341-2You men are so wise, so clever;
listen now to what I am saying.
You know good food when you taste it,
but not wise words when you hear them.
4It is up to us to decide the case.
5Job claims that he is innocent,
that God refuses to give him justice.
6He asks, “How could I lie and say I am wrong?
I am fatally wounded, but I am sinless.”
7Have you ever seen anyone like this man Job?
He never shows respect for God.
8He likes the company of evil people
and goes about with sinners.
9He says that it never does any good
to try to follow God's will.
10Listen to me, you men who understand!
Will Almighty God do what is wrong?
He rewards people for what they do
and treats them as they deserve.
12Almighty God does not do evil;
he is never unjust to anyone.
13Did God get his power from someone else?
Did someone put him in charge of the world?
14If God took back the breath of life,
15then everyone living would die
and turn into dust again.
16Now listen to me, if you are wise.
17Are you condemning the righteous God?
Do you think that he hates justice?
18God condemns kings and rulers
when they are worthless or wicked.
19He does not take the side of rulers
nor favour the rich against the poor,
for he created everyone.
20Someone may suddenly die at night.
God strikes people down and they perish;
he kills the mighty with no effort at all.
21He watches every step we take.
22There is no darkness dark enough
to hide a sinner from God.
23God does not need to set a time34.23 Probable text a time; Hebrew yet.
for us to go and be judged by him.
24He does not need an investigation
to remove leaders and replace them with others.
25Because he knows what they do
he overthrows them and crushes them by night.
26He punishes sinners where all can see it,
27because they have stopped following him
and ignored all his commands.
28They forced the poor to cry out to God,
and he heard their calls for help.
29If God decided to do nothing at all,
no one could criticize him.
If he hid his face, we would be helpless.
30There would be nothing that nations could do
to keep godless oppressors from ruling them.
31Job, have you confessed your sins to God
and promised not to sin again?
32Have you asked God to show you your faults,
and have you agreed to stop doing evil?
33Since you object to what God does,
can you expect him to do what you want?
The decision is yours, not mine;
tell us now what you think.
34Any sensible person will surely agree;
and the wise who hear me will say
35that Job is speaking from ignorance
and that nothing he says makes sense.
36Think through everything that Job says;
you will see that he talks like an evil man.
37To his sins he adds rebellion;
in front of us all he mocks God.
351-2It is not right, Job, for you to say
that you are innocent in God's sight,
3or to ask God, “How does my sin affect you?
What have I gained by not sinning?”
4I am going to answer you and your friends too.
5Look at the sky! See how high the clouds are!
If you sin, that does no harm to God.
If you do wrong many times, does that affect him?
7Do you help God by being so righteous?
There is nothing God needs from you.
8Others suffer from your sins,
and the good you do helps them.
9When people are oppressed, they groan;
they cry for someone to save them.
10But they don't turn to God, their Creator,
who gives them hope in their darkest hours.
11They don't turn to God, who makes us wise,
wiser than any animal or bird.
12They cry for help, but God doesn't answer,
for they are proud and evil.
13It is useless for them to cry out;
Almighty God does not see or hear them.
14Job, you say you can't see God;
but wait patiently — your case is before him.
15You think that God does not punish,
that he pays little attention to sin.
16It is useless for you to go on talking;
it is clear you don't know what you are saying.
361-2Be patient and listen a little longer
to what I am saying on God's behalf.
3My knowledge is wide; I will use what I know
to show that God, my Creator, is just.
4Nothing I say to you is false;
you see before you a truly wise man.
5How strong God is! He despises no one;
there is nothing he doesn't understand.
6He does not let sinners live on,
and he always treats the poor with justice.
7He protects those who are righteous;
he allows them to rule like kings
and lets them be honoured for ever.
8But if people are bound in chains,
suffering for what they have done,
9God shows them their sins and their pride.
10He makes them listen to his warning
to turn away from evil.
11If they obey God and serve him,
they live out their lives in peace and prosperity.
12But if not, they will die in ignorance
and cross the stream into the world of the dead.
13Those who are godless keep on being angry,
and even when punished, they don't pray for help.
14They die while they are still young,
worn out by a life of disgrace.
15But God teaches people through suffering
and uses distress to open their eyes.
16God brought you out of trouble,
and let you enjoy security;
your table was piled high with food.
17But now you are being punished as you deserve.
18Be careful not to let bribes deceive you,
or riches lead you astray.
19It will do you no good to cry out for help;
all your strength can't help you now.
20Don't wish for night to come,
the time when nations will perish.
21Be careful not to turn to evil;
your suffering was sent to keep you from it.
22Remember how great is God's power;
he is the greatest teacher of all.
23No one can tell God what to do
or accuse him of doing evil.
24He has always been praised for what he does;
you also must praise him.
25Everyone has seen what he has done;
but we can only watch from a distance.36.25 but we can only watch from a distance; or no one understands it all.
26We cannot fully know his greatness
or count the number of his years.
27It is God who takes water from the earth
and turns it into drops of rain.
28He lets the rain pour from the clouds
in showers for the whole human race.
29No one knows how the clouds move
or how the thunder roars
through the sky, where God dwells.
30He sends lightning through all the sky,
but the depths of the sea remain dark.
31This is how he feeds36.31 Probable text feeds; Hebrew judges. the people
and provides an abundance of food.
32He seizes the lightning with his hands
and commands it to hit the mark.
33Thunder announces the approaching storm,
and the cattle know it is coming.