1Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:2"Should these words go unanswered? Is this talker in the right?3Your lies do not make people quiet; people should correct you when you make fun of God.4You say, 'My teachings are right, and I am clean in God's sight.'5I wish God would speak and open his lips against you6and tell you the secrets of wisdom, because wisdom has two sides. your sin.7"Can you understand the secrets of God?8His limits are higher than the heavens; you cannot reach them! They are deeper than the grave; you cannot understand them!9His limits are longer than the earth and wider than the sea.10"If God comes along and puts you in prison or calls you into court, no one can stop him.11God knows who is evil, and when he sees evil, he takes note of it.12A fool cannot become wise any more than a wild donkey can be born tame.13"You must give your whole heart to him and hold out your hands to him for help.14Put away the sin that is in your hand; let no evil remain in your tent.15Then you can lift up your face without shame, and you can stand strong without fear.16You will forget your trouble and darkness will seem like morning.17Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun, and darkness will seem like morning.18You will feel safe because there is hope; you will look around and rest in safety.19You will lie down, and no one will scare you. Many people will want favors from you.20But the wicked will not be able to see, so they will not escape. Their only hope will be to die."
1Then Job answered:2"You really think you are the only wise people and that when you die, wisdom will die with you!3But my mind is as good as yours; you are not better than I am. Everyone knows all these things.4My friends all laugh at me when I call on God and expect him to answer me; they laugh at me even though I am right and innocent!5Those who are comfortable don't care that others have trouble; they think it right that those people should have troubles.6The tents of robbers are not bothered, and those who make God angry are safe. They have their god in their pocket.7"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you.8Speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea tell you.9Every one of these knows that the hand of the Lord has done this.10The life of every creature and the breath of all people are in God's hand.11The ear tests words as the tongue tastes food.12Older people are wise, and long life brings understanding.13"But only God has wisdom and power, good advice and understanding.14What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; anyone he puts in prison cannot be let out.15If God holds back the waters, there is no rain; if he lets the waters go, they flood the land.16He is strong and victorious; both the one who fools others and the one who is fooled belong to him.17God leads the wise away as captives and turns judges into fools.18He takes off chains that kings put on and puts a garment on their bodies.19He leads priests away naked and destroys the powerful.20He makes trusted people be silent and takes away the wisdom of older leaders.21He brings disgrace on important people and takes away the weapons of the strong.22He uncovers the deep things of darkness and brings dark shadows into the light.23He makes nations great and then destroys them; he makes nations large and then scatters them.24He takes understanding away from the leaders of the earth and makes them wander through a pathless desert.25They feel around in darkness with no light; he makes them stumble like drunks.
1"Now my eyes have seen all this; my ears have heard and understood it.2What you know, I also know. You are not better than I am.3But I want to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.4But you smear me with lies. You are worthless doctors, all of you!5I wish you would just stop talking; then you would really be wise!6Listen to my argument, and hear the pleading of my lips.7You should not speak evil in the name of God; you cannot speak God's truth by telling lies.8You should not unfairly choose his side against mine; you should not argue the case for God.9You will not do well if he examines you; you cannot fool God as you might fool humans.10God would surely scold you if you unfairly took one person's side.11His bright glory would scare you, and you would be very much afraid of him.12Your wise sayings are worth no more than ashes, and your arguments are as weak as clay.13"Be quiet and let me speak. Let things happen to me as they will.14Why should I put myself in danger and take my life in my own hands?15Even if God kills me, I have hope in him; I will still defend my ways to his face.16This is my salvation. The wicked cannot come before him.17Listen carefully to my words; let your ears hear what I say.18See, I have prepared my case, and I know I will be proved right.19No one can accuse me of doing wrong. If someone can, I will be quiet and die.20"God, please just give me these two things, and then I will not hide from you:21Take your punishment away from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors.22Then call me, and I will answer, or let me speak, and you answer.23How many evil things and sins have I done? Show me my wrong and my sin.24Don't hide your face from me; don't think of me as your enemy.25Don't punish a leaf that is blown by the wind; don't chase after straw.26You write down cruel things against me and make me suffer for my boyhood sins.27You put my feet in chains and keep close watch wherever I go. You even mark the soles of my feet.28"Everyone wears out like something rotten, like clothing eaten by moths.