Then the LORD said to Job,
"Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God's critic, but do you have the answers?"
Then Job replied to the LORD,
"I am nothing -- how could I ever find the answers? I will put my hand over my mouth in silence.
I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say."
Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind:
"Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.
Are you going to discredit my justice and condemn me so you can say you are right?
Are you as strong as God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?
All right then, put on your robes of state, your majesty and splendor.
Give vent to your anger. Let it overflow against the proud.
Humiliate the proud with a glance; walk on the wicked where they stand.
Bury them in the dust. Imprison them in the world of the dead.
Then even I would praise you, for your own strength would save you.
"Take a look at the mighty hippopotamus. I made it, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox.
See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly.
Its tail is as straight as a cedar. The sinews of its thighs are tightly knit together.
Its bones are tubes of bronze. Its limbs are bars of iron.
It is a prime example of God's amazing handiwork. Only its Creator can threaten it.
The mountains offer it their best food, where all the wild animals play.
It lies down under the lotus plants, hidden by the reeds.
The lotus plants give it shade among the willows beside the stream.
It is not disturbed by raging rivers, not even when the swelling Jordan rushes down upon it.
No one can catch it off guard or put a ring in its nose and lead it away.
"Can you catch a crocodile with a hook or put a noose around its jaw?
Can you tie it with a rope through the nose or pierce its jaw with a spike?
Will it beg you for mercy or implore you for pity?
Will it agree to work for you? Can you make it be your slave for life?
Can you make it a pet like a bird, or give it to your little girls to play with?
Will merchants try to buy it? Will they sell it in their shops?
Will its hide be hurt by darts, or its head by a harpoon?
If you lay a hand on it, you will never forget the battle that follows, and you will never try it again!
"No, it is useless to try to capture it. The hunter who attempts it will be thrown down.
And since no one dares to disturb the crocodile, who would dare to stand up to me?
Who will confront me and remain safe ? Everything under heaven is mine.
"I want to emphasize the tremendous strength in the crocodile's limbs and throughout its enormous frame.
Who can strip off its hide, and who can penetrate its double layer of armor ?
Who could pry open its jaws? For its teeth are terrible!
The overlapping scales on its back make a shield.
They are close together so no air can get between them.
They lock together so nothing can penetrate them.
"When it sneezes, it flashes light! Its eyes are like the red of dawn.
Fire and sparks leap from its mouth.
Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a boiling pot on a fire of dry rushes.
Yes, its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth.
"The tremendous strength in its neck strikes terror wherever it goes.
Its flesh is hard and firm, not soft and fat.
Its heart is as hard as rock, as hard as a millstone.
When it rises, the mighty are afraid, gripped by terror.
No sword can stop it, nor spear nor dart nor pointed shaft.
To the crocodile, iron is nothing but straw, and bronze is rotten wood.
Arrows cannot make it flee. Stones shot from a sling are as ineffective as straw.
Clubs do no good, and it laughs at the swish of the javelins.
Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass. They tear up the ground as it drags through the mud.
"The crocodile makes the water boil with its commotion. It churns the depths.
The water glistens in its wake. One would think the sea had turned white.
There is nothing else so fearless anywhere on earth.
Of all the creatures, it is the proudest. It is the king of beasts."
Then Job replied to the LORD:
"I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.
You ask, 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?' It is I. And I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me.
"You said, 'Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.'
"I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance."
After the LORD had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "I am angry with you and with your two friends, for you have not been right in what you said about me, as my servant Job was.
Now take seven young bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not been right in what you said about me, as my servant Job was."
So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the LORD commanded them, and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.
When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!
Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the LORD had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.
So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.
He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters.
He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch.
In all the land there were no other women as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.
Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren.
Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, good life.
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)