Job Presents His Case
1 Then Job answered:
2 “Truly then you are the people
with whom wisdom itself will die!
3 But I also have a mind;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
4 I am a laughingstock to my friends,
though I called on God, and He answered.
The righteous and upright man is a laughingstock.
5 The one at ease scorns misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6 The tents of robbers are safe,
and those who provoke God are secure—
those who carry their god in their hands. a
7 But ask the animals, and they will instruct you;
ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you.
8 Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
let the fish of the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10 The life of every living thing is in His hand,
as well as the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes its food?
12 Wisdom is found with the elderly,
and understanding comes with long life.
13 Wisdom and strength belong to God;
counsel and understanding are His.
14 What He tears down cannot be rebuilt;
the man He imprisons cannot be released.
15 If He holds back the waters, they dry up,
and if He releases them, they overwhelm the land.
16 True wisdom and power belong to Him.
The deceived and the deceiver are His.
17 He leads counselors away barefoot
and makes fools of judges.
18 He loosens the bonds placed by kings
and fastens a belt around their waists.
19 He leads priests away barefoot
and overthrows the established.
20 He deprives the trusted of speech
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours out contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings deep shadows into light.
23 He makes nations great and destroys them;
He enlarges nations, then disperses them.
24 He deprives the earth’s leaders of reason
and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.
25 They grope in the darkness without light;
He makes them stagger like drunkards.
6 a Or though God keeps them in His power