Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter
1Then Job answered and said:
2“Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be in the right before God?
3If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
4He is wise in heart and mighty in strength
—who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
5he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
6who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
7who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
8who alone stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
9who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10who does great things beyond searching out,
and marvellous things beyond number.
11Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back?
Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13“God will not turn back his anger;
beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
14How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?
15Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.9:15 Or to my judge
16If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
17For he crushes me with a tempest
and multiplies my wounds without cause;
18he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
19If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?9:19 Or who can grant me a hearing?
20Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21I am blameless; I regard not myself;
I loathe my life.
22It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23When disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity9:23 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain of the innocent.
24The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he covers the faces of its judges—
if it is not he, who then is it?
25“My days are swifter than a runner;
they flee away; they see no good.
26They go by like skiffs of reed,
like an eagle swooping on the prey.
27If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer’,
28I become afraid of all my suffering,
for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29I shall be condemned;
why then do I labour in vain?
30If I wash myself with snow
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31yet you will plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will abhor me.
32For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should come to trial together.
33There is no9:33 Or Would that there were an arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
34Let him take his rod away from me,
and let not dread of him terrify me.
35Then I would speak without fear of him,
for I am not so in myself.
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