1‘But now, Job, listen to my words;
pay attention to everything I say.
2I am about to open my mouth;
my words are on the tip of my tongue.
3My words come from an upright heart;
my lips sincerely speak what I know.
4The Spirit of God has made me;
the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
5Answer me then, if you can;
stand up and argue your case before me.
6I am the same as you in God’s sight;
I too am a piece of clay.
7No fear of me should alarm you,
nor should my hand be heavy on you.
8‘But you have said in my hearing –
I heard the very words –
9“I am pure, I have done no wrong;
I am clean and free from sin.
10Yet God has found fault with me;
he considers me his enemy.
11He fastens my feet in shackles;
he keeps close watch on all my paths.”
12‘But I tell you, in this you are not right,
for God is greater than any mortal.
13Why do you complain to him
that he responds to no one’s words#Or that he does not answer for any of his actions?
14For God does speak – now one way, now another –
though no one perceives it.
15In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they slumber in their beds,
16he may speak in their ears
and terrify them with warnings,
17to turn them from wrongdoing
and keep them from pride,
18to preserve them from the pit,
their lives from perishing by the sword.#Or from crossing the river
19‘Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain
with constant distress in their bones,
20so that their body finds food repulsive
and their soul loathes the choicest meal.
21Their flesh wastes away to nothing,
and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.
22They draw near to the pit,
and their life to the messengers of death.#Or to the place of the dead
23Yet if there is an angel at their side,
a messenger, one out of a thousand,
sent to tell them how to be upright,
24and he is gracious to that person and says to God,
“Spare them from going down to the pit;
I have found a ransom for them –
25let their flesh be renewed like a child’s;
let them be restored as in the days of their youth” –
26then that person can pray to God and find favour with him,
they will see God’s face and shout for joy;
he will restore them to full well-being.
27And they will go to others and say,
“I have sinned, and I have perverted what is right,
but I did not get what I deserved.
28God has delivered me from going down to the pit,
and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.”
29‘God does all these things to a person –
twice, even three times –
30to turn them back from the pit,
that the light of life may shine on them.
31‘Pay attention, Job, and listen to me;
be silent, and I will speak.
32If you have anything to say, answer me;
speak up, for I want to vindicate you.
33But if not, then listen to me;
be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.’