Job’s Fourth Speech
12 Then[a] Job answered and said,
2 “Truly indeed you[b] are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.[c]
3 I also have insight[d] like you;[e]
I am not more inferior than you.[f]
And who does not know things like these?[g]
4 I am a laughingstock to my friends:[h]
‘He calls on God, and he answers him.’
A righteous, blameless man is a laughingstock.
5 Those at ease have contempt[i] for the thought of disaster,[j]
but it is ready for those unstable of foot.
6 The tents of the destroyers are at peace,
and there is security for those who provoke God,
for those whom God brings into his hand.[k]
7 “But[l] ask[m] the animals, and they will teach you,
and the birds of the heaven, and they will tell you;
8 or ask the earth, and it will teach you,
and the fishes of the sea will declare to you.
9 Who among all of these does not know
that Yahweh’s hand has done this?
10 In whose hand is the life of all living things
and the breath of every human being?[n]
11 Does not the ear test words
and the palate taste food for itself?
12 Wisdom is with the aged,
and understanding is in length of days.
13 “With him are wisdom and powerful deeds,
and to him belong counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, then[o] it will not be rebuilt;
if he shuts a man in, then[p] he cannot be freed.
15 Look, if he withholds the water,[q] then[r] they dry up;
and if he sends them out, then[s] they overwhelm the land.
16 “Strength and sound wisdom are with him;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.[t]
17 He leads counselors away stripped,
and he makes fools of judges.
18 He loosens the fetters of kings,
and he binds a loincloth on their loins.
19 He leads priests away stripped,
and he overthrows the members of ancient families.[u]
20 He deprives the trustworthy of speech,
and he takes away the discretion of elders.
21 He pours contempt on noblemen,
and he loosens the girdle of the mighty.
22 “He uncovers mysteries out of darkness,
and he brings deep shadow to the light.
23 He makes the nations great, then[v] he destroys them;
he expands the nations, then[w] he guides them.
24 He strips away the insight of the heads of the earth’s people,
and he makes them wander in a pathless wasteland.[x]
25 They grope in the dark without[y] light,
and he makes them stagger like a[z] drunkard.
Job’s Fourth Speech Continues
13 “Look, my eye has seen everything;
my ear has heard and has understood it.
2 What you[aa] know,[ab] I myself[ac] also know—
I am not more inferior than you.[ad]
3 But I would speak to Shaddai,
and I desire to argue with God.
4 “But[ae] you[af] whitewash with lies;[ag]
all of you[ah] are worthless healers.[ai]
5 O that[aj] you[ak] would keep completely silent,
and that it would become wisdom for you.[al]
6 Please hear my argument,
and listen attentively to the pleadings of my lips.
7 “Will you[am] speak falsely for God?
And will you[an] speak deceitfully for him?
8 Will you[ao] show partiality for him?[ap]
Or do you[aq] want to plead God’s case?
9 Will it be well, if he examines you?[ar]
Or can you[as] deceive him like deceiving a human being?
10 “Surely he will rebuke you[at]
if you[au] show partiality[av] in secret.
11 Will not his majesty terrify you,[aw]
and his dread fall upon you?[ax]
12 Your[ay] maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your[az] defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Let me have silence,[ba] and I myself[bb] will speak,
and let come over me whatever may.
14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and[bc] put[bd] my life in my hand?
15 Look,[be] though he kill me, I will hope in[bf] him;
however, I will defend my ways before him.[bg]
16 Moreover, this is salvation to me,
that the godless would not come before him.[bh]
17 “Listen carefully to my words,
and let my exposition be in your ears.
18 Please look,[bi] I have prepared my case;
I know that I myself[bj] will be vindicated.
19 Who is he who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent, and I would pass away.
Job Argues His Case with God
20 “Only you[bk] must not do these two things to me;
then I will not hide from your face:
21 withdraw your[bl] hand from me,
and let not your[bm] dread terrify me.
22 Then[bn] call, and I myself[bo] will answer;
or let me speak, then[bp] reply to me.
23 “How many[bq] are my iniquities and sins?
Make known to me my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you[br] hide your[bs] face
and count me as your[bt] enemy?
25 Will you[bu] terrify a blown leaf?
And will you[bv] pursue dry stubble?
26 “Indeed, you[bw] write bitter things against me,
and you[bx] make me reap the iniquities of my childhood.
27 And you[by] put my feet in the block,
and you[bz] watch all my paths;
you carve a mark on the soles of my feet.[ca]
28 And he himself [cb]wastes away like something rotten,
like a garment that the moth has eaten.
Job Continues to Argue His Case with God
14 “A human being born of a woman
is short of days and full of troubles.[cc]
2 Like a flower he comes up, and he withers away;
and he flees like a[cd] shadow, but[ce] he does not last.
3 Even on such a one you fix your eyes,
and you bring me into judgment with you.
4 “Who can bring a clean thing from an unclean thing?
5 If his days are determined, the number of his months is with you;
you have appointed his boundaries, and he cannot cross them.
6 Look away from him, and let him desist
until he enjoys his days like a laborer.
7 “Indeed, there is hope for a tree:
if it is cut down, then[cg] it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not cease;
8 though its root grows old in the earth,
and its stump dies in the dust,
9 at[ch] the scent of water it will bud,
and it will put forth branches like a young plant.
10 “But[ci] a man dies, and he dwindles away;
thus[cj] a human being passes away, and where is he?[ck]
11 As water disappears from a lake,
and a river withers away and dries up,[cl]
12 so[cm] a man lies down, and he does not arise.
Until the heavens are no more,[cn] they will not awaken,
and they will not be roused out of their sleep.
13 “O that[co] you would conceal me in Sheol,
that you would hide me until your wrath is past,[cp]
that you would appoint a set time for me and remember me.
14 If a man dies, will he live again?
All the days of my compulsory service I will wait,
until the coming of my relief.
15 You would call, and I myself[cq] would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hand.
16 For then[cr] you would count my steps,
but you would not keep watch over my sin.
17 My transgression would be sealed in a bag,
and you would cover over my guilt.
18 “But[cs] a mountain falls; it crumbles away,
and a rock moves away from its place.
19 Water wears away stones;
its torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so[ct] you destroy the hope of human beings.
20 You overpower him forever, and he passes away;
you change his countenance,[cu] then[cv] you send him away.
21 His children may come to honor, but[cw] he does not know it;
or[cx] they may become lowly, but[cy] he does not realize it.[cz]
22 He feels only the pain of his own body,[da]
and his inner self[db] mourns for him.”[dc]