"But now, hear my speech, O Job, and listen to all my words.
See, I open my mouth; the tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart, and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty a gives me life.
Answer me, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand.
See, before God I am as you are; I too was formed from a piece of clay.
No fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy on you.
"Surely, you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the sound of your words.
You say, "I am clean, without transgression; I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me.
Look, he finds occasions against me, he counts me as his enemy;
he puts my feet in the stocks, and watches all my paths.'
"But in this you are not right. I will answer you: God is greater than any mortal.
Why do you contend against him, saying, "He will answer none of my b words'?
For God speaks in one way, and in two, though people do not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on mortals, while they slumber on their beds,
then he opens their ears, and terrifies them with warnings,
that he may turn them aside from their deeds, and keep them from pride,
to spare their souls from the Pit, their lives from traversing the River.
They are also chastened with pain upon their beds, and with continual strife in their bones,
so that their lives loathe bread, and their appetites dainty food.
Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and their bones, once invisible, now stick out.
Their souls draw near the Pit, and their lives to those who bring death.
Then, if there should be for one of them an angel, a mediator, one of a thousand, one who declares a person upright,
and he is gracious to that person, and says, "Deliver him from going down into the Pit; I have found a ransom;
let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor';
then he prays to God, and is accepted by him, he comes into his presence with joy, and God c repays him for his righteousness.
That person sings to others and says, "I sinned, and perverted what was right, and it was not paid back to me.
He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit, and my life shall see the light.'
"God indeed does all these things, twice, three times, with mortals,
to bring back their souls from the Pit, so that they may see the light of life. d31
Pay heed, Job, listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
If you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you.
If not, listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom."
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)