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Job 11:1–13:28

Zophar

11 Then Zophar the Naamathiteg replied:

“Are all these words to go unanswered?h

Is this talker to be vindicated?i

Will your idle talkj reduce others to silence?

Will no one rebuke you when you mock?k

You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawlessl

and I am purem in your sight.’

Oh, how I wish that God would speak,n

that he would open his lips against you

and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom,o

for true wisdom has two sides.

Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.p

“Can you fathomq the mysteries of God?

Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

They are higherr than the heavenss above—what can you do?

They are deeper than the depths belowt—what can you know?u

Their measurev is longer than the earth

and wider than the sea.w

10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison

and convenes a court, who can oppose him?x

11 Surely he recognizes deceivers;

and when he sees evil, does he not take note?y

12 But the witless can no more become wise

than a wild donkey’s coltz can be born human.a a

13 “Yet if you devote your heartb to him

and stretch out your handsc to him,d

14 if you put awaye the sin that is in your hand

and allow no evilf to dwell in your tent,g

15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;h

you will stand firmi and without fear.j

16 You will surely forget your trouble,k

recalling it only as waters gone by.l

17 Life will be brighter than noonday,m

and darkness will become like morning.n

18 You will be secure, because there is hope;

you will look about you and take your resto in safety.p

19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,q

and many will court your favor.r

20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail,s

and escape will elude them;t

their hope will become a dying gasp.”u

Job

12 Then Job replied:

“Doubtless you are the only people who matter,

and wisdom will die with you!v

But I have a mind as well as you;

I am not inferior to you.

Who does not know all these things?w

“I have become a laughingstockx to my friends,y

though I called on God and he answeredz

a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!a

Those who are at ease have contemptb for misfortune

as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.c

The tents of marauders are undisturbed,d

and those who provoke God are securee

those God has in his hand.a

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,f

or the birds in the sky,g and they will tell you;h

or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,

or let the fish in the sea inform you.

Which of all these does not knowi

that the hand of the Lord has done this?j

10 In his hand is the lifek of every creature

and the breath of all mankind.l

11 Does not the ear test words

as the tongue tastes food?m

12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?n

Does not long life bring understanding?o

13 “To God belong wisdomp and power;q

counsel and understanding are his.r

14 What he tears downs cannot be rebuilt;t

those he imprisons cannot be released.u

15 If he holds back the waters,v there is drought;w

if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.x

16 To him belong strength and insight;y

both deceived and deceiver are his.z

17 He leads rulers away strippeda

and makes fools of judges.b

18 He takes off the shacklesc put on by kings

and ties a loinclothb around their waist.d

19 He leads priests away strippede

and overthrows officials long established.f

20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers

and takes away the discernment of elders.g

21 He pours contempt on noblesh

and disarms the mighty.i

22 He reveals the deep things of darknessj

and brings utter darknessk into the light.l

23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;m

he enlarges nations,n and disperses them.o

24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;p

he makes them wander in a trackless waste.q

25 They grope in darkness with no light;r

he makes them stagger like drunkards.s

13 “My eyes have seen all this,t

my ears have heard and understood it.

What you know, I also know;

I am not inferior to you.u

But I desire to speak to the Almightyv

and to argue my case with God.w

You, however, smear me with lies;x

you are worthless physicians,y all of you!z

If only you would be altogether silent!a

For you, that would be wisdom.b

Hear now my argument;

listen to the pleas of my lips.c

Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?

Will you speak deceitfully for him?d

Will you show him partiality?e

Will you argue the case for God?

Would it turn out well if he examined you?f

Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?g

10 He would surely call you to account

if you secretly showed partiality.h

11 Would not his splendori terrify you?

Would not the dread of him fall on you?j

12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;

your defenses are defenses of clay.k

13 “Keep silentl and let me speak;m

then let come to me what may.n

14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy

and take my life in my hands?o

15 Though he slay me, yet will I hopep in him;q

I will surelya defend my ways to his face.r

16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,s

for no godlesst person would dare come before him!u

17 Listen carefully to what I say;v

let my words ring in your ears.

18 Now that I have prepared my case,w

I know I will be vindicated.x

19 Can anyone bring charges against me?y

If so, I will be silentz and die.a

20 “Only grant me these two things, God,

and then I will not hide from you:

21 Withdraw your handb far from me,

and stop frightening me with your terrors.c

22 Then summon me and I will answer,d

or let me speak, and you reply to me.e

23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed?f

Show me my offense and my sin.g

24 Why do you hide your faceh

and consider me your enemy?i

25 Will you tormentj a windblown leaf?k

Will you chasel after dry chaff?m

26 For you write down bitter things against me

and make me reap the sins of my youth.n

27 You fasten my feet in shackles;o

you keep close watch on all my pathsp

by putting marks on the soles of my feet.

28 “So man wastes away like something rotten,

like a garmentq eaten by moths.r

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