"Hear what I'm saying, you wise men. Listen to me, you who have learned so much.
Our tongues tell us what tastes good and what doesn't. And our ears tell us what's true and what isn't.
So let's choose for ourselves what is right. Let's learn together what is good.
"Job says, 'I'm not guilty of doing anything wrong. But God doesn't treat me fairly.
Even though I'm right, he thinks I'm a liar. Even though I'm not guilty, his arrows give me wounds that can't be healed.'
Is there any other man like Job? He laughs at God and makes fun of him.
He's a companion of those who do evil. He spends his time with sinful people.
He asks, 'What good is it to try to please God?'
"So listen to me, you men who have understanding. God would never do what is evil. The Mighty One would never do what is wrong.
He pays a man back for what he's done. He gives him exactly what he should get.
It isn't possible for God to do wrong. The Mighty One would never treat people unfairly.
Who appointed him to rule over the earth? Who put him in charge of the whole world?
If he really wanted to, he could hold back his spirit and breath.
Then everyone would die together. They would return to the dust.
"Job, if you have understanding, listen to me. Pay attention to what I'm saying.
Can someone who hates to be fair govern? Will you bring charges against the holy and mighty One?
He says to kings, 'You are worthless.' He says to nobles, 'You are evil.'
He doesn't favor princes. He treats rich people and poor people the same. His hands created all of them.
They die suddenly in the middle of the night. God strikes them down, and they pass away. Those who are mighty are removed, but not by human hands.
"His eyes see how people live. He watches every step they take.
There isn't a dark place or deep shadow where those who do what is evil can hide.
God doesn't need to bring charges against men. He knows they are guilty. So he doesn't need to have them appear in his court to be judged.
He destroys the mighty without asking them questions in court. Then he sets others up in their places.
He knows what they do. So he crushes them during the night.
He punishes them for the sins they commit. He does it where everyone can see them.
That's because they turned away from following him. They didn't have respect for anything he does.
They caused poor people to cry out to him. He heard the cries of those who were in need.
But if he remains silent, who can judge him? If he turns his face away, who can see him? He rules over people and nations alike.
He keeps those who are ungodly from ruling. He keeps them from laying traps for others.
"Someone might say to God, 'I'm guilty of sinning, but I won't do it anymore.
Show me my sins that I'm not aware of. If I've done what is wrong, I won't do it again.'
But you refuse to turn away from your sins. So God won't treat you the way you want to be treated. You must decide, Job. I can't do it for you. So tell me what you know.
"You men who have understanding have spoken. You wise men who hear me have said to me,
'Job doesn't know what he's talking about. The things he has said don't make any sense.'
I wish Job would be put to the hardest test! He answered like someone who is evil.
To his sin he adds even more sin. He claps his hands and makes fun of us. He multiplies his words against God."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.