1Job replied,2“I'm sure that what you have said is true. But how can human beings be right with God?3They might wish to argue with him. But they couldn't answer him even once in a thousand times.4His wisdom is deep. His power is great. No one opposes him and comes away unharmed.5He moves mountains, and they don't even know it. When he is angry, he turns them upside down.6He shakes the earth loose from its place. He makes its pillars tremble.7When he tells the sun not to shine, it doesn't. He turns off the light of the stars.8He's the only one who can spread the heavens out. He alone can walk on the waves of the ocean.9He made the Big Dipper and Orion. He created the Pleiades and the southern stars.10He does wonderful things that can't be understood. He does miracles that can't even be counted.11When he passes by me, I can't see him. When he goes past me, I can't recognize him.12If he takes something, who can stop him? Who would dare to ask him, ‘What are you doing?’13God doesn't hold back his anger. Even the helpers of the sea monster Rahab bowed in fear at his feet.14“So how can I disagree with God? How can I possibly argue with him?15Even if I hadn't done anything wrong, I couldn't answer him. I could only beg my Judge to have mercy on me.16Suppose I called out to him and he answered. I don't believe he'd listen to me.17He would send a storm to crush me. He'd increase my wounds without any reason.18He wouldn't let me catch my breath. He'd make my life very bitter.19If it's a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it's a matter of being fair, who would dare to bring charges against him?20Even if I hadn't sinned, what I said would prove me guilty. Even if I were honest, my words would show that I'm wrong.21“Even though I'm honest, I'm not concerned about myself. I hate my own life.22It all amounts to the same thing. That's why I say, ‘God destroys honest people and sinful people alike.’23Suppose a plague brings sudden death. Then he laughs when those who haven't sinned lose hope.24Suppose a nation falls into the power of sinful people. Then God makes its judges blind to the truth. If he isn't the one doing it, who is?25“God, my days race by like a runner. They fly away without seeing any joy.26They speed along like papyrus boats. They are like eagles swooping down on their food.27Suppose I say, ‘I'll forget about all of my problems. I'll change my frown into a smile.’28Then I'd still be afraid I'd go on suffering. That's because I know you would say I had done something wrong.29In fact, you have already said I'm guilty. So why should I struggle without any reason?30Suppose I clean myself with soap. Suppose I wash my hands with cleanser.31Even then you would throw me into a muddy pit. And even my clothes would hate me.32“God isn't a man like me. I can't answer him. We can't take each other to court.33I wish someone would settle matters between us. I wish someone would force us to work things out.34I wish someone would keep God from punishing me. Then his terror wouldn't frighten me anymore.35I would speak up without being afraid of him. But as things stand now, I can't do that.
English Standard Version
Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter
1Then Job answered and said:2“Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God? (Job 4:17)3If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times. (Job 10:2; Ps 143:2; Ro 3:20)4He is wise in heart and mighty in strength —who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?— (Ex 7:13; Ex 32:9; Job 12:13; Job 36:5)5he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger,6who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; (Job 26:11; Ps 75:3; Isa 2:19; Isa 2:21; Isa 13:13; Hag 2:6; Hag 2:21; Heb 12:26)7who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;8who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea; (Job 26:7; Ps 104:2; Jer 10:12; Jer 51:15; Zec 12:1)9who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south; (Ge 1:16; Job 37:9; Job 38:31; Job 38:32; Am 5:8)10who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number. (Job 5:9)11Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. (Job 23:8)12Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ (Job 11:10; Job 23:13; Isa 45:9; Jer 18:6; Ro 9:20)13“God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab. (Job 26:12; Ps 87:4; Ps 89:10; Isa 30:7; Isa 51:9)14How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him? (Job 9:3; Job 15:16)15Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. (Job 8:5; Job 10:15)16If I summoned him and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.17For he crushes me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds without cause; (Job 2:3; Job 34:6)18he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness.19If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? (Job 9:4; Jer 49:19; Jer 50:44)20Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse. (Job 15:6)21I am blameless; I regard not myself; I loathe my life. (Job 1:1; Job 7:16; Job 10:1)22It is all one; therefore I say, ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’ (Ec 9:2; Eze 21:3)23When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent. (Isa 10:26)24The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges— if it is not he, who then is it? (Job 10:3; Job 12:17; Job 24:25)25“My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away; they see no good. (2Ch 30:6; Job 7:6; Jer 51:31)26They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey. (Isa 18:2; Hab 1:8)27If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer,’ (Job 7:13; Ps 39:13)28I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know you will not hold me innocent. (Job 10:14; Ps 119:120)29I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain? (Job 10:2)30If I wash myself with snow and cleanse my hands with lye, (Job 22:30; Isa 1:25; Jer 2:22)31yet you will plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will abhor me. (Job 19:19; Job 30:10)32For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together. (Ec 6:10; Ro 9:20)33There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both. (1Sa 2:25; Job 9:19; Job 16:21)34Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me. (Job 13:21; Job 21:9; Job 33:7; Ps 39:10; Ps 89:32; Isa 10:24)35Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.