1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied,2"Job, how long will you talk like that? Your words don't have any meaning.3Does God ever treat people unfairly? Does the Mighty One make what is wrong appear to be right?4Your children sinned against him. So he punished them for their sin.5But look to God. Make your appeal to the Mighty One.6Be pure and honest. And he will rise up and help you now. He'll return you to the place where you belong.7In the past, things went well with you. But in days to come, things will get even better.8"Find out what your people who lived long ago taught. Discover what those who lived before them learned.9After all, we were born only yesterday. So we don't know anything. Our days on this earth are like a shadow that disappears.10Won't your people of long ago teach you and tell you? Won't the things they said help you understand?11Can grass grow tall where there isn't any swamp? Can plants grow well where there isn't any water?12While they are still growing and haven't been cut, they dry up faster than grass does.13The same thing happens to everyone who forgets God. The hope of ungodly people dies out.14What they trust in is very weak. What they depend on is like a spider's web.15A person leans on it, but it falls apart. He holds on to it, but it gives way.16He is like a plant in the sunshine that receives plenty of water. It spreads its new growth all over the garden.17It wraps its roots around a pile of rocks. It tries to find places to grow among the stones.18But when a plant is pulled up from its spot, that place says, 'I never saw you.'19The life of that plant is sure to dry up. But from the same soil other plants will grow.20"I'm sure God doesn't turn his back on anyone who is honest. And he doesn't help those who do what is evil.21He will fill your mouth with laughter. Shouts of joy will come from your lips.22Your enemies will put on shame as if it were clothes. The tents of sinful people will be gone."
1Job replied,2"I'm sure that what you have said is true. But how can human beings be right with God?3They might wish to argue with him. But they couldn't answer him even once in a thousand times.4His wisdom is deep. His power is great. No one opposes him and comes away unharmed.5He moves mountains, and they don't even know it. When he is angry, he turns them upside down.6He shakes the earth loose from its place. He makes its pillars tremble.7When he tells the sun not to shine, it doesn't. He turns off the light of the stars.8He's the only one who can spread the heavens out. He alone can walk on the waves of the ocean.9He made the Big Dipper and Orion. He created the Pleiades and the southern stars.10He does wonderful things that can't be understood. He does miracles that can't even be counted.11When he passes by me, I can't see him. When he goes past me, I can't recognize him.12If he takes something, who can stop him? Who would dare to ask him, 'What are you doing?'13God doesn't hold back his anger. Even the helpers of the sea monster Rahab bowed in fear at his feet.14"So how can I disagree with God? How can I possibly argue with him?15Even if I hadn't done anything wrong, I couldn't answer him. I could only beg my Judge to have mercy on me.16Suppose I called out to him and he answered. I don't believe he'd listen to me.17He would send a storm to crush me. He'd increase my wounds without any reason.18He wouldn't let me catch my breath. He'd make my life very bitter.19If it's a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it's a matter of being fair, who would dare to bring charges against him?20Even if I hadn't sinned, what I said would prove me guilty. Even if I were honest, my words would show that I'm wrong.21"Even though I'm honest, I'm not concerned about myself. I hate my own life.22It all amounts to the same thing. That's why I say, 'God destroys honest people and sinful people alike.'23Suppose a plague brings sudden death. Then he laughs when those who haven't sinned lose hope.24Suppose a nation falls into the power of sinful people. Then God makes its judges blind to the truth. If he isn't the one doing it, who is?25"God, my days race by like a runner. They fly away without seeing any joy.26They speed along like papyrus boats. They are like eagles swooping down on their food.27Suppose I say, 'I'll forget about all of my problems. I'll change my frown into a smile.'28Then I'd still be afraid I'd go on suffering. That's because I know you would say I had done something wrong.29In fact, you have already said I'm guilty. So why should I struggle without any reason?30Suppose I clean myself with soap. Suppose I wash my hands with cleanser.31Even then you would throw me into a muddy pit. And even my clothes would hate me.32"God isn't a man like me. I can't answer him. We can't take each other to court.33I wish someone would settle matters between us. I wish someone would force us to work things out.34I wish someone would keep God from punishing me. Then his terror wouldn't frighten me anymore.35I would speak up without being afraid of him. But as things stand now, I can't do that.
1"I'm sick of living. So I'll talk openly about my problems. I'll speak out because my spirit is bitter.2I'll say to God, 'Don't find me guilty. Instead, tell me what charges you are bringing against me.3Does 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!4You don't have human eyes. You don't see as people see.5Your days aren't like the days of a human being. Your years aren't like the years of a mere man.6So you search for my mistakes. You look for my sin.7You 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?9Remember, you molded me like clay. So are you going to turn me back into dust?10Didn't you pour me out like milk? Didn't you form me like cheese?11Didn't you put skin and flesh on me? Didn't you sew me together with bones and muscles?12You 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.14If I sinned, you would be watching me. You wouldn't let me go without punishing me.15If 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.16If I become proud, you hunt me down like a lion. You show your mighty power against me.17You 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.19I wish I'd never been born! I wish I'd been carried straight from my mother's body to the grave!20Aren't my few days almost over? Leave me so I can have a moment of joy.21Turn away before I go to the place I can't return from. It's the land of darkness and deep shadow.22It's the land of darkest night and deep shadow and disorder. There even the light is like darkness.' "