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1Then Job answered:

2“Truly I know that it is so:

But how can a man be just before God?

3If one wished to contend with him,

one could not answer him once in a thousand times.

4He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength

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

5he who removes mountains, and they know it not,

when he overturns them in his anger;

6who shakes the earth out of its place,

and its pillars tremble;

7who commands the sun, and it does not rise;

who seals up the stars;

8who alone stretched out the heavens,

and trampled the waves of the sea;

9who made the Bear and Orion,

the Pleiʹades and the chambers of the south;

10who does great things beyond understanding,

and marvelous things without number.

11Lo, he passes by me, and I see him not;

he moves on, but I do not perceive him.

12Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him?

Who will say to him, ‘What doest thou?’

13“God will not turn back his anger;

beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.

14How then can I answer him,

choosing my words with him?

15Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;

I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.

16If I summoned him and he answered me,

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

17For he crushes me with a tempest,

and multiplies my wounds without cause;

18he will not let me get my breath,

but fills me with bitterness.

19If it is a contest of strength, behold him!

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

20Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;

though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.

21I am blameless; I regard not myself;

I loathe my life.

22It is all one; therefore I say,

he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.

23When disaster brings sudden death,

he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.

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

he covers the faces of its judges—

if it is not he, who then is it?

25“My days are swifter than a runner;

they flee away, they see no good.

26They go by like skiffs of reed,

like an eagle swooping on the prey.

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

I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer,’

28I become afraid of all my suffering,

for I know thou wilt not hold me innocent.

29I shall be condemned;

why then do I labor in vain?

30If I wash myself with snow,

and cleanse my hands with lye,

31yet thou wilt plunge me into a pit,

and my own clothes will abhor me.

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

that we should come to trial together.

33There is no umpire between us,

who might lay his hand upon us both.

34Let him take his rod away from me,

and let not dread of him terrify me.

35Then I would speak without fear of him,

for I am not so in myself.

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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