Then Job spoke again:
"You really know everything, don't you? And when you die, wisdom will die with you!
Well, I know a few things myself -- and you're no better than I am. Who doesn't know these things you've been saying?
Yet my friends laugh at me. I am a man who calls on God and receives an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me.
People who are at ease mock those in trouble. They give a push to people who are stumbling.
But even robbers are left in peace, and those who provoke God -- and God has them in his power -- live in safety!
"Ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish of the sea speak to you.
They all know that the LORD has done this.
For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of all humanity.
Just as the mouth tastes good food, so the ear tests the words it hears.
Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to those who have lived many years.
"But true wisdom and power are with God; counsel and understanding are his.
What he destroys cannot be rebuilt. When he closes in on someone, there is no escape.
If he holds back the rain, the earth becomes a desert. If he releases the waters, they flood the earth.
"Yes, strength and wisdom are with him; deceivers and deceived are both in his power.
He leads counselors away stripped of good judgment; he drives judges to madness.
He removes the royal robe of kings. With ropes around their waist, they are led away.
He leads priests away stripped of status; he overthrows the mighty.
He silences the trusted adviser, and he removes the insight of the elders.
He pours disgrace upon princes and confiscates weapons from the strong.
"He floods the darkness with light; he brings light to the deepest gloom.
He raises up nations, and he destroys them. He makes nations expand, and he abandons them.
He takes away the understanding of kings, and he leaves them wandering in a wasteland without a path.
They grope in the darkness without a light. He makes them stagger like drunkards.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)