2‘Bear with me a little longer and I will show you
that there is more to be said on God’s behalf.
3I get my knowledge from afar;
I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
4Be assured that my words are not false;
one who has perfect knowledge is with you.
5‘God is mighty, but despises no-one;
he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
6He does not keep the wicked alive
but gives the afflicted their rights.
7He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
he enthrones them with kings
and exalts them for ever.
8But if people are bound in chains,
held fast by cords of affliction,
9he tells them what they have done –
that they have sinned arrogantly.
10He makes them listen to correction
and commands them to repent of their evil.
11If they obey and serve him,
they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
and their years in contentment.
12But if they do not listen,
they will perish by the sword#36:12 Or will cross the river
and die without knowledge.
13‘The godless in heart harbour resentment;
even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
14They die in their youth,
among male prostitutes of the shrines.
15But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction.
16‘He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious place free from restriction,
to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
17But now you are laden with the judgment due to the wicked;
judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
18Be careful that no-one entices you by riches;
do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts
sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20Do not long for the night,
to drag people away from their homes.#36:20 The meaning of the Hebrew for verses 18-20 is uncertain.
21Beware of turning to evil,
which you seem to prefer to affliction.
22‘God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
23Who has prescribed his ways for him,
or said to him, “You have done wrong”?
24Remember to extol his work,
which people have praised in song.
25All humanity has seen it;
mortals gaze on it from afar.
26How great is God – beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.
27‘He draws up the drops of water,
which distil as rain to the streams#36:27 Or distil from the mist as rain;
28the clouds pour down their moisture
and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
how he thunders from his pavilion?
30See how he scatters his lightning about him,
bathing the depths of the sea.
31This is the way he governs#36:31 Or nourishes the nations
and provides food in abundance.
32He fills his hands with lightning
and commands it to strike its mark.
33His thunder announces the coming storm;
even the cattle make known its approach.#36:33 Or announces his coming – / the One zealous against evil