Then Job answered:
"Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God?
If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand.
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength —who has resisted him, and succeeded?—
he who removes mountains, and they do not know it, when he overturns them in his anger;
who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;
who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the Sea; a9
who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
who does great things beyond understanding, and marvelous things without number.
Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
He snatches away; who can stop him? Who will say to him, "What are you doing?'
"God will not turn back his anger; the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him.
How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him?
Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. b16
If I summoned him and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
For he crushes me with a tempest, and multiplies my wounds without cause;
he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness.
If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? c20
Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
I am blameless; I do not know myself; I loathe my life.
It is all one; therefore I say, he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity d of the innocent.
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the eyes of its judges— if it is not he, who then is it?
"My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.
They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey.
If I say, "I will forget my complaint; I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer,'
I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know you will not hold me innocent.
I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain?
If I wash myself with soap and cleanse my hands with lye,
yet you will plunge me into filth, and my own clothes will abhor me.
For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together.
There is no umpire e between us, who might lay his hand on us both.
If he would take his rod away from me, and not let dread of him terrify me,
then I would speak without fear of him, for I know I am not what I am thought to be. f
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)