Job’s Reply to Zophar
1Then Job answered:
2No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you!
3But I also have a mind like you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who doesn’t know the things you are talking about?#12:3 Lit With whom are not such things as these?#Jb 13:2; 15:9; 16:2
4I am a laughingstock to my#12:4 Lit his friends,
by calling on God, who answers me.#12:4 Lit him
The righteous and blameless man is a laughingstock.#Jb 30:1,9; Jr 20:7; Lm 3:14
5The one who is at ease#Ps 123:4; Am 6:1 holds calamity in contempt
and thinks it is prepared for those whose feet are slipping.
6The tents of robbers are safe,#Jb 5:24; 8:6; 21:9
and those who trouble God are secure;
God holds them in his hands.#12:6 Or secure; to those who bring their god in their hands#Ps 73:11; Jr 12:1; Mt 5:45
7But ask the animals, and they will instruct you;
ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.#Jb 35:11; Mt 6:26
8Or speak to the earth, and it will instruct you;
let the fish of the sea inform you.
9Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?#Ru 1:13; Jb 19:21; Is 41:20
10The life of every living thing is in his hand,
as well as the breath of all humanity.#Gn 2:7; Jb 27:3; 33:4
11Doesn’t the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12Wisdom is found with the elderly,
and understanding comes with long life.#Jb 12:20; 32:7,9; Ps 119:100
13Wisdom and strength belong to God;
counsel and understanding are his.#Jb 9:4; 36:5; 38:36
14Whatever he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
whoever he imprisons cannot be released.#Jb 11:10; Is 22:22; Rv 3:7
15When he withholds water, everything dries up,
and when he releases it, it destroys the land.#Is 41:18; 42:15; 44:3,27
16True wisdom and power belong to him.
The deceived and the deceiver are his.
17He leads counselors away barefoot
and makes judges go mad.#Jb 9:24; Is 29:14; 44:25
18He releases the bonds#12:18 Text emended; MT reads discipline put on by kings#Jb 12:21; Is 45:1
and fastens a belt around their waists.
19He leads priests away barefoot
and overthrows established leaders.#Is 40:23; Lk 1:52
20He deprives trusted advisers of speech
and takes away the elders’ good judgment.
21He pours out contempt on nobles
and disarms#12:21 Lit and loosens the belt of the strong.
22He reveals mysteries from the darkness
and brings the deepest darkness into the light.#Ps 90:8; Dn 2:22; 1Co 4:5
23He makes nations great, then destroys them;
he enlarges nations,#Ex 34:24; Is 9:3; 26:15 then leads them away.
24He deprives the world’s leaders of reason,
and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.#Ps 107:40; Dn 4:33
25They grope around in darkness without light;
he makes them stagger like a drunkard.#Dt 28:29; Jb 5:14; Is 59:10
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