Job 9

Job’s Reply to Bildad1

9:1 Then Job answered:

9:2 “Truly,2 I know that this is so.

But how3 can a human4 be just before5 God?6

9:3 If someone wishes7 to contend8 with him,

he cannot answer9 him one time in a thousand.

9:4 He is wise in heart10 and mighty11 in strength12

who has resisted13 him and remained safe?14

9:5 He who removes mountains suddenly,15

who overturns them in his anger;16

9:6 he who shakes the earth out of its place17

so that its pillars tremble;18

9:7 he who commands the sun and19 it does not shine20

and seals up21 the stars;

9:8 he alone spreads out the heavens,

and treads22 on the waves of the sea;23

9:9 he makes the Bear,24 Orion,25 and the Pleiades,26

and the constellations of the southern sky;27

9:10 he does great and unsearchable things,28

and wonderful things without number.

9:11 If29 he passes by me, I cannot see30 him,31

if he goes by, I cannot perceive him.32

9:12 If he snatches away,33 who can turn him back?34

Who dares to say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

9:13 God does not restrain his anger;35

under him the helpers of Rahab36 lie crushed.37

The Impossibility of Facing God in Court

9:14 “How much less,38 then, can I answer him39

and choose my words40 to argue41 with42 him!43

9:15 Although44 I am innocent,45

I could not answer him;46

I could only plead47 with my judge48 for mercy.

9:16 If I summoned him, and he answered me,49

I would not believe50

that he would be listening to my voice –

9:17 he who51 crushes52 me with a tempest,

and multiplies my wounds for no reason.53

9:18 He does not allow54 me to recover55 my breath,

for he fills56 me with bitterness.

9:19 If it is a matter of strength,57

most certainly58 he is the strong one!

And if it is a matter of justice,

he will say, ‘Who will summon me?’59

9:20 Although I am innocent,60

my mouth61 would condemn me;62

although I am blameless,

it would declare me perverse.63

9:21 I am blameless.64 I do not know myself.65

I despise my life.

Accusation of God’s Justice

9:22 “It is all one!66 That is why I say,67

‘He destroys the blameless and the guilty.’

9:23 If a scourge brings sudden death,68

he mocks69 at the despair70 of the innocent.71

9:24 If a land72 has been given

into the hand of a wicked man,73

he covers74 the faces of its judges;75

if it is not he, then who is it?76

Renewed Complaint

9:25 “My days77 are swifter than a runner,78

they speed by without seeing happiness.

9:26 They glide by79 like reed80 boats,

like an eagle that swoops81 down on its prey.82

9:27 If I say,83 ‘I will84 forget my complaint,

I will change my expression85 and be cheerful,’86

9:28 I dread87 all my sufferings,88

for89 I know that you do not hold me blameless.90

9:29 If I am guilty,91

why then92 weary myself93 in vain?94

9:30 If I wash myself with snow water,95

and make my hands clean with lye,96

9:31 then you plunge me into a slimy pit97

and my own clothes abhor me.

9:32 For he98 is not a human being like I am,

that99 I might answer him,

that we might come100 together in judgment.

9:33 Nor is there an arbiter101 between us,

who102 might lay103 his hand on us both,104

9:34 who105 would take his106 rod107 away from me

so that his terror108 would not make me afraid.

9:35 Then109 would I speak and not fear him,

but it is not so with me.110

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