"No doubt you are [the only] people [that matter]; and when you die, so will wisdom.
But I too have a brain, as much as you, In no way am I inferior to you. Besides, who doesn't know things like these?
"Anyone who calls on God, and he answers him, becomes a laughingstock to his friends -they make fun of an innocent, blameless man.
Those at ease have contempt for misfortune, for the blow that strikes somebody already staggering.
The tents of robbers prosper, [the homes of] those who anger God are secure, those who carry their gods in their hands.
"But ask the animals - they will teach you -and the birds in the air - they will tell you;
or speak to the earth - it will teach you -and the fish in the sea will inform you:
every one of them knows that the hand of ADONAI has done this!
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the spirit of every human being.
Shouldn't the ear test words, just as the palate tastes food?
Is wisdom [only] with aged men? discernment [only] with long life?
"With God are wisdom and power; he has [good] counsel and understanding.
When he breaks something down, it can't be rebuilt; when he imprisons someone, he can't be released.
When he holds back water, there is drought; when he sends it out, it overruns the land.
With him are strength and common sense; both the misled and those who mislead are his.
He leads counselors away captive, he makes fools of judges.
He removes authority from kings, then binds them up [as prisoners].
He leads cohanim away captive and overthrows those long in power.
Those who are trusted he deprives of speech, and he removes the discernment of the aged.
He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong.
He discloses the deepest recesses of darkness and brings light into shadows dark as death.
He makes nations great and destroys them; he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
He removes understanding from a country's leaders and makes them wander in trackless deserts.
They grope in unlit darkness; he makes them stagger like drunks.