Job replies to Bildad
1 Then Job replied. This is what he said:
2 ‘The things that you have said are true.
But nobody can show God that he is completely good.
3 It is not possible to argue with God.
God can ask 1,000 questions that we cannot answer.
4 God is very wise and he is very powerful.
It is impossible to argue against him and win.
5 He has the power to move mountains suddenly.
When he is angry he can knock them down.
6 He shakes the earth,
to move it from its proper place.
The foundations of the earth shake!
7 He may command the sun not to shine during the day.
He may stop the stars shining at night.
8 God alone put the whole sky in its place.
He marches over the waves of the sea.
9 He put the groups of stars in their places.
He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades.
9:9The Bear, Orion and the Pleiades are the names of three groups of stars.
He put the groups of stars in the southern sky.
10 He does great things that we cannot understand.
He does more wonderful things than we can count.
11 When God passes in front of me,
I do not see him.
If he moves further away,
I do not see where he has gone.
12 If God decides to take something,
nobody can stop him.
Nobody can ask him, “What are you doing?”
13 If God is angry, he will not stop.
He destroys Rahab and the other monsters of the sea.
9:13See Isaiah 51:9. Rahab was the name of a great sea monster.
14 So I can never give an answer to God.
There are no words that I can use to argue with him.
15 Even if I am completely right,
I cannot answer him.
He is my judge.
I can only ask him to be kind to me.
16 He might agree to meet with me in court.
But I do not believe that he would listen to me.
17 He would attack me with a strong storm.
He would hurt me even more, for no reason.
18 He would not allow me to breathe quietly.
Instead, he would make me very upset.
19 If I tried to fight God,
he is much stronger than I am.
And if I ask for justice,
who can bring God to court?
20 I am right. I have not done anything that is wrong.
But my words would say that I am guilty.
21 I have not done anything that is wrong.
But it does not matter what happens to me.
My life is not important to me.
22 The same thing happens to good people and to wicked people.
So I say, “God destroys people who are not guilty
as well as those who are guilty.”
23 When disease comes, people may die suddenly.
God laughs at good people who suffer like that.
24 A wicked man may have power to rule a nation.
Then God stops the judges from being fair.
It must be God who does that.
Who else could it be?
25 The days of my life are passing very quickly,
like a fast runner.
None of my days makes me happy.
26 My days go past like a fast boat on a river.
They move quickly like an eagle
when it flies down to catch its food.
27 I may try to be happy and to smile.
I may try to forget about my troubles.
28 Even then, I will be afraid of all my pain.
God, I know that you think I am guilty.
29 So, if I am guilty,
it is useless to do anything about it.
30 I might wash myself with pure water.
I might clean my hands with soap.
31 But then God would throw me down into a dirty hole.
Even my own clothes would be ashamed of me!
32 God is not a human, as I am.
So I cannot answer him.
We cannot argue with each other in court.
33 There is nobody who can decide which of us is right.
Nobody has authority to judge both of us.
34 Nobody can stop God from punishing me.
If that were possible, I would not be afraid any more.
35 I would speak to God and I would not be afraid.
But now I cannot do that.