1-2You men are so wise, so clever;
listen now to what I am saying.
3You know good food when you taste it,
but not wise words when you hear them.
4It is up to us to decide the case.
5Job claims that he is innocent,
that God refuses to give him justice.
6He asks, “How could I lie and say I am wrong?
I am fatally wounded, but I am sinless.”
7Have you ever seen anyone like this man Job?
He never shows respect for God.
8He likes the company of evil people
and goes around with sinners.
9He says that it never does any good
to try to follow God's will.
10Listen to me, you men who understand!
Will Almighty God do what is wrong?
He rewards people for what they do
and treats them as they deserve.
12Almighty God does not do evil;
he is never unjust to anyone.
13Did God get his power from someone else?
Did someone put him in charge of the world?
14If God took back the breath of life,
15then everyone living would die
and turn into dust again.
16Now listen to me, if you are wise.
17Are you condemning the righteous God?
Do you think that he hates justice?
18God condemns kings and rulers
when they are worthless or wicked.
19He does not take the side of rulers
nor favor the rich over the poor,
for he created everyone.
20We may suddenly die at night.
God strikes us down and we perish;
he kills the mighty with no effort at all.
21He watches every step we take.
22There is no darkness dark enough
to hide a sinner from God.
23God does not need to set a time#34.23: Probable text a time; Hebrew yet.
for us to go and be judged by him.
24He does not need an investigation
to remove leaders and replace them with others.
25Because he knows what they do;
he overthrows them and crushes them by night.
26He punishes sinners where all can see it,
27because they have stopped following him
and ignored all his commands.
28They forced the poor to cry out to God,
and he heard their calls for help.
29If God decided to do nothing at all,
no one could criticize him.
If he hid his face, we would be helpless.
30There would be nothing that nations could do
to keep godless oppressors from ruling them.
31Job, have you confessed your sins to God
and promised not to sin again?
32Have you asked God to show you your faults,
and have you agreed to stop doing evil?
33Since you object to what God does,
can you expect him to do what you want?
The decision is yours, not mine;
tell us now what you think.
34Any sensible person will surely agree;
and the wise who hear me will say
35that Job is speaking from ignorance
and that nothing he says makes sense.
36Think through everything that Job says;
you will see that he talks like an evil man.
37To his sins he adds rebellion;
in front of us all he mocks God.