Job’s Reply to Bildad
1Then Job answered:
2Yes, I know what you’ve said is true,
but how can a person be justified before God?#Jb 25:4; Ps 143:2; Rm 3:20
3If one wanted to take#Jb 13:19; 33:13; 40:2 him to court,
he could not answer God#9:3 Or court, God would not answer him once in a thousand times.#Jb 9:14; 37:19; 40:2
4God is wise#Jb 11:6; 12:13; 36:5 and all-powerful.
Who has opposed him and come out unharmed?
5He removes mountains without their knowledge,
overturning them in his anger.#Jdg 5:5; Ps 18:7; Mc 1:4
6He shakes the earth from its place
so that its pillars tremble.
7He commands the sun not to shine
and seals off the stars.#Is 13:10; Ezk 32:8; Jl 2:10,31
8He alone stretches out the heavens#Ps 104:2-3; Is 40:22; 44:24
and treads on the waves of the sea.#9:8 Or and walks on the back of the sea god
9He makes the stars: the Bear,#9:9 Or Aldebaran Orion,
the Pleiades,#Jb 38:31-32; Is 40:26; Am 5:8 and the constellations#9:9 Or chambers of the southern sky.
10He does great and unsearchable things,
wonders without number.#Jb 5:9; Ps 40:5; 72:18
11If he passed by me, I wouldn’t see him;#Jb 23:8-9; 35:14
if he went by, I wouldn’t recognize him.
12If he snatches something, who can stop#9:12 Or dissuade him?
Who can ask him, “What are you doing?” #Jb 11:10; Is 45:9; Rm 9:20
13God does not hold back his anger;
Rahab’s#Jb 26:12; Ps 89:10; Is 51:9 assistants cringe in fear beneath him!
14How then can I answer him
or choose my arguments against him?
15Even if I were in the right, I could not answer.
I could only beg my Judge for mercy.#Jb 8:5; 10:15
16If I summoned him and he answered me,
I do not believe he would pay attention to what I said.
17He batters me with a whirlwind#Jb 30:22; Ps 83:15; Jnh 1:4
and multiplies my wounds without cause.
18He doesn’t let me catch my breath
but fills me with bitter experiences.
19If it is a matter of strength, look, he is the powerful one!#Jb 9:4; Is 28:2; 40:26
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon#Jr 49:19; 50:44 him?#9:19 LXX; MT reads me
20Even if I were in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;#Jb 9:28; 40:8; Is 50:9
if I were blameless, my mouth would declare me guilty.
21Though I am blameless,
I no longer care about myself;
I renounce my life.#Jb 7:16; 10:1
22It is all the same. Therefore I say,
“He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.”#Jb 3:19; Ec 9:2-3; Is 14:3-11
23When catastrophe#9:23 Or whip; Hb obscure brings sudden death,
he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24The earth#9:24 Or land is handed over to the wicked;
he blindfolds#9:24 Lit covers the faces of its judges.#Jb 12:6,17; Is 29:14; 44:25
If it isn’t he, then who is it?
25My days fly by faster than a runner;#9:25 = a royal messenger#2Sm 18:19-33; 1Kg 1:5; Est 3:13,15
they flee without seeing any good.#Jb 7:7; Ps 78:39; Jms 4:14
26They sweep by like boats made of papyrus,
like an eagle swooping down on its prey.#Jb 39:29; Is 18:2; Hab 1:8
27If I said, “I will forget my complaint,
change my expression, and smile,”
28I would still live in terror of all my pains.#Jb 3:25; 13:11; 31:23
I know you will not acquit me.#Jb 10:14; Jl 3:21; Nah 1:3
29Since I will be found guilty,#Jb 9:20; 40:8; Is 50:9
why should I struggle in vain?
30If I wash myself with snow,
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31then you dip me in a pit of mud,
and my own clothes despise me!
32For he is not a man like me, that I can answer him,#Jb 41:13; Ps 143:2; Ec 6:10
that we can take each other to court.
33There is no mediator between us,
to lay his hand on both of us.
34Let him take his rod away from me
so his terror will no longer frighten me.#Jb 6:4; 13:21; Ps 39:10
35Then I would speak and not fear him.
But that is not the case; I am on my own.