1“Now, Job, listen to my words.
Pay attention to everything I say.
2I open my mouth
and am ready to speak.
3My words come from an honest heart,
and I am sincere in saying what I know.
4The Spirit of God created me,
and the breath of the Almighty gave me life.
5Answer me if you can;
get yourself ready and stand before me.
6I am just like you before God;
I too am made out of clay.
7Don’t be afraid of me;
I will not be hard on you.
8“But I heard what you have said;
I heard every word.
9You said, ‘I am pure and without sin;
I am innocent and free from guilt.
10But God has found fault with me;
he considers me his enemy.
11He locks my feet in chains
and closely watches everywhere I go.’
12“But I tell you, you are not right in saying this,
because God is greater than we are.
13Why do you accuse God
of not answering anyone?
14God does speak—sometimes one way and sometimes another—
even though people may not understand it.
15He speaks in a dream or a vision of the night
when people are in a deep sleep,
lying on their beds.
16He speaks in their ears
and frightens them with warnings
17to turn them away from doing wrong
and to keep them from being proud.
18God does this to save people from death,
to keep them from dying.
19People may be corrected while in bed in great pain;
they may have continual pain in their very bones.
20They may be in such pain that they even hate food,
even the very best meal.
21Their body becomes so thin there is almost nothing left of it,
and their bones that were hidden now stick out.
22They are near death,
and their life is almost over.
23“But there may be an angel to speak for him,
one out of a thousand, who will tell him what to do.
24The angel will beg for mercy and say:
‘Save him from death.
I have found a way to pay for his life.’
25Then his body is made new like a child’s.
It will return to the way it was when he was young.
26That person will pray to God, and God will listen to him.
He will see God’s face and will shout with happiness.
And God will set things right for him again.
27Then he will say to others,
‘I sinned and twisted what was right,
but I did not receive the punishment I should have received.
28God bought my life back from death,
and I will continue to enjoy life.’
29“God does all these things to a person
two or even three times
30so he won’t die as punishment for his sins
and so he may still enjoy life.
31“Job, pay attention and listen to me;
be quiet, and I will speak.
32If you have anything to say, answer me;
speak up, because I want to prove you right.
33But if you have nothing to say, then listen to me;
be quiet, and I will teach you wisdom.”