1 THEN JOB answered,
2 No doubt you are the [only wise] people [in the world], and wisdom will die with you!
3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these [of God's wisdom and might]?
4 I am become one who is a laughingstock to his friend; I, one whom God answered when he called upon Him–a just, upright (blameless) man–laughed to scorn!
5 In the thought of him who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune–but it is ready for those whose feet slip.
6 The dwellings of robbers prosper; those who provoke God are [apparently] secure; God supplies them abundantly [who have no god but their own hands and power].
7 For ask now the animals, and they will teach you [that God does not deal with His creatures according to their character]; ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8 Or speak to the earth [with its other forms of life], and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare [this truth] to you.
9 Who [is so blind as] not to recognize in all these [that good and evil are promiscuously scattered throughout nature and human life] that it is God's hand which does it [and God's way]?
10 In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
11 Is it not the task of the ear to discriminate between [wise and unwise] words, just as the mouth distinguishes [between desirable and undesirable] food?
12 With the aged [you say] is wisdom, and with length of days comes understanding.
13 But [only] with [God] are [perfect] wisdom and might; He [alone] has [true] counsel and understanding.
14 Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be built again; He shuts a man in, and none can open.
15 He withholds the waters, and the land dries up; again, He sends forth [rains], and they overwhelm the land or transform it.
16 With Him are might and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are His [and in His power].
17 He leads [great and scheming] counselors away stripped and barefoot and makes the judges fools [in human estimation, by overthrowing their plans].
18 He looses the fetters [ordered] by kings and has [the] waistcloth [of a slave] bound about their [own] loins.
19 He leads away priests as spoil, and men firmly seated He overturns.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment and discretion of the aged.
21 He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong [disabling them, bringing low the pride of the learned].
22 He uncovers deep things out of darkness and brings into light black gloom and the shadow of death.
23 He makes nations great, and He destroys them; He enlarges nations [and then straitens and shrinks them again], and leads them [away captive].
24 He takes away understanding from the leaders of the people of the land and of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no path.
25 They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them to stagger and wander like a drunken man.