2 “How long will you say these things? And will the words of your mouth be a mighty wind? 3 “Does God pervert justice? Or does [a]the Almighty pervert righteousness? 4 “If your children have sinned against Him, Then He has handed them over to the power of their transgression and punished them. 5 “If you would [diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, 6 Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place. 7 “Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will greatly increase.
8 “Inquire, please, of past generations, And consider and apply yourself to the things searched out by their fathers. 9 “For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are [like] a shadow [just a breath or a vapor]. 10 “Will they (the fathers) not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their hearts [the deepest part of their nature]?
11 “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the rushes or reed grass grow without water? 12 “While it is still green (in flower) and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant [when without water]. 13 “So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the godless will perish, 14 For his confidence is fragile and breaks, And his trust is [like] a spider’s web. 15 “He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; He holds tightly to it, but it does not endure. 16 “He thrives and prospers [like a green plant] before the sun, And his branches spread out over his garden. 17 “His [godless] roots are wrapped around a pile of rocks, And he gazes at a house of stones. 18 “If he is snatched from his place [in the garden], Then his place will forget him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’ 19 “Behold, this is the joy of His way; And from out of the dust others will spring up and grow [to take his place]. 20 “Behold, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He strengthen or support evildoers. 21 “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with joyful shouting [if you are found blameless]. 22 “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tents of the wicked will be no longer.”
Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man
9 Then Job answered and said,
2 “Yes, I know it is true. But how can a mortal man be right before God? 3 “If one should want to contend or dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times. 4 “God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed? 5 “It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it, When He overturns them in His anger; 6 Who shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; 7 Who commands the sun, and it does not shine; Who seals up the stars [from view]; 8 Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the [b]waves of the sea; 9 Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the [vast starry] spaces of the south; 10 Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable, Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number. 11 “Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him; He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him. 12 “Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back? Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’
13 “God will not turn back His anger; The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him. 14 “How can I answer Him [and plead my case], Choosing my words [to reason] with Him? 15 For though I were righteous, I could not answer. I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge. 16 “If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. 17 “For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause. 18 “He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills and saturates me with bitterness. 19 “If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty! And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him? 20 “Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty; Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty. 21 “[Though] I am blameless, I do not care about myself; I despise my life. 22 “It is all one; therefore I say, ‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’ 23 “When [His] scourge kills suddenly, He mocks at the despair of the innocent. 24 “The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice]. If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]?
25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They vanish, they see no good. 26 “They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds, Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey. 27 “If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’ 28 I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come]; I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished. 29 “I am accounted wicked and held guilty; Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]? 30 “If I were to wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye, 31 You would still plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body]. 32 “For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him, That we may go to court and judgment together. 33 “There is no arbitrator between us, Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were]. 34 “Let Him take His rod away from me, And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me. 35 “Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him; But I am not like that in myself.
Job Despairs of God’s Dealings
10 “I am disgusted with my life and loathe it! I will give free expression to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 “I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me [and declare me guilty]! Show me why You contend and argue and struggle with me. 3 ‘Does it indeed seem right to You to oppress, To despise and reject the work of Your hands, And to look with favor on the schemes of the wicked? 4 ‘Do You have eyes of flesh? Do You see as a man sees? 5 ‘Are Your days as the days of a mortal, Are Your years as man’s years, 6 That You seek my guilt And search for my sin? 7 ‘Although You know that I am not guilty or wicked, Yet there is no one who can rescue me from Your hand.
8 ‘Your hands have formed and made me altogether. Would You [turn around and] destroy me? 9 ‘Remember now, that You have made me as clay; So will You turn me into dust again? 10 ‘Have You not poured me out like milk And curdled me like cheese? 11 ‘[You have] clothed me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 ‘You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your providence (divine care, supervision) has preserved my spirit. 13 ‘Yet these [present evils] You have hidden in Your heart [since my creation]: I know that this was within You [in Your purpose and thought]. 14 ‘If I sin, then You would take note and observe me, And You would not acquit me of my guilt. 15 ‘If I am wicked, woe to me [for judgment comes]! And if I am righteous, I dare not lift up my head. For I am sated and filled with disgrace and the sight of my misery. 16 ‘Should I lift my head up, You would hunt me like a lion; And again You would show Your marvelous power against me. 17 ‘You renew Your witnesses against me And increase Your indignation and anger toward me; Hardship after hardship is with me [attacking me time after time].
18 ‘Why then did You bring me out of the womb? Would that I had perished and no eye had seen me! 19 ‘I should have been as though I had not existed; [I should have been] carried from the womb to the grave.’ 20 “Would He not let my few days alone, Withdraw from me that I may have a little cheer 21 Before I go—and I shall not return— To the land of darkness and the deep shadow [of death], 22 The [sunless] land of utter gloom as darkness itself, [The land] of the shadow of death, without order, And [where] it shines as [thick] darkness.”
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