Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter

1 Then Job answered and said:

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      2 "Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be 1in the right before God?

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      3 If one wished to 2contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.

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      4 He is 3wise in heart and mighty in strength --who has 4hardened himself against him, and succeeded?--

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      5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger,
      6 who 5shakes the earth out of its place, and 6its pillars tremble;
      7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;
      8 who alone 7stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea;
      9 who 8made 9the Bear and 10Orion, the Pleiades 11and the chambers of the south;

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      10 who does 12great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number.

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      11 Behold, he passes by me, and I 13see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.

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      12 Behold, he snatches away; 14who can turn him back? 15Who will say to him, 'What are you doing?'

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      13 "God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of 16Rahab.
      14 17How then can I 18answer him, choosing my words with him?

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          15 19Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him; I must 20appeal for mercy to my accuser.a

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            • r 9:15 - Or to my judge
              16 If I summoned him and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
              17 For he crushes me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds 21without cause;

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              18 he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness.
              19 If it is a contest of 22strength, behold, he is mighty! If it is a matter of justice, who can 23summon him?b

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                • s 9:19 - Compare Septuagint; Hebrew me
                  20 Though I am in the right, 24my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.

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                  21 I am 25blameless; I regard not myself; I 26loathe my life.

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                  22 It is all one; therefore I say, He 27destroys both the blameless and the wicked.

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                  23 When 28disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamityc of the innocent.

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                    • t 9:23 - The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
                      24 29The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he 30covers the faces of its judges-- 31if it is not he, who then is it?

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                          25 "My 32days are swifter than 33a runner; they flee away; they see no good.

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                          26 They go by like 34skiffs of reed, like 35an eagle swooping on the prey.

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                          27 If I say, 36'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face, and 37be of good cheer,'

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                          28 I become 38afraid of all my suffering, for I know you will not 39hold me innocent.

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                          29 I shall be 40condemned; why then do I labor in vain?

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                          30 If I wash myself with snow and 41cleanse my hands with lye,

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                          31 yet you will plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will 42abhor me.

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                          32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should 43come to trial together.

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                          33 44There is nod arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both.

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                            • u 9:33 - Or Would that there were an
                              34 45Let him take his 46rod away from me, and let 47not dread of him terrify me.

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                              35 Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.