1Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2‘Are all these words to go unanswered?
Is this talker to be vindicated?
3Will your idle talk reduce others to silence?
Will no-one rebuke you when you mock?
4You say to God, “My beliefs are flawless
and I am pure in your sight.”
5Oh, how I wish that God would speak,
that he would open his lips against you
6and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom,
for true wisdom has two sides.
Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7‘Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8They are higher than the heavens above – what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths below – what can you know?
9Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.
10‘If he comes along and confines you in prison
and convenes a court, who can oppose him?
11Surely he recognises deceivers;
and when he sees evil, does he not take note?
12But the witless can no more become wise
than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.#11:12 Or wild donkey can be born tame
13‘Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
14if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
16You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
17Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
18You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19You will lie down, with no-one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favour.
20But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
and escape will elude them;
their hope will become a dying gasp.’