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1“But now, hear my speech, O Job,

and listen to all my words.

2Behold, I open my mouth;

the tongue in my mouth speaks.

3My words declare the uprightness of my heart,

and what my lips know they speak sincerely.

4The spirit of God has made me,

and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

5Answer me, if you can;

set your words in order before me; take your stand.

6Behold, I am toward God as you are;

I too was formed from a piece of clay.

7Behold, no fear of me need terrify you;

my pressure will not be heavy upon you.

8“Surely, you have spoken in my hearing,

and I have heard the sound of your words.

9You say, ‘I am clean, without transgression;

I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me.

10Behold, he finds occasions against me,

he counts me as his enemy;

11he puts my feet in the stocks,

and watches all my paths.’

12“Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you.

God is greater than man.

13Why do you contend against him,

saying, ‘He will answer none of my words’?

14For God speaks in one way,

and in two, though man does not perceive it.

15In a dream, in a vision of the night,

when deep sleep falls upon men,

while they slumber on their beds,

16then he opens the ears of men,

and terrifies them with warnings,

17that he may turn man aside from his deed,

and cut off pride from man;

18he keeps back his soul from the Pit,

his life from perishing by the sword.

19“Man is also chastened with pain upon his bed,

and with continual strife in his bones;

20so that his life loathes bread,

and his appetite dainty food.

21His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen;

and his bones which were not seen stick out.

22His soul draws near the Pit,

and his life to those who bring death.

23If there be for him an angel,

a mediator, one of the thousand,

to declare to man what is right for him;

24and he is gracious to him, and says,

‘Deliver him from going down into the Pit,

I have found a ransom;

25let his flesh become fresh with youth;

let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;

26then man prays to God, and he accepts him,

he comes into his presence with joy.

He recounts to men his salvation,

27and he sings before men, and says:

‘I sinned, and perverted what was right,

and it was not requited to me.

28He has redeemed my soul from going down into the Pit,

and my life shall see the light.’

29“Behold, God does all these things,

twice, three times, with a man,

30to bring back his soul from the Pit,

that he may see the light of life.

31Give heed, O Job, listen to me;

be silent, and I will speak.

32If you have anything to say, answer me;

speak, for I desire to justify you.

33If not, listen to me;

be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

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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