Job Speaks: The Futility of Arguing with God
1 Then Job replied ⌊to his friends⌋,
2 “Yes, I know that this is true.
But how can a mortal be declared righteous to God?
3 If he wished to debate with God,
he wouldn’t be able to answer one question in a thousand.
4 “God is wise in heart and mighty in power.
Who could oppose him and win?
5 He moves mountains without their knowing it,
and he topples them in his anger.
6 He shakes the earth from its place,
and its pillars tremble.
7 He commands the sun not to rise.
He doesn’t let the stars come out.
8 He stretches out the heavens by himself
and walks on the waves of the sea.
9 He made ⌊the constellations⌋ Ursa Major, Orion, and the Pleiades,
and the clusters of stars in the south.
10 He does great things that are unsearchable
and miracles that cannot be numbered.
11 He passes alongside of me, and I don’t even see him.
He goes past me, and I don’t even notice him.
12 He takes something away, ⌊but⌋ who can stop him?
Who is going to ask him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 God does not hold back his anger.
Even Rahab’s#Rahab is the name of a demonic creature who opposes God. helpers bow humbly in front of him.
14 “How can I possibly answer God?
How can I find the right words ⌊to speak⌋ with him?
15 Even if I were right, I could not answer ⌊him⌋.
I would have to plead for mercy from my judge.
16 If I cried out and he answered me,
I do not believe that he would listen to me.
17 He would knock me down with a storm
and bruise me without a reason.
18 He would not let me catch my breath.
He fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a matter of strength,
then he is the mighty one.
If it is about justice,
who will charge me with a crime?
20 If I am righteous, my own mouth would condemn me.
It would declare that I am corrupt even if I am a man of integrity.
21 If I am a man of integrity, I have no way of knowing it.
I hate my life!
22 It is all the same.
That is why I say,
‘He destroys ⌊both⌋ the man of integrity and the wicked.’
23 When a sudden disaster brings death,
he makes fun of the despair of innocent people.
24 The earth is handed over to the wicked.
He covers the faces of its judges.
If he isn’t the one ⌊doing this⌋, who is?
25 “My days go by more quickly than a runner.
They sprint away.
They don’t see anything good.
26 They pass by quickly like boats made from reeds,
like an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27 ⌊Even⌋ if I say, ‘I will forget my complaining;
I will change my expression and smile,’
28 I ⌊still⌋ dread everything I must suffer.
I know that you won’t declare me innocent.
29 I’ve already been found guilty.
Why should I work so hard for nothing?
30 If I wash myself with lye soap#Or “with water made from snow.”
and cleanse my hands with bleach,
31 then you would plunge me into a muddy pit,
and my own clothes would find me disgusting.
32 A human like me cannot answer God,
‘Let’s take our case to court.’
33 There is no mediator between us
to put his hand on both of us.
34 God should take his rod away from me,
and he should not terrify me.#–34 Or “If there were a mediator between us to put his hand on both of us, he would remove his rod from me, and no longer terrify me.”
35 Then I would speak and not be afraid of him.
But I know that I am not like that.#Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.