Job’s Fourth Speech: A Response to Zophar
1Then Job spoke again:
2“You people really know everything, don’t you?
And when you die, wisdom will die with you!
3Well, I know a few things myself—
and you’re no better than I am.
Who doesn’t know these things you’ve been saying?
4Yet my friends laugh at me,
for I call on God and expect an answer.
I am a just and blameless man,
yet they laugh at me.
5People who are at ease mock those in trouble.
They give a push to people who are stumbling.
6But robbers are left in peace,
and those who provoke God live in safety—
though God keeps them in his power.*12:6 Or safety—those who try to manipulate God. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
7“Just ask the animals, and they will teach you.
Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
8Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you.
Let the fish in the sea speak to you.
9For they all know
that my disaster*12:9 Hebrew that this. has come from the hand of the Lord.
10For the life of every living thing is in his hand,
and the breath of every human being.
11The ear tests the words it hears
just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.
12Wisdom belongs to the aged,
and understanding to the old.
13“But true wisdom and power are found in God;
counsel and understanding are his.
14What he destroys cannot be rebuilt.
When he puts someone in prison, there is no escape.
15If he holds back the rain, the earth becomes a desert.
If he releases the waters, they flood the earth.
16Yes, strength and wisdom are his;
deceivers and deceived are both in his power.
17He leads counselors away, stripped of good judgment;
wise judges become fools.
18He removes the royal robe of kings.
They are led away with ropes around their waist.
19He leads priests away, stripped of status;
he overthrows those with long years in power.
20He silences the trusted adviser
and removes the insight of the elders.
21He pours disgrace upon princes
and disarms the strong.
22“He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness;
he brings light to the deepest gloom.
23He builds up nations, and he destroys them.
He expands nations, and he abandons them.
24He strips kings of understanding
and leaves them wandering in a pathless wasteland.
25They grope in the darkness without a light.
He makes them stagger like drunkards.