I no longer care about myself;
I renounce my life.(R)
22 It is all the same. Therefore I say,
“He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.”(S)
23 When catastrophe[g] brings sudden death,
he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 The earth[h] is handed over to the wicked;
he blindfolds[i] its judges.(T)
If it isn’t he, then who is it?

25 My days fly by faster than a runner;[j](U)
they flee without seeing any good.(V)
26 They sweep by like boats made of papyrus,
like an eagle swooping down on its prey.(W)
27 If I said, “I will forget my complaint,
change my expression, and smile,”
28 I would still live in terror of all my pains.(X)
I know you will not acquit me.(Y)
29 Since I will be found guilty,(Z)
why should I struggle in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow,
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 then you dip me in a pit of mud,
and my own clothes despise me!

32 For he is not a man like me, that I can answer him,(AA)
that we can take each other to court.
33 There is no mediator between us,
to lay his hand on both of us.
34 Let him take his rod away from me
so his terror will no longer frighten me.(AB)
35 Then I would speak and not fear him.
But that is not the case; I am on my own.

10 I am disgusted with my life.(AC)
I will give vent to my complaint
and speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God,
“Do not declare me guilty!
Let me know why you prosecute me.
Is it good for you to oppress,
to reject the work of your hands,(AD)
and favor[k] the plans of the wicked?(AE)
Do you have eyes of flesh,
or do you see as a human sees?
Are your days like those of a human,
or your years like those of a man,(AF)
that you look for my iniquity(AG)
and search for my sin,
even though you know that I am not wicked
and that there is no one who can rescue from your power?(AH)

“Your hands shaped me and formed me.(AI)
Will you now turn and destroy me?
Please remember that you formed me like clay.
Will you now return me to dust?(AJ)
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and wove me together with bones and tendons.(AK)
12 You gave me life and faithful love,
and your care has guarded my life.

13 “Yet you concealed these thoughts in your heart;
I know that this was your hidden plan:[l]
14 if I sin, you would notice,[m]
and would not acquit me of my iniquity.(AL)
15 If I am wicked, woe to me!
And even if I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head.
I am filled with shame(AM)
and have drunk deeply of[n] my affliction.(AN)
16 If I am proud,[o] you hunt me like a lion
and again display your miraculous power against me.(AO)
17 You produce new witnesses[p] against me
and multiply your anger toward me.
Hardships assault me, wave after wave.[q]

18 “Why did you bring me out of the womb?(AP)
I should have died and never been seen.
19 I wish[r] I had never existed
but had been carried from the womb to the grave.(AQ)
20 Are my days not few? Stop it![s]
Leave me alone, so that I can smile a little
21 before I go to a land of darkness and gloom,(AR)
never to return.
22 It is a land of blackness like the deepest darkness,
gloomy and chaotic,
where even the light is like[t] the darkness.”

Footnotes

  1. 9:3 Or court, God would not answer him
  2. 9:8 Or and walks on the back of the sea god
  3. 9:9 Or Aldebaran
  4. 9:9 Or chambers
  5. 9:12 Or dissuade
  6. 9:19 LXX; MT reads me
  7. 9:23 Or whip; Hb obscure
  8. 9:24 Or land
  9. 9:24 Lit covers the faces of
  10. 9:25 = a royal messenger
  11. 10:3 Lit shine on
  12. 10:13 Lit was with you
  13. 10:14 Lit notice me
  14. 10:15 Or and look at
  15. 10:16 Lit If he lifts up
  16. 10:17 Or You bring fresh troops
  17. 10:17 Lit Changes and a host are with me
  18. 10:19 Lit As if
  19. 10:20 Alt Hb tradition reads Will he not leave my few days alone?
  20. 10:22 Lit chaotic, and shines as

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