Job replies to Bildad
1Then Job replied. This is what he said:
2‘The things that you have said are true. I know that they are true.
But God will not agree that anyone is completely honest.
3We might decide to quarrel with him about that.
But God can ask 1,000 questions which we cannot answer.
4God is very wise and he is very powerful.
It is impossible to argue with him.
5He is so powerful that he can move mountains.
When he is angry he can knock them down.
6He can make the earth itself move.
He can even move it from the place where it belongs.
7He can tell the sun not to shine during the day.
He can stop the stars shining at night.
8God made the sky and everything that is above the earth.
He did not need anyone to help him. And he tells the seas what they should do.
9He made all the stars and he put them in their places in the sky.
He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades. #9:9 The Bear, Orion and the Pleiades. When people look at the stars in the sky, they see different shapes. And they give names to different groups of stars. These are the names of three groups of stars.
He also put the stars in their places in the south sky.
10Nobody can understand all the things that he does.
And nobody can count the surprising things that he has done.
11When God passes in front of me, I cannot see him.
He may go somewhere else. And I cannot see where he has gone.
12He takes what he wants. And no one can stop him.
No one can ask him what he is doing.
13God will always be angry with his enemies.
They may fight against him but they will not beat him.
14I cannot cause God to change his thoughts about me.
There are no words that I can use.
15I may not have done anything that was wrong. But I cannot explain that to God.
I can only ask him to be merciful.
16If I call to him he might answer me.
But even then he would not listen to the things that I say.
17He would send a storm to cause me pain.
He would hurt me for no reason.
18I would not be able to breathe.
Instead, he would make me very sad.
19God is much stronger than I am.
And no one can ask him to explain what he has done.
20I may not have done anything that was wrong.
But my words do not show that this is true.
I may be completely honest.
But when I speak, no one believes me.
21I have not done anything that was wrong.
But my life is not important and I hate myself.
22The same thing happens to everybody in the end.
So I say, “God kills both good people and very bad people.”
23Sometimes a good man will become ill while he is young.
But even if he is very sad, God does not do anything to help him.
24Bad men may rule the countries in the world.
And the judges do not see what the bad men are doing.
It must be God who lets those things happen.
I do not know anyone else that would do that.
25I am becoming old very quickly.
But even if I live for many years, I will not be happy.
26A fast boat passes very quickly. My life is like that. It will soon end.
A bird can catch a small animal in a moment. My life seems to be as short as that.
27I may try to smile.
And I may try to forget about all my troubles.
28Even then, I will be afraid of the pain that God causes.
God does not agree that I am an honest man. I know that.
29He has decided that I have done wrong things.
So I do not see why I should continue to argue with him.
30I might wash myself with soap,
and I might clean my hands with powder.
31Even then, God would throw me into a dirty hole.
I would be so dirty that I could not wear my own clothes.
32God is not a man; so I cannot argue with him.
We cannot argue with each other in court.
33No one can decide which of us is right.
What I say may be true. But no one can check if it is true.
34No one can stop God when he hurts me.
If that were possible, then I would not be afraid any more.
35If that were possible, I would not be afraid to speak.
But it is not possible, so I cannot speak.’