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1Then Job answered:

2“No doubt you are the people,

and wisdom will die with you.

3But I have understanding as well as you;

I am not inferior to you.

Who does not know such things as these?

4I am a laughingstock to my friends;

I, who called upon God and he answered me,

a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.

5In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune;

it is ready for those whose feet slip.

6The tents of robbers are at peace,

and those who provoke God are secure,

who bring their god in their hand.

7“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;

the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

8or the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;

and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

9Who among all these does not know

that the hand of the Lord has done this?

10In his hand is the life of every living thing

and the breath of all mankind.

11Does not the ear try words

as the palate tastes food?

12Wisdom is with the aged,

and understanding in length of days.

13“With God are wisdom and might;

he has counsel and understanding.

14If he tears down, none can rebuild;

if he shuts a man in, none can open.

15If he withholds the waters, they dry up;

if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.

16With him are strength and wisdom;

the deceived and the deceiver are his.

17He leads counselors away stripped,

and judges he makes fools.

18He looses the bonds of kings,

and binds a waistcloth on their loins.

19He leads priests away stripped,

and overthrows the mighty.

20He deprives of speech those who are trusted,

and takes away the discernment of the elders.

21He pours contempt on princes,

and looses the belt of the strong.

22He uncovers the deeps out of darkness,

and brings deep darkness to light.

23He makes nations great, and he destroys them:

he enlarges nations, and leads them away.

24He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth,

and makes them wander in a pathless waste.

25They grope in the dark without light;

and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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