1 "I'm sick of living. So I'll talk openly about my problems. I'll speak out because my spirit is bitter. 2 I'll say to God, 'Don't find me guilty. Instead, tell me what charges you are bringing against me. 3 Does it make you happy when you crush me? Does it please you to turn your back on what you have made? While you do those things, you smile on the plans of sinful people! 4 You don't have human eyes. You don't see as people see. 5 Your days aren't like the days of a human being. Your years aren't like the years of a mere man. 6 So you search for my mistakes. You look for my sin. 7 You already know I'm not guilty. No one can save me from your powerful hand. 8 " 'Your hands shaped me and made me. So are you going to destroy me now? 9 Remember, you molded me like clay. So are you going to turn me back into dust? 10 Didn't you pour me out like milk? Didn't you form me like cheese? 11 Didn't you put skin and flesh on me? Didn't you sew me together with bones and muscles? 12 You gave me life. You were kind to me. You took good care of me. You watched over me. 13 " 'But here's what you hid in your heart. Here's what you had on your mind. 14 If I sinned, you would be watching me. You wouldn't let me go without punishing me. 15 If I were guilty, how terrible that would be for me! Even if I haven't sinned, I can't be proud of what I've done. That's because I'm so full of shame. I'm drowning in my suffering. 16 If I become proud, you hunt me down like a lion. You show your mighty power against me. 17 You bring new witnesses against me. You become more and more angry with me. You use your power against me again and again. 18 " 'Why did you bring me out of my mother's body? I wish I had died before anyone saw me. 19 I wish I'd never been born! I wish I'd been carried straight from my mother's body to the grave! 20 Aren't my few days almost over? Leave me so I can have a moment of joy. 21 Turn away before I go to the place I can't return from. It's the land of darkness and deep shadow. 22 It's the land of darkest night and deep shadow and disorder. There even the light is like darkness.' "
1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied, 2 "Don't all of your words require an answer? I'm sure that what you are saying can't be right. 3 Your useless talk won't keep us quiet. Someone has to correct you when you make fun of truth. 4 You say to God, 'My beliefs are perfect. I'm pure in your sight.' 5 I wish God would speak. I wish he'd answer you. 6 I wish he'd show you the secrets of wisdom. After all, true wisdom has two sides. Here's what I want you to know. God has forgotten some of your sins. 7 "Do you know how deep the mysteries of God are? Can you discover the limits of the Mighty One's knowledge? 8 They are higher than the heavens. What can you do? They are deeper than the deepest grave. What can you know? 9 They are longer than the earth. They are wider than the ocean. 10 "Suppose God comes along and puts you in prison. Suppose he takes you to court. Then who can oppose him? 11 He certainly knows when people tell lies. When he sees evil, he pays careful attention to it. 12 A wild donkey's colt can't be born a human being. And a man who doesn't have any sense can't become wise. 13 "So commit yourself to God completely. Reach out your hands to him for help. 14 Get rid of all of the sin you have. Don't let anything that is evil stay in your tent. 15 Then you can face others without feeling any shame. You can stand firm without being afraid. 16 You can be sure you will forget your troubles. They will be like water that has flowed on by. 17 Life will be brighter than the sun at noon. And darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope. You will look around you and find a safe place to rest. 19 You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid. Many people will want you to show them your favor. 20 But sinful people won't find what they are looking for. They won't be able to escape. All they can hope for is to die."
1 Job replied, 2 "You people think you know everything, don't you? You are sure that wisdom will die with you! 3 But I have a brain, just like you. I'm as clever as you are. In fact, everyone knows as much as you do. 4 "My friends laugh at me all the time, even though I called out to God and he answered. My friends laugh at me, even though I'm honest and right. 5 People who have an easy life look down on those who have problems. They think trouble comes only to those whose feet are slipping. 6 Why doesn't anyone bother the tents of robbers? Why do those who make God angry remain secure? They carry the statues of their gods in their hands! 7 "But ask the animals what God does. They will teach you. Or ask the birds of the air. They will tell you. 8 Or speak to the earth. It will teach you. Or let the fish of the ocean educate you. 9 Are there any of those creatures that don't know what the powerful hand of the LORD has done? 10 He holds the life of every creature in his hand. He controls the breath of every human being. 11 Our tongues tell us what tastes good and what doesn't. And our ears tell us what's true and what isn't. 12 Old people are wise. Those who live a long time have understanding. 13 "Wisdom and power belong to God. Advice and understanding also belong to him. 14 What he tears down can't be rebuilt. Any man he puts in prison can't be set free. 15 If he holds back the water, everything dries up. If he lets the water loose, it floods the land. 16 Strength and success belong to him. Those who tell lies and those who believe them also belong to him. 17 He removes the wisdom of advisers and leads them away. He makes judges look foolish. 18 He sets people free from the chains that kings put on them. Then he dresses the kings in the clothes of slaves. 19 He removes the authority of priests and leads them away. He removes from their positions those who have been in control for a long time. 20 He shuts the mouths of trusted advisers. He takes away the understanding of elders. 21 He looks down on proud leaders. He takes away the strength of those who are mighty. 22 He tells people the secrets of darkness. He brings evil plans out into the light. 23 He makes nations great, and then he destroys them. He makes nations grow, and then he scatters them. 24 He takes away the understanding of the leaders of the earth. He makes them wander in a desert where no one lives. 25 Without any light, they feel their way along in darkness. God makes them unsteady like those who get drunk.
1 "My eyes have seen everything God has done. My ears have heard it and understood it. 2 What you know, I also know. I'm as clever as you are. 3 In fact, I long to speak to the Mighty One. I want to argue my case with God. 4 But you spread lies about me and take away my good name. If you are trying to heal me, you aren't very good doctors! 5 I wish you would keep your mouths shut! Then people would think you were wise. 6 Listen to my case. Listen as I make my appeal. 7 Will you say evil things in order to help God? Will you tell lies for him? 8 Do you want to be on God's side? Will you argue his case for him? 9 Would it turn out well if he looked you over carefully? Could you fool him as you fool others? 10 He would certainly correct you if you took his side in secret. 11 Wouldn't his glory terrify you? Wouldn't the fear of him fall on you? 12 Your sayings are as useless as ashes. The answers you give are as weak as clay. 13 "So be quiet and let me speak. Then I won't care what happens to me. 14 Why do I put myself in danger? Why do I take my life in my hands? 15 Even if God kills me, I'll still put my hope in him. I'll argue my case in front of him. 16 No matter how things turn out, I'm sure I'll still be saved. After all, no ungodly person would dare to come into his court. 17 Listen carefully to what I'm saying. Pay close attention to my words. 18 I've prepared my case. And I know I'll be proved right. 19 Can others bring charges against me? If they can, I'll keep quiet and die. 20 "God, I won't hide from you. Here are the only two things I want. 21 Keep your powerful hand far away from me. And stop making me so afraid. 22 Then send for me, and I'll answer. Or let me speak, and you reply. 23 How many things have I done wrong? How many sins have I committed? Show me my crime. Show me my sin. 24 Why do you turn your face away from me? Why do you think of me as your enemy? 25 I'm already like a leaf that is blown by the wind. Are you going to terrify me even more? I'm already like dry straw. Are you going to keep on chasing me? 26 You write down bitter things against me. You make me suffer for the sins I committed when I was young. 27 You put my feet in chains. You watch every step I take. You do it by putting marks on the bottom of my feet. 28 "People waste away like something that is rotten. They are like clothes that are eaten by moths.