151-2Empty words, Job! Empty words!
3No wise person would talk as you do
or defend himself with such meaningless words.
4If you had your way, no one would fear God;
no one would pray to him.
5Your wickedness is evident by what you say;
you are trying to hide behind clever words.
6There is no need for me to condemn you;
you are condemned by every word you speak.
7Do you think you were the first person born?
Were you there when God made the mountains?
8Did you overhear the plans God made?
Does human wisdom belong to you alone?
9There is nothing you know that we don't know.
10We learnt our wisdom from grey-haired people —
those born before your father.
11God offers you comfort; why still reject it?
We have spoken for him with calm, even words.
12But you are excited and glare at us in anger.
13You are angry with God and denounce him.
Can any human being be really pure?
Can anyone be right with God?
15Why, God does not trust even his angels;
even they are not pure in his sight.
16And people drink evil as if it were water;
yes, they are corrupt; they are worthless.
17Now listen, Job, to what I know.
18Those who are wise have taught me truths
which they learnt from their ancestors,
and they kept no secrets hidden.
19Their land was free from foreigners;
there was no one to lead them away from God.
20The wicked who oppress others
will be in torment as long as they live.
21Voices of terror will scream in their ears,
and robbers attack when they think they are safe.
22They have no hope of escaping from darkness,
for somewhere a sword is waiting to kill them,
23and vultures15.23 One ancient translation vultures; Hebrew where is he? are waiting15.23 One ancient translation are waiting; Hebrew he wanders. to eat their corpses.
They know their future is dark;
24disaster, like a powerful king,
is waiting to attack them.
25That is the fate of those
who shake their fists at God
and defy the Almighty.
26-27They are proud and rebellious;
they stubbornly hold up their shields
and rush to fight against God.
28They are the ones who captured cities
and seized houses whose owners had fled,
but war will destroy those cities and houses.
29They will not remain rich for long;
nothing they own will last.
Even their shadows15.29 One ancient translation shadow; Hebrew unclear. will vanish,
30and they will not escape from darkness.
They will be like trees
whose branches are burnt by fire,
whose blossoms15.30 One ancient translation blossoms; Hebrew mouth. are blown away by the wind.
31If they are foolish enough to trust in evil,
then evil will be their reward.
32Before their time is up they will wither,15.32 Some ancient translations wither; Hebrew be filled.
wither like a branch and never be green again.
33They will be like vines that lose their unripe grapes;
like olive trees that drop their blossoms.
34There will be no descendants for godless people,
and fire will destroy the homes built by bribery.
35These are the ones who plan trouble and do evil;
their hearts are always full of deceit.