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(A)1-2 Yes, I've heard all that before.
    But how can a human being win a case against God?
How can anyone argue with him?
    He can ask a thousand questions
    that no one could ever answer.[a]
God is so wise and powerful;
    no one can stand up against him.
Without warning he moves mountains
    and in anger he destroys them.
God sends earthquakes and shakes the ground;
    he rocks the pillars that support the earth.
(B)He can keep the sun from rising,
    and the stars from shining at night.
No one helped God spread out the heavens
    or trample the sea monster's back.[b]
(C)God hung the stars in the sky—the Dipper,
    Orion, the Pleiades, and the stars of the south.
10 We cannot understand the great things he does,
    and to his miracles there is no end.

11 God passes by, but I cannot see him.
12 He takes what he wants, and no one can stop him;
    no one dares ask him, “What are you doing?”
13 God's anger is constant. He crushed his enemies
    who helped Rahab,[c] the sea monster, oppose him.
14 So how can I find words to answer God?
15 Though I am innocent, all I can do
    is beg for mercy from God my judge.
16 Yet even then, if he lets me speak,
    I can't believe he would listen to me.
17 He sends storms to batter and bruise me
    without any reason at all.
18 He won't let me catch my breath;
    he has filled my life with bitterness.
19 Should I try force? Try force on God?
Should I take him to court? Could anyone make him go?[d]
20 I am innocent and faithful, but my words sound guilty,
    and everything I say seems to condemn me.
21-22 I am innocent, but I no longer care.
    I am sick of living. Nothing matters;
    innocent or guilty, God will destroy us.
23 When an innocent person suddenly dies,
    God laughs.
24 God gave the world to the wicked.
He made all the judges blind.
And if God didn't do it, who did?

25 My days race by, not one of them good.
26 My life passes like the swiftest boat,
    as fast as an eagle swooping down on a rabbit.
27-28 If I smile and try to forget my pain,
    all my suffering comes back to haunt me;
    I know that God does hold me guilty.
29 Since I am held guilty, why should I bother?
30     No soap can wash away my sins.
31 God throws me into a pit with filth,
    and even my clothes are ashamed of me.
32 If God were human, I could answer him;
    we could go to court to decide our quarrel.
33 But there is no one to step between us—
    no one to judge both God and me.
34 Stop punishing me, God!
Keep your terrors away!
35 I am not afraid. I am going to talk
    because I know my own heart.

Footnotes

  1. Job 9:3 He can ask … answer; or Someone could ask him a thousand questions, and he would not answer.
  2. Job 9:8 A reference to ancient stories in which a sea monster was killed and then trampled (see also 26.13).
  3. Job 9:13 A legendary sea monster which represented the forces of chaos and evil.
  4. Job 9:19 Probable text make him go; Hebrew make me go.

Job

Then Job replied:

“Indeed, I know that this is true.
    But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?(A)
Though they wished to dispute with him,(B)
    they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.(C)
His wisdom(D) is profound, his power is vast.(E)
    Who has resisted(F) him and come out unscathed?(G)
He moves mountains(H) without their knowing it
    and overturns them in his anger.(I)
He shakes the earth(J) from its place
    and makes its pillars tremble.(K)
He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;(L)
    he seals off the light of the stars.(M)
He alone stretches out the heavens(N)
    and treads on the waves of the sea.(O)
He is the Maker(P) of the Bear[a] and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.(Q)
10 He performs wonders(R) that cannot be fathomed,
    miracles that cannot be counted.(S)
11 When he passes me, I cannot see him;
    when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.(T)
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him?(U)
    Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’(V)
13 God does not restrain his anger;(W)
    even the cohorts of Rahab(X) cowered at his feet.

14 “How then can I dispute with him?
    How can I find words to argue with him?(Y)
15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;(Z)
    I could only plead(AA) with my Judge(AB) for mercy.(AC)
16 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I do not believe he would give me a hearing.(AD)
17 He would crush me(AE) with a storm(AF)
    and multiply(AG) my wounds for no reason.(AH)
18 He would not let me catch my breath
    but would overwhelm me with misery.(AI)
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!(AJ)
    And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him[b]?(AK)
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
    if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.(AL)

21 “Although I am blameless,(AM)
    I have no concern for myself;(AN)
    I despise my own life.(AO)
22 It is all the same; that is why I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’(AP)
23 When a scourge(AQ) brings sudden death,
    he mocks the despair of the innocent.(AR)
24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,(AS)
    he blindfolds its judges.(AT)
    If it is not he, then who is it?(AU)

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;(AV)
    they fly away without a glimpse of joy.(AW)
26 They skim past(AX) like boats of papyrus,(AY)
    like eagles swooping down on their prey.(AZ)
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,(BA)
    I will change my expression, and smile,’
28 I still dread(BB) all my sufferings,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.(BC)
29 Since I am already found guilty,
    why should I struggle in vain?(BD)
30 Even if I washed myself with soap(BE)
    and my hands(BF) with cleansing powder,(BG)
31 you would plunge me into a slime pit(BH)
    so that even my clothes would detest me.(BI)

32 “He is not a mere mortal(BJ) like me that I might answer him,(BK)
    that we might confront each other in court.(BL)
33 If only there were someone to mediate between us,(BM)
    someone to bring us together,(BN)
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,(BO)
    so that his terror would frighten me no more.(BP)
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,(BQ)
    but as it now stands with me, I cannot.(BR)

Footnotes

  1. Job 9:9 Or of Leo
  2. Job 9:19 See Septuagint; Hebrew me.

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