Job Answers Bildad
1Then Job answered:
2“Of course, I know that this is true.
But how can a human being win an argument with God?
3Anyone who chose to argue with him
could not answer one question in a thousand!
4God is so wise and powerful that
no one could oppose him and survive.
5When God is angry, he moves mountains before they know what happened.
6He can shake the earth,
and it will tremble down to its foundations.
7With one command he can stop the sun from rising.
He can lock up the stars and keep them from shining.
8He alone made the skies,
and he walks on the ocean waves.
9“God made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades.#9:9 Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades Names of well-known constellations (groups of stars) in the night sky.
He made the planets that cross the southern sky.#9:9 planets … sky Literally, “Rooms of the South” or “Rooms of Teman.” This might be the planets or the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. North of the equator, these seem to move across the southern sky.
10He does things too marvelous for people to understand.
He does too many miracles to count!
11When he passes by, I cannot see him.
He goes right past me, and I don’t notice.
12If he takes something away, no one can stop him.
No one can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13God will not hold back his anger.
Even Rahab’s helpers are afraid of him.
14So I cannot argue with God.
I would not know what to say to him.
15I am innocent, but I cannot give him an answer.
All I can do is beg my Judge for mercy.
16Even if I called and he answered,
I cannot believe he would listen to me.
17He would just send storms to crush me.
He would give me more wounds for no reason.
18He would not let me catch my breath again.
He would just give me more trouble.
19I cannot defeat God.
He is too powerful!
I cannot take him to court for justice.
Who could force him to come?
20I am innocent, but anything I say makes me seem guilty.
I am innocent, but if I speak, my mouth proves me wrong.
21I am innocent, but I don’t know what to think.
I hate my own life.
22So I say, ‘Does it make any difference?
God destroys the innocent as well as the guilty.’
23Is it God who laughs when a disaster kills innocent people?
24Is it God who keeps the leaders from seeing when an evil person takes control?
If it is not God, then who is it?
25“My days are passing faster than a runner.
They are flying by without any joy.
26They go by as quickly as papyrus boats,
as fast as an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27“I could say, ‘I will not complain.
I will forget my pain and put a smile on my face.’
28But the suffering still frightens me.
I know that God will not see me as innocent.
29I will be found guilty,
so why should I even think about it?
30Even if I scrubbed my hands with soap
and washed myself whiter than snow,
31God would still push me into the slime pit,#9:31 slime pit The grave, a place where bodies rot.
and even my clothes would hate to touch me.
32God is not a human like me, so I cannot argue with him.
I cannot take him to court.
33I wish there were someone who could listen to both sides,#9:33 someone … sides Literally, “a mediator” or “an umpire.”
someone to judge both of us in a fair way.
34I wish someone could take away the threat of God’s punishment.
Then he would not frighten me anymore.
35Then I could say what I want without being afraid of him.
But I cannot do that now.