Job Answers His Critics

1Then Job answered and said:
  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.
   Indeed, who does not know such things as these?
  4“I am one mocked by his friends,
   Who called on God, and He answered him,
   The just and blameless who is ridiculed.
   5A lamp is despised in the thought of one who is at ease;
   It is made ready for those whose feet slip.
   6The tents of robbers prosper,
   And those who provoke God are secure—
   In what God provides by His hand.
  7“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
   And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
   8Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
   And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
   9Who among all these does not know
   That the hand of the Lord has done this,
   10In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
   And the breath of all mankind?
   11Does not the ear test words
   And the mouth taste its food?
   12Wisdom is with aged men,
   And with length of days, understanding.
  13“With Him arewisdom and strength,
   He has counsel and understanding.
   14If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt;
   If He imprisons a man, there can be no release.
   15If He withholds the waters, they dry up;
   If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.
   16With Him are strength and prudence.
   The deceived and the deceiver are His.
   17He leads counselors away plundered,
   And makes fools of the judges.
   18He loosens the bonds of kings,
   And binds their waist with a belt.
   19He leads princes away plundered,
   And overthrows the mighty.
   20He deprives the trusted ones of speech,
   And takes away the discernment of the elders.
   21He pours contempt on princes,
   And disarms the mighty.
   22He uncovers deep things out of darkness,
   And brings the shadow of death to light.
   23He makes nations great, and destroys them;
   He enlarges nations, and guides them.
   24He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth,
   And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.
   25They grope in the dark without light,
   And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.