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ESV — Job 9

Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter

Then Job answered and said:

“Truly I know that it is so:

But how can a man be zin the right before God?

If one wished to acontend with him,

one could not answer him once in a thousand times.

He is bwise in heart and mighty in strength

—who has chardened himself against him, and succeeded?—

he who removes mountains, and they know it not,

when he overturns them in his anger,

who dshakes the earth out of its place,

and eits pillars tremble;

who commands the sun, and it does not rise;

who seals up the stars;

who alone fstretched out the heavens

and trampled the waves of the sea;

who gmade hthe Bear and iOrion,

the Pleiades jand the chambers of the south;

10  who does kgreat things beyond searching out,

and marvelous things beyond number.

11  Behold, he passes by me, and I lsee him not;

he moves on, but I do not perceive him.

12  Behold, he snatches away; mwho can turn him back?

nWho will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

13  “God will not turn back his anger;

beneath him bowed the helpers of oRahab.

14  pHow then can I qanswer him,

choosing my words with him?

15  rThough I am in the right, I cannot answer him;

I must sappeal for mercy to my accuser.1

16  If I summoned him and he answered me,

I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.

17  For he crushes me with a tempest

and multiplies my wounds twithout cause;

18  he will not let me get my breath,

but fills me with bitterness.

19  If it is a contest of ustrength, behold, he is mighty!

If it is a matter of justice, who can vsummon him?2

20  Though I am in the right, wmy own mouth would condemn me;

though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.

21  I am xblameless; I regard not myself;

I yloathe my life.

22  It is all one; therefore I say,

‘He zdestroys both the blameless and the wicked.’

23  When adisaster brings sudden death,

he mocks at the calamity3 of the innocent.

24  bThe earth is given into the hand of the wicked;

he ccovers the faces of its judges—

dif it is not he, who then is it?

25  “My edays are swifter than fa runner;

they flee away; they see no good.

26  They go by like gskiffs of reed,

like han eagle swooping on the prey.

27  If I say, i‘I will forget my complaint,

I will put off my sad face, and jbe of good cheer,’

28  I become kafraid of all my suffering,

for I know you will not lhold me innocent.

29  I shall be mcondemned;

why then do I labor in vain?

30  If I wash myself with snow

and ncleanse my hands with lye,

31  yet you will plunge me into a pit,

and my own clothes will oabhor me.

32  For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,

that we should pcome to trial together.

33  qThere is no4 arbiter between us,

who might lay his hand on us both.

34  rLet him take his srod away from me,

and let tnot dread of him terrify me.

35  Then I would speak without fear of him,

for I am not so in myself.

Footnotes

[1] 9:15 Or to my judge
[2] 9:19 Compare Septuagint; Hebrew me
[3] 9:23 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[4] 9:33 Or Would that there were an