Parallel
9
Hymnic praise
1Job responded:
2I know for certain that this is so;
and how can anyone be innocent before God?
3If one wants to contend with him,
he won’t answer one in a thousand.
4He is wise#Or wise in heart; cf 37:24 and powerful;
who can resist him and prosper?
5Who removes mountains, and they are unaware;
who overthrows them in anger?
6Who shakes the earth from its place,
and its pillars shudder?
7Who commands the sun, and it does not rise,
even seals up the stars;
8stretched out the heavens alone
and trod on the waves of the Sea;#Heb Yam, a sea god
9made the Bear and Orion, Pleiades
and the southern constellations;
10does great and unsearchable things,
wonders beyond number?
A mismatch
11If God goes by me, I can’t see him;
he glides past, and I can’t perceive him.
12If he seizes, who can bring back?
Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"
13God won’t retract his anger;
the helpers of Rahab bow beneath him.
14Yet I myself will answer him;
I’ll choose my words in a contest#Heb lacks in a contest. with him.
15Even if I’m innocent, I can’t answer;
I must plead for justice.
16If I were to call and he answered me,
I couldn’t believe that he heard my voice.
17Who bruises me with a tempest
and multiplies my wounds for no reason?
18He doesn’t let me catch my breath,
for he fills me with bitterness.
19If the issue is strength—behold power!
If justice—who calls God to meet me?
There is no justice
20If I’m innocent, my mouth condemns me;
I have integrity; but God declares me perverse.
21I’m blameless, yet don’t know myself;
I reject my life.
22It’s all the same;
therefore, I say God destroys the blameless and the sinners.
23If calamity suddenly kills,
he mocks at the slaying#Heb uncertain of innocents.
24The earth is handed over to the wicked;
he covers the faces of its judges.
If not God, then who does?
Job wants an arbitrator
25My days are swifter than a runner;
they flee and don’t experience good.
26They sweep by like ships made of reeds,
as an eagle swoops on prey.
27If I say, "I’ll forget my lament,
put on a different face so I can smile,"
28I’m still afraid of all my suffering;
I know that you won’t declare me innocent.
29I myself am thought guilty;
why have I tried so hard in vain?
30If I wash myself with snow,
purify my hands with soap,
31then you’ll hurl me into a slimy pit
so that my clothes detest me.
32God is not a man like me—someone I could answer—
so that we could come together in court.
33Oh, that#Or There is no there were a mediator between us;
he would lay his hand on both of us,
34remove his rod from me,
so his fury wouldn’t frighten me.
35Then I would speak—unafraid—
for I’m not that way.