2 “Will you get offended if somebody tries to talk to you? Who can keep from speaking at a time like this?[a] 3 Look! You’ve admonished many people,[b] and you’ve strengthened feeble hands. 4 A word from you has supported those who have stumbled, and has strengthened faltering knees.
5 “But now it’s your turn, and you’re the one who is worn out![c] Now it’s striking you, and you’re dismayed!
6 “Your fear of God has been your confidence, hasn’t it? The integrity of your life has been your hope, hasn’t it? 7 Now please think: Who has ever perished when they’re innocent? Where have the upright been destroyed? 8 It’s been my experience that those who plow the soil of[d] iniquity and those who sow the seed of[e] trouble will reap their harvest![f] 9 They perish by the breath of God; they are consumed by the storm that is[g] his anger.[h]
10 “The lioness may roar, and the lion cub may growl; but even the ivory teeth of the full grown lion are broken. 11 Full grown lions die when they cannot find prey; that’s when the lion cubs are scattered.
12 “A message was confided[i] to me; my ear caught a whisper of it. 13 Disquieting thoughts from dreams at night; when deep sleep falls on everyone.[j] 14 A fear fell upon me, along with trembling that caused all my bones to shake in terror.[k] 15 A spirit glided past me and made the hair on my skin[l] to bristle. 16 It remained standing, but I couldn’t recognize its appearance. A form appeared before my eyes; At first there was[m] silence, and then this voice: 17 ‘Can a mortal person[n] be more righteous than God? Or can the purity of the valiant exceed that of his maker?’[o]
18 “Indeed, since he doesn’t trust his servants,[p] since he charges[q] his angels with error, 19 how much less confidence[r] does he have in those who dwell in houses of clay; who were formed from a foundation in dust and can perish[s] like a moth? 20 They are defeated between morning and evening; they perish forever—and no one notices! 21 Their wealth[t] perishes with them, doesn’t it? They die, and do so without having wisdom, don’t they?”
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