Job 9

Job’s Reply to Bildad

9:1 Then Job answered:

9:2 “Truly, I know that this is so.

But how can a human be just before God?

9:3 If someone wishes to contend with him,

he cannot answer him one time in a thousand.

9:4 He is wise in heart and mighty in strength –

who has resisted him and remained safe?

9:5 He who removes mountains suddenly,

who overturns them in his anger;

9:6 he who shakes the earth out of its place

so that its pillars tremble;

9:7 he who commands the sun and it does not shine

and seals up the stars;

9:8 he alone spreads out the heavens,

and treads on the waves of the sea;

9:9 he makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,

and the constellations of the southern sky;

9:10 he does great and unsearchable things,

and wonderful things without number.

9:11 If he passes by me, I cannot see him,

if he goes by, I cannot perceive him.

9:12 If he snatches away, who can turn him back?

Who dares to say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

9:13 God does not restrain his anger;

under him the helpers of Rahab lie crushed.

The Impossibility of Facing God in Court

9:14 “How much less, then, can I answer him

and choose my words to argue with him!

9:15 Although I am innocent,

I could not answer him;

I could only plead with my judge for mercy.

9:16 If I summoned him, and he answered me,

I would not believe

that he would be listening to my voice –

9:17 he who crushes me with a tempest,

and multiplies my wounds for no reason.

9:18 He does not allow me to recover my breath,

for he fills me with bitterness.

9:19 If it is a matter of strength,

most certainly he is the strong one!

And if it is a matter of justice,

he will say, ‘Who will summon me?’

9:20 Although I am innocent,

my mouth would condemn me;

although I am blameless,

it would declare me perverse.

9:21 I am blameless. I do not know myself.

I despise my life.

Accusation of God’s Justice

9:22 “It is all one! That is why I say,

‘He destroys the blameless and the guilty.’

9:23 If a scourge brings sudden death,

he mocks at the despair of the innocent.

9:24 If a land has been given

into the hand of a wicked man,

he covers the faces of its judges;

if it is not he, then who is it?

Renewed Complaint

9:25 “My days are swifter than a runner,

they speed by without seeing happiness.

9:26 They glide by like reed boats,

like an eagle that swoops down on its prey.

9:27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,

I will change my expression and be cheerful,’

9:28 I dread all my sufferings,

for I know that you do not hold me blameless.

9:29 If I am guilty,

why then weary myself in vain?

9:30 If I wash myself with snow water,

and make my hands clean with lye,

9:31 then you plunge me into a slimy pit

and my own clothes abhor me.

9:32 For he is not a human being like I am,

that I might answer him,

that we might come together in judgment.

9:33 Nor is there an arbiter between us,

who might lay his hand on us both,

9:34 who would take his rod away from me

so that his terror would not make me afraid.

9:35 Then would I speak and not fear him,

but it is not so with me.