1-2Yes, you are the voice of the people.
When you die, wisdom will die with you.
3But I have as much sense as you have;
I am in no way inferior to you;
everyone knows all that you have said.
4Even my friends laugh at me now;
they laugh, although I am righteous and blameless;
but there was a time when God answered my prayers.
5You have no troubles, and yet you make fun of me;
you hit someone who is about to fall.
6But thieves and godless people live in peace,
though their only god is their own strength.
7Even birds and animals have much they could teach you;
8ask the creatures of earth and sea for their wisdom.
9All of them know that the Lord's hand made them.
10It is God who directs the lives of his creatures;
everyone's life is in his power.
11But just as your tongue enjoys tasting food,
your ears enjoy hearing words.
12-13Old people have wisdom,
but God has wisdom and power.
Old people have insight;
God has insight and power to act.
14When God tears down, who can rebuild,
and who can free those God imprisons?
15Drought comes when God withholds rain;
floods come when he turns water loose.
16God is strong and always victorious;
both deceived and deceiver are in his power.
17He takes away the wisdom of rulers
and makes leaders act like fools.
18He dethrones kings and makes them prisoners;
19he humbles priests and men of power.
20He silences those who are trusted,
and takes the wisdom of old people away.
21He disgraces those in power
and puts an end to the strength of rulers.
22He sends light to places dark as death.
23He makes nations strong and great,
but then he defeats and destroys them.
24He makes their leaders foolish
and lets them wander confused and lost;
25they grope in the dark and stagger like drunkards.