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Job 9 New Living Translation (NLT)

Job’s Third Speech: A Response to Bildad

Then Job spoke again:

“Yes, I know all this is true in principle.
    But how can a person be declared innocent in God’s sight?
If someone wanted to take God to court,[a]
    would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times?
For God is so wise and so mighty.
    Who has ever challenged him successfully?

“Without warning, he moves the mountains,
    overturning them in his anger.
He shakes the earth from its place,
    and its foundations tremble.
If he commands it, the sun won’t rise
    and the stars won’t shine.
He alone has spread out the heavens
    and marches on the waves of the sea.
He made all the stars—the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky.
10 He does great things too marvelous to understand.
    He performs countless miracles.

11 “Yet when he comes near, I cannot see him.
    When he moves by, I do not see him go.
12 If he snatches someone in death, who can stop him?
    Who dares to ask, ‘What are you doing?’
13 And God does not restrain his anger.
    Even the monsters of the sea[b] are crushed beneath his feet.

14 “So who am I, that I should try to answer God
    or even reason with him?
15 Even if I were right, I would have no defense.
    I could only plead for mercy.
16 And even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I’m not sure he would listen to me.
17 For he attacks me with a storm
    and repeatedly wounds me without cause.
18 He will not let me catch my breath,
    but fills me instead with bitter sorrows.
19 If it’s a question of strength, he’s the strong one.
    If it’s a matter of justice, who dares to summon him[c] to court?
20 Though I am innocent, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty.
    Though I am blameless, it[d] would prove me wicked.

21 “I am innocent,
    but it makes no difference to me—
    I despise my life.
22 Innocent or wicked, it is all the same to God.
    That’s why I say, ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When a plague[e] sweeps through,
    he laughs at the death of the innocent.
24 The whole earth is in the hands of the wicked,
    and God blinds the eyes of the judges.
    If he’s not the one who does it, who is?

25 “My life passes more swiftly than a runner.
    It flees away without a glimpse of happiness.
26 It disappears like a swift papyrus boat,
    like an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27 If I decided to forget my complaints,
    to put away my sad face and be cheerful,
28 I would still dread all the pain,
    for I know you will not find me innocent, O God.
29 Whatever happens, I will be found guilty.
    So what’s the use of trying?
30 Even if I were to wash myself with soap
    and clean my hands with lye,
31 you would plunge me into a muddy ditch,
    and my own filthy clothing would hate me.

32 “God is not a mortal like me,
    so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial.
33 If only there were a mediator between us,
    someone who could bring us together.
34 The mediator could make God stop beating me,
    and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment.
35 Then I could speak to him without fear,
    but I cannot do that in my own strength.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:3 Or If God wanted to take someone to court.
  2. 9:13 Hebrew the helpers of Rahab, the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature.
  3. 9:19 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads me.
  4. 9:20 Or he.
  5. 9:23 Or disaster.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Job 9 New International Version (NIV)

Job

Then Job replied:

“Indeed, I know that this is true.
    But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?
Though they wished to dispute with him,
    they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.
His wisdom is profound, his power is vast.
    Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?
He moves mountains without their knowing it
    and overturns them in his anger.
He shakes the earth from its place
    and makes its pillars tremble.
He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;
    he seals off the light of the stars.
He alone stretches out the heavens
    and treads on the waves of the sea.
He is the Maker of the Bear[a] and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
    miracles that cannot be counted.
11 When he passes me, I cannot see him;
    when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him?
    Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 God does not restrain his anger;
    even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.

14 “How then can I dispute with him?
    How can I find words to argue with him?
15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;
    I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.
16 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
17 He would crush me with a storm
    and multiply my wounds for no reason.
18 He would not let me catch my breath
    but would overwhelm me with misery.
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!
    And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him[b]?
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
    if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.

21 “Although I am blameless,
    I have no concern for myself;
    I despise my own life.
22 It is all the same; that is why I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When a scourge brings sudden death,
    he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,
    he blindfolds its judges.
    If it is not he, then who is it?

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
26 They skim past like boats of papyrus,
    like eagles swooping down on their prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will change my expression, and smile,’
28 I still dread all my sufferings,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 Since I am already found guilty,
    why should I struggle in vain?
30 Even if I washed myself with soap
    and my hands with cleansing powder,
31 you would plunge me into a slime pit
    so that even my clothes would detest me.

32 “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him,
    that we might confront each other in court.
33 If only there were someone to mediate between us,
    someone to bring us together,
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,
    so that his terror would frighten me no more.
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,
    but as it now stands with me, I cannot.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 9:9 Or of Leo
  2. Job 9:19 See Septuagint; Hebrew me.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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