Job Bemoans His Condition
10 1 "I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me. 3 Does it seem good to you to oppress, to despise the work of your hands and favor the schemes of the wicked? 4 Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as humans see? 5 Are your days like the days of mortals, or your years like human years, 6 that you seek out my iniquity and search for my sin, 7 although you know that I am not guilty, and there is no one to deliver out of your hand?
8 Your hands fashioned and made me; and now you turn and destroy me. 9 Remember that you fashioned me like clay; and will you turn me to dust again? 10 Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? 11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. 13 Yet these things you hid in your heart; I know that this was your purpose.
14 If I sin, you watch me, and do not acquit me of my iniquity. 15 If I am wicked, woe to me! If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head, for I am filled with disgrace and look upon my affliction. 16 Bold as a lion you hunt me; you repeat your exploits against me. 17 You renew your witnesses against me, and increase your vexation toward me; you bring fresh troops against me. 18 "Why did you bring me forth from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me, 19 and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave. 20 Are not the days of my life few? Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort 21 before I go, never to return, to the land of gloom and deep darkness, 22 the land of gloom and chaos, where light is like darkness."
Zophar Accuses Job of Iniquity
11 1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered: 2 "Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and should one full of talk be vindicated? 3 Should your babble put others to silence, and when you mock, shall no one shame you? 4 For you say, "My conduct is pure, and I am clean in God's sight.' 5 But O that God would speak, and open his lips to you, 6 and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For wisdom is many-sided. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7 "Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? 8 It is higher than heaven -what can you do? Deeper than Sheol-what can you know? 9 Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. 10 If he passes through, and imprisons, and assembles for judgment, who can hinder him? 11 For he knows those who are worthless; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it? 12 But a stupid person will get understanding, when a wild ass is born human.
13 "If you direct your heart rightly, you will stretch out your hands toward him. 14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness reside in your tents. 15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear. 16 You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. 17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. 18 And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid; many will entreat your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last."
Job Affirms God's Power and Wisdom
12 1 Then Job answered: 2 "No doubt you are the people, 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? 4 I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called upon God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, I am a laughingstock. 5 Those at ease have contempt for misfortune, but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.
6 The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hands. 7 "But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being. 11 Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food?
12 Is wisdom with the aged, and understanding in length of days? 13 "With God are wisdom and strength; he has counsel and understanding. 14 If he tears down, no one can rebuild; if he shuts someone in, no one can open up. 15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. 16 With him are strength and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. 17 He leads counselors away stripped, and makes fools of judges. 18 He looses the sash of kings, and binds a waistcloth on their loins. 19 He leads priests away stripped, and overthrows the mighty. 20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted, and takes away the discernment of the elders. 21 He pours contempt on princes, and looses the belt of the strong. 22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness, and brings deep darkness to light. 23 He makes nations great, then destroys them; he enlarges nations, then leads them away. 24 He strips understanding from the leaders of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless waste. 25 They grope in the dark without light; he makes them stagger like a drunkard.
Job Defends His Integrity
13 1 "Look, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. 2 What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3 But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God. 4 As for you, you whitewash with lies; all of you are worthless physicians. 5 If you would only keep silent, that would be your wisdom! 6 Hear now my reasoning, and listen to the pleadings of my lips. 7 Will you speak falsely for God, and speak deceitfully for him? 8 Will you show partiality toward him, will you plead the case for God? 9 Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another? 10 He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality. 11 Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you? 12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 "Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. 14 I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand. 15 See, he will kill me; I have no hope; but I will defend my ways to his face. 16 This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. 17 Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18 I have indeed prepared my case; I know that I shall be vindicated. 19 Who is there that will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die. 20 Only grant two things to me, then I will not hide myself from your face: 21 withdraw your hand far from me, and do not let dread of you terrify me. 22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why do you hide your face, and count me as your enemy? 25 Will you frighten a windblown leaf and pursue dry chaff? 26 For you write bitter things against me, and make me reap the iniquities of my youth. 27 You put my feet in the stocks, and watch all my paths; you set a bound to the soles of my feet. 28 One wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.