Job Answers His Friends
1Then Job answered them:
2“I’m sure you think you are
the only wise people left.
You think that when you die,
wisdom will be gone with you.
3But my mind is as good as yours.
You aren’t any smarter than I am.
You haven’t said anything
that people don’t already know.
4“My friends laugh at me now.
They say, ‘He prayed to God and got his answer.’
I am a good, innocent man,
but still they laugh at me.
5Those who have no troubles make fun of those who do.
They hit a man when he is down.
6But robbers’ tents are not bothered.
Those who make God angry live in peace,
even though God has them in his power.
7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you.
Or ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you.
8Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you.
Or let the fish in the sea tell you their wisdom.
9Everyone knows
that the Lord made these things.
10Every animal that lives and everyone who breathes—
they are all under God’s power.
11But just as the tongue tastes food,
the ears test the words they hear.
12People say, ‘Wisdom is to be found in those who are old.
Long life brings understanding.’
13But wisdom and power belong to God.
Good advice and understanding are his.
14Anything God tears down cannot be rebuilt.
Anyone he puts in prison cannot be set free.
15If he holds back the rain, the earth will dry up.
If he lets the rain loose, it will flood the land.
16God is strong and always wins.
He controls those who fool others and those who are fooled.
17He strips advisors of their wisdom
and makes leaders act like fools.
18He strips kings of their authority
and makes them slaves.
19He strips priests of their power
and removes those who feel so secure in their position.
20He makes trusted advisors be silent.
He takes away the wisdom of the older leaders.
21He brings disgrace to important people.
He takes power away from rulers.
22He exposes even the darkest secrets.
He sends light into places that are as dark as death.
23God makes nations great,
and then he destroys them.
He makes nations grow large,
and then he scatters their people.
24He makes their leaders foolish.
He makes them wander around in the desert.
25They are like someone feeling their way in the dark.
They are like drunks who don’t know where they are going.